Bitter Taste In Red Royal Icing

Decorating By LindaF144a Updated 10 Feb 2016 , 6:26pm by Minileo

LindaF144a Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:00pm
post #1 of 15

I tinted some royal icing with Americolor gel paste christmas red color. I didn't need a lot to get this tinted, certainly not a whole bottles worth, but probably about 1/2 to 3/4 tsp by the time I was done.

It was so bitter! Terribly bitter. I used it anyway because it was a test. On the finished product, it was still bitter after it dried.

I did use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in my RI and pasteurized egg whites. Can this be a chemical reaction to these other ingredients, or is it strictly the Red coloring?

I am a little leery of making anything edible with red gel paste now.

My gel paste is fresh, made this year according to the lot number. It does have a distinguishable odor compared to the leaf green I smelled which has no odor. I know red can be a picky color, but is the smell normal also?

I'm stumped. I want to use this for both cakes and cookies. And right now I am not too sure what to do next, or what I did to get such a bitter taste to my royal icing. I have used red food color in RV cakes (McCormicks) and cupcakes and have no problem. This is the first time I have experienced this and I am stumped as to why and how to fix it.

14 replies
visionsofprisms Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:24pm
post #2 of 15

Dark colors like red and black leave bitter extreamly bitter tastes when larger amonts of it are used. 1/2 tsp is a rather large amount. When you want to use a red coloring try to find one that says "no taste", get almost to the color you want, then use the color you want to get the rest of the way.

I know red frosting can be horrible tasting.

PrivateNameHere Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 5:28pm
post #3 of 15

SeriousCakes has a video (Spirograph cuppies I think) on YouTube that shows how to get a really nice red using Rose, Orange, and No Taste Red. I used it on fondant last weekend and it worked very well, no taste.
Tip: I taste my coloring gels straight before using them so I know what I'm getting into. For instance, the black is just nasty. I use ChefMaster food powder for black now.

tracycakes Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 6:03pm
post #4 of 15

I use the Americolor Super Red. It seems to work better with less taste.

Kimmers971 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 6:23pm
post #5 of 15

Add some vanilla to your icing. Also, RI generally doesn't need that much to get the right shade unlike BC which takes ALOT.

karabeal Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 6:34pm
post #6 of 15

When I raised a similar question previously, a fellow CCer said that ChefMaster red is even more highly concentrated than Americolor and does not impart that bitter taste. I haven't gotten my hands on any yet, but it is on my Christmas list!

m1m Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 7:00pm
post #7 of 15

I've also used the Americolor Super Red-with no bitter after taste.

deah Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 7:06pm
post #8 of 15

I just made a batch of Michelle Foster's fondant using the Americolor Super Red. I didn't have any bitter taste.

HowCoolGomo1 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 7:07pm
post #9 of 15

When I need really dark colors I use powdered colors. I sift them with my powdered sugar from the get go. I sift so hopefully I don't get lumps of color.

I also use the liquid colors from the grocery store as part of the liquid required.

When still not dark enough, I use the gel colors.

icer101 Posted 9 Dec 2010 , 7:19pm
post #10 of 15

all of chelfmasters colors are true and wonderful. Also the airbrush colors. Bakery craft has a true red also. Red Red. learned this from earlene moore.

LindaF144a Posted 10 Dec 2010 , 3:08pm
post #11 of 15

Thank you all for your responses. For some reason I did not get notifications when these messages were sent. I have changed that now.

I did use vanilla. I used clear vanilla from Wilton, about 2 teaspoons. I have used this before and did not get a bitter, chemical taste. I did find another brand of clear vanilla yesterday. I'm going to test this brand .

I have used up to a tablespoon of red food coloring before in baked goods and did not get a bitter taste. I have used McCormick food coloring in RV cake and there was no bitter taste. I smelled both McCormick and Americolor. The Americolor has a stronger smell. The date on the Americolor is January of this year.

I agree that it shouldn't need that much, but overnight and it was still too light.

I bought Americolor super red yesterday, bought somehow it was missing from the bag when I got home, along with a tiny star cookie cutter. It wasn't on the receipt either. Somehow the little buggers disappeared between the time I picked them up and checkout. I'll get some next time. In the mean time I am going to check out the YouTube video for the color combo. And I like the idea of substituting some liquid red for the liquid. I also bought some no taste red too to try.

I will try all these ideas plus finding some Chefmaster coloring also. I'll let you know how it works out.

_Zo_ Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 11:38am
post #12 of 15

Hey LindaF144a, how did the experiment go?

Also PrivateNameHere, I couldn't find Serious cakes tips for creating red on youtube, can anybody pls post the link here? Which brand did she used?

I've got Wilton's Christmas red gel colour. Any idea how to get real good red without having any bittre taste to the cake and frosting. (I imported the colour, and theres no chefmaster or americolour here). I am assuming adding vanilla to a bitter frosting only adjusts it and not completely takes away the bitter taste. Anyone tried Wilton's christmas red? I am really hoping to use big amount to get a good red colour and not just pink.


Also, is adding gel colours to cake batter any different than frosting? I mean does it spoil only frosting's taste or dos it affect cake batter too? (I am thinking on making rainbow cupcakes too after making the red frosting).

PrivateNameHere Posted 30 Jan 2011 , 5:40pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Zo_

Hey LindaF144a, how did the experiment go?

Also PrivateNameHere, I couldn't find Serious cakes tips for creating red on youtube, can anybody pls post the link here? Which brand did she used?

I've got Wilton's Christmas red gel colour. Any idea how to get real good red without having any bittre taste to the cake and frosting. (I imported the colour, and theres no chefmaster or americolour here). I am assuming adding vanilla to a bitter frosting only adjusts it and not completely takes away the bitter taste. Anyone tried Wilton's christmas red? I am really hoping to use big amount to get a good red colour and not just pink.


Also, is adding gel colours to cake batter any different than frosting? I mean does it spoil only frosting's taste or dos it affect cake batter too? (I am thinking on making rainbow cupcakes too after making the red frosting).




She doesn't have it labeled as a "How to get red" video, it's the spirograph cuppies video.
I've heard you can add a tiny pinch of salt to help cut the bitter flavor but I've never tried it.
If the gel has a bad flavor, it will affect the taste of both the cake AND frosting.

Arneta Posted 10 Feb 2016 , 5:17pm
post #14 of 15

I just removed the very bitter taste from my buttercream by adding cocoa and more vanilla I added the cocoa 1/2 cup at a time until the bitter taste was completely gone. (I am making a large wedding cake that why I am using 1/2 cups).  To avoid the bitter taste you need to darken the icing first let it set for about 30 minutes then start adding your red. After every addition of red you need to wait between 15 and 30 minutes this will help avoid the bitterness  than if you add all of the red at the same time.  Hope this helps.  Additional note: I was in a hurry thats why I added all the red at the same time, big mistake I won't do it again, but now I know how to fix it. Now the cocoa trick may not work on light colors but it defintely works or the dark colors.

Minileo Posted 10 Feb 2016 , 6:26pm
post #15 of 15

I used Super red by Americolor to color the fondant (My Red heart cake) It was dark Red actually with no bitter taste at all. I remember using wilton red gel color for my RI it was so bitter in taste. My 2 cents.  

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