Sometimes, I secretly wish that I got a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. So jealous of that Charlie.
Fortunately, I have my own recipe for old-fashioned cocoa fudge frosting to transport me directly to chocolate paradise.
It’s thick, rich, and very fudgy!
Fudge frosting comes together by cooking some of the ingredients on the stovetop, then mixing it all together until it is thick, smooth, and absolutely divine.
This icing is typically applied to desserts while still warm, because it starts to harden quickly once it begins to cool, just like fudge. When it is completely set on the dessert, it will develop a very thin and sugary crust, and will be moist and firm underneath.
But my version is a little different… and even more decadent!
It stays soft and spreadable, so you don’t have to worry about scrambling to spread it on your dessert! Even though it does set slightly, it will still be rich and luscious, with no crust.
You can use it on so many sweet treats – use it to decorate cakes, like I did with this chocolate cake, or as a topping for brownies and cookies. Have fun looking through our recipes for desserts to see all of the delicious possibilities.
Are you ready to make Willy Wonka himself jealous with this rich and fudgy icing? Let’s get to the recipe!
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Mix Butter, Cocoa Powder, and Corn Syrup
Be sure to start on the lowest speed before increasing to a medium-high speed – you don’t want a cocoa powder explosion all over your mixer and kitchen counter! But we’ll help you clean up, if that does happen.
Beat until all the butter and cocoa powder is evenly incorporated. Add the corn syrup and mix until blended together. It will be very thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Step 2 – Add Hot Water
Place the water in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil on the stovetop. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually and carefully pour the hot water into the butter mixture. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Don’t be alarmed if the mixture looks lumpy and weird! It’s totally fine!
The smooth, luscious magic is coming in the next step, once you add the sugar…
Step 3 – Add Powdered Sugar
Sift the powdered sugar, and add it to the mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until the icing is shiny, smooth, and thick, about 2 minutes.
Step 4 – Decorate and Serve
Decorate as you wish, either spreading or piping it on your dessert. Allow it to set slightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving.
Store any extra frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will continue to harden. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, and re-beat it in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until soft and smooth.
Who Needs A Golden Ticket?
Even without a golden pass to Wonka’s chocolate factory, you can still experience a completely over-the-top experience with my recipe for cocoa fudge icing!
And you don’t have to fall in a chocolate river, like poor Augustus Gloop!
If you are looking for another recipe that is equally as luscious, our ganache recipe is sure to please!
Who loves this style of icing? What is your technique for making old-fashioned fudge frosting? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.