Gluten Free Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting is the icing on the cake, the cherry on top, and the perfect finishing touch to any dessert. Rich, tangy (from the sour cream), and oh-so-chocolatey, it's no wonder that chocolate buttercream is a beloved favorite of both kids and adults alike. Whether you're topping off a gluten free cake, gluten-free chocolate cupcakes, or even just a batch of gluten free small batch brownies, this gluten-free chocolate buttercream frosting is the perfect way to take your sweet treats to the next level.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- What is American Buttercream?
- Buttercream Frosting Recipes made with Chocolate vs Cocoa
- How to make Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Buttercream
- Storage & Freezing
- FAQ for Gluten Free Chocolate Frosting
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- More Recipes to try
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Unsalted 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. Dairy-free butter or vegan butter can be used as a substitute.
Chocolate: I recommend using 60% or darker chocolate for this recipe. I use Trader Joe's 72% Dark Chocolate Chips. Please be aware that some chocolate chip brands will not melt properly and most likely will burn in the microwave.
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 best for decorating cupcakes and cakes.
Buttercream Frosting Recipes made with Chocolate vs Cocoa
Frosting made with chocolate often has a richer and more complex flavor compared to frosting made with cocoa powder. This is because chocolate contains not only cocoa powder, but also cocoa butter, sugar, and other ingredients that contribute to its flavor and texture.
Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is made by grinding cocoa solids and removing the cocoa butter. While it has a chocolatey flavor, especially dutch-processed cocoa, it lacks the richness and complexity of chocolate. Additionally, cocoa powder can be dry and bitter when used in large amounts, which can affect the texture and taste of the frosting.
Frosting made with chocolate also tends to be smoother and creamier than frosting made with cocoa powder, as the cocoa butter in chocolate helps create a more luxurious texture. This can make the frosting feel more indulgent and satisfying.
How to make Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Buttercream
This recipe gluten free chocolate sour cream frosting should give you enough buttercream to frost 12 cupcakes or a 9 x sheet cake.
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 3-4 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 extract. 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 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
Storage & Freezing
One can store buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. For longer storage I recommend freezing it.
To freeze, store the Gluten Free Chocolate Frosting 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 that can happen in the freezer. 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.
FAQ for Gluten Free Chocolate Frosting
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 the gluten free chocolate sour cream frosting in the fridge for 20 minutes and then re-whip it
Many store-bought frostings are gluten-free and can come in very handy when in a pinch. I always recommend checking the labels to make sure the product is indeed gluten free.
Baking in grams
I share my recipes in grams and by weight since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and very affordable. You can purchase them on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to gluten-free baking or baking in general. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons. To learn more about Baking with a digital scale, make sure to check out my post about Baking by weight.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. I test my recipes several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you find on our website.
More Recipes to try
Gluten Free Chocolate Frosting
- 170 grams bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (60% or darker)
- 226 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 170 grams powdered sugar
- 90 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