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Primary color buttercream

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I need some advice. How do you make buttercream icing into the primary colors like bright red and royal blue and most importantly purple! I have been doing cakes for a couple of years, and I have yet to master coloring the buttercream! With red it always comes out a muddy looking burgandy, with blue, I am usually close, but with purple, it looks more like a shade of blue. Any suggestions other than simply buying it colored, I will welcome!
Mom to three just getting started in cake decorating.
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Mom to three just getting started in cake decorating.
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post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakinhoney1980

How do you make buttercream icing into the primary colors like bright red and royal blue and most importantly purple!



Purple isn't a primary color, but to get vivid colors you just need to use a lot of coloring (or let it rest overnight for it to darken). Pinks tend to fade (especially under fluorescent lighting) and purples tend to turn more blue as the pink/red portion from within starts to fade out. I've read that adding a small amount of milk to purple buttercream helps to prevent it from fading.
post #3 of 6
It sounds to me that the gel colors you are using aren't good &/or not using enough. AmeriColor is a great brand. Wilton isn't so good.
As an example for primary colors you need to add about 1/4 teaspoon of the gel/paste to 1 cup of icing. No, I've never actually measured how much but it certainly is not a tip of the toothpick amount that is usually recommended icon_smile.gif
Another option - if you can tollorate(sp?)*flavored icing* after adding some gel/paste color, add about 1/4 tsp UNsweetened KoolAid powder. If you do, you definately have to let it 'mellow' overnight (or similar amount of time - I usually put it in the frig). When ready to use there might be dark specks throughout the icing - just give it a good stir, they will dissapear and it will be fine
post #4 of 6
I am with the OPer. I struggle with red more than any other color. I use Americolor for most of my coloring but I do use Wilton's red because of the "no taste" factor. I read a post on here that said you need as much as 1oz. of color per cup of icing to get it vibrant. That is a whole lot of food coloring! I just did cupcakes this weekend and the client wanted them red. I saturated the icing with a jar and a half of red food gel and let it set overnight and it was still pretty coral the next morning. I ended up airbrushing red on them and they were perfect. Wish there was a better solution.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the tips, I do realize that Purple was not a primary color from past Art Classes, but thanks anyway for pointing that out.

I guess I have had the idea that you use the toothpick method to keep adding in the coloring. I think I am going to have to adjust this method.

Thanks to all of you for the tips.
Mom to three just getting started in cake decorating.
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Mom to three just getting started in cake decorating.
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post #6 of 6
I use Americolor and have never had any issue with fading or dull colors. I made red and blue frosting for 4th of July and they didn't fade at all. I use Americolor Super Red and haven't experienced any bitterness. Just add the coloring and let it rest. I definitely use more than "the tip of a toothpick"
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