Creamy Chocolate Frosting (for an 8×8 cake)


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This makes an incredibly creamy chocolate frosting that is sized perfectly for an 8×8 (or a thinner layer on a 9×9 cake).

frosting a chocolate cake in a square baking dish

One of my current cooking goals is to get better at baking birthday cakes! I went to buy a birthday cake for Molly and Clara’s birthday this year and it was going to cost almost $100! It seemed excessive for a dessert that my girls were going to destroy in a matter of minutes. 😉 Enter a new era of cake-baking in my kitchen. Also enter…the One-Bowl Chocolate Cake that inspired the need for this frosting! (And don’t forget its equally delicious sister cake, this Easy Vanilla Cake!)

close up image of chocolate frosting on a beater

This frosting is a creamy, light chocolate that is not too rich or sweet. It’s smooth and spreads easily, but it has become my go-to, not because it works on a fancy layered birthday cake, but because it’s perfect for an easy, 8×8 cake. The cake plus frosting are so easy that I’ve been making them both about once a week to enjoy for dessert or to deliver to family and friends.

close up image of a fork in a piece of chocolate cake on a white plate

If you’re looking for just the right amount of chocolate frosting for an 8×8 (or 9×9) cake, look no further!

icing a chocolate cake in a square baking dish

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4.26 from 31 votes

Creamy Chocolate Frosting (for an 8×8 cake)

No guesswork needed – this recipe makes an incredibly creamy chocolate frosting in just the right amount for an thick layer on an 8×8 cake (or a slightly thinner layer on a 9×9).
Don't skip the honey. It helps to stabilize the frosting and makes it extra creamy!
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 enough for an 8×8 cake


  • Stand or Handheld Mixer
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk, any type (plus up to an extra 2 Tbsp if needed)


  • Combine butter, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla extract. Beat on high using a handheld mixer or the whip / whisk attachment on a stand mixer. Beat until very smooth and creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp milk and continue mixing until evenly combined. Add extra milk, as needed, until the frosting is a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  • Spread frosting over cake. (Note: If frosting a freshly baked cake, allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.)


This recipe makes enough for about a 1/2″ layer of frosting on the top of an 8×8 cake or a slightly thinner layer on a 9×9 cake. We like it on this One-Bowl Chocolate Cake.


Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $1.50
Calories: 173
Keyword: baking, chocolate, easy, easy baking, frosting, small-batch
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Hi there,
    The frosting came out too liquidy. I added more icing sugar which made it more fluffy! 1 cup icing sugar does not seem to be enough.

    1. Interesting – was your butter melted or super soft? Since there is only 1 tablespoon of liquid in the recipe, I’ve never had it come out liquidy.

  2. 5 stars
    I made the snack cake and put this chocolate frosting on it. My husband and I enjoyed it so much for our dessert after dinner tonight. It was an easy recipe (both cake and frosting) and very tasty. Thank you.

  3. Hi!
    your one bowl chocolate cake is .? wacky cake, Lol 😆been making this one for years, we call it wacky cake no eggs, apparently it originated in war times when ingredients and eggs were scarce. Yum !

  4. I’ve made the one bowl chocolate cake and it was amazing! I’m going to make that cake again but this time with this chocolate frosting. Wondering if I can make it 24hrs ahead of time and store in fridge?

    1. Yes! Just make the whole thing ahead of time and it’s good in the fridge for 2 days. It’s great straight out of the fridge, but you can also let it come to room temperature before slicing and serving.

  5. 4 stars
    When I read to “use to spread on cake right away” I put it on the hot cake and have just a puddle of oil. I guess right away was referring to the frosting.once it is made. I am not gifted in the kitchen and need specifics. Delicious though.

    1. John – I can absolutely see how that would be confusing! I will update the instructions to clarify that so it doesn’t happen to you or others again. Glad it was still tasty, if not quite the right consistency. Hope you’ll try it again in the future.

  6. 5 stars
    This chocolate frosting is just the right amount to frost an 8 inch cake and is so delicious. It is creamy and has a nice chocolate flavor. Thank you for the recipe!