How to Use Food Coloring to Make Different Colors of Icing

Written by ainsley patterson
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Icing can transform a cake, cupcakes, batch of brownies or cookies from plain to festive with the swipe of a butter knife. Tubs of frosting on the grocery store shelves usually come in only a limited number of colours, such as white and brown, but you can transform plain white icing into almost any colour imaginable with a little help from some food colouring.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • White frosting (one tub per two colours of frosting)
  • Small bowls (one for each colour frosting you want to make)
  • Food colouring in red, blue, green and yellow
  • Butter knives (one for each colour frosting you want to make)

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    Using Food Coloring to Make Different Colors of Icing

  1. 1

    Scoop half of a tub of white icing into each small bowl and give each bowl of frosting its own butter knife so that the colours don't get mixed up.

  2. 2

    Add two drops of food colouring to each bowl of frosting to make different colours. See the Tips section for help in achieving colours other than primary colours.

  3. 3

    Stir the food colouring into the icing with the butter knife you assigned to each particular bowl. Keep stirring until the food colouring is evenly distributed throughout the frosting.

  4. 4

    Add more food colouring, two drops at a time, if you would like the colour to be darker.

Tips and warnings

  • Red and blue food colouring will make purple icing.
  • Red and yellow food colouring will make orange frosting.
  • A few drops of red food colouring in the white frosting will make pink, you have to keep adding food colouring until the colour darkens up to red.
  • Mixing green and blue food colouring will give you teal frosting.
  • Mix all of the food colouring colours together to make black frosting. This will take a lot of food colouring, but eventually the frosting will turn black.

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