Wrap your taste buds around the smooth delicious flavors of coffee and chocolate in this Mocha Frosting recipe. This twist on a classic buttercream recipe is perfect for cupcakes, cookies, cakes, or brownies. See how easy it is to make a fun dual-colored frosting using cocoa and chocolate shavings.
This light and fluffy buttercream can be made ahead of time, plus it’s great for decorating. With only one bowl and a few ingredients, you can whip up a batch in no time, and look how pretty it turns out using 2 colors. As shown, this frosting is perfect for serving on Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes, plain chocolate, yellow, white, or strawberry cupcakes. With that pretty dual coloring, you could use this frosting for decorating just about anything.
Room temperature butter
For light and fluffy frosting, bring that butter to room temperature. This also allows it to mix thoroughly with the powdered sugar, and later the cocoa. If the butter is too cold, it won’t mix well or get light and fluffy. If the butter is too warm where it’s actually melting, that won’t work either if it’s separating. Like Mama Bear, it has to be right in the middle.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for a few minutes on high. You’ll see the color lighten up and it starts making that cool pattern from the beaters. Keep scraping the sides as you go.
Avoid powdered sugar clouds
Turn the speed to low as you slowly add in the powdered sugar, or you might get a cloud of white sugar everywhere…and I mean everywhere! Once the powdered sugar has been mixed in the with butter, turn the speed back up and add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Now you have basic vanilla buttercream, and you have a decision to make.
Keeping it simple…
If you’d rather your Mocha Frosting be one color, simply add the rest of the ingredients and start decorating. This includes the cocoa, the instant coffee and water, and you can even skip the step of adding in chocolate shavings. Add in one tablespoon of milk at a time to thin the frosting out until you reach the consistency you’re looking for. This would be preferable especially if frosting a cake.
…or going for dual colors.
To achieve the dual colored look as seen in these pictures, we have to go back to that basic buttercream batch. From there, divide the batter into two.
In the first bowl you’ll make your lighter color. Add some finely grated chocolate shavings directly into the frosting. Using a normal size candy bar bought in the check-out line, shave about an inch or two with a hand-held grater, which is about a tablespoon or two. Mix it up and set it aside.
Adding the chocolate shavings is optional, but it looks great. The shavings show as little dark bits in the creamy white frosting, which also gives it a little texture.
The second bowl becomes your dark mocha half. Using the electric mixer, incorporate the cocoa into the frosting, alternating with the instant coffee and water mixture. Allow all of these ingredients to thoroughly mix, scraping the sides as you go. As before, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
Piping dual colors
To pipe dual colors, start by placing about 12″ of clear wrap on the counter. Then starting in the middle from the left edge, spread some of the lighter frosting onto the clear wrap, about 6″ long. Don’t make it too long or it won’t fit inside your piping bag.
Follow by spreading a mocha layer right on top of the light layer. Now make a tube with the wrap by grabbing the top edge and folding it over to meet the bottom edge. Fold a few times tightly sealing the frosting inside. Twist the right end tightly; the open left end is where the frosting will come out of. Now place the open end of the frosting tube inside a piping bag with the tip already in place.
I used a Wilton 1M tip for these cupcakes. Squeeze the piping bag from the top; this helps keep the two colors from mixing together.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tsp. instant coffee
- 2 tsp. water
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbsp. finely grated chocolate
- 1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix instant coffee with water. Stir and set aside.
- With the speed on low, slowly add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add 1 tbsp. milk at a time (if necessary) until you reach desired consistency. Divide into 2 bowls.
- Lighter frosting: In the first bowl, grate about 2 tablespoons of chocolate directly into the frosting. Set aside.
- Darker frosting: In second bowl, add cocoa alternately with coffee mixture. Add 1 tbsp. milk at a time (if necessary) until you reach desired consistency.
- Spread some light frosting about 6" long on a square piece of clear wrap. Spread an equal amount of dark frosting on top of the light. Seal the top of the wrap to the bottom (forming a tube) and twist one end tightly. Insert the open end into a piping bag with the tip already inside. Squeeze from the top over each cupcake. Enjoy!
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Mocha Frosting is both refrigerator and freezer friendly. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for 3 months. Make sure that your container is tightly sealed to avoid taking on additional flavors, and to protect it from freezer burn.
Also, please remember that butter gets hard when it’s cold, so allow the frosting to come to room temperature before serving.
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