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So take a look at the terrible bleeding in the picture. I've tried everything to stop this problem. In the example, the eyes were wet on wet, so I kind of expected some bleeding from the black into the white (although I'd love to know how to fix this), but then the eyes were left to set for 24 hours before the orange nose was done. After the nose was added I put the cookies in a dehydrator for 15-20 minutes and then left them out to set again. The picture you see is the cookie two days after the nose was added. I'm so embarrassed with these. All the icing was the same consistency; I always add white food coloring to my base icing before anything else; I felt like I gave them ample time to set and dry AND used a dehydrator! What else can I do to prevent this???


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Last edited by Julia M. Usher
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Hi, it's me again - this time for real. The above is an automated message!  Welcome to the site; I really hope you enjoy it!

Many people have asked very similar questions about bleeding here before, so please do search the forums before starting threads on similar topics. We try to avoid redundant topics whenever possible. The Advanced Search function under the magnifying glass icon at the upper right of this site is super powerful; I've copied a link below to what came up when I searched just the forums for the word "bleeding". Do check out some of these posts; I'm sure they'll be helpful.

In the meantime, you did bring up a new thought here, which I think merits separate discussion and that is the one of adding white food coloring (to prevent bleeding??). I've actually found that adding white food coloring delays the drying of icing (perhaps this has something to do with all of the titanium dioxide in it), in some cases quite a long time. So I suspect that contributed to the bleeding. The longer the icing takes to set, the greater the risk of bleeding. I simply work with icings as thick as possible for the task at hand (again, the thicker the icing to start, the faster it dries) and I rarely get much, if any, bleeding even with brown and black next to white icing (with no additional white coloring in it).

Hope this helps a bit. And, again, please do search for related posts next time, and check out all of these:


Last edited by Julia M. Usher

Hm, if we rule out the possibility that aliens entered your kitchen and caused this bleeding with their anti-icing-rays... I'd go with Julia and vote for the white color you have added.

But it could also be the other colors. What brand/s do you use? Or maybe the reason is the powdered sugar? The only times I have experienced color bleed was when I used the cheap powdered sugar. It is more corse / not as finely ground and I have the feeling that those large sugar crystals don't only clog tips, but also result in less color stability. But I could be wrong, of course

You add white coloring to all of your icing or just to the icing that will be white?  I've never had any bleeding problems when I use white dye, but if you're adding it to the orange, aside from seeming unnecessary (and expensive), you'll have to add more orange coloring to achieve a vibrant color.  Maybe that's why it's bleeding (if I'm understanding your process).  Either way, you could try dying your icing a couple hours in advance so that you need as little color as possible.  That's what I do when I'm worried about bleeding.

For me it is the consistency of the icing.  If I put a flood next to a thick or dry icing I have bleed.  I recently made cookies with brown, red, black, white and green and no bleed.  I let the icing dry 20-30 minutes before adding the next color next to it.  

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