How to Make Black Buttercream Icing August 4th, 2010 by Sandy Folsom
A common question we are asked is how to make black icing that really looks black and not gray. It can be challenging because adding too much icing color can impact the taste. Here’s what I tell my students:
To make a real black icing, take 2 cups of Wilton’s ready-to-use buttercream, add 1/2 cup good quality cocoa (sift if it seems lumpy), 2 teaspoons of water, and 1 oz. Wilton black icing color.
You will achieve a true, deep rich black color which is so popular for wedding cakes today, such as details for stringwork or embroidery work. For example, the Black Tie Affair Cake is topped with black buttercream cornelli lace.
If you have added too much black color in the beginning and your buttercream seems to have somewhat of a bitter taste, I suggest adding either 2 tablespoons of cocoa or a flavoring such as cherry or orange, about 1 teaspoon, to 2 cups of icing.
Black coloring will not stain a glass or stainless bowl. It is possible it will stain a plastic bowl.
Other examples of fun projects using black buttercream include the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Cake or Ice Skate Cake. Both of these projects are decorated using the popular and easy star technique.
Sandy is the Director of the The Wilton School. Sandy has been teaching professional cake decorating classes for over 25 years, 18 of those with Wilton. Internationally, she has shared her expertise with well-known professionals and enthusiastic students in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Taiwan. Folsom had the opportunity to work side by side for 10 years with Wesley Wilton, the youngest son of Dewey McKinley Wilton, founder of Wilton Industries. Sandy's students describe her as "patient, fun and a great instructor."