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How to Fix Black Royal Icing: Getting a True, Dark Black

How to Fix Black Royal Icing: Getting a True, Dark Black

If you have whipped up a batch of black royal icing and noticed that it has a tint of a different color to it, you’re probably wondering what the heck happened and what you can do to fix it.

Two words: color theory.

Reason 1: You Added White to Your Base Icing

Probably the simplest answer as to why you aren’t getting a deep black would be if you have added white gel to your base icing as a matter of course. You can either eliminate this step, or (if it’s too late) add more black than you ordinarily would.

Reason 2: Black Bleed

Black gel food coloring tends to contain ALL the colors of the rainbow, and depending on the brand you use, one or more of those colors can come through as a more dominant undertone.

Fix Black Icing with Color Theory:

If you have added a lot of black gel and you’re seeing purple, for example, you can add a tiny bit of the color that is opposite purple on the color wheel to neutralize it, which would be yellow.

Cake decorators have been using this hack for ages (in the opposite direction) to turn their yellowy buttercream a beautiful bright white; just a toothpick dab of purple gel can neutralize the yellow.

Adding a dab of yellow gel to your purply-grey or -black icing can neutralize the purple and give you that true grey or black tone. You may need to add a little more gel to deepen grey to black, but at least the purple won’t be present anymore.

black icing color chart

Cocoa Powder Can Help

If you are hesitant to add “too much” black gel, you can always start with a chocolate-based icing. Just a small amount of Genie’s Dream Infinitely Black Cocoa #1 can help you reach a true black much more quickly than starting from white.

Genie's Dream Infinitely Black Cocoa is specifically formulated to be used in chocolate icing recipes. It's unsweetened, very finely milled, and super dark brown.

Previous article Royal Icing Consistencies: What’s the Difference?

Comments

Angie - December 1, 2022

I wonder if my email triggered this one. I did come out with the perfect deep purple colors that I needed for that set. I added white to the base. 🙃
PS I love that y’all are doing this with the colors and showing us how to get different colors by mixing!

Angie - November 28, 2022

I wonder if my email triggered this one. I did come out with the perfect deep purple colors that I needed for that set. I added white to the base. 🙃

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