Adding Color To Fondant **a Sticky Issue**

Decorating By Cosima Updated 6 Jul 2011 , 2:45am by kmstreepey

Cosima Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 1:28pm
post #1 of 16

Colored fondant. OK I added blue gel to the fondant for the top layer. I did this by working the color into the fondant after it had set for 12 hours. It was so sticky that no matter how much powdered sugar I used I couldn't get it right. As you can see by the top layer it was a pain to put on because it looks so sloppy. Had the same problem with the red stripes. OMG! What a pain in the butt it was. It would have been worth buying the actual color fondant I needed to avoid the headache but I had no time for that.

So what do you think I did wrong with this? How can it be corrected?


15 replies
Motorhead Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 1:44pm
post #2 of 16

i find it easier (on the arms and my sanity!!) to mix the color in when i make the fondant. if i know i'm gonna need 1lb fondant in blue, when i'm making it (mmf) when the mm are melted i add in the color and then add to the powdered sugar. hth

kmstreepey Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 2:04pm
post #3 of 16

I just tried a new technique that worked really well for me to get dark red. I can't remember who I got it from, but it was in a book I read. Add a little of the gel color that you want to the fondant and knead it in. Then melt a few candy melts in the color you want, in my case this was red and blue, and knead those in with a little powdered sugar. The book said doing it this way keeps the fondant from getting too sticky. It worked for me! I ended up doing the candy melts, then adding a little more of the gel color. It still took awhile to get the deep color I wanted and it is still a bit of a mess, but the final result was much better (not sticky at all). I also only wanted a little bit of each color, so I didn't want to color a whole batch of fondant. I made it white and colored portions of it later the same day. I hope this helps!

bakerliz Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 2:08pm
post #4 of 16

That sounds like a great idea. I hate making dark colored fondant, it never comes out as good as I want. I can't wait to try this!

galliesway Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 2:15pm
post #5 of 16

Add the color in the liquid or melting stage. Pre made white fondant has the same problems. There is a great recipe for black MMF on here if you ever need black and it just as black as pre made.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 2:39pm
post #6 of 16

I have tried both the recipes on this blog and both work well, though I find the candy melts fondant to be a little stiffer to work with and the one made with jello to be a bit softer than regular MMf.

I used the red candmelts MMF recipe on these two cakes:

And for these two I used the jello MMF recipe with orange jello without adding any extra color because I was testing the flavor profile rather than the color itself (The difference in the way they look has to do with my camera. The first one shows the true color):

I was actually very pleased with the flavor of the jello one. For smaller amounts I have halved the candy melts recipe with good results. I haven't tried to halve the jello recipe yet, but I see no reason that it would not be successful as well.

AmbitiousBeginner Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 5:13pm
post #7 of 16

I had the same problem. I made 2 pounds of MMF, left half white and colored the other half blue. To get the deep blue I wanted, I had to add an entire .25 oz bottle of food coloring (water based). THe white MMF was perfect but the blue one was an oily mess. I had to give up on it. I added tons of ps but then it was crumbly.

Did this happen because of the type of food coloring I used? Do powdered or gel colors not cause this problem?

I've used the water-based food coloring before without a problem, but it was only a few drops.

Should I follow the suggestions above and use candy melts, or can I just use powdered colorings? Can I use the Wilton food coloring? Is that different than what I used?

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 5:40pm
post #8 of 16

When I made this cake ( ) I used liquid food color in the MMF, but I added it as part of the liquid when melting the marshmallows. It wasn't entirely successful, but not nearly as messy your experience. I still had to use entirely too much no-taste red which still resulted in a fondant that was really hard to work with. The main problem was getting the right shade of red for a strawberry. If I was going to do it again I'd definitely use the candy melts or strawberry jello.

You should never use the liquid colors directly on the fondant in the amount you needed for that particular blue. That's the same thing as trying to work in an extra tablespoon of water. Even gel colors in the amount you need will have an effect on the workability of your fondant. If the melts come in blue I'd use that or a blueberry jello and supplement with the gel or Americolor to get the color you need. The bonus is that the jello colors tend to taste very good.

kmstreepey Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 5:56pm
post #9 of 16

I also love the jello idea. Koolaid works too - just mix a little with the water before adding it to the marshmallows (I tried to make sure it was dissolved first). Then I added a little cocoa with the powdered sugar to darken it a little. Made a perfect rose color I was looking for. I used it on this cake in my profile. For this cake, I also started with strawberry marshmallows, which also helped with the color (gave me a good base of pink to start with).

