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How to make orange food colouring

Updated February 21, 2017

Baking is as much about presentation as it is taste. When you bake that special birthday cake, you aren't just asking yourself if you should bake a chocolate cake, a white cake or some other flavour. How the cake will be decorated is also a consideration. If you need orange food colouring for the icing, the shade may not be available, so you need to turn to the colour wheel and see what colour combinations will make orange.

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  1. Squeeze 1 ml (1 drop) of red food colouring into a bowl.

  2. Add 2 ml (2 drops) of yellow food colouring to the bowl. Stir with a toothpick to mix.

  3. Add more yellow if you want a lighter orange, or more red for a darker orange. If you are colouring icing, then add a little of the mixture to some icing to test the shade (before adding more red or more yellow) as the colour in the bowl may not reflect the true shade.

  4. Tip

    Add orange juice to white icing if you want to make light orange icing.

    Combine ground turmeric and beetroot juice to make orange food colouring, if you don't have red and yellow food colouring. Go very light on the beetroot juice.


    If too much red is added, then it will be difficult to lighten the shade once it is added to the icing without adding in more white icing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Red food colouring
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Bowl
  • Toothpick

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

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