How to Make Red Icing Red

October 27th, 2009 by Mary Gavenda

Do you ever have any problems getting red icing red? I know I do. It can happen for a couple of reasons: didn’t add enough icing color or used shortening with a high yellow dye content, such as butter flavored shortening. Do you have a lot of minerals in your water that could make a difference (like well water)?

Red Icing In the Wilton Decorating Room, we get the best results for a brighter red color using a combination of Red-Red Icing Color with Christmas Red Icing Color, equal parts. It will take a large amount of the icing color to achieve a deep red shade. Just keep adding more and mixing it in after each addition. Depending on the amount of icing you need to tint, you might start by adding 1/2 teaspoon of each for one cup of icing.

You will also get good results when using No Taste Red Icing Color; you’ll still need to put in approximately 1 teaspoon of color to 1 cup of buttercream. No Taste Red Icing Color is muted a bit in color, but the taste of the No Taste Red is more acceptable.

If it’s at all possible to plan ahead, make your icing a day or two ahead – or even three days! The color will deepen as it sets (but it does need to be a red color to start, not pink!)

Keep in mind when you use a large amount of icing color, sometimes the buttercream icing taste becomes a little bitter. If this happens, add a little more flavoring to compensate for the difference. The amount of flavoring to add will depend on the number of cups of icing and your taste preference. Maybe an additional 1/4 teaspoon will help for each cup of icing. But the best judge will be your own taste, so adjust as needed. You can use Clear Vanilla or No-Color Almond Extract to increase the flavor. These extracts are clear so they won’t change the tint of your icing.

A tube of Red Ready-To-Use Icing Tube (4.25 oz) comes in handy when I need a small amount of red, especially for a facial feature or maybe some red trims.

If you are using a lot of red icing on an adult cake or special occasion cake, keep in mind that anyone who eats it will wear some red tint on their teeth for the evening! If it’s a formal occasion, you might want to limit the use of large amounts of dark colors if possible.

If you have any leftover red icing, you can save it for a future use. Just put it in a container or a double self-closing bag and freeze it for future use…like for Valentine’s Day when we do special treats for those we care about!

Mary Gavenda Mary is a Senior Cake Decorator at Wilton. She started her cake decorating career as one of the first Wilton Method teachers in the Chicago area, teaching at various Sears, Montgomery Wards and JCPenney stores and earned her place in the Wilton Hall of Fame. As a cake decorator in the Decorating Room, she creates the cakes for photography used on new labels and packaging and in all Wilton publications. Mary also teaches the Introduction to Gum Paste Class at The Wilton School. Mary is a member of The International Cake Exploration Societé (ICES), an organization promoting the art of food and cake decorating throughout the world. She has served as Illinois State Representative, Past ICES Vice President and Corresponding Secretary during her 3-year term on the ICES Board of Directors. She is still active in the organization.

175 Replies

  1. Kim says:

    Any tips for getting true black? Not semi-grey or lavender. Thanks!

    • Jennifer says:

      Start with chocolate icing instead of white, and use Black icing color. Makes it so easy!

      • Wendy Cobb says:

        I made the best black ever this week! I only needed a little, so I started with the orange I had made for the body of the pumpkin, added black coloring, and while it didn’t look perfect immediately, it had a gray tone at first, by the next morning it was a true deep dark black!

    • Joy says:

      I use a good amount of black, but I also throw a little brown and a touch of red. It sounds like a strange combination but I always get the black that I’m looking for. Making it in advance is a good idea because it does darken with time. For a dark rich brown I start with a good amount of brown and add a little black and a touch of red. This keeps the brown from becoming too yellow and has that dark chocolate look that is so popular.

    • Erika says:

      To get black, start with chocolate icing and just add a hint of black to it and boom! If you’re wanting that buttercream flavor, then I would suggest starting with a color like royal blue to tint the icing and then going behind it with black to achieve the desired darkness. I hope this helps! Happy baking!!!

    • Mary says:

      I always add cocoa first to make black icing. It requires a lot less black food coloring and the light chocolate flavor is a pleasant surprise! I don’t know about buttercream, but this works really well for royal icing.

    • Renee says:

      Yes to get a good black color, start off with Dark Chocolate icing and then add your black. You may still need to use quite a bit of gel color blk. Make it up three days in advance and let it meld together.

    • temi says:

      to get true black you need to add more color it get better if you can mix 2\3 day before you need it

    • candi823 says:

      I have learned that adding powdered cocoa to buttercream, or any white frosting, first will help you get a black color faster and saves on black icing color. Americolor super black helps even more.

  2. Cheryl Richardson says:

    Hi Kim,

    I have had success with tinting Chocolate buttercrem ( using a half shortining and half butter recipies) I did not have to use nearly as much blk tint… And I also just tinted some icing blk using the same recipie as above ( with no chocolate in it)

    Best of luck

    Cheryl

    • Kelly says:

      What I use to make chocolate buttercream is just use some cocoa powder and mix it in with the white buttercream…. it makes a beautiful brown/chocolate color.

  3. Sandy says:

    I was wondering if there is any risk of the red coloring bleeding if you use the red icing to decorate on a white wedding cake?

    • Pauline says:

      Sandy~
      Wilton Meringue Powder used in a buttercream icing recipe will make the icing colorfast.

      • Patti says:

        How much did you put in to a single receipe and does it do anything to the consistency and “shelf life” of the frosting?

        • Pauline says:

          Patti~
          Are you asking about the Meringue Powder or the icing color?
          The Wilton classroom buttercream icing recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of meringue powder – this recipe makes 3 cups of icing. It doesn’t effect the consistency. The meringue powder is a pasteurized, powdered product.

  4. mamapasha says:

    thanks for sharing.. i will try this tips.. is it working with black color too??

  5. Kathy says:

    Thanks for all the tips…as long as I have been decorating, it always helps to hear about good tips from others.

