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Natural food coloring, black?

Quita Mar 21, 2007 11:01 PM

I can't find any natural food coloring in black. I am coloring marzapan, which i already made and came out brown like almonds. HELP. i need to make my daughters's birthday cake for this weekend, which will have marzapan bumble bees.
any ideas how to make my own black color at home?

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  1. s
    SeanT RE: Quita Mar 21, 2007 11:10 PM

    squid ink

    1 Reply
    1. re: SeanT
      hotoynoodle RE: SeanT Mar 22, 2007 04:33 AM

      that actually has a briny quality which might not be quite the thing for a kid's cake, lol.

      you can buy it on-line, either from amazon or naturesflavors.com, or ask your local bakeshop.

    2. c
      Cinnamon RE: Quita Mar 21, 2007 11:43 PM

      I'd experiment with some storebought coloring - try mixing a dab of the red, blue and yellow together from those little kits that have all the primary colors. Bet you'll get something akin to black fairly quickly.

      1. m
        mojoeater RE: Quita Mar 21, 2007 11:50 PM

        squid ink is definitely the only natural way to get black. mixed food dye generally ends with purple or grey, especially once you add it to icing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mojoeater
          cookie monster RE: mojoeater Mar 22, 2007 10:23 AM

          I can attest to that. i tried to make black icing for cat-shaped cookies one halloween and it stayed purplish-grey no matter how much red, blue and yellow i used.

        2. King of Northern Blvd RE: Quita Mar 22, 2007 05:43 AM

          My FIL made marzipan penguins for my sons bitrthday cake this year. They were colored a very rich black. I would try to get better colors from a baking supply store if they don't already carry a "Black". It definitely can be achieved you might just have to experiment with it a bit.

          3 Replies
          1. re: King of Northern Blvd
            TorontoJo RE: King of Northern Blvd Mar 22, 2007 06:00 AM

            OMG, thos are the cutest things I have ever seen! Kudos to your FIL!!

            1. re: TorontoJo
              Candy RE: TorontoJo Mar 22, 2007 09:20 AM

              Go to a shop that carries Wilton supplies. wilton makes a black color paste

              1. re: TorontoJo
                hummingbird RE: TorontoJo Mar 22, 2007 09:21 PM

                My thoughts too - too cute!

            2. chowser RE: Quita Mar 22, 2007 10:07 AM

              How about boiling black walnut shells (assuming no nut allergies) and boiling down the water? It would get a really dark brown color, pretty close to black.

              1. leanneabe RE: Quita Mar 22, 2007 10:45 AM

                Aside from squid ink, I'm not sure there is a natural black food coloring. I guess if you're not going to eat the marzipan it doesn't matter how it tastes, but I'm also thinking squid ink is more expensive that food dye.

                I've seen black food dye in the grocery store so you wouldn't have to mix red, blue, green, whatever. Or, most craft stores have a baking section where you could pick up some food dye paste, if you don't have a cake supply store near you.

                1. Glencora RE: Quita Mar 22, 2007 12:21 PM

                  I made a black and white killer whale cake. The black was really black. So were the kids' mouths afterwards. But if you're not eating it, I guess that doesn't matter.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Glencora
                    cookie monster RE: Glencora Mar 22, 2007 02:07 PM

                    Another good point. A little black icing for decoration is one thing. But I remember once having cake at a 40th birthday party that was completely frosted in black and the effect on one's lips, tongue and teeth was not pretty.

                  2. l
                    LizzyGirl88 RE: Quita Aug 11, 2007 05:00 PM


                    They have black food coloring.

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