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Topic: why can't I make bright red icing!?
a_twist_of_cake 06/27/2010 7:11 AM
Okay, so I tried making RED RED icing a few times now and it always turns out pink! Even when I have added a fair amount of food colour gel :( My mom told me that she read somewhere to put a little black in the icing first then add red.....I tried that and my icing STILL looked pink!! I ended up adding like 3 jars of red colour to about 6 cups of icing......I had to use it as I had no time to retry making the icing. The icing seemed very.....melty. I haven't been able to smooth the cake because the icing just won't crust over at all. I left it in the fridge over night and I'm gonna try and get it done this morning. The party that we're going to is at 11:30 this morning. I feel so disappointed with this cake :( It still looks okay but I know it would look WAY better if I hadn't had such trouble with the icing. PLEASE HELP!!

MARIE J 06/27/2010 7:27 AM
Red is one of the harder colors to make for some reason !!

Try making a hot pink first - I use the Wilton Rose color, then add red !! Good luck Remember also, that the true color of the icing doesn't show for a couple of hours !!
MARIE J 06/27/2010 7:28 AM
ooh - one more thing, using that much red coloring may change the flavor of your icing as well !! (sorry )
a_twist_of_cake 06/27/2010 5:39 PM
Thanks Mariej.....The colour ended up turning red and the cake still tasted okay :o) I mostly used the Wilton Red (no taste) stuff :o) Next time I will try the hot pink then adding the red
markerMEcrazy 06/28/2010 6:20 PM
I was in a cute little cake supply shop here in Seattle, and oddly enough, the owner explained her technique to me. She told me what you need to do to the icing will vary depending on the recipe you use, but that it will darken 3-5 shades. So if you don't like the color, let it sit over night, then deal with it in the morning. As far as products to use, she suggested using powdered icing dye, which can be hard to find (She stocks it, so I'm sure a cake shop near you has it.) Or to spray it. As for the flavor of the icing, to get rid of the bitter flavor, and the tiniest bit of flavoring to compliment the cake, not so much to where you are like "WOAH! That's cherry frosting!" but just enough to make it not bitter. I have to make red icing next week, so I havn't put any of these techniques to work yet, but this woman is a walking cake decorating encyclopedia and has never given me bad info. I hope this helps!
heartsnsync 06/28/2010 7:41 PM
As many will tell you, if you use very much of it to achieve your color deep colors can be off in taste and change your icing consistency. One way I have found to overcome this is the "color and wait overnight" method, as MarkerMEcrazy said. Another, is if there is to be a lot of one of those colors dark colors (like red on a Spiderman or Elmo cake) I frost my cake with a less intense color of butter cream and then let it crust and add a lighter coat of the intensely colored butter cream. I have even put an intense color of butter cream over top of a white coat and if the intense color is a bit thinner it just flows right over. So, when you are done no one gets very red, black, dark green, purple, bright blue, or etc. teeth.
mmumsie 06/28/2010 9:53 PM
Read here.
brooke0809 06/29/2010 8:28 PM
Generally I use a combination of the red no-taste and the red-red. But I start with either a yellow or an orange buttercream first. It seems to help set the icing up better for the red coloring. Lately I started using AmeriColor soft gel paste coloring in super red. It works fantastic and doesn't take too much and leave a bad taste. Good luck!
*SweetBee* 06/30/2010 6:06 PM
I read a tip about making red-red icing online and tried it for an elmo cake I made a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic! It didn't taste bitter in any way. I made my frosting then started out by adding Wilton red-red color paste, then waited five minutes, then came back and added some Wilton no-taste red coloring, then waited 5 minutes, then came back and added more Wilton red-red paste, then continued doing this until it darkened to a very dark reddish-pink. Then I let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I came back and checked the color and it was perfect! I would let it sit in the refrigerator though inbetween adding coloring because mine started to get a little melty looking and never quite fully recovered.
butterflib420 03/01/2012 5:09 PM
help! i am using wilton red color gel with regular pillsbury classic white icing and it is so bitter! i tried using clear vanilla extract and it didn't work but made my icing pink now. i sat it in the refrigerator hoping this will help change the color ? i need to make 200 cupcakes and decorate and ice them all before the end of this evening.
chianti 03/01/2012 5:24 PM
did you read the above tips? let it sit overnite and deal with it in the a.m. try adding more p.s. and or extract to get rid of bitter taste.
butterflib420 03/01/2012 5:27 PM
i cant wait till the morning and yes i read all the tips about refrigerator and the vanilla extract
kaallen 03/01/2012 8:39 PM
The last cake that I made with all red icing was a struggle. I usually try to keep the red icing already made at Wal Mart but had ran out and they were too. I had made it up early and added so much dye that I was afraid it would be nasty. I used the Americolor Super Red, lots of Wilton no taste red, and Wilton Red Red. I finally decided that I had added enough before I crossed the line and decided that the little girl would just have to have a pink lady bug instead of red. Then somehow magically while I was putting the stars on the icing in the bag and the icing going on the cake was pink and then the next thing I knew it was bright red. My husband and I were amazed and decided that evidently the icing coming into contact with the air must have worked.
whoknew? 03/01/2012 9:06 PM
(just a note: this original thread was started in 2010)

This morning I colored 4-1/2 quarts of icing red for an upcoming cake show. (I was working with a woman who has a cake decorating school.) We used 4 Wilton red gel and quite a bit of Americolor red. It was still dark pink. Hopefully, it will deepen tomorrow. (We just went with the way it was because it is for a KupKake Korner for kids.)

This illustrated AGAIN that it is almost impossible to get a true RED that performs well and tastes good. My advice to anyone who needs large quantities of red (or black), BUY IT THAT WAY.

BlackWidowNor 03/01/2012 9:51 PM
I've actually had to make full batches of butter cream stop sign red. I went and bought a four ounce squeeze bottle of Americolor's Super Red. It works much better than Wilton's gel paste No Taste Red and I didn't need as much of it. This was for a baby shower cake - they wanted BLUE cake and the filling RED icing. It was a nightmare.

When it comes to the darker colors (red, deep blue, etc) I try to make containers of it with extra butter cream so I have the stuff on hand.
Spooky_789 03/02/2012 2:40 PM
I agree, Nor, the Americolor Super Red works really well to get a nice red icing. I used it last night when I was making my marshmallow fondant, and I've got a nice red MMF resting on my countertop right now, waiting for me to roll it out tomorrow when I stack my cakes.