  6. tricia says:

    i av learnt so much tru u guys, bt i stit wanna know more.How can i get help 2 make a simple an perfect wedding cake. I trust ur ideas! Tanx.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Tricia,
      Glad our site has been very helpful to you. Have you taken a look at our Wedding designs on our website or looked over any of the Wilton publications such as our Wedding Books or even in the Yearbooks? There are always so many ideas to choose from. Once you or your bride has chosen a design, look it over carefully, trying to identify any questions. Then email us at info at wilton.com and someone will help answer your questions. Good Luck,
      Mary

    • hi tricia.
      Your all so clever here. In norway we dont have all the things you have. Something from wilton is here ,but its too expensive. I baked a wedding cake for my daughter 2 years ago. We had 2 different cakes but 3 layers.
      I usesamerican carotcake and a chocklatecake. I used white ising on all 3 first, and then white marsipan. It looked fantastic. You can see it on facebook. look me up. aase stiansen and maybe i can have ideas from you..i like this site. Usually here in norwsy,they use spongecakes for wedding. They put wipped cream inside with some berries and also around. Then marsipan on top of it.. Greetings form Norway

      • vicki says:

        thanks for writing from Norway.How interesting your country is. Years ago when I was a young mother I had a Girlscout troop and we were assigned to present recipes and information about your country at our annual banquet where all the troops display inforamtion about their assigned country. We enjoyed the recipes and your art. I will go and see yourwedding cake. I love learning about holiday and wedding traditions from other countries. I’ve just retired from managing a flower shop[ where I was honored to work with some very creative people. I have now started my own wedding cake,etc. business in my home. Hope to hear and see more from Norway. thanks again for your input. Vicki

      • Ayumi says:

        HI. Your post really intrested me. My mother and I are looking at covering a wedding cake with marzipan. How does it work. Do you simply do what you would do with fondant or is there a different process? How does it taste? How do you color it?

        Thank You- Ayumi

  7. Nichole says:

    I am making the Spiderman pan for my nephew. I only need about a half cup of black icing. All the tips say to make some chocolate icing when making true black…. Is there a way to make regular butter cream into chocolate icing without making an entire batch of chocolate icing? Or is there a recipe for just a small amount of chocolate icing?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Sure Nichole, depending on how much black icing you need, just color that amount. Our basic chocolate buttercream icing calls for 3/4 cup of cocoa powder or three 1 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate-melted. Those amounts are for a 3 cup batch. You can also add more cocoa powder or another melted square to adjust the color and for a richer taste. So if you need only one cup, add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder or 1 melted square of unsweetened chocolate. Then add the black icing color to tint.
      Hope that helps you.

  8. Nancy Smith says:

    I am very successful in tinting either butter cream icing or fondant red. Start by coloring it deep rose pink (Wilton gel coloring Rose) and just a little bit of red after that does the trick! You can get it very red in a short amount of time.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi, I read your comment, I tried it, its still a little pinkish. I’m trying to make a lightning McQueen (from Cars) cake for my son. I’m gonna haveto use it, but I may need to make another cake for another boy in a few months, how can I make my red true red? I put in 1 tsp Rose to 1 cup of buttercream icing. then about 1/2 tsp of no taste red color. It still has a pinkish hue. Is there any other ways to make it really red???

  9. Laura says:

    Very helpful!! thank you very much girls!! Have a good day

  10. Nancy Adams says:

    Does anyone know how long the icing color tints stay fresh and how do I store them for future use?? I know how to store any leftover tinted icing but what about the gel tint itself??

    • Verna Buchanan says:

      Do you mean the decorating gel, or the gel tints you use to color icing with? The tinted decorating gels I store like icing; the jars of gel coloring I just keep in a box in my cupboard. (Hint: I keep a paper towel folded under the jars to catch occasional drips.)

  11. Mary Gavenda says:

    Nancy,
    When properly stored and used, the Wilton Icing Colors have a 36 month shelf life. Always use a clean toothpick or spatula when dipping in the jar so you don’t contaminate the color in the jar with icing. It’s also suggested to store your colors away from light (natural and fluorescent) to prevent any fading of colors, just like you do for your tinted icings and fondant. Try to keep your jars upright in a container or box, tighten the caps, so hopefully they won’t leak. (I speak from experience on that! :)

  12. Cheryl says:

    I always freeze leftover colored buttercream frosting but I’m not sure how long it lasts in the freezer. Does anyone know?

    • Delynn Tracy says:

      Wilton (I’m an instructor) says 2 weeks in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.

      • Cheryl says:

        Thanks for your reply! I have some in the freezer that is much older than two months. Should I toss?

        • Linda says:

          I have kept it in the freezer longer… think of the decorated
          wedding cake tier that was in the freezer for a year…

          I have kept it a good 6-9mo in the freezer without any issues….
          not sure what the foodie cops would say tho :)

  13. Carmel says:

    I think as long as you use a sealed container your icing will keep just fine in the freezer. If you are like me I use it up before I make any more.

  14. Leticia says:

    Hi there, I need help with binding flowers for a wedding cake. Any tips?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Leticia,
      Do you mean taping your flowers that are on wires together or do you need help placing/ arranging your flowers on the cake?
      If you are using flowers that are wired, you hold those together using floral tape. Floral tape can be purchased at Michaels, Joann’s, WalMart or toher craft stores in your area. You have to pull the tape/ stretch it to activate the adhesive so it will stick to itself and hold the wired flowers as you arrange them. Remember, never put wires or taped wires in a cake, always use a flower spike or white plastic dowel rod to hold them, so you don’t taint your cake with wire or the adhesive tape.

  15. I problem with fanci Fountain, please help.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Karine,
      What’s the problem?
      Did you fill the bowl with enough water to make the float actually rise? If there isn’t enough water in the bowl, it will not run.

  16. I enjoyed reading all these emails regarding cake decoratings. Im a cake decorator planning to start a small bakeshop in my country, philippines. I have just found a place that is authorized by Wilton and I enrolled the Gum Paste 1 course starting this weekend. Is it necessary that I’ll enroll Advance Gum Paste course since I am an expert in making sugar flowers.pls. need your advise. thanks…God Bless!

    yolanda palugod
    Elmhurst ,new york

  17. Rachel Taylor says:

    How far in advance can I make buttercream roses for a wedding cake? Can I store them in the freezer?

    • Verna Buchanan says:

      You will have much better results making your roses out of Royal Icing instead of buttercream. The royal icing roses dry to a hard candy consistency (like the premade cake decorations you buy in the grocery store) and they last almost indefinitely if kept in a cool, dry place. I make a lot of roses at one time, and once dry I store them in layers with wax paper in between in a tightly sealed tin or plastic container. I have used them as much as a year after making, and they looked and tasted like I made them that day. The buttercream roses, by contrast, are not nearly as durable a finished product, and buttercream must be kept refrigerated.

  18. Judy Duenas says:

    I wanted to find out from anyone the has so much experience in food coloring from wilton,I bought a couple of food coloring here in are island of GUAM n I havent opened any of them since I last bought them in 2007 and I wanted to find out if they are still good because there is no expired date on any of them,I would kindly be glad if anyone can answer my question because when I called someone from there Wilton store they said it was okay but I just need a real answer from someone that is so expert in knowing there food coloring line of products.So if you can answer my question please give me a respond back.Thank you so much.

