Tips on using food color

Color is a significant aspect when it comes to making food look attractive. It influences one’s appetite and choice of food. Food color can either be natural or synthetic, and it comes in powder form, liquid, gel, or paste-like. As much as people like using it, it can turn out to be disastrous, completely different from the desired results if not used well. Here are a few tips that can help you when using food color.

Use natural light

When using food color, it is better to use natural light. That means mixing the colors during the day. The use of artificial light tends to add a dull or yellowish color to a mixture. You might be going for a green color, and then you find it is more of a shade of blue during the day.

Start small

When mixing food color, always start by adding a little as you go. Adding color is much easier than removing it. You may find yourself in a situation where your mixture is too bright or too darker than what you intended forcing you to start over again.

Remember, color develops over time

Over time, food color gets darker. So it is better to let your mixture rest for at least 10 minutes after adding food color. If it is not what you want, then you can continue adding the food color. If you are mixing icing for a cake, stop a shade or two before your desired color and let it rest for a few minutes before checking whether you need to add more.

Know the difference between the different forms of food color.

In the market, we have powdered, liquid, gel, and natural coloring. While they all can achieve the same results, it is better to know which one is suitable depending on where you want to use them. Natural coloring is best for anyone who is avoiding artificial colorants. You can learn more about natural colors at When adding colors to batters, go for gel or paste coloring. They are thick and therefore do not mess with your mixture’s consistency. Liquid coloring is suitable for juices due to its watery form.

You can add color without using food color

If you are not up to using food color, whether natural or artificial, you can go for something different. Beetroot is ideal for making red velvet cake instead of getting red food color. Pomegranate juice can be used when you want that pinkish-red hue in whatever you are making. However, keep in mind that pomegranate and beetroot have flavors of their own, and they are only appropriate if you do not mind the additional flavor.

Learn mixing techniques

If you are a baker, you need to learn a few mixing techniques to help you decorate. You may find yourself in a position where the color you want is not available; knowing which colors to mix to get it will be helpful. You can mix blue and yellow to get green, red and blue to get purple, or red and yellow to get orange.

Keep in mind the materials and ingredients you are using

Batters with buttercream and eggs already have a yellow hue in them. So consider that when you are adding food color in them. You can eliminate the egg yolks also when making the cream so that you avoid the yellow color.