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Discussion Forum

Topic: liquid vs paste food coloring conversion
bharrelson63 12/04/2008 9:08 AM
I will be making a Red Velvet Cake this weekend and, for the first time, will be using a paste food coloring instead of the liquid. Can anyone tell me a reliable conversion ratio "rule of thumb" so I still get the correct amount of color in the mixture? In other words, for a teaspoon (just an example) of liquid food coloring, how much paste should be used instead? Half as much? One third as much?

Also, the coloring I purchased said it is for paste food coloring for icing. Is that suitable for use in a cake batter? Thank you to anyone who can help me!!
hpjmom 12/04/2008 8:37 PM
I'm not sure using paste colors will work the same as using the liquid food color. The liquid food color adds liquid & I think a little bit of oil to the cake & the paste will not.
bharrelson63 12/05/2008 8:40 AM
You're right, the paste will not add liquid to the cake batter. In this case, that's a good thing. I want to add pigment to the cake batter without too much extra liquid to dilute the consistency. My only challenge is this: the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of liquid food coloring, but I don't know how much paste food coloring the achieve equivalent color in the cake. I need some sort of formula to ensure I get the correct ratio. If anyone can help, that will be great. Otherwise, I'll be forging ahead to figure it out myself when I bake the cake this weekend.
Jeanne G 12/05/2008 9:10 AM
Personally, I agree with hpjmom. The paste color is very concentrated and also can impart a bitter flavor if used in quantity. If you are using a red velvet cake recipe it counts on the liquid of the color.

I would simply buy a bottle of red food coloring at the grocery store and make the recipe as directed. I'd save my more expensive paste for decorating.