    • Verna Buchanan says:

      I have a couple of little-used paste colors I bought when I started decorating 33 years ago that I still use on occasion. I have several gel colors that are 3-4 years old that I still use routinely. If the paste colors get too thick you can thin them with a few drops of glycerine, sold by Wilton in small bottles.

      • Judy Duenas says:

        So it is okay for me to go ahead n use those food coloring that I bought since the year of 2007 n it was never open, So u are saying that it is still good for me to use them,I need to ask one more question since I bought it in the year of 2007 I can go ahead and put them in the refrigerator when am done.If you can go ahead and give me back a feed back I would kindly be glad to get a true answer.Thank you again so much.Please if you can respond back.Thank you.

        • Verna Buchanan says:

          Yes, you can use the colors bought in 2007. Even Wilton says they are good for 36 months, which is 3 years. Mine that are 4 and even 5 years old still hold true colors, and don’t appear any different or older or spoiled even now. They still look and work like new bottles. Don’t store in the fridge, just tightly cap and store upright in a box or drawer so they aren’t exposed to light.

  19. Natalie says:

    Wow! I did not know that I could freeze icing for later use! I usually pop it in the fridge, and if I haven’t used it in a few weeks, it goes down the disposal, which is really against my frugal nature! :) What is the freezer life of icing?

  20. Natalie says:

    Ooops! I just caught the earlier posts about freezer life for icing. So glad to be able to come to this great resource.

  21. I am greatful for all your ideas. I’m new at cake decorating. I enjoy doing the little I know. I get most if my ideas from Wilton literature I read. Hopefully one day I’ll have a buisness of my own.

  22. Diana Adams says:

    Hello ladies.
    Rachel Taylor wanted to know about making roses out of buttercream and freezing them. I make them and put them in a tupperware container and freeze. Have keep them for a few weeks and they are put on the cake frozen. They thaw on the cake and you never know they have been made ahead of time. Saves time and icing. To save even more, I freeze all my icing left over from cakes and cookies in tupperware. I usually put plastic wrap on the surface of the icing to keep it from drying out in the freezer. I even save it from Easter to Christmas. I usually taste each one to make sure it still has the same flavor instead of like the freezer. Usually they are fine. Hope this helps.

  23. Deanne says:

    I didn’t have a question or a tip but I enjoyed reading the ideas from you all. Now I know where to go for help. Thanks.

  24. Barbara Francis says:

    Hi Ladies, I enjoyed reading all of your comments and I have also learnt about getting my red really red. Thanks!

  25. Newbie51 says:

    I want all you ladies to know I am new at this . My wife and my Mother got me started. I come on here to get ideas and learn I cant afford the decorating classes I am only a Security Officer. But I do love to bake and decorate. I want to thank everyone on here for the ideas and I want to thank Wilton for having a sight that I can go to and learn from people with experiance.
    Nathan

  26. kmw says:

    Hello everyone, I was told that if you make buttercream frosting with crisco that you could keep it for months and that it does not need to be refrigerated, also royal icing. Does anyone do this? Thank You for your help.

    • Verna Buchanan says:

      I exclusively use Crisco in my buttercream instead of butter so it is snow white to start with, NO NO NO, it does not last indefinitely!! It does not need to be refrigerated if using within a few days or maybe even a week in cold climates, but for longer than that you definitely need a fridge. I have had some spoil after 5-6 weeks, so freezing is best for long term storage. It doesn’t mold, but the flavor turns rancid. Royal icing lasts a while in the fridge, but again, check the flavor before using. I haven’t tried freezing Royal icing, but I know decorations such as roses, once dry, last nearly forever.

      • Mary Gavenda says:

        Verna is correct. Buttercream icing will not last indefinitely. I would suggest storing a week or two in the fridge or freeze for a longer period of storage.
        Buttercream made with milk or cream, would last one week, same as your dairy product. Or freeze for future use.

        It’s not recommended to freeze Royal Icing, it will add more condensation to the icing and change the consistency.

  27. Janet says:

    When trying to make a red shirt on my Pooh shower cake, I found that starting to tint the frosting with an orange and yellow combination helped. That created a orangy red, but closer than the dark pink the red makes. Then from there I added just enough red to make it true red. And it didn’t require so much of the red coloring that gives it that awful aftertaste that normally comes with the red dye. I’ve heard of powdered dyes, but haven’t tried them yet.

    I tend to have frosting left from each cake. it stays well in the fridge for quite a while. It might get a few crusty spots. But when making the next batch needed, I toss it in with the new batch in the mixer. I like keeping the frosting cold to keep it firm especially when you’re using it for flowers and leaves you need to hold their shape.

  28. Hhilda Lopez says:

    I read your page for the first time. And I enjoying readings all the coments. I did not know that I can put the leftover frosting in the frezer. Thanks for the coments.

  29. celia says:

    hi, can some body help me please, i have ben trying to make a cake with fonfdat, but i cant get the foundat on the cake, it sticks on the rolling pin, can some body please help me with some tips! please!
    thanks so much.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Celia,
      If your fondant is on the soft side, it can stick to itself when rolled up or left on the rolling pin for a minute or two. You can help revent this by rolling the fondant on your mat that has been dusted with powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture.
      I like to lay the fondant over the rolling pin and lift, don’t roll it up, just lay it over.Set the rolling pin on the rolled out fondant in the center, don’t let it lay completely down, keep one end raised slightly, even if one end is resting on a rolled up towel. Fold one end of the fondant over the rolling pin and lift pin. Then move to the cake and you can see where it rests against the cake and carefully cover the cake with the fondant. Hope that helps.
      Good luck.

  30. Lesley says:

    Hi Mary,

    That’s a great help. I made red royal icing with the no-taste red colouring for sugar cookies. The colour looks great but the taste is still less than desirable. Is there anything I can brush on the icing to take the bitterness away? I was thinking of vanilla or another flavouring. Any suggestions you have would be helpful.

    thanks!

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Hi Lesley,
      Brushing on an extract or flavoring might cause the dried icing to bleed or create marks in the finished cookie. It’s best always to add flavoring in the icing when you make it.

      Depending on the design, can you add some granulated sugar to the top for a glittery finish on the cookies? This could sweeten the overall taste. You can apply sugar to a dried icing cookie by brushing it very lightly with piping gel.
      Good luck with your cookies!

