(Not) Recipes

Blitz This No-Brainer, No-Powdered Sugar Chocolate Frosting

February 21, 2018

Snowed in? Need chocolate frosting now? All you need is a food processor or blender, chocolate chips, evaporated milk, butter, and a little salt. No sugar.

This is your new fail-safe, kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing cake frosting made from ingredients you’ll never not keep in your pantry again. Here’s a bonus: If you are tired of my telling you not to use chocolate chips in recipes that require melted chocolate, this is the recipe you’ve been waiting for! Chocolate chips work best here, so if you don’t feel like chopping chocolate, rejoice.

Dark and milk, fraternal twins. Photo by Julia Gartland

What You Need

One 12-ounce bag of chocolate chips—the kind that are shaped like little kisses —not chunks or disks. For dark chocolate (semisweet, dark, bittersweet, or extra dark), use 1 cup of evaporated milk; for milk chocolate, use 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Both need 4 tablespoons of butter and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

What You Do

Dump chocolate chips into a food processor (or blender). Heat evaporated milk to a simmer and pour it over the chocolate. Add butter in several pieces, and salt. Process, scraping the bowl once or twice, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture cools and thickens, at least slightly (thickness at this stage depends on the chocolate—milk and extra-dark chocolate will be thicker right away). It will thicken as it rests. Scrape frosting into a bowl and let it sit at room temperature until it’s thickened to a perfect spreadable-but-soft, swirl-able consistency with a beautiful glossy sheen. It may take a while to come to the right consistency—as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour; be patient and resist the urge to refrigerate it to hasten the process. It won’t be as pretty if it hardens before you spread it on.

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Note: This simple recipe capitalizes on the composition and unique melting characteristics of chocolate chips—rather than bar chocolate or wafers—so really, stick with them this time.

What's your go-to frosting? Let us know in the comments!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • DMStenlake
  • Julia Bachand
    Julia Bachand
  • FrugalCat
  • arch
  • Nikkitha Bakshani
    Nikkitha Bakshani
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


DMStenlake March 2, 2018
I’m a novice at this baking lingual. Is it sweetened evaporated milk?
arch March 14, 2018
Did someone answer? Evaporated milk is different from sweetened condensed milk. Both are found on the same aisle in the store.
Julia B. March 2, 2018
The recipe calls for 1 cup of milk for a dark frosting and 1/3 cup for milk chocolate. Am I reading that wrong, seems reversed.
FrugalCat February 22, 2018
Great recipe. But don't say it has no sugar when the chocolate is full of sugar. I get it, no added sugar. But sugar free individuals can't eat this.
Nikkitha B. February 22, 2018
Thanks for pointing out! I modified the headline to what it was originally intended for, a way to skip messy powdered sugar.