How to Mix Food Coloring to Create Beautiful Desserts


If you've ever made a rainbow cake, Halloween-themed rice crispy treats or true-to-life geode cupcakes, then you know how important color is in baking. However, to create vibrant and precise hues for all of your creations, you have to know exactly the right ratios and colors to mix. Whether you want to dye your whipped cream frosting or your vanilla cake batter — or something else entirely — we've got everything you need to take your imagination to another colorful level.

Black is for Bat Cookies and Bumblebee Cakes

Creating a truly deep black color can be an elusive feat — it can be too easy to end up with some variation of gross brownish grey. Here's how to make a perfect shiny black color for all of your Halloween treats, from spiders to skeletons to ghosts.

Thalia Ho

Green is for Nature-Themed Cakes

When you can get green food coloring right, it can be the most useful food coloring of all. There are so many verdant shades in nature, and you can emulate them depending on your treat. Making a scenery cake with grass and leaves? One deep green and one standard green, please. Get every shade right with this tutorial on how to make green food coloring.

Thalia Ho

Brown is for Cake Pops and Animal Paws

Brown, similar to black, is very hard to get right: if you're not careful, then you may end up with a very unappetizing color. Learn how to make brown food coloring so that you can come up with a range of shades, from warm beige to soft cappuccino. It'll be perfect for cookie dough cake pops or the paws of a sweet kitten.

Thalia Ho

Lavender is for Sugar Cookies and Floral Designs

Lavender suggests calm, making it perfect for bridal shower treats and other delicate desserts. Learn how to make lavender food coloring, and then smooth it over sugar cookies shaped like blossoming flowers.

Thalia Ho

Turquoise is for Birthday and Anniversary Treats

Turquoise, like lavender, conjures a certain emotion: this time, it's all about feelings of growth and renewal. If you're celebrating a birthday, a promotion or an anniversary, make turquoise food coloring to go atop a celebratory cake.

Thalia Ho

Orange is for Everything Pumpkin, Of Course

Pumpkin desserts are popular in autumn, as you know, and making orange food coloring will help you turn everything from cookies to cupcakes to pancakes into the "it" shade of the season. By the time winter rolls around, you'll be a pro.

Thalia Ho

Purple is for Pops of Fun

In keeping with Halloween, purple is a great shade to use for monsters or witch's hats when you're decorating a cake. And after the holiday, add purple to your baked goods for exciting pops of color — it works on everything from butterfly wings to galaxy designs. Learn how to make a few different shades of purple food coloring for when your desserts need a little something extra.

Thalia Ho

Pink is for Hearts and Roses

From pastel pink to dark fuchsia, making the right hue of pink food coloring is important whether you're making heart-shaped cookies or rosebud cupcakes. Get it right the next time you want to impress a certain someone!

Thalia Ho