- Food Coloring Markers: are awesome! Did you see my post for the thirtieth birthday cake? You may have noticed some drawings on a couple of the tiers. Several companies are now making markers that use food coloring instead of ink. They draw on fondant just like a marker drawing on paper (just be sure to not poke the tip into the fondant). You can also draw on royal icing and gum paste with the markers.
- Gel Food Coloring: is the best food coloring for most of what I do. The gel food coloring tends to have the richest color and helps with color saturation. I use gel food coloring to color frosting, fondant, gum paste, and batter. Gel food coloring is so potent, that you want to start by adding small amounts. You can always add more food coloring, but you can't take any away. This type of food coloring is also similar to paint as far as mixing colors is concerned. I like the Wilton food coloring, and started with a variety pack. Then I bought the larger individual containers when I needed to resupply colors. The only downside to the gel colors is that they start to dry out after a while, and it is not worth the energy to try to get the gel to combine with your medium. Just buy a new tub.
- Powdered Food Coloring: is definitely something you want to use if you are trying to color modeling chocolate. The water base of most food colorings will not mix with the chocolate. Most cake supply stores sell powdered food coloring, but I haven't had much luck with craft stores that also sell cake supplies. The powdered food coloring can be a little pricey, so I only use it with modeling chocolate. If you can't find any near you, you can buy it online.
- Silver & Gold: are actual possibilities with powdered food coloring. You combine the powdered food coloring with a small amount of clear alcohol (like vodka) to create a metallic paint. You then use a paintbrush to paint the food coloring onto whatever you want to color. You don't need very much alcohol to create the paint; the alcohol dries completely and just leaves the silver or gold. Be careful with the paint--I got a little on my table, and it took months to get off. The powder does not easily remove.
I hope that gives you a starting point for using food coloring with cakes. I will be linking this post to these link parties.