Best Chocolate American Butter Cream Icing (Crusting)

Best Chocolate American Butter Cream Icing (Crusting)

This chocolate butter cream is absolutely lush and has a nice, rich brown color. It crusts well, so you can use the Viva method to smooth it. It also pipes beautifully. By far my favorite recipe for chocolate ABC when it comes to taste. Recipe doubles and triples well!


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 6 to 8 ounces unsweetened, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chocolate (or any combination)
  • 2 tablespoons clear Karo (corn syrup)
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons milk (skim, light, full, or heavy whipping cream) (I often use 3 skim and 1 heavy cream)

1. Cream butter on high.
2. While butter is creaming, slowly melt chocolate. When it cools a bit, add corn syrup.
3. Add chocolate mixture to whipped butter; mix well.
4. Add milk and sugar, alternately, while mixing on medium speed, until all is added and mixed well.
5. Avoid mixing on high to prevent air bubbles.
6. Add heavy whipping cream if richer or fluffier (lighter consistency) icing is desired.

Sky blue food color will give you a darker brown, if necessary. Yellow and red (after a bit of blue) will also change hues from cooler to warmer shades of brown.

This icing is fantastic as a filling, as a “smooth” icing, and for piping.

Here’s a cake that was filled and decorated with this icing:

Good luck!


Peggy’s not lying when she says this is the best – she gave me this recipe and I use it all the time when making a traditional American buttercream. YUMMERS.

Lots of tutorials at:

Thank you so much, Peggy! I love your cakes and it’s so nice that you’re humble enough to share a secret or two :)

Baker from The Epicurean Delight - Falls, PA

It is very yummy!! I use it as well!

Nancy Ferguson

Thank you sooooo much for sharing!!!!!!

Just made a batch and OMG it’s AWESOME!

Thanks Peggy. I have just whipped up a batch but I have done something silly, probably an amateur mistake but would love some advice.

I melted the chocolate slowly, it was not hot, just warm as when you make ganache. When I added the corn syrup it seemed to seize???

I was on the phone and kids screaming at the time so I threw it in and the mixture came together like velvet – smooth, creamy looking. Very yummy. It does appear though, now that everything has incorporated that the mixture has split? Could this mean the choc mixture was too warm when it went in?

More importantly – is there any way to rescue it?

Thanks very much in advance from an Aussie follower.

Kristy How,

Peggy you are just the “bestest!!”. Love your recipe’s, love how helpful you are, and love your posts!!! Good luck!!

Can you substitute white chocolate for the chocolate????