How do I make navy blue buttercream? This is one of the most frequent questions I see asked on social media in the cake community. That is because it can be so hard to get that perfect, rich navy blue without using way too much food coloring. And we all know that too much food coloring can leave you with that dreaded bitter taste in your buttercream.
Today, I will share my secret to achieving a gorgeous, rich navy blue buttercream that is SO easy to make and won’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links’. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
To mix navy blue, you will need:
- Your go-to, uncolored buttercream (I use my American Buttercream recipe.)
- cocoa powder
- Americolor “Sky Blue” food coloring
- Americolor “Fuschia” food coloring
I didn’t use precise measurements for this color mixture. I will walk you through exactly how I eyeballed the color.
Step 1-Darken your buttercream with cocoa powder:
After getting your desired amount of buttercream in a bowl, you will add a small amount of cocoa powder.
The cocoa powder is used to darken to color of the buttercream without adding black. This tip helps to avoid that unsavory bitter taste. It also saves on food coloring. As a result, you save money! (The cocoa helps to mask any bitter taste that may sneak in as well!)
Please be sure that your client/customers are aware that this buttercream will be chocolate flavored due to the cocoa powder. Once you have mixed a small amount of cocoa powder into the buttercream, it should look close to this…
I start with just a small amount of cocoa powder. You can always add more later if your mixture isn’t dark enough, but you cannnot take some out if you have darkened it too much.
Step 2-Mix in your blue food coloring:
After darkening your buttercream with cocoa, it is time to add your blue! I don’t use pre-mixed navy blue or dark blue colors. When I do, I find that I need to use too much food coloring and often end up with a muddy color. Instead, I work with a small assortment of basic colors and mix them to create hundreds of shades.
This is one of my biggest money saving cake hacks!
This is also why it is no surprise that my very first blog post is on how to mix a buttercream color. More on that later.
To get that perfect navy hue, I add Americolor’s “Sky Blue” gel color.
Use what you have on hand! That’s the best way to save money, right? If you don’t have this exact brand and color, here are some other colors that you may have in your color library that should work great as a substitute. Keep in mind that you may have a slightly different outcome with your end color though.
Americolor’s “Sky Blue” Substitute Options:
After mixing in your blue color, you should end up with a gorgeous teal buttercream. This is because of the yellow tint from the cocoa powder mixed witht he blue. Just like we learned in grade school, blue+yellow=green.
Anyone else’s wheels turning and designing mental cakes using this rich teal? Ok, it’s time to say goodbye to the pretty teal now and turn this buttercream navy blue!
Step 3- Mix in your pink food coloring:
Finally, we will add a small amount of pink to the mixture.
We will add pink to pull the mixture from teal to navy. The pink will sort of “cancel out” the yellow in the mixture. Think purple shampoo for blonde hair.
For this task, I used Americolor’s “Fuschia”. This color is a cooler pink. It looks kind of “purple-y”. Surely that is a word… Again, I have included some other options that you may have in your color llibrary if you don’t have Americolor’s “Fuchsia”. Please keep in mind that using different food coloring may give you different color results.
Americolor’s “Fuchsia” Substitution Options:
After adding the pink, I ended up with this perfect navy blue color. It looks a bit ashy here, but keep in mind that dark colored buttercream will deepen in color over time.
Here are 2 cakes that I decorated with this navy blue color. If you use this hack, tag me in your posts! I would love to see your beautiful creations!
Got questions about mixing colors?
Join our facebook group for blog updates and to join the conversation!