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How to Make Black Icing

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For Halloween this year I have decided to make a black cat cake. The problem with making a black cake for Halloween is getting the icing a nice dark black. Have you ever tried to make black icing? I bought some black gel food colouring but the icing didn’t turn out truly black, more of a dark grey.

After some trial and error and help from my local Bulk Barn I was able to convert my favorite chocolate icing recipe to a delish black icing. The secret is using both black gel food colour and black cocoa. I couldn’t believe I didn’t know this. Have you ever used black cocoa before.

Check out the difference between the black cocoa and regular cocoa. The regular cocoa is from Fryes, its the brand name cocoa I have always used, but it obviously much lighter than the black.

a tablespoon of regular cocoa and black cocoa on a white plate

Now that the problem solving is done, let me just share the black icing recipe. Its a dark chocolate buttercream icing with some black gel food colouring to deepen the colour.

A large spatula full of real black icing for icing a cake.

Black Icing Recipe

his recipe is large enough to ice a large two layer cake, or 12 heavily iced cupcakes.

1 pound butter

8 cups icing sugar (1 kg bag)

3/4 cup black cocoa

1/2 tsp black gel food colouring

1/2 cup milk

up to 4 tbsp milk for consistency.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attached add the butter. Beat on high until the butter becomes pale. Push the butter down the sides of the bowl after a minute or so.

Stop the mixer and add the icing sugar. Turn the mixer on LOW, until the sugar is incorporated into the butter.

Add the black cocoa and the food colouring, beat on low until incorporated.

Then add 1/2 cup milk a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer on high and beat. Keep adding a tablespoon of milk at a time until your icing is a consistency you want (I used 4 tbsp).

Once your icing is as thin as you like beat, the icing on high for ten minutes. Occasionally stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. The extra beating time results in a very nice fluffy icing.

A chocolate cupcake decorated with shiny black icing.

I really love how shiny and black this icing is. You can use it plain on chocolate cupcakes like I did. Or, fancy it up with some pretty sprinkles. Either way I think it looks amazing for Halloween or New Years.

I am going to share with you my actual black cake in another post, but here you get the idea of how nice and black this cake recipe is. After icing the cake I still had 3 cups of black icing left over for decorating.

Homemade chocolate cake decorated with a dark black icing.

I am really happy to have this black icing recipe on the blog. I know I will be using it for lots of Halloween recipes.

A large dollop of black icing on a pink spatula.
A large spatula full of real black icing for icing a cake.

How to Make Black Icing

A delicious black icing recipe made using black cocoa and gel food colouring.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb butter not margarine
  • 8 cups icing sugar 1 kg or 32 oz bag
  • ¾ cup black cocoa
  • tsp black gel food colouring
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp milk for consistency

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attached add the butter. Beat on high until the butter becomes pale. Push the butter down after a minute or so
  • Stop the mixer and add the icing sugar. Turn the mixer on LOW, until the sugar is incorporated into the butter.
  • Add the black cocoa and the food colouring, beat on low until incorporated.
  • Then add 1/2 cup milk a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer on high and beat. Keep adding a tablespoon of milk at a time until your icing is a consistency you want (I used 4 tbsp).
  • Beat the icing on high for ten minutes. Occasionally stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl results in a very nice fluffy icing.

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2 Comments

  1. janet whitaker says:

    I do oil painting on canvas. when I tried to do penquins. the black paint left then
    a light gray black. I was told to add Very dark blue paint to the black.
    it makes it very nice and black color. if it works with oil paints it should work with frosting./ it is a true blue yet it is a very deep blue. janet W.

  2. I have always used regular brown colored cocoa to make icing on the cakes and I hardly make them but when I do I use the brown cocoa but this is the first time I have heard something about black cocoa and I am going to definitely use it the next time I make Icing for my cake and muffins…Thank u for this different icing recipe…
    Asiya recently posted…chicken jalfrezi recipe, jalfreziMy Profile

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