AI was wondering if you guys could post tips and nono's on coloring buttercream. For example I was told to always use high ratio shortening because it holds color better (not sure if this is true, I've become rather paranoid about straying from that though). How do you get a nice true deep red? I always mix some cocoa and brown coloring to my icing and sometimes a little black but the best I've ever gotten was a brick red. I am really wishing I could get more bold colors incorporated in my cakes!
just use straight red for non-brick red -- i use americolor red amongst others -- works great -- to make primary colors less childish/shocking use a dab of brown icing -- for a smokey look add more brown icing -- use some black icing to get to dark navy, burgundy -- but burgundy is not easy to mix it's best to buy it -- also hot pink usually needs to be purchased -- often colors mature after you mix them so mixing and waiting a few hours is a good idea -- they continue to develop over time -- when you want to add a dab of color make up that color in fondant or icing and use a dab of that --
best to you
as far as which kind of fat to use -- all of them work --
for a soft to medium pink do NOT use real vanilla nor butter -- that much off white in the brown vanilla and the yellow butter will not allow pink it makes peach -- and often a decorator will use a bit of shortening based icing just to facilitate pink or any soft color -- i use all kinds of fats and they all work to make icing --
as far as coloring -- adding milk to the icing will help hold onto pink/red colors according to a food color manufacturer/expert i read about -- sometimes i use milk in black icing too -- keeping colored icings out of the sun and out of any light is best -- you can loose the pink in your purples and you're left with blue -- the sun can sometimes wipe out entire color ways so use boxes for delivery --
AI only use all butter IMBC and I've had no trouble getting a soft pink.
Try Americolor, as suggested. You don't need as much to get a true color, tho, I do not understand "fuscia" it is the ugliest pink I've ever seen.
yes butter without annatto maybe but not all butters --
i screwed up a pale pink cake order once eons ago and so i am acutely aware of the possibility -- so just all depends on what exactly you're using --
but there's a point in soft pink where the brown from the vanilla alone will kill it -- add enough pink color to override it and you've lost the 'soft' or 'pale' -- maybe not always but it's a fair point to offer someone who wants to learn about mixing colors
and that goes for soft pale blue too
All dark, bold primary colors use LOTS of color and are best made hours (overnight!) ahead of time. The more paste or gel color dye used the longer it takes to 'develop'. Also once the colored icing is exposed to the air (on the cake) it darkens some more.
So for a nice, bold RED, I start with pink or yellow or orange mixed into white, then add your red paste.
I have also used KoolAid powder - usually black cherry but any flavor that is red like strawberry or punch will work. That definitely needs to set overnight. Even then, in the morning, it might have tiny dark spots. Never fear - just give it a good stirring and they will be mixed in.
AWow ok thanks! I will try that. I've read a lot on here about americolor and I did notice the red darkens after awhile. That's how it gets a brick red look to it! I am going try and see what I can manage. Thanks =)
... How do you get a nice true deep red? I always mix some cocoa and brown coloring to my icing and sometimes a little black but the best I've ever gotten was a brick red...
just so we're on the same page -- it's the brown/black color that takes your mixture from red to brick red -- it matures over a few hours and the brown shows up -- typically all colors placed into buttercream deepen a bit over time -- so straight red without any brown will be a nice clear red -- and it will darken/mature over time to a deeper clear red --
AOk..got it. I reread my post it was j Supposed to say that must be but my phone must have corrected it. So no brown/black just red, let it alone and be patient overnight. I guess I better start planning my cakes better. I have a bad habit of randomly deciding to put a specific color on the cake or not making enough frosting.
random is good -- you don't have to let it alone because after you get a little more experience you can mix a color and know how much it will deepen and just use it immediately anyway -- allowing it to darken on the cake -- in fact you already have the seeds of the process --
AAhhhh...yes....keywords being "little more experience" lol!!! Give me a few times and I might have it down! :D I am going to mess around this weekend and see how I fare. There is so much to learn, seems like I could do this for 20 years and still be a mere amateur! Gotta start somewhere.