In our earlier post of "Cake Ideas – the First Steps," we talked about the frosting. Decorator icing can be mixed up several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. It will also keep for several weeks in the fridge, as there is nothing in it to spoil. It's best to get it out the night before using it so that it is room temperature. If you have not mixed up your colors before baking the cake, now is the time to do so in order to begin decorating cakes. We personally use the paste food colors that are put out by Wilton. They have many colors available. When we first started decorating cakes, all they had were the basic colors of blue, green, red, and yellow, with maybe a few popularly requested ones. So sometimes it was very hard to get the desired color with just trial and error. Now they carry variations of the basic colors, including: Ivory, Daffodil Yellow, Buttercup Yellow, Golden Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Copper, Creamy Peach, Rose Petal Pink, Terra Cotta, Orange, Red-Red, Christmas Red, Red (no taste), Rose, Burgundy, Pink, Violet, Delphinium Blue, Cornflower Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Teal, Kelly Green, Leaf Green, Moss Green, Juniper Green, Brown, and Black. Wow – no more trial and error on those colors! We did however, run across a chart that gave some colors and what it takes to make those. We want to share this for others who have struggled to come up with a certain color.

  • Aqua – 5 parts Sky Blue, 1 part Leaf Green
  • Avocado – use Moss Green
  • Chocolate Brown – add a small amount of Golden Yellow to Brown icing
  • Dark Brown – add Brown; with buttercream icings, you get best results when cocoa or melted chocolate pieces are used before adding Brown color.
  • Chartreuse – 9 parts Lemon Yellow, 1 part Leaf Green
  • Flesh – Add just an extermely small touch of Copper to White icing
  • Antique Gold – Add just an extrememly small touch of Leaf Green to Lemon Yellow icing
  • Warm Gold – Add just a touch of Red-Red to Lemon Yellow icing
  • Gray – Add just a touch of Black to White icing
  • Lavendar – 6 parts Pink, 1 part Violet
  • Navy Blue – Mix in a large amount of Royal Blue until a deep blue is achieved, then add a very small amount of Black
  • Peach – Mix equal parts of Lemon Yellow and Pink
  • Raspberry – Mix equal parts of Pink and Red-Red; use enough color to get a rather deep effect
  • Red – Add Pink until a hot pink color is reached; then add Christmas Red or Red-Red until desired shade is achieved
  • Rust – Mix enough Orange until a bright orange is obtained; add Christmas Red until color is dark; then add a very small amount of Royal Blue
  • Salmon – Add an extremely small touch of Orange to Pink icing
  • Silver – It is not advised to simulate silver color in icing; instead, add silver leaves or other silver accessories to the cake
  • Turquoise – 9 1/2 parts Sky Blue, 1/2 part Lemon Yellow

You will obtain the best results when coloring frosting if you use the white or original Crisco for your icing. We like the butter flavored Crisco because of the flavor, but it tints the icing a yellow shade which can in turn alter what you are trying to achieve in your color. So instead, we use a small amount of butter flavoring when we mix up the icing. This way the frosting stays white, but we get the wonderful butter flavor. Remember that color will put the finishing touch to your decorated cakes.

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