SarahL4683 Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 6:04pm
post #10 of 16

I prefer to add the coloring in the melted stage for mmf, but sometimes I add it to my white MMF. If it gets too sticky, work in corn starch! It works better than conf. sugar! It will help with your "stickiness" as well as the elasticity. It also helps to let it rest a bit after coloring. HTH

Texas_Rose Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 6:09pm
post #11 of 16

I use gel colors, knead the color in right after the fondant is made, and use cornstarch rather than powdered sugar to deal with stickiness. I never have any problems with my colored fondant.

It helps to use americolor super red and super black when you're trying to achieve those shades...takes less color so you have less risk of your fondant turning weird.

SarahL4683 Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 6:15pm
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

I use gel colors, knead the color in right after the fondant is made, and use cornstarch rather than powdered sugar to deal with stickiness. I never have any problems with my colored fondant.

It helps to use americolor super red and super black when you're trying to achieve those shades...takes less color so you have less risk of your fondant turning weird.

Yes! The americolors are a must. I fell in love with the super red about a year ago and now only use americolors!

cakeyouverymuch Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 6:25pm
post #13 of 16

Does the Americolor red leave a bad taste when you use alot? Or is it possible ot use only a minimal amount that won't leave a bad taste the way some of the gel reds do?

kmstreepey, nice cake I like that color.

SarahL4683 Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 6:28pm
post #14 of 16

the americolor super red is very strong so you don't use nearly as much as you would use for other brands. I use it for fondants and frosting/icings, works great. puts the wilton reds to shame!

Cosima Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 1:47am
post #15 of 16

Oh my goodness, such great information!

OK where to start cause I want to try everything. You've given me a challenge (Oh my poor husband and the mess in the kitchen to come icon_lol.gif )

kmstreepey melting the candy is an amazing idea. ? Did it change the taste of the fondant at all?

galliesway If you have the link to that black fondant, I would love to have it. I'll look but I want the one you are speaking of. I'm assuming you've tried this recipe?

cakeyouverymuch Thank you for the link to this recipe. So one thing that is different I see in the picture is that the powdered sugar is on a flat surface and the MMF kneaded within. I always do mine in the mixer and will have to try this method next. I think it's time for a trip to Michaels. PS: As I'm writing to each posts reply I saw your second one and seems that you've answered my question on the's a NO NO to apply after the fondant is made and that is probably why I had such a sticky mess. I like the jello idea, hmmmm to the grocery store I go icon_rolleyes.gif

AmbitiousBeginner The one thing I've learned on The Cake Boss (Love that show!) is water and fondant don't mix. I found that out the hard way when I made a naked cake for a birthday and tried to smooth out certain wrinkles of the fondant by smoothing it with water. What it left me was sticky shiny fondant in that area. I should have used Crisco but I'm new to this cake decorating and you learn as you go, you know icon_smile.gif Now if its mixed within the melted MMF prior to adding the PS could be a different circumstance? However, I know kneading water base liquid to the fondant afterwards would cause a sticky mess. I, however, was using a gel to knead my fondant and found it gave me a sticky fondant..... so maybe I can't use the gels? Either way I'm trying the candy melts to see how that works.

kmstreepey WOW Cocoa powder, I would have never thought. Thanks for that idea!

SarahL4683 & Texas_Rose I always wondered why people would use Corn Starch vs. Powdered Sugar. I would think it would change the taste quite a bit? What is the difference between the two other then the taste?

SarahL4683 OK Americolor I'll have to try. I've been using Wilton's. So I've been eyeing the Americolor airbrush edible paints I suppose this wouldn't be the same product to use? Is there a link to the Americolors you are suggesting so I can look into that? Thank you icon_smile.gif

I think I got everyone. Now to try and test away. I want to make the black fondant....NEED that recipe icon_smile.gif

Thank you everyone for the great suggestions.

kmstreepey Posted 6 Jul 2011 , 2:45am
post #16 of 16

Cakeyouverymuch, thanks! Cosima, I didn't notice much of a change in the tastenof the fondant, but I didn't add much of the candy melts. I use gel colors and agree about Americolors - they are the best! I haven't had a problem with the gel colors making my fondant sticky when using only a little. Great info about the cornstarch! I knead in powdered sugar when making my MMF, starting in the mixer and then finishing on the counter (when it's less sticky). After it rests and I'm ready to use it, I knead it some more with cornstarch and use crisco or cornstarch if it's sticky. I've accidentally made it a little dry before by using too much cornstarch though.

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