How To Mix Black Food Coloring – 4 Quick And Easy Methods

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Last Updated on June 10, 2022

Unfortunately, black food coloring is very underrated and not that easy to find. So, we have an in-depth article on how to mix black food coloring.

Today, we will look at the 4 best ways how to mix black food coloring using both easy-to-find and effective alternatives.

Types Of Black Food Coloring

Black food coloring is extremely underrated. While it may seem all dark and gloomy, you won’t believe the extremely sophisticated and mesmerizing cakes that are made using it! Not to mention, everybody could use a drop or ten for Halloween!

If you have ever looked for black food coloring, you know that there are a few different options to choose from. Black gel food coloring works the best for us. it has a concentrated color that few other alternatives have. And, if you buy a high-quality one (highly saturated products) you only need a drop or two to get an intense black color.

Next, you can also find black food coloring powder. This is also a good option that creates a deep black color. However, for this option, you need quite a lot to get the color very saturated. Otherwise, the color will come out gray more than black.

And finally, you can buy liquid black coloring. But, we don’t recommend this option. The color is not concentrated at all and you need to add the entire bottle to get a slight black hue. You are going to waste your time and money, and the mixture will change consistency!

Can you mix food coloring at home?

Now, if for some reason you cannot get your hands on any of these black coloring products, then luckily there are a ton of other options you can try.

Many people know that it is possible to make food coloring at home, they just don’t know how to mix black food coloring. Luckily, it is extremely easy and quick!

The exact method you choose at the end of the day will depend on what you have available at your disposal. Some of these items may be more difficult to find that the food coloring itself, but you never know! Maybe you have them on hand or have access to them.

How To Mix Black Food Coloring

Without further or do, let’s have a look at exactly how to mix black food coloring at home. The options we have included today may vary in accessibility, but they are all extremely easy and very effective!

And, some will potentially even give you a blacker color than the original bottles of food coloring!

Method 1: Mixing other colors

Now, we all likely know about the color wheel, right? And you have probably already experienced firsthand what happens when you mix a bunch of colors. The outcome is a deep dark muddy gray-brown color.

By mixing specific colors, you can get this color to become a deeply saturated black.  Naturally, the exact colors you mix will give you various shades of black.

Mixing yellow, blue, and red will give you black. If you use brighter shades of the primary colors, it will give you a deeper black. Otherwise, more muted shades will give a brown-black.

Below are some other color combinations that will give you a black color. Keep in mind, that the names of the colors below do refer to a specific brand of paint, but some food gel colorings also go by similar names. Look at the color references instead of the name in the article.

  • Ultramarine blue and burnt umber (brown)
  • Pthalo blue and cadmium orange
  • Quinacridone red and pthalo green
  • Dioxazine purple and pthalo green

Method 2: Using charcoal

Now, if you have access to activated charcoal, definitely give it a try. It is a natural type of food coloring that will give you a surprisingly saturated color. And, it also doesn’t taste or smell like anything, so is perfect for baked goods.

Make sure to buy the activated charcoal powder that is completely safe to consume. It can even give you some health benefits that charcoal supposedly has.

Activated charcoal also works well because you don’t need to use a lot to have a massive effect. A teaspoon at most will do for a regular frosting recipe or a single cake batter recipe.

Method 3: Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder is very easy to find and relatively affordable. And, it works best for frostings instead of baked goods. But, you are most likely to use it for frostings anyway, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

When adding cocoa powder to a frosting, make sure to remove some of the powdered sugar. If you just add more powder to the recipe, it will become very stiff.

The cocoa powder will add a deep dark blackish color to your food, but it won’t always be as saturated as the other options. If you use cocoa powder, make sure to buy the darkest ones you can find – usually Dutch-processed or unsweetened.

What can I use to dye black

Method 4: Squid ink

Now, squid ink is a very controversial ingredient and many people don’t like consuming it. This is a very black gelish liquid that comes from, you guessed it, squids. It is a popular ingredient used in Asian cuisines and gives food a very deep black color.

The only risk in our opinion when consuming squid ink is an allergic reaction. This is common in people that are allergic to shellfish. Other than that, we haven’t found any concrete evidence that it is dangerous in any way.

If you are lucky enough to have access to squid ink and you are really in a pinch, then give it a try.

Final Words

We hope that you found our article on how to mix black food coloring extremely informative and educational. Make sure to share it with your fellow baking community so that they can also share in the expert tricks we use.

Let us know what you think in the comments below and if there are any other topics that you would like us to cover!


How do you mix food coloring

It depends entirely on which method you are using. if you are using food gel colors to make black, you can simply mix them together in a bowl. If you are using squid ink or powdered charcoal, you can simply use them directly in the recipe. When using cocoa powder you may need to make some adjustments to the recipe.

Can I mix food coloring?

you can easily create your own black food coloring at home. Alternatively, you can use substitutes to make black food instead. This includes squid ink, activated charcoal powder, or cocoa powder.

How do you make black food coloring without black?

The easiest way if you want to make a color for home usage, is to combine the three primary colors - red, yellow, and blue. Otherwise, you can have a look at the article for some other colors you can mix to get varying shades of black.

What can I use to dye black?

You can use black food coloring gel, black powder, or black liquid food coloring. Each of these has its pros and cons. Some food coloring substitutes include squid ink, activated charcoal powder, and Dutch-processed cocoa powder.

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