Halloween may be over but that doesn’t mean you still can’t darken your desserts up like the bottomless pit that is your soul. A popular way is using a recipe of black buttercream frosting to glaze them with.

Black buttercream is a great way to make your favorite dessert stand out on any occasion. Whether it’s used as frosting to paint the sides of a layered chocolate cake jet black or as filing to produce tar between some French macarons, the buttercream is guaranteed to grab everyone’s attention.

Unfortunately, this frosting tends to get a bad wrap given the effects it can have on a person’s smile.

Fortunately, the recipe has come a long way and improvements have been made to curtail this concern. It’s time to learn the right way to make black buttercream.

Why fear black buttercream

When making this abomination, there are typically two things to fear. The first thing is not getting the color right. True to a fault, the process of making black buttercream is a lot harder than it sounds. Newbies will likely rely solely on some black gel food coloring but it’s tricky. If they use too little, the frosting comes out as just grey.

And if they were to use too much, it would lead to the second problem: black teeth stains. These problems are why many tend to steer clear of this frosting, especially during those festive events.

But there’s no need to worry. There is a way to achieve the best black buttercream with all the color and none of the mess.

Making unmessy black buttercream

Three ingredients are necessary for this frosting and that's dark chocolate, black or dark cocoa powder, and super black gel food coloring. These three ingredients when combined will do the trick every time and won’t require any tedious method (it’s just like making regular buttercream frosting).

Black buttercream recipe


  • ½ cup (50 g) black or dark cocoa powder, sifted
  • ½ cup (85 g) dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 cups or 4 sticks (454 g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (690 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 or more splashes of milk (optional)
  • 1 tsp super black food gel coloring


  1. Sift the cocoa powder over a bowl and add the salt. Set aside.
  2. Pour the chocolate chip into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave until it completely melts. Cover with plastic wrap, press it onto the melted chocolate and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter for 2 minutes or until it turns light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Switch to low speed and slowly add the sifted cocoa powder to the mix. Let it combine fully.
  5. Next, slowly add all of the melted chocolate while it beats, making sure to scrape out the remainder from around the bowl.
  6. Next, slowly add the powdered sugar to the mix. Keep beating until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is too thick, add a splash of milk or more to adjust the consistency.
  7. Finally, beat in the food coloring to tint the buttercream. Seal the buttercream in a container and let it sit in the fridge or at room temperature overnight to allow it to reach the deserted tint.