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Easy and Delicious Black Buttercream That Won’t Stain Your Teeth!
It’s true! You can actually make a black buttercream without the fear of staining all your guests’ teeth black!
You’ve had that fear before, right? No? Just me?
Black Buttercream Attempt #1
It actually wasn’t just a fear. I actually did dye all my guests’ mouths black at Westin’s 3rd birthday party. At the time Westin was hugely into superheroes and asked for a Batman cake. Not knowing nearly as much as I do now, I thought using a vanilla buttercream base was the best way to tint any frosting. Ha!
I had to use SO much black food gel to turn that white frosting black that a single bite of the cake quickly tinted everyone’s mouths’ completely black. I couldn’t believe it! Well, actually I could based on how much food gel I knew went into that frosting – so I guess a better way to say it is, I was so embarrassed!
Black Buttercream Attempt #2
Since then, I haven’t even thought about making black frosting until last year when I tried Sweetapolita’s Black Chocolate Cake and Black Chocolate Frosting. What did I learn? First and foremost, you’ve got to start with a chocolate based frosting! That seems like a no-brainer now, but back in the day, the thought didn’t even cross my mind.
Sweetapolita’s black chocolate frosting is fudge-y and delicious, but I made a few tweaks to the recipe for taste and to simplify it even more.
Black Buttercream Attempt #3
There are a few key components to making black buttercream black without staining your guests’ teeth. Here are the essentials:
- Black food gel
- Dark cocoa powder
I like Americolor’s Super Black food gel, but Wilton also has a great one if that’s easier for you to track down.
Next, you really need a dark or black cocoa powder. I like Extra Brute Cocao Barry (linked in the recipe), but there are several other “black” cocoa powders you can find on Amazon. I have also tried Hershey’s Special Extra Dark Cocoa Powder which you can get just about anywhere now. It works great! The cocoa didn’t change the flavor at all, and only had to use 1 teaspoon black food gel to darken it just a bit more.
And lastly, give this frosting some time to rest. It will likely not look black right away. The color will darken the longer it sits out (just like my red and blue frosting). I recommend you make this frosting a day before you want to use it. It can be stored covered in the refrigerator for the night or left at room temperature for half a day.
Easy and Delicious Black Buttercream.
Smooth and rich, black chocolate buttercream that won't stain your teeth.
- 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter still cold to the touch
- 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
- 1 cup (118 g) premium black or dark cocoa powder like THIS or Hershey's Extra Dark Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 cup (177.45 g) hot water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) pure vanilla extract
- Generous pinch of salt
- 8 ounces premium dark chocolate chopped or chips, melted
- 1-2 teaspoons food gel in Super Black
- In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the hot water and cocoa powder. The mixture will be thick like a paste. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly, but not all the way to room temperature.
- Reduce the mixer's speed to medium and slowly stream in the melted chocolate, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally so the chocolate doesn't harden around the sides of the bowl.
- Add the cocoa paste (cocoa and water mixture), followed the vanilla and salt. Beat until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Decrease the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the black food gel and then beat for about two minutes. The color will likely be grey. Don't worry. Your next job is to be patient 🙂
- Let the frosting sit for at least a couple of hours (even a full day is great) because the color will take awhile to process and it's best to let it sit rather than adding more and more coloring right away.
- If you've let the frosting rest for plenty of time and it's still not black, add one more teaspoon of black food gel and let it rest a bit more.
- If your frosting is too soft, cover it with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator a bit.