  31. Tracey says:

    I recently purchased a fondant inprint mat, however it came without instructions. After rolling out the fondant do I inprint the fondant prior to putting on the cake, as I don’t know if the pattern would ruin and flatten when I smooth it on the cake, or do I cover the cake with fondant then press the mat into the fondant?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Tracey,
      You probably were so excited about using the imprint mat that you didn’t notice the instructions on the outside of the packaging. It’s very easy and impressive to use. Roll out your fondant about 1/8 in. thick. Carefully lift the fondant onto the mat, centering it as needed. Use your fondant smoother, firmly pressing and smoothing over the whole area. Another method – you can also lay the mat on the fondant and then firmly roll over with your rolling pin.

      Then lift the mat with the fondant (hold the fondant end at the top with the mat) and lay over your cake. Remove the mat. Now gently shape the fondant to your cake. Be careful not to stretch it out too much, as you don’t want to loose all those design lines. A few might get distorted but then that will be your back! Right!

  32. olivia connelly says:

    I bought some wilton redi-madefondant but it tasted awful! do you have any good fondant recipes? Thanks

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Sorry about that Olivia. Sometimes the Multi pack Tinted fondant packs have a strong aroma when you first open them, but we notice that it dissipates after a short time. I think it’s from packaging itself, rather than the fondant.
      Remember you can always all additional flavoring to any fondant to adjust for your taste or the flavor of the cake. I like using Almond flavoring.

      If you need a recipe to make fondant from scratch, check out our fondant recipe at http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Rolled-Fondant-1
      We also list a marshmallow fondant recipe too!
      Hopefully, that will work for you.

  33. sassy says:

    we tried, the Wilton red christmas gel, and it is still pinkish, we keep adding red, no matter how much we add, it’s still pink, what should we add?? or do?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      sassy,
      Christmas Red does start out as a nice pink color, you just have to add more color for a red shade.
      Are you trying to tint a large amount of icing? If so, you’ll need a lot of icing color. You’ll need 1/2 teaspoon of color for 1 cup of icing. Are you starting with white icing or is there some color from the shortening or butter? If so, it will even take more color. Can you let your icing set for a couple of hours or overnight to intensify? That will help. Do you have any Red-Red or Wilton No taste Red to achieve a better red?
      Don’t forget about adding a little extra flavoring if the icing gets a little bitter taste from all the color. (That happens with deep colors sometimes.)
      Good luck!

  34. Stacey says:

    I am making the Elmo cake for my daughter and I need to make a small amount of black frosting for the mouth and the eyes. I would like to make a flavored cake but it would not be compatible with chocolate frosting. Is there another way to get black frosting without having to start with a chocolate frosting base? Please help, this is my first attempt at black frosting. Thanks.

    • Kay says:

      When I make elmo cakes, I use black fondant to make the mouth. Much easier and it comes out looking great. Roll out a small piece appropriate for the size cake/design and then using a cookie cutter or soemthing similar cut out the mouth. I also use fondant for Elmos nose as well, just roll it into an oblong kind of shape. Gives the cake a nice 3D effect. You can go one step further and if you have a party supply store that sells the bloodshot halloween round eyes, buy two of them putting the printed eye part into the cake so the white only part is showing then use smal black fondant circles for inside elmos eyes. Comes out great looking.

  35. Mary Gavenda says:

    Stacey,
    If you need just a small amount of black icing, then color regular buttercream using Black Icing Color. It might take 1/8 tsp of color depending on how much icing you need. There is also black Tube Decorating Icing that is available and easy to use, especially when you need just a small amount.
    Good luck making that special Elmo Cake for your daughter!

  36. mwheel says:

    How long will unopened containers of wilton store bought icing keep. There is no expiration date. Thanks for your help.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Unopened containers that are stored properly (away from direct heat) have a shelf life of 18 months.
      There is a date code on the bottom of the container.
      The first line of numbers identifies the date the product is made.
      exp: 9321 WW
      9-being the laast digit of the year 2009
      and 321 being the 321 st day of the year. So that’s Nov 16th. The rest of the numbers refer to batch numbers.
      Hope that helps you.
      mary

  37. Stacy says:

    I am trying to color royal icing (using the Wilton recipe) red and am having no luck. It stays pink and I added more than 1/2tsp. I have Christmas Red and no taste red. Any suggestions? I need a deep red color.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Stacy,
      Deep red, as you know is a difficult color to achieve. I would suggest using RED/RED and Christmas Red. You will need a lot depending on how much icing you are making. If possible make your icing a day or two or three ahead of time, so the color intensifies. It will take a lot of color…possibly a bottle of each, but that will depend on the amount of icing. For 1 cup of red icing, it takes at least 1 teaspoon of each color.

      Christmas Red is a more pinky red, Wilton No-taste is a more muted red, not a bright as RED/Red.
      Wilton No-Taste Red is suggested for the best color and taste results when using buttercream icing. It doesn’t give as bitter taste to the icing.

      Hope that helps you. Good luck with the Red Icing…keep adding more color until you achieve your desired shade.

  38. Ayumi says:

    I would like to know if it is okay to apply red marzipan roses to a wedding cake. Will anything happenn to the icing or roses.
    Thank you in advance.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Ayumi,
      I haven’t worked that much with marzipan. But I do know that the more you work it, it gets oilier, you can knead in more powdered sugar but after a certain point it might get crumpbly.
      I’m not sure what will happen when you position a marzipan rose on buttercream icing, it might bleed into the icing. I guess the best thing to do is do a trial sample and see what happens.
      Wish I could give you more information, but I’m not experienced working with it, other than forming figures and candy pieces.

  39. Naomi says:

    I am wanting to make a wedding cake with a marzipan icing then “paint” the decorations on it. Will the food colouring decorations bleed if the cake has been frozen then thawed?

  40. Mary Gavenda says:

    Naomi,
    I have not worked with marzipan icing, so I really can’t comment on what happens to it once you freeze it. I know it has an oil residue on it from the almond paste. Not sure if the paint will run. That is something you might want to experiment with and then share the information with others, so we all can learn from you too!
    Do you have time to make a sample cake and try your technique and see what happens? Or can someone else out there with experience with marzipan icing help find a solution?

  41. Andrea says:

    I´d like to know what the expirate date for the
    “Ready-To-Use Icing Tube”. I have some, but I didn’t see the expirate date or how many years is valid.
    Thanks a lot.
    Andrea

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Andrea,
      The production date code is found in the crimped area at the bottom of the tube, usually on the backside of that area.
      The first two digits represent the year, such as 09 meaning 2009.
      The next three digits are the day of the year by the Juliian calendar, such as 249 translates to Aug.29. and that last Letter or number refers to the batch code.
      The tube icing, unopened is good for 24 months as long as stored properly in a cool dry place.
      Hope that helps you.

