How to Make Black Icing / Black Buttercream Recipe for Cake Decorating: Tutorial from Jenn Johns

How to Make Black Icing / Black Buttercream Recipe for Cake Decorating: Tutorial from Jenn Johns


hi guys i’m Jenn Johns today on buttercream basics we are going to master black buttercream. I’m going to show you two ways to make black buttercream the first one I’m going to be working on is going to change the flavor i’m working with 2 cups of my vanilla buttercream and all this in my buttercream is a butter, imagine that, icing sugar, milk, and pure vanilla extract. We’re going to add in a little bit of cocoa powder which is going to change the flavor. My second way of making the black buttercream is going to be without the cocoa so if you are a chocolate hater or you have an order for somebody who doesn’t want any chocolate don’t worry i’m going to show you a second way to do that too so i put about a third of a cup of cocoa powder into here and I’m just going to start stirring it and kind of mixing it in with my spatula because if you’ve ever tried to work like a mixer or the hand mixer with a really light powder you know what happens when you go on you turned on too fast so you get a big huge puff and a big huge disaster in the kitchen. So I’m just going to slowly mix it in and then I’m going to continue to mix it with my mixer we’ve got enough here now obviously if you don’t have a hand mixer you can use you can just do your buttercream completely like this with a spatula but a mixer does make it a little bit easier and a little bit quicker now fingers crossed hopefully I don’t get a big disaster i’m gonna mix this up completely so for this version adding the cocoa powder in is going to give us a brown base to the start of our black buttercream obviously it does change the flavor like i was mentioning and this is also how you just make chocolate buttercream so there you go another bonus recipe with in here so what we’re going to be working with is a black gel paste this is America colors super black and black gel paste and all gel paste colors are basically just concentrated coloring they’re not like a liquid food coloring they’re much stronger so you don’t have to add in as much as you might with a black liquid coloring as far as i know we can’t get black coloring where I live you’re in canada so I’ve only ever used the gel paste for black and it works all of the time perfectly for me so what we’re going to do is just open up the little bottle here and squeeze in some of that gel paste and then we’re going to mix that in again with our beaters so I’ve come to a color that’s mostly a dark dark dark grey it’s close to the back black but not quite as much as I wanted to be not as dark so what I’m going to do is add in another squeeze of my gel now with people sometimes complain about the taste of buttercream taint changing to be more bitter and that’s often from using too much piping gel ER and too much of the gel paste and what you can find is when you add in the chocolate first it’s going to counteract bitterness and you’re also not going to need as much of the gel paste as you would if you didn’t start out with that dark base so I’m going to with this part up and mix in this next black part so my buttercream has been sitting for about 20 minutes and it’s a beautiful dark black shade if you leave your icing to sit the dell pace will eventually become more saturated with in your icing and you’re going to get a deeper color the longer you let it sit now over here i have a piping bag and it’s fitted with a 1m pip and that’s a start it but you can use any tip inside of your piping bag and then for support i just have it here as with a jar and i’m just going to have you back to help me fill the bag up so take a little bit of the buttercream from your spatula and then just wipe it into the jar and just press against that rim of the jar and that helps to get it into your bag a little bit more easier you can do it just holding it if you are a very talented and it’s like this way the weightier to cheat it was going to pull this part up and then just kind of shape that down and then I’m going to squeeze the icing down to the bottom towards my tips and while I’m doing that I’m just locking the icing in here at the talk and I’m doing that by twisting the bag and i’m going to take a piping bag just basically attire and elastic and I wrap that around there and that’s going to help prevent any of the icing from speaking out the top of the bag so we’re going to use this to pipe a black top onto our cupcakes so here I just got some nice chocolate cupcakes in the top here I’m going to squeeze a nice dollop at the top and that’s going to give us a lot of height to our cupcake so here I’m going to go around and just letting the air kind of building here and then pulling that around coming to the top stopping my squeeze and then pulling away like that don’t do that again here so i’m going to build the dollop in the center and then i’m going to go around just keep squeezing that all the way around going around your dollop stopping at the top and then really seen your sweet so the second way to make our black buttercream is going to maintain the vanilla flavor so we’re not going to change it with cocoa powder this time but we’re looking for is to change that base color before we add the black so we don’t have to add as much black gel paste in order to achieve that we’re going to add the chocolate brown Play are coloring here and this is another concentrated gel paste you can see that the gel paste come in different sizes i don’t use a ton of brown coloring which is why i only have a small version of this one so I’m going to squeeze in some of that gel paste and i’m going to give myself a nice little start here and if you’re thinking that because i’m putting gel paste and i’m still going to be adding the same amount we’re not going to be because black it takes so long to get to black it just stays great for a really long time and so when we start out with a darker base like the brown it’s going to result in the less of the black so we have to add in and then hopefully not a flavor change going to mix this up why so you can see that the brown color from the gel paste is not as dark as it is with the cocoa powder obviously you can’t it could continue to add more brown gel paste but this is dark enough in my opinion to start off with the black we are going to add a little bit more black at a time and i want to give a little bit of a chance for that color to basically soak in and then deepen so after I mix it each time I’m going to give it probably like five minutes in order to saturate so I’ve let the buttercream sit for about five minutes and you can see that it’s almost like a dark grey almost like brownish color still so I’m going to add in more black gel paste and just squeeze that into there and then mix that up and this should be good for the addition of the black after we’ve got this totally mixed in the middle let it sit for at least 20 minutes i found that an hour is really good either you’ve got the full saturation of the color after that point so now that the buttercream has deepened and it’s a nice dark black here i’m going to take my spatula just like I did before I’ve got my piping tip down in the bottom there and again you can use any piping tips so I’m just getting enough in here now if you don’t have those typing bag elastic you can basically just lock bags with your hand so in order to do that what we do is we just kind of grasped that bag like that and then just going to give it a twist and while I’m doing that I’ve got my thumb and my forefinger here and this squeezing that tight so no i think is going to sneak out the top and you can do that if you don’t have that elastic so since we did a classic palm talk to the last cupcakes use this blast i’m going to do a rose that this time before rose that we just start in the middle and I just keep steady pressure and I just go around keeping it flat this time instead of raising it up last time and this one is classically kind of known as like almost like a rose that’s why we’re calling the road that will do that again on this one so just squeezing it in the center and then going around the outside working your way all the way to the outer edge of that cupcake there you everybody how to make black buttercream actually it’s pretty easy now a 1-1 of secret i want to let you in on is it’s not a nice the next day if you know what I mean make sure you subscribe to the channel and if you haven’t already done so head over to my main channel cupcakes and cardio and make sure you subscribe there as well links in the description box see you next time

