I'm having trouble coloring my butter cream. I've tried food coloring and gel colors. If I use to much gel color, then the butter cream starts to get all gritty. If I use food coloring or airbrush coloring, it thins out the butter cream and I still cant get that rich red, blue, or black. Any tips or suggestions?
If you want really deep colors you should use gel colors. And it takes a lot of gel to make a deep color. Don't use liquid color as you realized it will ruin the icing. Also it helps to color icing a few hours in advance because the color will deepen as it sits. I normally bake and make & color icing then decorate the next day.
I don't understand why the icing is getting gritty, maybe your gel colors are old and crystallizing . If so either buy new ones or slowly add Food Grade (Wilton) Glycerin to the gel color a very little at a time and mix it up until it is smooth again.
It is always easiest to make pale colors, but just keep adding gel and mixing it in until you get the desired color.
I don't know why I don't have a problem with coloring buttercream...but so many do apparently. The only thing I can think of is it may be the buttercream recipe. I use all butter in my BC and have never had problems with highly colored icing such as red or black. It doesn't take a lot either. And if your icing is getting gritty I'd definitely say your BC may be the culprit. If you're using all butter then ignore what I just said!
I have not tried them, but I've heard the powdered form of food coloring works well. You might try that!
Try using powder food coloring. It doesn't separate quite as badly, especially with the darker colors nor does it bleed like the others do.
If your icing is seperating it could be the liquid ratio is getting thrown off by the addition of alot of color gel. Add in some powder sugar or cornstarch to help abosorb the extra liquid.
Also if I am making really dark colors I start with a thicker icing since I know it will soften a little after the addition of alot of color.