How to Make Dark Colored Icing – Making Red, Black, and Dark Blue

Making dark colored icing can be a little tricky. If you’ve tried, you’ve probably ran into the same problems most do.

The most common problem is that the color is simply not dark enough. Have you ever tried to make red, but it only looks pink? Then, to try to make it darker you add more and more food color. Makes sense right? Next thing you know the consistency of your icing has changed. So you give it a little taste and yuck! It now tastes bitter and disgusting. Does this sound familiar?

Are you frustrated yet? I am worn out just talking about it. Well, there is an easier way to make dark colored icing!

Let’s start with making red.

How to make Red

What you will need:

-red paste or gel concentrated food color

-red powder food color

-toothpick

The first thing we want to do is make our frosting a nice pink color. To do this use the red paste or gel coloring. Dip a clean toothpick into the color, or just squeeze a small amount if using gel in a tube or bottle. Now, mix in the color.

The goal is to get a nice medium (not too light, not too dark) shade of pink. Just add the color a little at a time and mix until you reach a nice medium shade of pink.

Next, we are going to use the red powder color. Sprinkle the red powder into your frosting a little at a time and mix it in. You will notice it getting darker. Add the powder color until the icing starts to look red. Set it on the counter and walk away for about 10 minutes. When you come back, it will have darkened to a nice shade of red.

How to make Black

What you will need:

-black paste or gel concentrated food coloring

-black powder color

-toothpick

There are two easy ways to make black.

The first is using chocolate frosting. Simply add your black paste or gel food coloring to the chocolate. Since it is already dark, it will not take much color to make it black.

Not everyone likes or wants to use chocolate though. The second method uses white or buttercream frosting to make black. It is exactly the same as making the red.

You want to first make your icing a nice shade of gray. Using the black paste or gel food coloring, mix in small amounts of color until you reach a medium shade of gray. Dip a clean toothpick into the color, or squeeze out a small amount if using gel in a tube or bottle.

Next, add the black powder color a few sprinkles at a time and mix it in until it starts to look black. Walk away for about 10 minutes and it will be dark black when you return.

How to make Dark Blue

What you will need:

-royal blue paste or gel concentrated food coloring

-blue powder color

-toothpick

When making dark blue it is best to start with royal blue paste or gel as your base. There are several shades of blue available, but royal blue produces the best results.

Dip your toothpick in the food color, or squeeze a small amount from the tube or bottle if using gel. Mix it in. Add color until you reach a nice “true” blue color. True blue to me is like the blue on the American flag, a nice medium shade of blue.

Now, sprinkle the powder color in a little at a time and mix it in until the icing starts getting darker. Set it to the side and come back in ten minutes. It will darken as it sits.

If you are trying to make navy blue, add a very small touch of black paste or gel color. When I say very small I mean literally just a touch of it. This will deepen it enough to make it a dark navy blue.

Use the paste/gel food color and powder food color combination to make all of your dark colored icing. It will save you a lot of time and frustration.