Making Dark Icing Colors

Decorating By RebelGirlCakes Updated 2 Jun 2011 , 6:33am by pastrygirls

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RebelGirlCakes Posted 17 May 2011 , 1:21pm
post #1 of 12

Any suggestions on dying buttercream navy or red? I have tried everything I can think of to make these colors and my frosting will absolutely not get dark enough! Especially the won't get any darker than a pale orange. I've tried using Americolor and Wilton gel coloring, but neither seem to work. I've also tried making my butter cream without butter...only crisco...and that didn't work either. Help, please!

11 replies
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TexasSugar Posted 17 May 2011 , 2:15pm
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Dark colors take A LOT of icing color. I'd say add some more and let it sit to see if it darkens up for you. Are you coloring a large amount of icing or a small amount?

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michel30014 Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:50pm
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What I do when I need red, I start with pink and then add enough red coloring to get it to that color. It still takes a lot like Texas Sugar said.

I've never made navy so I'm not sure on that one. If, however, you need to make black, I start with either cocoa powder or melted chocolate, blend and then add black to desired color. It's much easier this way but it still takes quite a bit of black.

Hope that helps!!!

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kdbohm Posted 17 May 2011 , 9:16pm
post #4 of 12

I have made red and very dark blues several times. I haven't made an actual navy color, but pretty close.

Currently, I only have Wilton gel colors. For red, use no taste red, and a lot of it! I do have some Christmas red and have added a touch just to get more red in it. Once you mix it, let it sit overnight. It will definitely darken. If you need a deeper red or slightly different shade - add some orange, brown, or even black - just a tiny bit though.

Blues - I have mixed a few different colors trying to get the right shades. I start out with just the normal blue gel. I have added violet and black when darkening blue. Again, just a tiny bit.

The longer the darker colors sit, the better - doesn't matter if it's red, blue, black, green, etc. You want dark colors - mix it, cover it, and walk away!

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RebelGirlCakes Posted 22 May 2011 , 10:08pm
post #5 of 12

Thanks Y'all! I'll keep trying.

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Cupcations Posted 22 May 2011 , 11:18pm
post #6 of 12

I noticed that the colors darken when I freeze my BC, you can try that oh ya & use A LOT of food coloring!

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jules5000 Posted 22 May 2011 , 11:38pm
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I agree with all the girls on here. I have had to make true red and black quite a few times. I find that sometimes even for a medium amount that it takes almost if not a full bottle of coloring. If you want to make one of those two colors my suggestion is to use tons of the coloring. The No-taste Red is best and mix it until you think it can't use any more and it is a really deep shade of pink. Put a lid on it and leave it overnight. or at least several hours. and you definitely want to mix quite a bit more up than you think you are going to use. My suggesting after seeing how long it can take is that you mix up your icing and divide it into the quantities that you are going to need and mix up the red and darker colors and put a lid on and let sit. then go about your other caking duties or jobs and when you are truly ready for them they will probably be the right color. With Red there really is not the danger of it being any color but a deeper red, but with Navy blue give yourself some more time and experiment with it. It depends on how much time you have, but I would suggest making some up and starting getting it deep, but not too deep a blue. let it sit. come back to it in a few hours and see if you need to add a different color or more blue to make it navy and keep waiting. One idea that you could try if there is not a navy available is talk to someone who has been mixing their own colors for awhile and ask them what they use to get navy. I am afraid with Navy that you could get it to be so dark that it would look black by the time the people get their cake. Icing can freeze and it wil darken then too. SO you wouldn'actually have to start out that dark. Good luck. I also used a little black to get the brighness out of my blue once. But go easy on that.

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NicoleLovins Posted 23 May 2011 , 9:30pm
post #8 of 12

When I made red, I used alot of coloring, but I also used a red Koolaid packet (can't remember the flavor) to help make it get to the right color. It gave the icing a pretty good flavor too.

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RheaCakeQueen Posted 23 May 2011 , 9:53pm
post #9 of 12

Here is a good article from Wilton on how to get red... it is 1/2 tsp of color for every cup of frosting. Lots and lots of color! I have found that this works well for getting any dark color.

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ajwonka Posted 23 May 2011 , 10:14pm
post #10 of 12

Just having made red this weekend & using an entire tub of coloring, i agree!

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RebelGirlCakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 6:00am
post #11 of 12

Thanks so much for the great tips everyone!

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pastrygirls Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 6:33am
post #12 of 12

have you ever tried powder colors? i use them at the hotel i work at, and the red is amazing. it doesn't take tons of color, and the color is very rich and deep. I've had to make dark navy-ish blues and powdered blues and a touch of powdered black work really well. i can't remember the brand at the moment, so i cant tell you which one it is. but they have yellow, red, blue, green, purple, and black. it covers all the basics and they're easy to mix to get any other colors you might need.

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