Chocolatiering DIY Chocolate Making

How to Make Colored Cocoa Butter for Chocolate

colored cocoa butter for chocolate

Start adding colorful flourishes to your handmade chocolates! In this guide, chocolatier Simon Knott explains how to make colored cocoa butter for chocolate decoration.

Now that you’ve mastered how to make homemade chocolates, it’s time to give your chocolate treats and gifts the final decorative touch. Although not necessary, decorations give your edible artworks the final highlights and wow factor that your hard work deserves to be recognised for. Carefully presented treats declare to your friends, family and customers that this is really something worth enjoying.

While there are many ways to add creative flair, one of the most impressive methods is via tinted cocoa butter. Colored cocoa butter for chocolate decoration is versatile, and can be used to apply subtle patterns or vivid swatches to your sweets.

In this article, professional chocolatier Simon Knott explains how you can prepare colored cocoa butter for chocolate decoration, and ideas for how you can use it.

cocoa butter colors for chocolate can be delicate or bold

How to Make Colored Cocoa Butter for Chocolate

By Simon Knott, Chocolatier

As long as you keep to a few simple rules mixing your own coloured cocoa butter to decorate chocolates is very straightforward. The process doesn’t take long, and you will save a bundle on buying readymade coloured cocoa butter. When buying colours, ensure you choose fat-soluble products so you can be sure they will mix well when blended with cocoa butter.

Coloured cocoa butter can be used in various chocolate techniques, such as painting the interior of moulds with a brush, painting chocolate figures directly and airbrushing, where the cocoa butter is delivered to the chocolate surface in a very fine mist.

Tempering cocoa butter

In the same way as working with chocolate, it’s necessary to temper your coloured cocoa butter before applying it to the inside of moulds. This will ensure it sets firmly, so the chocolates release easily from the mould and have an attractive glossy exterior. The coloured cocoa butter can be tempered by heating it gently in the microwave and then shaking it gently or by using the seed method, where grated cocoa butter is stirred into the melted cocoa butter.

Sourcing fat-soluble cocoa butter colors for chocolate craft

For a comprehsenive discussion on fat soluble colours, please read my article on the best types of food colours for chocolate. The same information applies to cocoa butter. Below are a few reliable suppliers for coloring agents:




powdered colouring cocoa butter

How to Prepare the Colored Cocoa Butter for Chocolate Decoration

Melting the Cocoa Butter

Weigh the required cocoa butter into a tub which is big enough for mixing.

Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler or an oven set to 50° C (122° F).

While the cocoa butter is melting, weigh out the colour.

Weighing Out the Colouring

For this exercise, we are going to use powdered colors for colouring cocoa butter.

You need 12% by weight of colour to add to the cocoa butter.

For example: 100g cocoa butter requires 12g colour powder.

Incorporating Colour into Melted Cocoa Butter

Once the cocoa butter has completely melted, spoon half the colour into the cocoa butter.

As the colour is a light powder it floats on the cocoa butter. Stir it carefully, either with a spoon or gently, using a stick blender.

Once mixed, add the remaining colour and combine until smooth. The cocoa butter should have a very intense colour. Remember, when you paint cocoa butter inside a mould or on chocolate, the coat will be very thin, so the colour needs to be intense.

Strain the Cocoa Butter

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and mix again if required.

The final mixture should be completely smooth, with the colour evenly distributed throughout.

colored cocoa butter for chocolate can be applied by brushing inside molds
Colored cocoa butter for chocolate can be applied by brushing inside molds.

Ready-Made Cocoa Butter Colors for Chocolate Craft

If you are just starting out, using ready-mixed coloured cocoa butter is often easier than preparing your own. By removing the complication of mixing your own colours from scratch, you can concentrate on the techniques and creativity of your batch instead.

Often, ready-mixed cocoa butter colours can be readily combined, enabling you to easily create new tints from your base colours, as long as they are mixed thoroughly.

If you are unsure how to combine the right mix of shades to achieve a particular colour, search online for a ‘colour wheel’. This will graphically show the different component colours required to formulate each shade. 

Ready-mixed cocoa butter colour suppliers:


We hope you’ve enjoyed this practical guide from chocolatier Simon Knott on how to make colored cocoa butter for chocolate. For more tutorials from Simon, be sure to check out the following:

Happy chocolatering!

Article Author

  • Simon Knott

    Simon Knott studied a BSc Hons in Catering Management, Food Science, and Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University and started writing in 2006, specialising in food and drink. He worked as Food & Drink Editor for two county magazines, interviewing chefs and local food producers. In 2010 Simon started a company making traditional fudges and chocolate products. The company quickly grew, supplying local outlets and Simon was awarded five Gold Great Taste Awards for his products. Simon recently completed a Diploma in Copywriting, and continues to write about food and drink, business and skiing.

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