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Black icing isn't a nightmare...

Written by Sarah-Jane Webb


Posted on May 23 2022

Lately, a whole stack of cakes we've been making have trended towards bold, black designs.

I used to absolutely shy away from making black cakes, due to a horror story I heard about a classy corporate event in which all the guests who snacked on the black-iced cupcakes ended up with black tongues, mouths, and hands - whoops! Not so classy anymore.

Now, if I need to make a true black icing - I use this little trick.

When making black icing - start with chocolate, then add your black food colouring.

It seems so simple (and it is so simple). But the fact is there are plenty of people out there (me included) who when they first started baking just poured bottle after bottle of black colouring in to their white frosting or buttercream, hoping against hope that it will go past that murky grey in to a true black. 

Starting with chocolate icing gets you most of the way there to a deep rich colour, and also tastes 10x better than a fountain of food colour.

The chalkboard cake I made last week was a dark chocolate ganache, with Colour Mill black oil based colouring mixed in, and it didn't even take that many drops to get there. (Check out our Instagram reel for a little behind the scenes painting action).

If you're working with buttercream or frosting, maybe start with some chocolate syrup or sifted cocoa before reaching for the black dye.

More chocolate is always a win-win, at least in my book!

Check out some of our latest in black cake designs - and feel free to let me know your thoughts on this little trick in the comments below!

Black chalkboard cake design by Studio Cakes


Black and gold with stripes by Studio Cakes


Black and Gold Gatsby Inspired Cake Design by Studio Cakes


Black and Gold Cake by Studio Cakes







  • Have you tried using black cocoa powder? I’ve seen that tip around but haven’t tried it yet.

    Posted by Emma | November 14, 2023
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