10 Best Frostings for Chocolate Cake

Everyone loves chocolate cake. Even without the frosting, chocolate cake is a scrumptious treat anyone would love to sink their teeth into. Yet, the frosting can take a chocolate cake from great to extraordinary. But what frostings are best for this type of cake?

Chocolate cake is the perfect canvas for a slew of frosting. You can keep it classic with chocolate buttercream or ganache. You can also step out of the box and go with a tangy cream cheese frosting, a fun vanilla whipped topping, or experiment with flavors like fruit or coffee. There are really no flavors that are off-limits!

Hey! My name is Michelle, and I’m a self-taught baker with an affinity for cake. My mom absolutely loves chocolate cake, so I make it regularly. Her favorite combo is chocolate cake with a vanilla cream cheese frosting. It’s so good. But there are many other options to try out.

Keep reading to find out which frostings are best for chocolate cake!

Top 10 Frostings for Chocolate Cake

One of the best things about chocolate cake is that it is the perfect canvas for frosting. Since chocolate goes with just about anything, it’s a versatile cake that you can top with, well, anything

From fruity and bold flavors to classic and creamy, here are the top ten frostings for chocolate cake.

1. Chocolate Buttercream

When most people think of frosting, they think of buttercream. Its silky smooth consistency and desirable richness make it the go-to for many cakes, including chocolate cake!

That said, I had to put chocolate buttercream at the top of the list. Not only is it a cinch to make from scratch, but you can rest assured of a top-notch outcome.

For those who enjoy keeping things classic, frost your chocolate cake with a decadent chocolate buttercream frosting.

2. Chocolate Ganache

What goes great with chocolate cake? More chocolate. But if you don’t want the heaviness of chocolate buttercream, your second-best choice is to make chocolate ganache.

Chocolate ganache might be one of the easiest things you ever throw together in your kitchen. After all, it only requires two ingredients (chocolate chips and heavy cream) and ten minutes (or less) of your time.

The result? A fabulous yet surprisingly lightweight chocolate frosting that takes your choc cake to new heights.

3. Cream Cheese Frosting

Delightfully silky with a tangy aftertaste, cream cheese frosting is undeniably a popular choice for cakes – especially red velvet

Yet, even though chocolate and red velvet cake aren’t the same things, cream cheese frosting is an excellent choice for both types of cake.

The benefit of topping your chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting is that it will balance out the flavors, ensuring it isn’t so sweet you end up with a cavity. 

Don’t worry, though – it’s still plenty sweet and buttery, so you won’t be missing out on anything.

4. Whipped Cream Frosting

Not everyone is a fan of cream cheese frosting (I know, I couldn’t believe it either). But if you’re looking for a simple frosting that isn’t too sweet yet has a very desirable flavor and texture, your next best option is whipped cream frosting.

You’ll love whipped cream frosting because it is splendidly fluffy and lightweight, which cuts some of the decadent and almost overwhelming richness of the chocolate cake underneath.

And what can I say? Whipped cream + chocolate cake = a match made in heaven.

5. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate-covered strawberries are among the most sought-after desserts, especially on holidays like Valentine’s Day. 

But why settle for chocolate-covered strawberries when you can have a strawberry-covered cake?

If you love the strawberry and chocolate combo, consider slathering some strawberry buttercream atop your chocolate cake. Finish it off with some fresh strawberries to really dial in the fruity flavors.

6. Orange Buttercream Frosting

Do you like a little more zing and zest in your life? Then I encourage you to try topping your chocolate cake with orange buttercream frosting!

Yes, this frosting flavor is a little intense, but if you want to liven up your chocolate cake, this is the quickest way to do it.

C’mon, chocolate and orange? It’s a winning combination.

7. Peppermint Whipped Cream Frosting

Before I go any further, let me tell you this – you’ll love this combo so much that it’ll replace all your other typical winter and holiday desserts.

OK, now let me reveal what I’m talking about.

Chocolate cake topped with peppermint whipped cream frosting.

I mean, really, do I need to explain why this is the ultimate frosting for chocolate cake? Peppermint and chocolate are a match made in heaven. The extra flavor punch of the peppermint ensures your chocolate cake is one that guests will want to write home about – I guarantee it.

8. Peanut Butter Frosting

I’m pretty sure it’s illegal not to talk about peanut butter when discussing anything chocolate. OK, maybe it’s not illegal, but it’s certainly a travesty.

That’s why I added peanut butter frosting to my top ten list.

Peanut butter and chocolate go hand-in-hand in any application. Topping your cake with peanut butter frosting will make your taste buds soar

9. Coffee Buttercream Frosting

Where are all of my fellow coffee lovers?

If you’re anything like me, you’ll know there’s nothing quite like a slice of chocolate cake with a cup of coffee.

So why not combine the two?

Topping your chocolate cake with coffee buttercream frosting will definitely be wowing – and you won’t even need to brew a cup of Joe on the side. Enjoy this cake for dessert, but honestly, you might cave and have it for breakfast, too. (We’re not judging you!)

10. Spicy Chocolate Buttercream

This suggestion is out of the box. But who said being adventurous was a bad thing?

If you like a little “kick” in your desserts, I recommend topping your chocolate cake with spicy chocolate buttercream.

No, it’s not as if you were taking a bite of chocolate cake dipped into the hottest bowl of salsa you’ve ever had, so don’t panic.

Adding a few teaspoons of cayenne peppers allows this chocolate buttercream to get a subtle boost in the spice department, which plays well with the decadent chocolate cake. If you like a little spice in your life, give this exciting frosting a try!


With ten wonderful frostings for chocolate cake to try, you have no reason not to experiment with some new flavors! However, don’t leave just yet. I’ve included a few frequently asked questions below. You’re going to want to check them out!

What are the most popular frosting flavors?

The most popular frosting flavors are chocolate and vanilla.

Which tastes better ganache or buttercream?

Some people prefer ganache, while others prefer buttercream. It depends on the desired flavor and texture. For instance, I personally enjoy buttercream frosting because it’s thicker, moister, and richer. Ganache is more lightweight and not as intensely sweet, but still tasty!

What frosting holds up best in heat?

Are you taking your chocolate cake on the go and needing it to withstand higher temperatures? Your best bet is to use buttercream frosting, especially Italian or Swiss buttercream. These types of buttercreams can handle higher temps, but you should still take the necessary steps to keep your cake safe from the heat.

Chocolate Cake is the Perfect Base for So Many Wonderful Flavors!

When it comes to frosting a chocolate cake, you really can’t go wrong. You can keep it simple and classic with chocolate-flavored options, or try for something more unique and vibrant like orange or peppermint. 

Which one of these frostings do you plan to use on top of your chocolate cake? Do you have a frosting to add to this list? We love to hear from our readers, so comment below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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