I always have trouble making red icing or frosting. I use the Wilton color right food dyes and it still come out like a very very dark pink. And by then I feel like I’ve used half the bottle of food coloring. Does anyone have any tips for making red? 

Original Post

I agree with @Econlady when it comes to letting the icing sit so that the color can develop. I've left my icing to sit for several days and the colour become quite dark. That said, I've never used the color right food dyes, but their charts do show that a lot of drops are needed to make a deep red colour. Have you tried using Americolor or Wilton gels?

Kimbercakes posted:

I always have trouble making red icing or frosting. I use the Wilton color right food dyes and it still come out like a very very dark pink. And by then I feel like I’ve used half the bottle of food coloring. Does anyone have any tips for making red? 

Yeah, don't use Wilton - it doesn't color as intensely as AmeriColor or Chefmaster. Some people let the tinted icing sit overnight to intensify, but I don't ever do this. I just tint to a shade or two less than I want, knowing that reds darken a lot when they dry.

Julia M. Usher posted:
Kimbercakes posted:

I always have trouble making red icing or frosting. I use the Wilton color right food dyes and it still come out like a very very dark pink. And by then I feel like I’ve used half the bottle of food coloring. Does anyone have any tips for making red? 

Yeah, don't use Wilton - it doesn't color as intensely as AmeriColor or Chefmaster. Some people let the tinted icing sit overnight to intensify, but I don't ever do this. I just tint to a shade or two less than I want, knowing that reds darken a lot when they dry.

I admit that only let it sit for a little while, but a newbie needs to let it sit and learn how it will intensify.

I have to admit that here are always very interesting topics and "problems" !!
I do it, if possible, like Econlady and Sweet Prodigy. Even so that the color really dissolves without residue.
My tip for the dark pink: just add a little yellow and let it stand overnight. Then at least it shouldn't look pink anymore. ... or ask Teri @Teri Pringle Wood, she always has very nice deep red tones, I find.

Sweet Prodigy posted:

I agree with @Econlady when it comes to letting the icing sit so that the color can develop. I've left my icing to sit for several days and the colour become quite dark. That said, I've never used the color right food dyes, but their charts do show that a lot of drops are needed to make a deep red colour. Have you tried using Americolor or Wilton gels?

Yes, I’ve used the gels before, but I didn’t like them. To me, it’s hard to get the color out of the pod. I prefer to be able to just drop the color in. But I will try Americolor. I’ve used that brand before, but not for red. I’ve read somewhere about someone using powdered food coloring?? Have you heard of this?

Kimbercakes posted:
Sweet Prodigy posted:

I agree with @Econlady when it comes to letting the icing sit so that the color can develop. I've left my icing to sit for several days and the colour become quite dark. That said, I've never used the color right food dyes, but their charts do show that a lot of drops are needed to make a deep red colour. Have you tried using Americolor or Wilton gels?

Yes, I’ve used the gels before, but I didn’t like them. To me, it’s hard to get the color out of the pod. I prefer to be able to just drop the color in. But I will try Americolor. I’ve used that brand before, but not for red. I’ve read somewhere about someone using powdered food coloring?? Have you heard of this?

I don't know of too many (any) people using powdered food coloring for royal icing. (It's more often used in chocolate, because water-based colorings like the brands/types we're talking about can cause chocolate to seize.) Powdered colorings should work in royal icing (they may take more stirring to dissolve), but both AmeriColor and Chefmaster liqua-gels (both have dropper tops) create a very concentrated red color. I don't think most cookiers have needed to look beyond these forms/brands.

Kimbercakes posted:
Sweet Prodigy posted:

I agree with Econlady when it comes to letting the icing sit so that the color can develop. I've left my icing to sit for several days and the colour become quite dark. That said, I've never used the color right food dyes, but their charts do show that a lot of drops are needed to make a deep red colour. Have you tried using Americolor or Wilton gels?

Yes, I’ve used the gels before, but I didn’t like them. To me, it’s hard to get the color out of the pod. I prefer to be able to just drop the color in. But I will try Americolor. I’ve used that brand before, but not for red. I’ve read somewhere about someone using powdered food coloring?? Have you heard of this?

I have not tried the powders, but I would say to give the AmeriColor or Chefmaster a try first. I have used both brand's super red and love the deep color that it produces.

@Kimbercakes I have tried the powder food coloring specially for red and it works great. You need to hydrate the poder before adding to the royal icing but it requires very little liquid to hydrate (a little spray from a spray bottle is enough). I switched from Wilton to Chefmaster and the red is really red, not pink. I use gel food coloring. The colors are more vibrant and I can control the consistency of the royal icing much better. If I need soft colors, I add little amounts with a toothpick. Letting it develop is also important. A couple of hours at least works best for me. Red, black and dark blue are probably all in the same category. They need time to develop and they will darken when they dry. 

I used to color with either food coloring powder or liquid coloring. (Back then you had to take what you got ...) For me, too, the color powders were very color-intensive, but often also had unsightly particles (even if they had previously been dissolved). And we have other brands here.

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IcingsugarkeksSweet Prodigy
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