How To Achieve Black Buttercream?

Decorating By Motta Updated 4 Jun 2010 , 1:31pm by Motta

Motta Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 4:40pm
post #1 of 19

I tried the search function and it didn't help me find this topic. icon_mad.gif

Can anyone help me out? I figured adding cocoa powder and black color gel would do it, but nope.

18 replies
crystalina1977 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 4:46pm
post #2 of 19

That's how I got the black for the flame wedding cake I did (check my pics) - chocolate buttercream with black gel food took a lot of color, but looking back I think I would have waited, let the BC sit and develop, before I kept adding more and more black. I think I could have probably added less black if I would have done that.

cake-angel Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 4:50pm
post #3 of 19

Hi Motta,

What type of coloring are you using? Wilton? If you are using wilton you will need 1 tsp of black per cup of buttercream icing to make black. Remember that it darkens as it sets up. A quick way to check is to put a small smear of icing on a white sheet of paper so it sets up faster to see the final shade. When I make black it will appear like a very dark charcoal grey while I am stirring it but sets up black after a few moments. I find the paper test works very well for me.

Starting with a chocolate buttercream can help with the flavor and allow you to use a bit less color but you would probably still need 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon per cup of icing.

If you use americolor - you will find you can get away with about half as much coloring to get the same shade. I hope this can help you out a bit.

P.S. I look forward to meeting you at the ACDC meeting in the fall.

abeane Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 6:17pm
post #4 of 19

I wanted black buttercream and was going to add black food coloring (Country Kitchen Super Black Paste) to my dark chocolate buttercream but then I read this story:
The cake I'm working on is just for fun for my book club, but I didn't think the ladies in my book club would appreciate having their mouths dyed black....have those of you who have used black buttercream had this experience??

crystalina1977 Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 6:21pm
post #5 of 19

i was at the reception and had the cake (black wedding cake) and personally looked at people's mouths (especially kids - they liked the frosting!) and I didn't see black mouths. it was my family so it was ok to go around and say hey let me see your tongue.

TPACakeGirl Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 6:32pm
post #6 of 19

I usually use the Americolor super black. It's wonderful. It's much easier to start with chocolate buttercream and go from there. Now, if the customer demands regular buttercream, I put a few drops of the black into the mixer in place of water and then add as necessary after the frosting is mixed. I find this works for red too. I got a great red color on my firetruck doing the same thing.

abeane Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 6:44pm
post #7 of 19

Ah well good to know, I wish I had been more bold with the food coloring last night! The bc is already on the cake so it's too late and I don't have time to do fondant so it's just going to have to be chocolate colored. The cake is going to be bizarre anyway, it's based on a scene from A Clockwork Orange icon_razz.gif

KerrieD Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 6:59pm
post #8 of 19

I just had this issue last week. I called Americolor and they said it was best to start off with white bc and add the black gel instead of starting with chocolate bc and using the black. (I actually did it both ways and prefer the white because the texture was the same as the rest of the cake - I did a guitar). Also in the past, I used Wiltons black and I guess I used too much and it had a chemical/burnt taste to it. It also stated that on the label. I like the Americolor best. HTH

Motta Posted 3 Jun 2010 , 11:14pm
post #9 of 19

P.S. I look forward to meeting you at the ACDC meeting in the fall.[/quote]

Hi Cindy, I look forward to meeting you too! I can't believe I haven't seen you on here before. Thanks for your advice!!

Thanks everyone for the help. Looks like I'll be ordering me some Americolor gels online....$$

cake-angel Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 12:49am
post #10 of 19

Americolor is worth it - In Canada I believe you can get the same gel under a different name - Decopac. They work equivalent to the americolor in my experience. Very good colors. You can order from Cake Mischief ( ) for colors. They are just outside of Edmonton and she carries americolor. Deco Pac is carried by Nicholson Equiptment I believe.

I am on here from time to time but lately have had very little time to post.

CountryCakery4 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 4:39am
post #11 of 19

I too am located not far from Edmonton and LOVE Nicholson Equipment. I find their prices to be far and away better than anywhere else. I also just placed my first order through CakeMishcheif (I got my first Magic Line pans!) and found their customer service to be tops. Nicholson does carry DecoPac but it comes in 10.5 oz squeeze bottle so you'll have it forever. The lady there told me it should never dry out though. I was having that problem with some of my Wilton gel colours. They get grainy eventually. Sorry to hijack, just enjoying the coincidence. That and I've gotta make me one heck of a batch of black tonight! icon_lol.gif

Bfisher2 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 4:57am
post #12 of 19

@Motta, If your recipe had meraingue power in it eliminate it. I cant remeber why but there is some kind of reaction between the two that makes your black grainey...... I found my black butter cream came out much better whithout meraingue power.....icon_smile.gif

Motta Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 5:13am
post #13 of 19

Bfisher - thanks for the heads up on meringue powder. I'm in a bit of a pickle then because I need a crusting buttercream that can go black. I do believe the meringue powder helps to get a crust?? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Bfisher2 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 5:24am
post #14 of 19

Motta.... not really.... your butter cream crusts because of fat to sugar ratrio.... Make a half batch and see if it works for you just for arguements sake...icon_smile.gif *LOL*....

CountryCakery4 Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 5:25am
post #15 of 19

From what I've heard, the meringue powder is not actually what makes BC crust. It has more to do with the sugar to fat ratio. The more sugar the better the crust. This is where adding milk or some other liquid (soy etc) comes in. It allows you to add more sugar while keeping the consistency you desire. Indydebi's BC crusts really well and has no meringue. HTH

cake-angel Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 6:00am
post #16 of 19

Meringue powder actually has nothing to due with the crusting effect. It is used as a stabilizer for the icing to help it to resist changes to humidity. It also can stabilize colors in the icing to prevent color bleeding. Crusting buttercreams work just fine without meringue powder.

tesso Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 7:33am
post #17 of 19

to achieve a really intense black, I use americolor super royal blue, then their super black. it takes less that way, and it always stays black. The key is also to let the icing rest for an hour or so. It will darken.

cake-angel Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:03pm
post #18 of 19

Thanks for the tip tesso! I will have to give that a try next time.

Motta Posted 4 Jun 2010 , 1:31pm
post #19 of 19

Thanks ladies - no meringue powder necessary for crusting.

Great tip Tesso - thank you!

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