Take your decorating to the next level.

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Sure, making cakes and cookies with the little ones is fun, but there’s an upside to decorating without them—no more neon colors and better looking confections. The most sophisticated cookies and cakes are often decorated with black icings or fondants, either delicately piped onto the surface or forming a solid black base on which you can layer different colors and textures. Everything from black-and-white cookies to an elegant tiered cake with black fondant and elegant gold leaf, these desserts add a level of prestige and artistry to any special occasion.

How to Make Black Food Coloring

First, it’s important to note that making black food coloring requires a large quantity of color. Buttercream, icing, and fondant are all typically white to begin with, and using food dyes to change all of that white to a true black takes a lot of color. It’s also important to use food coloring gel or paste and not the food coloring liquid. The gel and paste are more concentrated in color, and they are less likely to alter the consistency of your frosting or fondant than the liquid food coloring.

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To start, mix together 1 part blue food coloring with 2.5 parts green food coloring and 3 parts red food coloring. Add this to your frosting or fondant and incorporate. This is a good base formula that should create a color close to black, but the exact color will depend on the type of food coloring used and the proportions of frosting or fondant to food coloring. Look at the color once incorporated and adjust as needed. If the color is a murky grey, you will need to add more of the color mixture. If you notice one color coming through, add more of the other colors to balance.

Note: If you have time, consider buying black food coloring online. It is by far the most efficient way to lend true black to any buttercream, icing, or fondant.