The Best Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Everybody knows and loves a good, traditional cream cheese frosting, but there’s a lesser-known, just as delicious – if not more so – frosting out there that’s not getting its time in the spotlight: chocolate cream cheese frosting. Forget chocolate buttercream or even chocolate ganache frosting…you’re about to discover that mocha chocolate cream cheese frosting is your favorite.

Room temperature cream cheese and butter are the base of our frosting, which get creamed together until they’re nice and fluffy, then you beat in your powdered sugar and cocoa powder. You’ll want to use unsweetened natural cocoa powder (Dutch process cocoa powder is a good choice too) for maximum richness and undiluted chocolate flavor, plus some high-quality espresso powder which is part of why this frosting knocks it out of the park every time! Also, pro tip: while it’s not essential, sifting your powdered sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt together before beating it into the butter and cream cheese will ensure you get the smoothest frosting around.

We sometimes skip this step if we’re pressed for time, but not having to deal with any tiny lumps is always a plus in our book…plus, it makes the frosting that much better, so it’s worth it! Trust us, you’ll forget all about regular cream cheese frosting once you try this one!
Mocha Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly-brewed coffee, room temperature
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

In a large bowl of mixer, beat softened cream cheese and butter for 2-4 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally, until fluffy and fully incorporated.
Place cocoa powder, powdered sugar, espresso powder and salt in a sieve and sift dry ingredients into cream cheese and butter mixture, then pour in vanilla extract.
Beat mixture until sugar and cocoa powder are fully combined and mixture is smooth.
Start by pouring in 1 tablespoon coffee, then heavy cream, if desired, then mix until smooth.
Place in a piping bag or spread directly on cake or cupcakes. Enjoy!