What Colors Make Black Food Coloring? (Best Tips!)

What Colors Make Black Food Coloring

Do you know what colors make black food coloring? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

Primary colors are always evolving, whether one wants to make an argument in favor of three or five.

Because white is a reflection of all light and black is the absorption of all light, what colors make black food coloring? To get black food coloring—and the same holds true for paint and any other physical mixture—you have to combine three primary colors. Those colors are red, green, and yellow. If you mix all three in an exact, 1:1:1 ratio, you will get black.

Of course, everyone calls black a color and by the definition of societal acceptance, it is essentially a color. However, black is actually all colors completely absorbed, reflecting no colors back at your eyes.

However, it’s a little more complicated than that. Scientifically speaking, black is an effect of the absence of light reflected back to your eyes.

It’s different with pigments, which is what food coloring really is. What you perceive is black, is not really true black at all, but our best approximation of it.

How To Make Black Food Coloring

Arguments as to what black is aside, how do you make black food coloring, both naturally and artificially? The simplest way is to just combine an even ratio of red, yellow, and green.

Since true black cannot be achieved through pigmentation, we have to settle for “seemingly.”

As far as artificial food coloring is concerned, that’s really all there is to it. If the result isn’t to your liking, remember, you can only ever get an approximation of black through pigmentation.

The darker you go, the better. 

With that being said, you can also add a few drops of dark blue to help you get closer to true black. The darker the better.

There are also several other methods worth trying if you don’t want to use a bunch of artificial food coloring to get the results you want. 

  • Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • Charcoal Powder
  • Naturally made, primary color mix
  • Squid ink (yeah, we’re going there)

The reason we suggest Dutch Cocoa Powder, rather than just any cocoa powder, is because of how dark it is.

The object is to get black food coloring so you have to go with what works best and Dutch Cocoa Powder is the darkest. 

Charcoal powder is another good option because it actually is black, rather than being just the darkest in a set of dark colors. If you’ve ever brushed your teeth with this stuff, it’s a testament to how well it can darken anything. 

Squid Ink is another option—if you can get around the fact that you’re using it as a consumable—and it’s considered to be pretty healthy for you as an antimicrobial, antioxidant, cancer preventative, and immunity booster.

Not bad for a weird, underwater defense mechanism.

Naturally made primary colors are often quite easy to make. Usually, we would walk you through the various steps for making particular food coloring using vegetables.

However, black is a little different in that you have to make the primary colors first, then mix them.

How To Make Black Icing >> Check out the video below:

Naturally Made Yellow

To make yellow with natural ingredients, you simply need to combine turmeric and water. 

If you want to make more, simply double or triple the ingredients above. Go with a cup of water and 2 teaspoons of turmeric if that’s how much you need.

Either way, turmeric is a great way to make a natural, yellow food coloring.

Read also: What Colors Make Black Icing

Naturally Made Green

When you think of naturally made green, the first vegetable that comes to mind is spinach, and for good reason.

  • 1 cup of spinach (fresh, not canned)
  • 3 tablespoons of water/double or triple if needed
  • Boil for five minutes
  • Drain
  • Blend puree, adding water a tablespoon at a time if there are still pieces
  • Strain liquid (works well with a napkin)

While not the perfect green color, it will lend a green hue to everything you put it in.

Since we’re looking to make black, it’s going to mix with everything else ultimately. 

Naturally Made Red

Red is one of the easier colors to make since all you have to do is boil cranberries or beets and use the excess juice as your red food coloring.

It’s generally best to boil a cup of chopped beets or a cup of cranberries.

Final Word

Whether you decide to use naturally made food colorings or stick with artificial combinations, black is a unique food coloring that can turn your baking project into something with a truly unique look.

While you can never create true black, you can get close enough that there’s no discernible difference.

Remember, when using naturally made food coloring, the taste comes with the color so be sure to consider that as well.

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Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Rvandplaya.com. Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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