Try This Clever Hack for Making Super-Vibrant Buttercream (Without a Ton of Food Dye)

published Mar 22, 2023
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Vibrant pink buttercream frosting close up texture
Credit: Jennifer Gauld/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Whenever you want to make a cake completely from scratch, chances are you’ll want to make the buttercream frosting from scratch, too. There are tons of straightforward recipes for baking homemade cake layers and helpful tips on how to frost a cake. That said, it’s also great to know how to manipulate buttercream to get it to just the right consistency and color.

We recently came across an insightful Instagram reel from Adriana, aka sugarologie101, who regularly posts helpful content related to baking and frosting in general. In the video, Adriana demonstrates how she subtly changes the texture and the hue of her buttercream at home. To do it, Adriana uses an immersion blender to make a thick buttercream that’s also incredibly vibrant and shiny.

In the video, Adriana adds a few drops of food coloring to about one cup of buttercream. The result is typical — a “pastel-esque” hue that doesn’t quite pop. Afterwards, though, Adriana uses the immersion blender to further mix the buttercream until it starts to change.

“An immersion blender knocks out most of the air out of the buttercream,” says Adriana in the Reel description. “Making the color more vibrant but also denser and glossier.” As you can see in the video, Adriana shows a side-by-side comparison of each color of buttercream, both before and after using the immersion blender.

Adriana also adds that you can also use a regular mixer to change the color a bit, although it won’t come out quite the same as with the immersion blender. 

One of the great things about this tip is that if you decide that you don’t want a pastel or faded hue for your buttercream, you can use this technique without having to go through an entire bottle of food dye, which can be pricey. As Adriana explained in the video and comments, though, the end product will be less airy, but more vibrant and still pipeable and spreadable.