Free Tutorial: How to Colour Buttercream - Pretty Witty Cakes
Sep 07

07 September 2018

How to Colour Buttercream

If you are very new to cake making, read this before you continue as it will make all the difference and save you a ton of money and wasted time. 

What do you use to colour the buttercream

You will need a food colouring but it needs to be a paste one, not a liquid one. 

Add a tiny bit to your buttercream and mix in with a mixer or manually.  Mix in slowly so you don't generate too many air bubbles. 

If mixing with a mixer make sure you stop and turn the buttercream over as you often end up with a non-coloured bit at the bottom. 

Which colour brands work?

Any paste food colouring will work.  I always use Sugarflair food colourings but any of the following will work:

Sugarflair colour paste at Pretty Witty Cakes

Sugar Flair Food colouring Paste Pots

Americolor colour paste at Pretty Witty CAkes

Americolor colouring Paste Pots

Squires Kitchen Colour Paste at Pretty Witty Cakes

Squires Kitchen colouring Paste Pots

Wilton colour paste at Pretty Witty Cakes

Wilton colouring Paste Pots

Rainbow dust blue colour pastes

Rainbow dust colour gel tubes

Which colours should you use for blue

If you are making blue buttercream, you have to take an extra step. Butter is inherantly yellow (even the most white butters are yellow). The yellow in the butter will react with the blue in the colouring and of course, when you mix yellow and blue, you will get green or turquoise. 

To counter this, when making blue buttercream, use Ice Blue or an ice based blue. You will get a lighter version of the blue but it will be less green. Sugarflair's Ice Blue works really well for this. 

You can also make buttercream using Trex or Crisco which of course will colour blue as you are starting with a white base. However, you need to then have Trex/Crisco as your base ingredient which for me is a little too far on the yuk scale. 

What about making black buttercream?

To make black buttercream, I have a little trick. Instead of starting with vanilla white buttercream, make chocolate buttercream using cocoa powder with your buttercream. Once it is brown colour the brown black with black food gel colouring. You will then not need as much as it is much easier to go from brown to black than from white to black. 

How do you get white buttercream?

As all butters are a little bit yellow, there are two steps you can take:

1. Use the palist butter you can find. In the UK, Lurpak is fairly pale. Some supermarket own brands are also pale. 

2. Use a tiny bit of purple food colour paste. This reacts with the yellow in the buttercream to make it look more white. It is an off white - heading towards grey but if you really need a white rather than a yellow buttercream this is the way to go. 

How long will coloured buttercream last?

Buttercream has a very high sugar density so a coloured buttercream will be find for a couple of days outside a fridge.  Inside the fridge it will last a good week or more (depending on whether you add milk to the recipe). 

Related tutorials:

There are almost 1000 more tutorials over at Pretty Witty Academy, go check them out!