Color My World

Color is a pretty difficult thing to explain.  I think in a lot of ways it’s in the eye of the beholder…sometimes subtle differences are huge depending on who’s looking.

Using experience and a handy color chart from a veteran cake decorator, I tried to put together a little guide to refer to while mixing icing colors.

Keep in mind the sample colors might not be EXACT, but they are a general idea.  {Its VERY hard to make mauve on the computer}

Overall, it’s handy and can lead you in the right direction if you get totally lost.

Here are a few of my most asked about colors:
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My favorite purple to use is equal parts regal purple {or violet} and electric purple to brighten it up =)
My favorite green is a mixture of leaf green and egg yolk yellow, I’d say 3 parts leaf green+1 part egg yolk yellow
And my favorite pink is a mixture of tulip red and deep pink.  I am not sure about actual amounts, just don’t go overboard!
A little note? about red.  I ONLY use tulip red.  Most reds taste icky.  However Witlon makes a no-taste Red.  I used to think this was my only option, but by chance I learned that tulip red shade of other brands, is a no-taste red.  HOWEVER, take note: Depending on brand, tulip red can vary in shade.  I’ve found that Americolor tends to be a little more orange-y than the CK brand…so if you would like the color to be a little richer of a red, I’d suggest CK.  I almost exclusively use the Americolor only for the reason that it comes in 13.5 ounce bottles, BUT I like them all =)
Another tip for red icing.  No matter what shade you decide to use, make it a few days ahead of time.  Reds, browns, blacks, and purples tend to develop significantly in a day or so.  It will save you a lot of color, and some possible weird icing issues to use less and wait!
Also, don’t waste icing!  Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember how I made a color because I use what I call the “Preschool Method”.

It all goes back to simple colors.  Yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange, you get the idea.  If I need green, I begin with any leftover colors I have, and alter it from there.

For example, if I have leftover blue, I add a little yellow.  If have have leftover blue and yellow, I mix them.  I try never to waste anymore than I have to.

I also have a list of favorite colors that I cannot live without. I pretty much exclusively use Americolor.  Here they are:

  • Tulip Red
  • Deep Pink
  • Orange
  • Egg yolk, Lemon, and Electric Yellow
  • Leaf Green and Avocado
  • Royal, Sky, Electric and Navy Blue
  • Turquoise
  • Regal and Electric Purple
  • Violet
  • Super Black
  • Deep and Electric Pink
  • Warm and Chocolate Brown
  • Ivory
If you still have trouble, there are colorwheels availiable for purchase from most cookie and cake decorating supply stores.
Normally, I would wait until I could perfect this until I posted, but I think it’s helpfulness outweighs the UGLY.
Please forgive my primative illustrations.  I am an unlikely blogger who’s having to learn all of the computer skills that I missed in high school! 
My mom who was also my computer teacher, was always on my case about not listening  in class, and now I am PAYING for it!
I plan on tweaking this as soon as Mom comes over to help me, LOL.  I’ll also get her to make it into a printable chart. I hope this is helpful!

*A few I forgot…My favorite lime green {used as an accent on the daisies above} is electric green with one drop of electric blue and Tiffany blue is 3 parts royal blue+1 part leaf green.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Nikki @ The Sweetest Thing says:

    Thank you SO much for this post!! Being a relatively new cookie decorator, I am always trying ot create my colors based on what's in my head, with no real recipe. Luckily, I have a pretty good understanding of color and color mixing thanks to an extensive background in chemistry and physics and a long time love of all things art-related. I too use the "preschool" method and tyr to avoid ever throwing out any colors, so I especially like your method for making black!

  2. 2
    Kim says:

    GENIUS!!! Thank you :)

  3. 3
    Amalia says:

    LOVE these tips! Thanks so much for sharing! Also I have a question… I recently made lady bug cookies like yours…what is the trick to keep the black dots from bleeding into the red. Do you do it wet on wet…or let the red dry a bit then add the black spots?

  4. 4
    Renee says:

    Thank you for this color guide. It’s so helpful. I needed Tiffany blue, your last mention in this post. It worked perfectly.

  5. 5
    Gina Sumner says:

    This is wonderful! Thank you!

  6. 6
    cheryl s. says:

    Thanks so much for this color mixing information. I was looking for a Tiffany Blue shade using America Colors. Would you know how to achieve that color?
    Thanks so much.