How To Make Royal Blue Icing Color – Let’s talk about how to make navy blue buttercream EASY. Navy Blue Buttercream is a desirable shade for many weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and birthday parties. It’s a really beautiful color.
The problem that many people face in achieving this shade is not getting a dark blue. Or maybe their blue is purple or too grey/black. I have a few simple tricks to successfully make dark blue, including the right proportions for different amounts of frosting.
How To Make Royal Blue Icing Color
You don’t need to heat the frosting in the microwave to get a dark shade. While this is a popular method to achieve dark frosting colors, it can be intimidating for beginners. This is because melting the frosting gives your buttercream a better chance to break.
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You can also save cream by not heating it in the microwave. If you use the microwave method to achieve a dark cream shade, you will need to whip the frosting again. I don’t know about you, but I think mixing frosting is the worst part of decorating with buttercream. So let’s skip all that.
*This tutorial uses a buttercream frosting recipe that calls for more powdered sugar than a typical buttercream frosting.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase through the link. Please see my full disclosure for more information.*
How To Make Navy Blue Buttercream Frosting
One cup buttercream undyed with Wilton Royal Blue, a purple and black shade of gel food coloring
First, let’s look at how to make dark blue frosting with gel food shades of black, purple and royal blue. All of these shades are available in the 12-piece Wilton food coloring set.
Fortunately, the ratio to make this frosting shade is easy to remember: 1 : 1 : 1. You use equal amounts of black, purple, and royal blue food gel colors.
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The amount you need for each color is 1/4 teaspoon for every one cup of frosting. So to make one cup of navy blue buttercream, you would use 1/4 teaspoon black, 1/4 teaspoon purple, and 1/4 teaspoon royal blue.
If you need more than one cup of dark blue frosting, use the same ratio. Use 1/2 teaspoon black, 1/2 teaspoon purple, and 1/2 teaspoon royal blue for two cups of frosting. Continue the same ratio for three cups, four cups, five, and so on.
Here is the photo process of adding black, then purple, then royal blue. You can add all these colors at once or add steps. I love seeing the magic happen.
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Add 1/4 teaspoon of Wilton Black to one cup of cream frosting to create a rich base color.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Wilton violet gel food coloring to a cup of cream frosting with 1/4 of the already mixed black gel.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of Wilton Royal Blue to a cup of cream frosting that has been dyed purple and black.
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This is what navy blue looks like when painted with white and red cream and then crusted.
The navy blue buttercream compared to the red and undyed buttercream after drying for over 24 hours – you can see the color of the cookie is slightly darker than the color of the bag.
The biggest tip I have for making navy blue frosting or any dark shade of buttercream is to make the frosting 24-48 hours before decorating time.
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When food gel coloring is added to frosting, it will take longer to fully develop. It’s similar to enhancing your hair color with hair dye and enhancing your color with tie dye shirts. The same concept applies here.
My best advice is to make the buttercream frosting using one of the two methods above, depending on what you have on hand, and then cover the frosting bowl with plastic wrap. Leave the bowl on the line for one to two days.
As long as your house is not too hot, but closer to room temperature (about 70 degrees F), your frosting can develop perfectly safely on the counter.
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The color should be deeper and richer than one to two days ago. This is important to know because if you decorate this frosting, it will develop to a darker shade anyway. If you let it develop for one to two days, you can more accurately predict the final color.
If you wait one to two days, you won’t get the final color if you use a crusting buttercream like I do. As the crust is allowed to form, it darkens.
This brings me to my next tip, if you need a lighter navy blue you need to add undyed buttercream a little at a time until you get the shade you want.
Wilton Royal Blue Decorating Icing
Which is black. Remember that the color will continue to develop until it is completely crusted. This ratio gives a relatively dark dark blue.
My last tip is to add drops of white liquid to the white frosting that can come into contact with this dark blue buttercream. Adding white food coloring helps protect the white frosting from seeping through from the dark colors of this navy frosting.
My son was happy to be a tester for this experiment and the answer was yes, it really is the color of your tongue. This is expected whenever a dark buttercream is eaten, especially a buttercream with black coloring.
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It might be worth experimenting with a cocoa powder base rather than black dye and then adding purple and royal blue. Maybe that’s a future post.
Darker shades of buttercream are always at risk of bleeding into lighter shades, especially when temperatures fluctuate. To prevent bleeding, add drops of white liquid to lighter shades. This will help protect it from the dark blue buttercream, but it’s not guaranteed.
I do not recommend coloring the buttercream frosting with liquid food coloring to achieve any shade other than pure white buttercream. Liquid food coloring changes the consistency of the cream frosting, which can be difficult to account for during the mixing stage.
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Liquid food coloring is also not as strong as gel food coloring. This means that you will use more liquid gel paint, which increases the cost and you may not achieve the desired shade.
You need more liquid to achieve a dark blue buttercream with liquid food coloring. I was unable to maintain the right consistency and achieve a dark shade. Let me know in the comments if you did.
Buttercream frosting is best enjoyed at room temperature, so you’ll want to serve your cake/cupcakes/cookies that way. If you serve straight from the fridge, your guests will be biting into the firm chunks of buttercream as opposed to the soft chunks. The taste can also be very buttery if very cold.
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If you use a cream frosting with a crust, you can store the cream frosting on the counter for several days. This is due to the high sugar to fat ratio which helps the icing to be stable.
If you are using a butter crust recipe, you can leave it on the counter for a few days at room temperature. This is due to the high sugar to fat ratio which strengthens the icing.
If you think your frosting is in danger of melting, say your house is always kept at a higher temperature than normal room temperature and then put the buttercream in the fridge. This will help prevent the buttercream from melting and separating.
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You can also freeze as an alternative to refrigeration. The freezer tends to keep cookies/cakes/candies moister than the fridge.
Don’t forget to save this navy blue frosting tutorial to Pinterest or Facebook to check out later. You can use the social sharing icons at the top of the page or use the image below to pin to Pinterest. Thanks for sharing!
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