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Perfectly Fudgy Hershey Frosting Recipe for Cake & Cookies

This Hershey frosting recipe is a game-changer for any baker! Keep reading to see why this may become one of your new favorite recipes!

Hershey Frosting recipe

Melted Butter Makes Hershey Frosting Recipe Different!

Melting the butter for Hershey’s chocolate frosting isn’t just about making the process easier—it’s about unlocking a richer, smoother chocolate flavor.  Here’s a breakdown of what melting the butter does:

  1. Texture: Melting the butter creates a smoother and glossier frosting. Unlike creamed butter, which incorporates air to give a lighter, fluffier texture, melted butter leads to a richer, fudgy consistency. 
  2. Ease of Mixing: Using melted butter simplifies the mixing process. Since the butter is already in liquid form, it blends more easily with cocoa powder and powdered sugar, reducing the likelihood of lumps.
  3. Flavor: The process of melting intensifies the chocolate flavor.

What’s not to love about Hershey’s chocolate frosting? It’s a delicious frosting that the whole family will love!

Hershey Frosting recipe

Hershey Frosting Recipe Yield

This recipe will make approximately 4.5 cups of frosting which is enough to frost:

  • A single-layer 9×13-inch sheet cake
  • About 12-18 cupcakes or cookies, depending on how much frosting you prefer on each one.
  •  A two-layer 9-inch cake (with extra for decorating with a pastry bag)

What’s the Best Cocoa to Use in Hershey Frosting Recipe?

Hershey’s offers two popular varieties of cocoa powder: the traditional Hershey’s Cocoa and Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. Here are the key differences between them:

Hershey’s Cocoa is made from natural unsweetened cocoa, offering a classic, sweet, and slightly acidic chocolate flavor. It’s lighter in color and works well with this recipe.

Hershey Frosting recipe

Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa blends natural and Dutch-processed cocoa, which reduces its acidity and gives it a richer, deeper chocolate taste with a darker color. It’s great for achieving a dark, rich appearance in this frosting.

Pick a cocoa powder that matches how rich and chocolaty you want your treat to taste!


Hershey Frosting Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to gather before you start:


  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup of Hershey’s cocoa powder (see above for options)
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup of whole milk, plus a little extra to adjust the consistency if needed
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Hershey Frosting recipe


  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula

Making this frosting is so simple! Here’s what you need to do:

Melt the Butter: Begin by melting the butter either in a double boiler or in a microwave.

Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the Hershey’s cocoa powder and powdered sugar.

Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gently pour the mixed dry ingredients over the melted butter, begin mixing, and add the milk and vanilla. Mix until velvety smooth and well combined!


Achieving the Perfect Consistency

When you start mixing up this Hershey frosting, you might notice it appears quite soft and almost too liquid. Resist the urge to stiffen it up with extra powdered sugar right away.

The magic happens as the butter cools down; that’s when the frosting really starts to thicken. Your goal is a creamy, spreadable consistency that neatly holds its shape.

Give the frosting about 10 minutes to settle at room temperature before you begin working with it. Once it’s at the perfect consistency, be ready to apply it to your cakes, cupcakes, or cookies quickly.

This frosting tends to set hard, so if you’re planning to use sprinkles, make sure to add them before it dries.

Variations for Hershey Frosting Recipe

Here are some flavor combination ideas to take your Hersheys Frosting recipe up a notch!

Mocha Frosting: Add a teaspoon of espresso powder to deepen the chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee.

Peppermint Chocolate: Mix in a quarter teaspoon of peppermint extract for a refreshing twist.

Orange Chocolate: Infuse the frosting with a tablespoon of orange zest or a few drops of orange extract for a citrusy note.

Chocolate Cake Recipes to Try

This rich frosting pairs wonderfully with chocolate cake. For a truly moist and delicious experience, try it with:

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake: 

Soft and Fluffy Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies

Decorating Tips

Here are a couple of my favorite methods for working with this frosting to decorate a cake.

Smooth Finish: Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting smoothly over the cake. For a super smooth finish, dip the spatula in hot water, dry it, and then smooth the frosting.

Piping Designs: Fit a piping bag with a star or round tip to create designs like rosettes, stars, or shells along the edges or across the top of the cake.

Textured Effects: Use the back of a spoon or a small spatula to create swirls or peaks for a more rustic look.

Hershey Frosting recipe

Ultimate Hershey’s Chocolate Frosting Recipe

Perfectly creamy and rich in chocolate flavor, this frosting is ideal for smothering over cakes, cupcakes, or even as a dip for fruit and cookies. It’s easy to whip up and adds a professional touch to homemade sweets.
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  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 2/3 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup whole milk plus a little extra to adjust consistency
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Melt the Butter: Begin by melting the butter in a large bowl in the microwave or over a double boiler until it is completely smooth.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: Sift the cocoa powder and powdered sugar into the melted butter to avoid lumps, ensuring a smooth texture.
  • Combine Ingredients: Start mixing at a low speed using an electric mixer to incorporate the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Gradually add the milk and vanilla extract, and continue mixing. Increase the speed to medium as the mixture becomes cohesive.
  • Adjust Consistency: Continue to mix until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.


Storage: This frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Before using, let it come to room temperature and give it a good stir to restore its creamy texture.
Shelf Life: For longer storage, this frosting can be frozen for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and allow it to come to room temperature before use.
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