This recipe for gluten free dark chocolate sour cream buttercream, a classic American Buttercream, has been my go-to for years. It’s perfect for decorating cakes and cupcakes. It’s fluffy and creamy with the perfect amount of sweetness and a little bit of tang from the sour cream.
I love topping my Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes with a generous scoop of this frosting – make sure to check out the recipe.
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Butter: Like in all my other recipes, I use unsalted butter in this recipe. Since there is no concrete way to determine how much salt is actually in salted butter so I avoid using it in baked goods.
Chocolate: I recommend using 60% or darker chocolate for this recipe. I use Valrhona Manjari, a 64% dark chocolate which is slightly acidic with notes of red and dried fruit. It’s a very well-balanced, not overly bitter, dark chocolate. For store-bought chocolate, I would recommend using a product from Guittard.
Sour Cream: I have only made this recipe with full-fat sour cream or creme fraiche. If you must substitute with yogurt, I recommend using full-fat greek yogurt.
Powdered Sugar: Please make sure to use powdered sugar, also called confectioners’ sugar, 10X sugar or icing sugar.
Salt: I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt in all my recipes and Maldon’s Flaky Sea Salt as my finishing salt. Not all salts are created equal. If you use Morton’s Kosher Salt please be aware that their salt granules are smaller in size, denser, and crunchier. 1 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal Kosher salt weighs roughly 3 grams while 1 teaspoon of Morton’s Kosher Salt weighs almost 5 grams.
What is American Buttercream?
American Buttercream is one of the three types of buttercream most commonly used along with Swiss Meringue and Italian Meringue Buttercream. Other varieties are French Buttercream (which is made with egg yolks), German Buttercream, and a very new style called Korean Glossy Buttercream.
American Buttercream is made by creaming together unsalted butter, powdered sugar, milk/heavy cream or like in this recipe sour cream. Because the ratio of butter to powdered sugar is 2:1, American Buttercream is the sweetest variety. The high sugar content is also the reason it can form a thin crust after being exposed to air for some time.
American Buttercream works the best for decorating cupcakes and cakes.
How to make Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Buttercream
Start with room temperature ingredients. I prefer to use soft but cool butter, which should not appear shiny or greasy. The ideal temperature for butter is actually 65F which is a lot colder than many of us consider room temperature. To test if your butter is at room temperature nudge it with your finger. You should see an indent but the butter should not feel like you can poke right through it.
Melt and let cool your Chocolate: Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of water to a simmer. Add the bittersweet chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over—not in—the simmering water to melt the chocolate. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before adding to the creamed butter.
Cream your Butter: Cream the butter and salt for 5-7 minutes. This helps to aerate the butter and give your finished buttercream body and volume.
Add your melted chocolate: With your mixer running on low, add your melted chocolate to your creamed butter along with the vanilla. Please make sure the chocolate is not hot – or you will end up with a soupy mess.
Mix in the powdered sugar: We all know powdered sugar has a mind of its own. With the mixer running on low, add the powdered sugar one third at a time. Make sure to scrape down the sides in between additions. When all the powdered sugar has been added, turn up the speed of your mixer and mix for 2 minutes. You want to make sure the powdered sugar is fully incorporated
Fold in your sour cream: Add your room temperature sour cream. You can fold it in per hand with a spatula or add it to the mixing bowl and mix it for 30 seconds to make sure it’s fully combined.
Frost away: Use this delectable dark chocolate sour cream buttercream to frost your favorite cakes or cupcakes
FAQ for Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Sour Cream Buttercream
What’s the yield of this recipe?
This recipe should give you enough buttercream to frost 24 cupcakes or a 9 x sheet cake
How can I store leftover frosting?
You can store it in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 7 days. For longer storage please freeze the buttercream.
Can I freeze this buttercream?
Absolutely – my freezer is full of random leftover buttercream. Store it in an air-tight container and place a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the buttercream. This will help with any potential moisture build-up on top. Thaw it at room temperature and re-whip it when you are ready to use it. The re-whipping will bring life back into your buttercream.
How should I serve this buttercream?
If you store your baked goods in the fridge, I recommend allowing them to come to room temperature before serving them.
My buttercream is a soupy mess
Sadly this happens when the chocolate is too warm when added to the creamed butter OR your butter was too soft, to begin with. I recommend placing your buttercream in the fridge for 20 minutes and then re-whip it.
- 340 grams bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (60% or darker)
- 450 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 340 grams powdered sugar
- 175 grams sour cream, at room temperature
- Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of water to a simmer. Add the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over—not in—the simmering water to melt the chocolate; let cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and salt at medium speed until smooth for at least 5-7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and melted chocolate until fully incorporated. Beat in the powdered sugar one-third at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to use.
This frosting will be good for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 888