How to make dark blue icing with food coloring

Written by diana lea
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How to make dark blue icing with food coloring
Blue icing forms the canvas for a rainbow cake. (rainbow cake image by Trevor Allen from

Icing sugar is the main ingredient of the icing recipe used as the base for dark blue icing. The recipe is adapted from C&H Sugar's basic buttercream frosting. Light coloured frosting accepts food colour readily. Any white icing, even ready to spread icing from the store, could be used as the base for dark blue icing. Dark blue icing is suitable for frosting cakes, making layer cakes, frosting cupcakes and decorating cookies. There is no cooking involved so children can help.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup real butter
  • Blue food colouring
  • Bowl
  • Large spoon

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  1. 1

    Allow the butter to soften. Using the bottom of the spoon, cream the icing sugar and butter, using back and forth motions.

  2. 2

    Add the vanilla to the butter and icing sugar mixture. Add most of the water and mix until smooth. The frosting should be a spreadable consistency and not watery.

  3. 3

    Add 5 drops of food colouring to the mixture and stir. Evaluate the colour. If the frosting is not dark enough, add another 5 drops, mix and evaluate. It may take up to 24 drops to achieve a satisfactory dark blue colour.

  4. 4

    Check the consistency of the icing. It should spread easily, but stay in place on the cake or cupcake. If the icing is too watery, add icing sugar a teaspoonful at a time to thicken it.

Tips and warnings

  • Real butter adds an excellent flavour to the icing.
  • Adding neon purple or neon pink food colouring changes the shade of blue.
  • Add food colouring a few drops at a time when adjusting the colour. It is easy to make it darker but not so easy to lighten the colour.

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