  42. lita says:

    Hi all,

    I would like to know what is the best icing to put over a chocolate mousse cake for my wedding. I have read how to make red icing which will come in handy over white to make it look like it is bleeding. I want a sweet nice tasting icing. Also need to know how to make hard fang teeth to put into the cake.

  43. Mary Gavenda says:

    Hi Lita,
    Sounds like you’re having a Halloween Theme Wedding Cake, at least I hope soo with hard fang teeth!
    For the hard fang teeth, that”s an easy one. Just pipe the teeth in white Candy Melts on waxed paper, chill to firm them and then insert them into your cooled- baked cake.
    As for the best icing to over a chocolate mousse cake, my choice would be a chocolate ganache. The more chocolate- the better!
    First you ice your cake in buttercream and then you cover your cake with chocolate ganache. If chocolate icing doesn’t work with your color scheme, you can check out our icing recipes on the website.
    http://www.wilton.com/recipes/browse.cfm?cat=Icing

    Just keep in mind if your adding other things to the icing for that special haunting look, you want an icing that can take the weight of additional icing treatments. If your icing is good tasting, such as our Extra Special Buttercream Icing made with whipping cream (using 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening version), it’s a softer icing that won’t hold up well with additional weight put on it.

    As for the bleeding look, you can also add some red piping gel for a bloody effect too!
    What ever you decide, have a fun, exciting wedding!

  44. Since I am new to cake decorating, I bought kits from Wilton and in one book Beautiful Gum Paste Flowers there is this tube 1 and royal icing as one of the things that I will need . What does this mean, the food color ? Thank you .

  45. Mary Gavenda says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Cake Decorating!
    In the Gum Paste Book where it states tube 1, that was the old term for what we now call tips. So that would be a Tip 1 used to pull out stamens on a flower or possibly dots, using Royal Icing.
    This is the icing that will dry hard. It’s often used for icing flowers and various decorations, such as on a Gingerbread House.
    We have the recipe on our website
    http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Royal-Icing
    Good luck and Have fun with your decorating!

  46. DIANE KAVANAGH says:

    I cannot get my buttercream icing to go red red no matter what I do..HELP HELP SOMEONE PLEASE . I have tried the white white colour to lighten the buttercream, but it still turns out pink. My grandson was not impressed with the pink rocket let me tell you. Also where do you get the chrisco stuff some people talk about to make the buttercream icing.
    Diane Kavanagh

  47. Mary Gavenda says:

    Diane,
    Sorry you had problems with red and your grandson’s rocket cake.
    Crisco is a brand name of pure vegetable shortening. If you don’t have that brand in your area, any pure vegetable shortening will work.
    You mentioned using white-white in your buttercream icing. Is you icing off white/ light yellow to start? If you use pure vegetable shortening which is white, it’s easier to color it than using margarine or butter that contains yellow food dye in it. The flavor is better with butter. try using 3/4 cup shortening and 1/4 cup butter for your base.
    When you color your icing, you do have use a lot of Red-Red and Christmas Red to achieve the deep tones.Depeniding on the amount of icing needed, it might take a 1 oz jar or more to achieve your shade of red. Color just the amount of icing you need and it helps to color it a day or two in advance, so the icing can intesify in color the longer it sits.
    You can also purchase a tube of Decorator Red Icing and not worry about coloring it. You can also make the icing as close to red as you can and sprinkle the rocket with red colored sugar, giving it the red color and extra sparkle to it.
    Red is probably the toughest color to achieve.

  48. Ciarra Ciccone says:

    I always have problems with red. However, every now and then I have found the big tub of wilton pre-made icing already tinted red at walmart. It was a life saver. And even if you dont need that much at the moment, you can freeze it and it keeps for some time. Of course with the holidays now, you’re going to use it sooner than you think. Happy decorating!

  49. Tonya says:

    I’ve been having problems getting darker colors with fondant. All the reds I tried turned out pink and the fondant was getting sticky and wouldn’t take anymore color. I also had a hard time getting purple, which turned out lavender and black, which would only get to gray and dark brown, which was tan. Any tips on getting darker richer colors with fondant?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Tonya,
      Sounds like you need to add more icing color to achieve the darker tones.I’ve had to make large amounts of red fondant and know that it will take a few jars of Red-Red or Christmas Red to get the deep color. If the fondant gets sticky, as it will, add a little powdered sugar.
      If you need a small amount of red fondant, try using the Multi Pack Primary Colored fondant. It’s a bright red but only 4oz. Sometimes I start with that and add more fondant to increse the amount. Then add color as needed.
      For purple fondant, there is a Multi-pack for Neon Colors, which purple is included. But if you need a large amount or don’t have the multi-packs, use Violet icing color, mix in Rose and possibly Royal Blue to achieve the tone you are looking for. Don’t forget that keepign the fondant exposed to lighting for a length of time can bleach out the colors.
      There is Black fondant in the Natural Multi-pack too.
      But maybe other decorators will have more suggestions.
      Good luck to you and thanks everyone for their helpful hints!

  50. Robbin Higbee says:

    Thanks for all the great tips!! I knew to start with chocolate to make a good black, but I now know how to get a good red color!!!

  51. Diana says:

    In response to questions about powdered red color. I use this all the time and have great success with beautiful red color and no bitter taste. This sure is a lot better than gels or paste. This works great for black also and no bitter taste : )
    P.S. love all your information

    • Carol says:

      I agree…The powdered colors are the best because they also don’t thin your icing out… :-D

    • Alefiyah Master says:

      During my course 1 Wilton course, our instructor gave us a great tip for getting true reds or true blacks – just add some cocoa powder. It’ll deepen the reds and darken the blacks. I’ve used this for both colors and it works great!

      • Redd Weiss says:

        Hi, I’m making Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream Icing and my problem is I want to make the maple buttercream icing, red. Right now it’s a light brown color, due to adding maple syrup to it-how do I make it red? I’m trying to make the cupcakes into actual apples but need red icing to do so. Any suggestions??

        • Mary Gavenda says:

          Redd,
          Sounds delicious! With Fall around the corner, they should be a hit! A flavor that goes with the season-apple picking time!
          I would suggest just adding Christmas Red Icing color to your icing. This is a brighter red and you’re starting with a muted base color because of the Maple Syrup color. You will need to add enough color to make it red. It possibly will not be as bright as using Christmas red starting with a whte icing base, but it should work (You could use No-Taste Red but that color is not as bright as Christmas Red.) . Keep in mind, youll need to adjust any liquid the recipe calls for or it might be too runny. Maybe you’re already using the Maple Syrup for the liquid called for in the recipe.

