Pages Navigation Bar

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fancy Food Coloring

I hope you are enjoying the cake tips and tools posts that I have put up these past two weeks.  I just found out that the cake baking post was one of the top ten viewed posts on Crazy Domestic this week!  Since they have been such a hit, let's keep it going with tips for using food coloring today.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Solid vs. Variegated:  the more thoroughly you mix the coloring, the more uniform the color will be throughout your frosting/fondant/etc.  If you want a variegated look, simply do not keep mixing.  I created the flames for the thirtieth birthday cake by mixing yellow fondant, red fondant, and orange fondant together, then rolling out before completely combined.  I used the same technique with green, purple, and pink fondant to create this present cake, and white with blue for the water of this boating cake.

I hope that gives you a starting point for using food coloring with cakes.  I will be linking this post to these link parties.


  1. Love the doughnut cake! So cute!

    Also, I have a great Dove chocolate giveaway going on right now and would love if stopped by and entered:

    ~Katie @ Eye Spy DIY

  2. I absolutely love your blog. You may have already been awarded with this because I you are adorable. Thanks for blogging and sharing all of your ideas!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Very fun! I enjoy my set of food colorings, and I'm needing to restock more of them, I guess that shows I enjoy them. :)

  4. I've been on the lookout for the markers as they look perfect for doing some fun designs and drawings with! I only really decorate simple cakes but the kids seem to be getting more and more demanding!! Ha! I've got a spiderman cake waiting to be decorated right now actually!

    Here from TGC, have a great weekend thanks for all the tips:)))

  5. how creative those markers sound like lots of decorating fun would be had

  6. I love all your cake tutorials! So helpful!

  7. Wow, I am going to try some of these tips this month for my girls birthday. I hope that my cake turns out as good as yours do! Thanks for sharing at Fantastic Friday. I hope that you will join us again this week!

  8. Great tips! I still use the cheap stuff :) I'd love to experiment with gel and some day!


Thank you for leaving a comment--I love to hear what you think! I try to respond to any questions within one day.