Sometimes, you want to make a unique dish that looks a bit different from other recipes or dishes.

For example, you want to make some cookies for your kids at home with an extra stylish touch – i.ethe black iced cookies.

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Let’s say you have checked all the grocery stores near your home and didn’t find the black food color. Your kids are waiting to taste the delicious black cookies but there is no food color. Don’t worry, you can make it at home. Here are a few methods that you can use to make black food coloring. Read on!

Method 1: the Cocoa Powder

When we think about the cocoa powder, the first thing that comes in our minds is its dark color. The natural cocoa powder is not that much darker than the commercially developed cocoa powder. So, you need to avoid using the natural one and go for the darker one that is commercially developed or made cocoa powder.

Food companies use Dutching, which is an advanced process to darken the color of cocoa powder. This method usually involves removing the acidity of the powder, which occurs naturally. So, we recommend you to use the Dutched cocoa powder because it is less acidic.

The Dutched cocoa powder is darker than the natural one. Similar to extra dark chocolate and milk chocolate, the cocoa powder adds a little bitterness to whatever recipe you are going to cook.

Although both have a flavor of the chocolate, you can use the Dutched cocoa powder to make cookies or cakes for your kids at home. You can use this powder to tint the icings. For instance, we recommend you dip your cookies or pour a small amount of powder on the cake.

So, to make the black food coloring, you need one part of black cocoa powder and three parts of hot water. Put them in a bowl and mix the items together. Remember that the liquid content is the same as it is for the original recipe. Now, stir the solution into the recipe for a few minutes to achieve the black color.

Method 2: The Activated Charcoal

The second method is the activated charcoal technique, which is probably the easiest one. You must have food-grade activated charcoal, which people usually use in most recipes including black ice cream and black cocktail recipes.

The activated charcoal works well as black food coloring. The reason is simple – as the charcoal looks black. Besides, the activated charcoal is natural. We are saying this to remove the misconception of many people who consider charcoal a dangerous ingredient.

So, this type of ingredient or dye is a nice alternative to traditional food colorings that are more dangerous when you add them to food. Traditional food coloring can cause danger to your health and the health of your kids.

On the other hand, some people worry about the taste of charcoal. For those people, we would say that activated charcoal does not taste like the charcoal we usually leaver over the barbecue. It does not add any flavor to the recipe. You can safely use it to give a black coloring to your food items such as cookies, ice cream, cake, etc.

Method 3: Mix different shades of color

Just like you stir different colors of the paint together, when you combine different shades of coloring – i.e. food coloring in particular, it is a nice way to come up with a custom black color that will add more style to your recipe.

We recommend using gel-based food coloring. People use gel-based colors for different recipes. For us, it is the best choice to make black food coloring. The interesting thing is that you need a small amount of gel-based food colors so that you can mix them to achieve the black coloring for food.

Achieve black food coloring through mixing

You can make black food coloring by mixing other colors. First, you need a small batch. The proportions of the colors depend on the type of tint you want to achieve. The brand of the coloring affects the final dye. To start, we recommend you to mix five parts of the green, three parts of red, and two parts of the blue food colorings.

Once you have put the required amount of red, blue, and green colors in the bowl, you need to stir them thoroughly. Next, spread a small amount of the mixture on the white paper. This way, you can see whether or not you have mixed them accurately.

Typically, the color should look black. However, if you doubt that it is not black enough, then you can balance it out by adding more quality of colors. For example, if the shade looks to green, add a little more red until you achieve the black.

Once the color resembles black, you can mix the color into the recipe – i.e. ice cream, cake, cookies, biscuits, or any other food items.


Black food coloring is a great way to spice up your food recipes. Of course, it is not about adding flavor to your recipes but to give them a black color. You can also combine the black food coloring with white to make your recipes look classic. What about half black and half white cookies? Well, they will look awesome.

Anyway, there are different methods to make black food coloring as described above. The best among them is the activated charcoal method. It does not add bitterness or any other flavor to your food. Dutched cocoa powder is also great but again, it will leave some bitterness in the food item you cook or make.

The last method that we have described is a mixture of green, blue, and red colors. Although you need to choose gel-based colorings, which are safe to use, food colorings are not natural. Therefore, to avoid risks, we are a bit doubtful about this method. Lastly, the activated charcoal method is the best one when it comes to making black food coloring.

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