100 Comments

  1. I love this channel now cause it's more of the technical side of things. Perfect for learning new tips and tricks!!

  2. you are my favourite
    my favourite cake from yours recipe is rainbow cake I remember when I was small I watch it

  3. Thanks so much Jen! I needed a cake that was covered in black but I really didn't want to use fondant and some other recipes required activated charcoal powder

  4. Hey Jenn when are you going to make your own merch like shirts spatulas sweat shirts etc. if you do i would probably buy everything

  5. Wow! I started my cupcake company in 2013 and never thought to use cocoa powder for a black icing! Thank you! 💛💛

  6. You make everything look so easy! Since subscribing to you fb page and channels I've gotten more comfortable in my own baking, learning so much!!!

  7. this was pretty handy. unfortunately I don't know where to get gel paste where I'm from. would it still work with just regular food colouring or would it not have such a deep colour?

  8. I love both of your channels! can you do a tutorial on doing cakes using the 3d cake molds such as the wilton 3d teddy bear cake?

  9. Can you let the frosting in the fridge instead of warm temperature? I live in a hot country and letting it sit without using the fridge may soften it. Great tutorial by the way. Love it!

  10. I have a customer who wants black colored butter cream frosting without changing the taste, so I tried it your second way. my frosting didn't get black at all, it just kept turning a deeper gray. not sure what I am doing wrong. I used the Americolor brown coloring and I used wilton black gel paste..can you help me figure something out?

  11. Hi im so thank you for your best recipes.plz tell me how and where should i keep my extra butter cram for later use? Sory english is my seccond language

  12. why can't you just
    put the black food colouring
    with the white butter cream icing
    instead of putting coco powder to make it
    chocolate so the whole don't like chocolate just have the taste
    of vanilla icing

  13. How do you make a deep grey colored buttercream!? I have a 10 year reunion that I'm making cupcakes for and the colors are red and grey but I'm stumped on grey buttercream! PLEASE HELP!

  14. I have a question. You said that it's best to let the buttercream sit once it's been colored so that the pigment can really settle and the color comes out more. Where do I let it sit? On top of the counter or in the fridge?

  15. Sangat membantu kali inang ini…padahal kutengok dia sering jualan cendol di simpang rumah pak burhan ..sok ko yah mentang mentang jd artis

  16. Love the suggestion!
    When you're letting the icing sit to saturate, do you leave it out at room temperature or put it in the fridge?

  17. Sooooo if I want to make it lemon flavor but black. I just have to substitute the vanilla for lemon right? Or just make my lemon butter cream as usual and tint it black using the brown/black gel color method?

  18. What if your customer is allergic or has an aversion to chocolate? I would definitely check with them first before proceeding with the cocoa powder.

  19. "chocolate hater" Bhaaaaaahahahahaha!!!!! I'm sure I'm the only one that caught that. Lmbo!!! The fact you said it with a straight face made it ten times funnier. Lol. I really enjoyed your video in either case. My later father would have absolutely loved this because black was his favor color. If it was like a two toned with like a silver color, he would have loved it even more. Ooooou!!!! This may be really good for an Oreo icing or even a cookie 'n cream ice cream cake. Uh oh; you've gotten me started now & I'm a major rookie but when I figure it out, it's on! lol

  20. hi Jane thanks for your tutorial they have been so helpful o me ,I need help my butter cream they never dry some times take too long to dry what mistake I make? and is it OK to put butter cream in a fridge and use them later

  21. Black cocoa powder or Ultra Dutch processed cocoa powder means you need very little gel colour. And as you said, let it rest and the colour continues to deepen. For dark colours, I make them the day before, pop them in the fridge overnight, bring them to room temperature the following day, whip it up again and voila, super dark icing.

  22. Where to find your recipe Jennifer? I need super neednit on Thursday because I live in humid country,thanks

  23. I live in sweden and I can not for the life of me find black food coloring not even liquid black food coloring I really need black icing for my husband birthday cake is there ANY other way to get black icing WITHOUT black coloring ?

    thank you in advacne

  24. Hi. I want to know is there a limit to using gel food colours? Is it harmful or poisonous if used around 15gms? Thanks.

  25. I did not get mine black at all. I got the deep brown but it turned dark army green even after sitting. No where close to the wilton black decorating icing.

  26. hey i am having an issue with the dye staining peoepls face when they eat cookies with dark colors dyed with jel or paste. what can i do?

  27. Does this work with Royal icing too, can i add brown first then black ?, to royal icing for cookies. ??

  28. If I ice my son's bday cake with this on saturday evening can it sit on the fridge until his party on sunday?? Thanks! I'm super new at this if anyone can give me a pointer! Lol thanks for the video soo helpful for this daunting promise of a batman cake hahaha

  29. <3 Thank you! Every video out there only offers cocoa or charcoal as an option to darken. I appreciate sharing the option that doesn't alter my vanilla buttercream!

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