      • Camille Boccio-Martinez says:

        I’ve added cocoa many times and along with a great deep color it tastes great!

  52. Farzana says:

    I made Cars cake for my son’s 5th birthday and I needed the deep red color for my icing. So I did exactly what you said. Made my icing and let it sit for 2 days and got the color I needed. It works better that way.

  53. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wilton, Tierelantaart.nl. Tierelantaart.nl said: WiltonCakes Need help making red icing for your Christmas cookies or other holiday treats?Our blog post can help http://s.wilton.com/eGyrNW [...]

  54. Melissa says:

    I was trying to make red icing last night and was going to go online and find out how to get a good red and opened up Facebook and there it was!! I am going to try it tonight & I sure hope it works!!! Thanks!!!

  55. Sherry says:

    I usually start with several tubes of the Ready to Use red tube icing and tghen add more butterdream icing and red color. It gives a better base to get your red color (I also do this with the black colors)

  56. nabila says:

    How can i colour fondant black using your regular gel icing colours and make sure there won’t be a bitter taste at all?

    • Rnburnsy says:

      I have made black fondant a few times, and the best way is to make chocolate fondant and then add black food coloring to that. If you try to make black fondant with just food coloring, you can end up destroying the fondant from all of the food coloring. I normally make marshmallow fondant, and add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder to my powdered sugar. Once that is done being mixed I add in my black food coloring, to the appropriate color. Good Luck!

      • Miranda says:

        I just made some black marshmello fondant and got a true black ny adding the color to the melted marshmello before I added the sugar!!! :)

    • tina says:

      I make marshmallow fondant and anytime i need a dark color (red, black, blue) I add the no taste gel food coloring to the melted marshmallows until i get the shade I need. After I’m done mixing the fondant, i wrap it up tight and let it set overnight. you will get a true shade and no bitterness. if it’s not dark enough, you can always work in a little more color.

  57. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wilton, Cakemania.nl. Cakemania.nl said: RT @WiltonCakes: Having trouble getting red icing red? Read how our decorators get the best results. http://s.wilton.com/id2cIQ [...]

  58. nathalie says:

    what colours do i mix to get gold?

  59. Jynenne Salcido says:

    In comment to the post on how to make red, I found an easier way to make red and don’t have to use so much red….I start off with regular buttercream icing (white) and add hot pink to it…make sure it’s hot pink not pale pink or neon….then add red to it and you’ll see that it doesn’t take much…I use the gel and have never had the problem of my icing having a bitter taste.

  60. Nicole says:

    For dark reds depending on shard you can start with chocolate frosting. The darker the frosting the darker the red. You can also use a smidgen of Wilton’s black gel colorant to darken it up. Just remember the more color you use the more it stains the mouth and teeth…especially alot of red will. Delectable decorating to all!!

  61. I just love to see what is new in cake decorating.

  62. Erica says:

    Another way to get red with out tons of food coloring gels is to use Marichino Cherry juice as your liquid when you make buttercream to start. It will then take less red gel to get a nice deep red. It will give it a cherry taste, so you might want to reserve it for decorations instead of covering the whole cake that way unless you are after the cherry flavor of course!

  63. Tara says:

    I color white icing orange then add the red. It doesn’t have to be a bright orange either for it to work.

  64. barbie says:

    and how can get th black?

  65. Margie says:

    Let me get this correct…..I cannot use butter (which has some tint of yellow) if I am going to get RED icing. I will need to make the icing just using white crisco, confectioners sugar, clear extract and the wilton icing gel. Is this right? How will it taste with just crisco and not butter incorporated?
    thanks for any info on this.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Margie,

      I always use white crisco. Just add Wilton’s clear butter extract when you add your vanilla flavor. I do this because most parties leave cakes sitting out all day and sometimes the butter melts, especially if it’s a warm day. The butter extract tastes like real butter and no one will know the difference. Good luck!

    • Denise says:

      You can use butter to make your butter cream if you choose however you need to beat (or whip it) for at least 10 minutes before you add anything to it. Butter turns white after a while of beating. I found this out when i was making whipped shortbread for a Christmas potluck. Also if you can find it you can use white margerine for butter cream icing. It gives a nice flavor as well. Myself i do not like the taste of the butter cream made with Crisco. Even when i add a flavor.

      • JoAnn says:

        I use butter in my icing as well and I havent had a problem with my red. I do use the 2 reds combined and it always comes out well, especially the fondant. One is the Christmas red, but the other one not sure if its red red or no taste red. one of the 2 always smells like “hose water” to me so I use the other.

        I look for butters that are light in color, so when I mix it, it gets even ligher. Cabot brand is my favorite to work with, but it is very yellow in the winter months. In the summer it is very light. (I went on the Cabot tour when I was in vT and I mentioned it to them. They said that during the winter months, the cow are fed corn which results in the yellow color and during the summer months they are grass fed, resulting in the lighter color) I never use margarine, it will make the icing crackly when it crusts.

    • Catherine says:

      It has a great taste, I use just Crisco all the time and my buttercream frosting tastes great but I use the clear vanilla and butter extracts. You can get the buttercream frosting at the wilton.com website I believe good luck.

  66. Christine says:

    Oh and you will also achieve a bright white buttercream using the clear butter extract.

  67. monica says:

    i live in peru, i buy this icing colors and i cant have a red color, its everything but not red. can you help me?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Monica, are you putting in enough icing color for the amount of icing you need to achieve? You need to add at least 1/2 teaspoon of color per cup of icing. If you batch of icing yields 3 cups, then you need at least 1 1/2 teaspoons of color to achieve the desired color.
      If you end up with a pink color, then you just need to add more.
      Is your icing white when you make it or is it an off an off-white color? If there is butter which gives you a yellowish-off white icing, then the colors will not be as true to achieve because of the color from the butter.

  68. Laura says:

    I decorate cakes also and have found out that if you add a little bit of clear gel icing it will intensify the color too. It doesn’t take much. Actually if you add too much, it will change the consistently too much. But it does work wonders. It will also help to make neon colors much brighter.

  69. hadeel hassan says:

    Idecorate cakes and Ibuy difrent kindes of butter but ites still yellow and Icant have red colores its alwayes pink . can you help plese

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      IT’s difficult to achieve a true color when you start out with a yellow base color from your butter. You will have to use a lot of icing color bot the reds and possibly adding blue to it to help get rid of the yellow. It’s going to be a trial and error process.
      If you can, why not try using all vegetable shortening in place of butter, or do half of each. Half butter and half shortening will give you a little base color to start with. If you can use all shortening, then you will start with a white base icing and you will achieve better coloring results.

