How to Make Black Frosting Without Dye

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How to make black frosting without dye

When is the last time you went to a kid’s birthday party and ate cupcakes with black frosting (or is it icing?) and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is some really good frosting”?

Then you look around at all the other parents with their black teeth and stained fingers, and you know that everyone else is enjoying them as much as you are.


Black frosting is usually gross. It tastes bitter. It stains everything it touches. It makes parents call me and ask why their kid’s poop is weird colors (the joys of pediatric nursing). It is just AWFUL.

The solution?

Every year my daughter makes cupcakes for my nephew’s birthday. This year he requested Darth Vader cupcakes with strawberry flavored cake. Right away she knew that she’d have to add some red food coloring to the cupcakes to keep them from being pink, but in order to stick with the Vader theme, she needed black frosting.

Knowing that black frosting is messy and disgusting, she set out to find a way to make it without the black dye. We are happy to report that she totally nailed it, and today I will be sharing the recipe with you, so you can do the same.

*Disclaimer- I am NOT a food blogger and after today, I know I never will be. Food bloggers do not get nearly enough credit for their photography skills. I wasn’t even the one baking, and I found it to be tedious. All that to say, there will be no beautiful food photos in the post, but the recipe is AMAZING*

First up, the ingredients:

black icing without dye


To frost 24 cupcakes you will need:

1 cup of softened salted butter (at room temp, never soften in the microwave)

1lb of powdered sugar


2-4 teaspoons of vanilla

1-2 tablespoons of milk

The black cocoa is the key ingredient here. I purchased mine from Amazon.

black frosting no dye

black food dye tastes bitter

To make the frosting:

Mix the vanilla and butter together with a hand mixer

Slowly add the powdered sugar and cocoa while mixing

Add in the milk last, and mix until smooth and solid black

This is in direct sunlight, so you can see that the frosting is dark black.

That’s it! Mix it all up and you have black frosting with no dye. It tastes a lot like Oreos. My daughter doesn’t like frosting, but she enjoyed this recipe.

I will be posting the entire recipe for the Darth Vader cupcakes in a few days. The strawberry cupcake turned out great. It is so delicious, and I think they are super cute.

Black Frosting with No Dye

A wonderful black frosting using black cocoa powder instead of food dye.

Course Dessert
Servings 24 cupcakes
Author Kenlee's Cupcakes


  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup black cocoa
  • 2-3 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. Mix butter and vanilla. 

  2. Add sugar and cocoa slowly while mixing.

  3. Add milk, and mix until smooth and solid black.

  4. Enjoy!


dye free black frosting

dye free black frosting

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of my links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 



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