Ina Garten's Tip For The Smoothest Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Thanks to its additional ingredients, chocolate frosting is not always as straightforward to make as vanilla or cream cheese frosting. Some chocolate frostings, such as boiled chocolate icing, require more steps than simply whipping sugar and a creamy fat together (via Southern Plate). For chocolate buttercream, you don't have to cook the frosting, but you'll still need to utilize your stovetop to melt your ingredients. Because of this, the beloved Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten herself, shares a vital tip to make sure you control the heat and can make the absolute best chocolate buttercream. 

Garten's tip comes into play a few steps into your chocolate buttercream recipe, so before you put her advice to good use, you'll need to start your recipe. Broma Bakery insists that you ensure the butter is at room temperature when you make the frosting. Three hours should be enough to achieve room-temperature butter. The start of beating together a batch of chocolate buttercream frosting isn't the only time temperature is important. That's where Garten gives her best tip.

Ina says time to cool off is essential

According to the Barefoot Contessa, you should use real chocolate — she likes semisweet for frosting — and heat it until it has barely melted. Once it has reached the right consistency, Garten explains that it is incredibly important that you allow the chocolate time to cool before incorporating it into the buttercream. As she says in a YouTube video, chocolate that is too hot will melt the butter in the buttercream causing it to run and ruin the batch of frosting. 

Once the chocolate buttercream is perfectly combined and smooth, Garten says you should immediately frost cake layers or cupcakes. So, be sure your cakes are fully cooled too before mixing this frosting up. If you have leftover frosting, Wilton says it will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, but keep in mind it would need to be fluffed up using a stand mixer before using it again.