  70. DecoratorJen says:

    Why don’t you sell colors like black and red in larger sizes? I’d buy them. (I also buy the tubes if I don’t need much black or red.)

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll pass on your comment to the Product Manager for icing colors. You never know what can happen! It does make sense when you use so much color to achieve deep intenese colors.

  71. anila says:

    i have Q, how can we get dark red colour in swiss meringue icing?

  72. Sharon's Edible Art says:

    I was making a frozen buttercream transfer and trying to color my buttercream (made with real butter-no Crisco) brown. The more gel coloring I added, the more the buttercream started to separate and look bubbly and nasty. The same for the red. Should I have used cocoa powder for the brown? Seems lighter colors did fine, but the dark started to separate. Solutions?

  73. Marie says:

    If you add a lot of die it will work

  74. cara says:

    i love using the Wilton color mist food color… (the spray) just decorate all the red parts white then spray all with the red sometimes needs 2 coats but it beats mixing.

  75. Mary Gavenda says:

    Thanks to everyone for their great suggestions to help Sharon.
    Sharon,
    When using buttercream icing with all butter, the butter base doesn’t take well to colors. The more stirring with a mixer will break it down too as it heats up the butter; mix it by hand with a spatula. That was the problem you were experiencing with both red and brown gel colors,because of the all butter base. If you can use a 50/50 base, half butter with half pure vegetable shortening, it will give your icing more body, which will take the color much better, producing better results.
    You could use cocoa powder in the buttercream for brown/chocolate icing. The cocoa powder will thicken up the buttercream.
    Can you enhance your buttercream transfer by brushing it with Color Dust or Pearl Dust colors or Colored Piping Gel once it’s on the cake and before it starts to thaw?
    If I had to do a buttercream transfer where you don’t need a large amount of colors, I would save time by using the Decorating Tube Icings, especially for the Red color.

  76. Cynthia Walker says:

    My red seems to run all over the cake. It looks good initially and then the by the next day it has run. Is there a trick to red icing or am I just not doing it correctly. I’ve tried already made red but not home made buttercream. Does that make the difference?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Hi Cynthia, sorry for not getting back to you sooner, had a little time off.
      Sounds like you’re using red icing as an accent on a cake. Is you base icing or is your red icing very soft, with a lot of moisture to it. (it doesn’t form a light crust) If this is the case, it could be the cause of the red icing to bleed. If you stiffen your red icing or the base icing with powdered sugar so it’s not so moist, it will help.
      Let your iced cake set to lightly crust before adding the red icing accents.
      If you refrigerate your cake, that will add moisture, from the condensation, to the cake too.
      I don’t think it will make a difference whether you use Ready Made Red icing or home made buttercream. If you make homemade Red icing, it will take a lot of color to achieve a deep red; adding a lot of color thins down your icing and you’ll just have to thicken it up again, bringing it back to a medium to stiff constitancy, depending on what you are doing.

  77. DJ says:

    Granddaughter wants to have cupcakes that look like red mushrooms. Like Mario game. This is for a wedding! So if there is red icing, the photos may have the bride, groom, and guests with a bright red tongue and red teeth. (Red is the color for the icing on cupcakes.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      DJ,
      That’s a tough one to answer. There is red icing; we have Decorating Icing in a Tube. We’d need many tubes to decorate cupcakes for a wedding. To make your buttercream red, follow the suggestions above but make your icing ahead of time so it has time to deepen.
      You’re correct about the red tongues and Teeth, something a lot of people doen’t think about until it’s too late. Can you do only some of the cupcakes in red for the red mushrooms and leave others with a red fondant mushroom decoration? Or how abut icing the cupcakes in white buttercream and then covering them in red fondant, however you plan on decorating them. We do carry Red Fondant in 24oz Ready to Use packages! That could be a big time and smile saving way to go.

  78. Forkable says:

    [...] Red food color for icing [...]

  79. Susan says:

    Can you freeze the “flood” icing? I had tons leftover and felt bad throwing it away.

  80. Mary Gavenda says:

    Susan,
    I’m not sure about this one-freezing thinned down color flow icing.We’ve kept to for a length of time, one-two weeks without a problem. It will probably separate, so then you just stir it to thouroughly mix it, bringing it back to the right consistency.
    But for freezing, we have not done that. Not sure how it will react. If you have some icing to space, gIve it a try and see if it works.If you do, let me know so I can share your results with others.
    Or maybe another decorator has the correct answer already and will respond too!

  81. Mavis says:

    Could i mix red koolaid crystals in with my white icing? Would rhat work?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Mavis,
      I’ve never tried adding drink mix to icing. I would think that there isn’t enough red color in to to make a batch of icing red. It will also add more sweetness to the icing but if it’s for children, they would probably love it!
      If anyone has tried this before, can you share your results?

  82. queen says:

    how can i make my icing really red, with whip cream frosting

  83. Mary Gavenda says:

    Morning Queen,
    Whip Cream frosting is great tasting but to color it, you can only achieve more pastel colors. The more color you add will break down the consistency of the whipped cream. The fat content in the cream will not accept the coloring.
    Wish I knew of a solution for you, can you add red accents in another icing or gel?
    Any decorator out there have a helpful hint/solution for red whipped cream that you’d like to share?

  84. Anne says:

    I have used Wilton paste coloring for years…it’s the best! I wondered what the dye is that makes the red red. I am allergic to carmine (aka cochineal) and so hesitate to use much red until I know. Thanks

    • Carla says:

      Anne
      Wilton Red icing color is colored using a series of FDA certified colors. There is no carmine or cochineal extract in any of the Wilton red icing colors.

  85. Jennifer says:

    When I use red, I go with the Wilton Red decorating icing tubes. I do have a few problems with this product though. First, the tube is SO thick and hard, that it really hurts my hands to keep squeezing it! Second, there are lots of air bubbles when squeezing the tube, so it doesn’t always allow for a smooth, consistent line. Third, it dries very differently than the rest of my frostings – almost brittle. I’d like to squeeze it out and use in a regular frosting bag, but am a little hesitant to try.

    Any suggestions?
    …how would I store it if I do that?

