Black is probably the trickiest color to get with icing because it’s always being mixed with the white icing. How do we get that truly deep black color in our icing without it becoming a nightmare dye for our teeth and lips?
So, what colors make black icing? To get black icing coloring, you will need blue, green and red colors. However, for black food coloring, some bakers have found the ideal ratio is 1 part blue coloring, 2.5 parts green, and 3 parts red. This will get a black dye that you can add to any frosting you make.
In this article, we’re going to look at the best tips and tricks for getting the best color for your frosting, including how to get the blackest of black frosting.
If you know color theory, then you know mixing opposite colors like red and green or blue and orange will make brown if you don’t get the right correct ratio.
Mixing all three colors on the color wheel theoretically will make black, but more often it will make a muddy brown color.
Try paying attention to the hue of the icing when mixing these colors, if your brown is coming out kind of orange and warm in color, you can add more blue to the dyes.
If it is looking kind of greenish, add red. Whatever color your frosting is turning out, to make a black, you should add the opposite color to neutralize.
How To Make Black Icing >> Check out the video below:
One of the big problems with making black icing is that in order to get that real jet black color you need to add a lot of food coloring.
Otherwise you will probably end up with an unimpressive gray frosting as the black color you mixed combines with the white icing.
Another thing to keep in mind, especially if you are trying to make a black buttercream, is that because of the butter, buttercream frosting soften have a slight yellow tint to them which might mix weirdly with the black food coloring you just mixed.
One way to get your frosting to have a richer color and get that really dark black icing is to mix in cocoa powder. We’ve all been to that party that’s serving cupcakes with black frosting and two bites in, everyone’s mouth is now stained black.
You can always add a lot of food coloring to your icing to achieve that dark color, but you’re going to stain your guests teeth if the icing is too concentrated with food dye. One way to avoid this is by darkening the icing with cocoa powder first.
This will saturate the frosting with a deep shade of brown that you can add a neutralizing color to so it becomes a black icing.
Some stores, and even Amazon, offer black cocoa powder which can also be added to frosting just like regular cocoa powder except it will make it black rather than brown.
Using cocoa powder in your frosting means you don’t have to add so much food coloring and your frosting won’t dye the mouths of guests eating your baked goods.
As we also know, having too much food coloring in an icing can affect the flavor of the icing. What you don’t want to do is sacrifice the flavor of your product in favor of the aesthetic.
This is why cocoa powder or black cocoa powder can be a great solution for making black icing. It won’t negatively affect the flavor and it won’t stain anyone’s teeth.
And as an added bonus, it takes a lot less effort to use cocoa powder to make the frosting really deep and dark.
Read also: What Do You Get When You Mix Red and Green? (Three Colors of Light)
So let’s say you opted to try the cocoa powder hack with your icing but didn’t want to buy new black cocoa powder just for one recipe. You can absolutely still use the regular brown cocoa powder in your pantry to create black icing.
As we talked about before, creating black icing is all about color theory. Once you have a dark brown icing, all you have to do is figure out the hue of the brown and add the opposite color in food dye.
Browns tend to be warm colors with orange or red undertones which means you will want to add either blue or green food coloring to neutralize it. You can take the time to study the color of your icing or you can do a little trial and error.
If you add green and it looks like a murky green black, then add some red dye to counter it. If it comes out really blue, then add orange dye to neutralize the brown and make it black.
Mixing colored frosting takes a little bit of know-how when it comes to color theory. Black is a neutral color which means at its ideal form, being a mix of all the primary colors, does not read as any color besides black.
You can make black by mixing complementary colors like green and red or blue and orange, but with icing you have to be aware that whatever color you mix, you will be combining it with a white base meaning unless you add a lot of food coloring, you are going to have grey icing.
But if you can make the base icing a really dark color already, like using cocoa to make it a dark brown, then all you have to do is neutralize the brown icing to make black.
This means whatever hue the cocoa is, you add the opposite color to make it black.
Using cocoa powder is a lot less frustrating than trying to make black icing by adding more and more food dye. And not to mention, it will taste a lot better as well!
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