Hershey’s easy chocolate buttercream frosting, made with cocoa

Beaters mixing a big metal bowl of chocolate buttercream frosting

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The flavor of this easy (no cooking), fast (5 minutes), classic Hershey’s recipe can be adjusted up or down, based on the chocolate intensity level you prefer.

Specifically, how can this chocolate buttercream frosting be customized? It’s super simple. These old-fashioned instructions say to use 1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa for a light chocolaty flavor, 1/2 cup for medium flavor (what we used on the card below), and 3/4 cup for a dark chocolate flavor.

For those who might remember this frosting, yes — this is the same recipe that was on the back of their cocoa can for many years. This particular version was published in a vintage magazine ad back in 1986, which you can see below.

USE THIS RECIPE ON THESE: 7 classic Hershey’s chocolate cake recipes from the 70s

Hershey’s famous one-bowl chocolate buttercream frosting (1986)

You’re just one bowl and five minutes away from real homemade frosting.

Delicious, yes. But fast? Yes! Just try this five-minute, one-bowl recipe from Hershey’s Cocoa. No cooking. And simply no comparison.

Hershey's one-bowl chocolate buttercream frosting, made with cocoa - Old-fashioned recipe (1986)

Beaters mixing a big metal bowl of chocolate buttercream frosting

Hershey's one-bowl chocolate buttercream frosting, made with cocoa

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This old-fashioned Hershey's frosting recipe can be adjusted based on the chocolate intensity level you prefer. Use 1/3 cup of cocoa for light flavor, 1/2 cup for medium flavor (what we used below), and 3/4 cup for dark chocolate flavor.


  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 2-2/3 cups powdered sugar, unsifted
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In small mixer bowl, beat butter.
  2. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk; beat to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed).
  3. Blend in vanilla.


Makes about 2 cups of chocolate frosting, with about 2 tablespoons of frosting per serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 37mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 1g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

ALSO TRY: Hershey’s classic ‘Hand-me-down’ chocolate cake (1972)

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Comments on this story

2 Responses

  1. My mother was somewhat famous for her homemade chocolate frosting. The only problem with this frosting is that it would often get hard and crusty, and sometimes flake off whatever it was on. I once attempted to make my own frosting, but used regular sugar instead of powdered sugar; needless to say, it didn’t end well.

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