When it comes to colourings, the cakey world has A LOT of options. From dusts to gels, it can be overwhelming when you’re starting out! So, with the help of our friend Sarah from @bake.works, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to food colourings for cake decorating!
Whatever your project, there’s a perfect product just waiting to be discovered. From pops of bright, bold colour to pretty pastels, the sky’s the limit!
Already a pro? We see you! You can shop our entire range of colourings here.
Before we dive in, it’s worth noting. These products can all be used with a range of ingredients, from buttercream and ganache, to sugarpaste and modelling paste. What “works best” is what works best for you. Every cake maker has their own personal preference! So play around with different options until you find your favourite combinations.
Dust Food Colourings
One of the most versatile options is a trusty dust colour. These pigmented powders are perfect for colouring sugar flowers or models, and adding pops of colour to dry ingredients such as marzipan or sugarpaste.
But make no mistake – they’re not just for dusting! Mix or knead into pastes, batters, buttercream and icings, adding a little at a time until you reach your desired shade. Here, Sarah shows how beautifully this Carolina Blue Dust from Fractal Colors works in white chocolate or candy melts.
Dusts can also be used as an edible paint – simply add rejuvenator spirit, lemon juice or clear alcohol (such as vodka) and mix well.
Click here to see how easily Sarah colours her white chocolate with this dust.
Shop our collection of dust food colourings from Fractal Colors, Sugarflair, Roxy & Rich, Ingenious Edibles and more.
Gel Food Colourings
Keen to make your vibrant shades as vivid as possible? A highly concentrated gel or paste colour is what you need!
From sugarpaste, royal icing and marzipan, to modelling paste, frostings and even piping gel, these colours pack a punch! They are seriously cost effective too – start with just a tiny drop, you’ll be surprised how far it goes! To deepen the colour add a little more at a time using a cocktail stick, and mix thoroughly.
Shop our collection of paste and gel food colourings from Fractal Colors, Sugarflair, Magic Colours, Rainbow Dust, Wilton and more.
Oil Based Food Colourings
Adding colour to a cakey ingredient with a high fat content, like buttercream or ganache? Oil based food colourings are your best friend!
Because water repels oils, using a colour with oils instead helps to achieve really intense and consistent colour payoff. The colour will be vibrant and less likely to fade. While high fat content ingredients are what these colours are specially designed for, you can also use them in other products like flower or modelling paste, royal icing, piping gel, marzipan and more.
Here, Sarah used the famous Colour Mill oil based colour in Orange. Again, simply add a couple of drops at a time and mix thoroughly, building until you reach your desired shade.
Watch Sarah work the Colour Mill magic on her buttercream in this video here.
Shop our collection of oil based food colourings from Colour Mill and Sugarflair.
Looking to add a beautiful shine to your creations? That’s where lustre dusts come in. These beautiful pigments make a stunning finishing touch. Simply dust/brush on to your cake tiers, cupcake toppers or candies to add an eye catching shimmer.
These dusts can add a subtle or a bold shine depending on what the project calls for – just add more as you go to intensify. Make sure to work on or over a clean plate, buffing the dust in circles; that way you can collect any excess to use on the next section/item! Or, like the earlier dusts, mix with alcohol or rejuvenator spirit to create a paint.
Shop our collection of lustre dusts from Faye Cahill, Sugarflair, Roxy & Rich, Fractal Colors, Rainbow Dust and more.
So there you have it! Our guide to food colourings for cake decorating. We hope you found that useful and would love to hear what some of your favourite colours are! Drop us a comment below, and don’t forget to follow us (and Sarah!) over on instagram.
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