Powdered Vs. Gel Food Coloring

Written by milton kazmeyer
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Powdered Vs. Gel Food Coloring
Cupcakes with coloured icing (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of tracy ducasse)

If you're baking and need to add a splash of colour to the finished product, the easiest way to go is with food colouring. But those tiny little bottles of liquid colour are not your only option. These days, there are other food colours that offer their own advantages and disadvantages.

Powdered Colors

Powdered food colours are one of the simplest forms of food colouring to use, as they can be added into any dough, icing, or other mixture at any step of the process.

Gel Colors

The viscosity of gel food colours can help with the mixing process, and are excellent for use in icings.

Mixing Colors

Powdered food colours, unfortunately, tend to come in a fairly limited range of colours, so if you want an intermediate shade, you might have to mix it yourself.

Liquid Balance

One advantage of powdered food colour is that it doesn't add any liquid to the dough or batter it is added to. For some recipes, the amount of water in the mix can be crucial.


Most gels and powdered food colours are extremely concentrated, and should be used with extreme care.

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