Who isn’t a fan of perfectly chocolate frosting? With the help of Hershey’s cocoa and a few other simple ingredients, homemade chocolate frosting never tasted so delicious. This quick and easy chocolate frosting recipe is simple to follow, even for the smallest helpers in your kitchen.–Hersheyland.com

Swirls of Hershey's chocolate frosting.

Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting

4.86 / 14 votes
Hershey's chocolate frosting has been a staple in American kitchens for decades now—and for good reason. It's creamy and so very chocolatey. Made with butter, cocoa, icing sugar, milk, and vanilla, it's the perfect addition to their quintessential chocolate cake.
David Leite
Servings12 servings
Calories297 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes


  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 3 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a bowl, stir together the butter, cocoa, and espresso powder.
  • Add some of the confectioners’ sugar and then add some of the milk to the butter mixture, beating with a handheld electric mixer (see how handy it can be?!) after each addition. Continue to add the rest of the sugar and milk, alternating them, and beat until you achieve a thick but spreadable consistency.
  • If a thinner frosting is desired, add more milk, a little at a time, until you’ve achieved your ideal texture. Stir in the vanilla.


*What does adding espresso to chocolate do? 

There really isn’t enough espresso in this recipe to change the flavor to all-out mocha, so why even bother adding it? Coffee and chocolate go together incredibly well, that’s why. It’s simply because coffee enhances the depth of rich, chocolatey perfection in this icing, taking it up a notch. You can leave it out if you’re caffeine-averse, but we strongly feel that it adds just a little something extra. 


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 297 kcalCarbohydrates: 40 gProtein: 2 gFat: 17 gSaturated Fat: 11 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 42 mgSodium: 11 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 34 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 David Leite. Photo © 2021 alexeyborodin. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This chocolate frosting comes together beautifully, complements the Hershey’s chocolate cake, spreads easily, and isn’t overpowering. The first time I made this cake, I took it to a small dinner gathering. After everyone had their cake, the room went silent, given that everyone was blissfully sated.

The frosting is a nice everyday type of frosting with a rich chocolate flavor, a result of the addition of espresso powder. Loved being able to use my electric hand mixer rather than dragging out the big 7-quart mixer!

This chocolate frosting was easy to work with and wasn’t overpowering. Sublime.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve used the Hershey’s chocolate frosting for over 20 years, with one change, I substitute sour cream for the milk. It adds a tanginess to the frosting my family and friends all like. This cake and frosting are my son’s favorite ?