A rich chocolate brownie icing recipe made with simple pantry ingredients. Use it to top brownies for a perfect dessert.
Thick and fudgy brownies are made extra delicious when you add on a layer of creamy chocolate brownie icing.
This simple brownie icing recipe uses cocoa powder as the chocolate component. Along with melted butter, vanilla extract (or paste), and powdered sugar, it's rich and full of flavor.
No need for a stand mixer, this can be made by hand or with a hand mixer.
There are many delicious toppings that can come under a 'brownie frosting recipe.' You could make buttercream frosting, a cream cheese frosting, or a chocolate ganache (if you're after a brownie frosting without powdered sugar.)
However, this easy from-scratch recipe is even more simple. It uses melted butter and doesn't need the long creaming time that buttercream needs. It's got great chocolate flavor and deep color. It also makes only a small amount that's the perfect amount for one pan of brownies.
A hand-held electric mixer makes it extra smooth, but if you don't have a mixer it can be whisked by hand. This is a great recipe to make with kids!
Chocolate frosting is best when topped on delicious homemade chocolate brownies.
For this chocolate icing recipe, you will need -
- Butter. Melted butter is very flavorful and gives the icing a glossy sheen.
- Cocoa powder - You can use natural or dutch processed. Dutch-processed cocoa gives a deeper color than natural cocoa but both will give a great chocolate taste.
- Vanilla paste or extract
- Pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar
- Whole milk, skim milk, or cream to help thin it out
- Chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles optional, to sprinkle over top.
On the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir through the cocoa powder until it has all been combined into a glossy and smooth mixture. Add in the vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk or cream. If your powdered sugar is clumpy, sift it in to avoid lumps in the icing.
Use an electric hand mixer or a balloon whisk or wooden spoon to beat the ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk or powdered sugar to make the icing thicker or thinner as needed.
For best results, let your homemade brownies cool completely on a wire rack before icing them.
Leftover icing can store at room temperature in an airtight for up to 2 days. The butter will stiffen up, so whip it together with an electric mixer to get it spreadable again.
Brownie icing recipe without powdered sugar
You can make a brownie frosting without powdered sugar by making ganache instead. Ganache uses chocolate and cream and it makes a delicious frosting. For a whipped ganache icing, use a ratio of 1:1 semi-sweet dark chocolate and cream (measured in weight.)
This is less chocolate than you would use for chocolate truffles, since it doesn't have to set quite as stiff.
Dark chocolate ganache frosting
- 150g semi-sweet chocolate
- 150 grams of pouring cream
Finely chop the chocolate and set it aside in a bowl.
In a small saucepan over the stove, heat the cream on low heat until just simmering. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and leave it to sit for 5 minutes. The chocolate will melt in the hot cream. Stir it together until glossy. If it hasn't melted, pop it in the microwave for 15-second bursts until melted.
Let it cool down until it is room temperature, then pop it in the fridge until cold.
Once it's cold, it can be whipped until it is lighter and fluffy and spread over the brownies.
You can make a white chocolate ganache too, but the ratio of chocolate to cream will be a bit different. For white chocolate use 1 part pouring cream to 4 parts white chocolate. Melt it together over a hot water bath for the best results.
Other uses for brownie icing
This chocolate icing is very versatile and can be used to ice cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and more. The recipe makes only enough to ice a 9x9inch pan of brownies or 12 cookies.
If you want to make a larger amount, the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
- 56g (¼ cup) unsalted butter
- 28g (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 150g ( 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar)
- 2 Tablespoons cream or milk to thin
- On the stove or in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir through the cocoa powder until it has all been combined into a glossy and smooth mixture.
- Add in the vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk or cream. If your powdered sugar is clumpy, sift it in to avoid lumps in the icing.
- Use an electric hand mixer or a balloon whisk or wooden spoon to beat the ingredients together until smooth. Add more milk to make the icing thinner as needed.
- Spread over cooled brownies.
- Leftover icing can store at room temperature in an airtight for up to 2 days. The butter will stiffen up, so whip it together with an electric mixer to get it spreadable again.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 21Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g