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      HI Jennifer,
      Using the Red Decorator Icing in the tubes makes it easy to achieve a deep red color without any work. If you are planning on using all the icing in the tube at once (which I’ve done before) I cut off the bottom of the tube to release the icing. Put it in a small bowl and stir to the consistency that works best for me. If the icing has been opened before and has dried out a bit, you can add a drop or two of water to bring it back to the consistency easier to pipe with. Then you can use a decorating bag and tip to pipe as needed. If you don’t use it all, then bag it up in a self closing bag or a small air tight container for storage.
      A lot of times, we only need a small amount of red icing for so detail work on a cake, so a tube of icing can go a long way.
      Good luck decorating!

  86. kay says:

    I read online that if you mix a small amount of violet color into your buttercream icing, that will change the color to white, so you would be starting out with a white icing to make red instead of yellow. I haven’t tried this method but it sounds reasonable.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Kay,
      I’m not familiar with adding violet to make an icing white, never heard of it or tried it, so I really can’t comment on it.
      If you start with a white shortening base (pure vegetable shortening) for your icing, you do end up with more true colors.
      If you use butter, which has a little yellow dye added to most brands, then you do start with a creamier very very soft yellow base icing. We have a product called White-White Icing Color to help achieve a white color icing.
      If you do try the violet color technique, let me know how it works. Or if someone else is familiar with it, please share your results.
      Thanks.

  87. martha Sanchez says:

    yo he utilizado el color naranja primero y despues rojo y me funciona para el glaseado de mantequilla, pero con solo crisco y saborizante de mantequilla , para el chantilli en una ocasion use color verde en polvo que es para pintar bebidas y me funciono y creo que tambien podria funcionar en rojo voy a intentarlo despues les comento.
    voy hacer 100 cupcakes de elmo todo rojo como saben y por eso lei todas las notas para ver sus comentarios que son muy interesantes ya que asi se evita desperdiciar materiales; creo que lo de usar kool-aid suena razonable voy hacer la prueba con una receta.

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Here’s martha’s translation:
      I have used the orange color first and then the red and it works for buttercream icing, but only with Crisco and butter flavoring. For Chantilly on one occasion I used green powder color that is for coloring drinks and it worked. I think it could also work in red. I will try and then comment afterwards.
      I am making 100 Elmo cupcakes, all red as you know and that is why I read all the notes to see your comments, which are very interesting and let’s see if this way I can manage to avoid wasting supplies. I think the idea of using Kool-Aid sounds reasonable and I will try it out with a recipe

  88. blanca says:

    Hi am trying to make Mario mushroom using icing how can I make the icing stick to the marshmallows thank you

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Blanca,

      If you are putting icing on a marshmallow make sure it’s not stiff consistency or too dry. With all the cornstarch that marshmallows are coated with, you need icing to be soft so it will attach. You can brush some of the cornstarch off the marshmallow before you start.
      You can also coat marshmallows with melted Candy Melts. This will help the marshmallow to stay soft inside and not dry out.
      I’m not familiar with Mario Mushroom, is it a project on our website or a Character you are trying to create.

  89. coco says:

    to make it red, can i use liquid food color (not gel or paste) to color italian meringue buttercream? thanks!

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      From my experience, When tinting Italian Meringue buttercream, it will not produce deep colors of icing because of the all butter base. You will only be able to achieve pastel colors.
      If anyone else has any suggestions, can you please share them.
      thanks.

  90. Lisa A. says:

    I knew to get a solid black color to start with chocolate icing. Can’t remember who gave me that tip. Didn’t know how to get a good red, though. Thanks for the info! I like the tip of using kool-aid powder, but since it’s unsweetened, wouldn’t the icing have a bitter taste? Or does the sugar in the icing take care of that issue?

  91. Cookie says:

    If you can get away with using chocolate buttercream, start with that for black, red, and brown. It helps cut the bitter taste as well. Since this IS a Wilton site, I won’t discuss other gel products, but Wilton needs to look into their competitors reds and black. They don’t impact the taste at all.

  92. Jane Volmering says:

    I will be working with 4-H members so all the tips are really helpful . I used the tip on making the color red with the cocoa it works well.

  93. Kristen says:

    I just tested this out because I, like many here, had a hard time getting red rather a hot pink. I tested out the red-red and my no taste rest based on the rations given and they both worked! I love this tip because my friends have asked for cupcakes with themes such as cars and I could not get that red, now I can the sky is the limit.

  94. Natalie says:

    Kristen- (and anyone else reading this)
    Did you use cocoa powder as well to achieve the deep red colour?
    Can someone tell me the ratios?
    I have no taste red only and need to make a tall 10″ red rose cake
    Will ice in white vanilla buttercream first and then pipe the roses on top.
    If I use 1tsp of no taste red per 1 cup of buttercream would that work or do I need to use the RED RED colour too?
    Will I get a better red from the chocolate (brown) buttercream?
    Also concerned about the red tinted teeth and tongue. Can this be avoided at all and if not how long does the stained look last? LOL

  95. Mary Gavenda says:

    Natalie,
    You should be able to get a red icing using 1 teaspoon of icing color to one cup of buttercream icing. It is best to use a white base icing rather one that has yellow tint in it from butter.
    Haven’t tried the chocolate base suggestion but I would suggest sifting cocoa powder first before adding to your icing.
    If you eventually get Red-Red, it would be a little brighter red than No-Taste Red.
    As far as how long icing color tint remains on someone’s teeth or tongue, would depend on what they are eating or drinking. It might be different with each person. Just ask that whoever serves the cake, if possible, remove the flowers before serving. Most people might just pass on the red roses for eating, they’ll go right to the cake to enjoy.

  96. Michelle Figueroa says:

    i have a question how do you get black royal icing would i do the same as what are in the blogs just like butter cream frosting???

    • Mary Gavenda says:

      Michelle,
      For black royal icing, I just use the black icing color to achieve it. You’ll need more icing color to achieve black, possibly 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of color to 1 cup of icing. So start with 1/2 teaspoon, mix it in and if it looks close to the color let it set for maybe 5 to 10 minutes. If a darker shade is needed, just add more.
      We use it so much here in the Decorating Room and haven’t had a problem with it. Never tried to make it with other combinations such as suggested for buttercream icing.
      With buttercream, I definitely start with a rich chocolate icing for taste and ease of achieving black.

      Hope that helps. If anyone has any other suggestions, hope you share them too!

      • Mary Gavenda says:

        Forgot….
        If the icing starts getting softer because of the amount of color, add possibly 1/2 teaspoon of meringue powder and an additional teaspoon or two of powdered sugar to stiffen it back up to the consistency needed for your project.

  97. Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to
    my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to
    her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

  98. […] Wilton red icing color (not food dye) for a deep red hue (I used food dye and got a pink cake, as seen in the photos!) […]

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