Create a rainbow of icing and cake colours from soft pastels to vivid brights with Queen Food Colour Gels and Liquids. Here are the recipes for our favourite colours along with our tips for achieving perfect results. Happy mixing!

Our tinting recipes below are made with Queen Food Colour Gel in one cup of prepared buttercream. For recipes that have a lot of drops, you may like to measure by spoon.

¼ tsp Queen Gel Colour = 40 drops Queen Gel Colour = 1 tsp Queen Liquid Colour

1 tube Queen Gel Colour = 2 ¾ tsp


Squeezing Drops

When dropping Queen Food Colour Gels from the tube, gently touch gel onto icing to help the drop break off.

Achieving the Perfect Colour

After preparing icing, divide between two bowls and set one bowl aside. Add Food Colour Gel to one bowl to create coloured icing. If you add too much colour, add some spare icing to lighten the icing to your desired shade.

Liquid or Gel? What’s the difference?

The liquid and gel colours give different levels of colour intensity. Queen Food Colour Gels are concentrated, so you need to less to achieve vibrant colours and won’t thin your icing or batter with unnecessary liquid.

Colour Intensity

The intensity of food colours is influenced by many things. Colours will deepen in buttercream icing as it dries, while it will lighten in royal icing as it dries. Some acidic ingredients, such as lemon juice and cream of tartar will cause colours to change as well. Black Food Colour Gel develops over time so it’s best to let your icing sit for a few minutes to allow it to reach full intensity. If you’d like to make jet black icing, we recommend making buttercream or cream cheese icing, not swiss meringue buttercream. Because the icing base is stark white from the egg whites in swiss meringue buttercream, it requires a significant amount of colour gel which could interfere with the structure of the icing. Visit our Black Recipe Collection for jet black icing recipes.


Queen Food Colours are water-soluble, so if colour stains your hands, it will come off with a few round of washing in warm, soapy water.


Comments & Reviews

Does the colour chart translate to cake batter? Im making a rainbow cake and am wondering if using a cup of batter (instead of a cup of icing) to these colour recipes will work. Or will i need to add more as the cake batter (vanilla) will be a little darker than a cream or white icing. Thanks!


Hi Crystal, this can vary depending on the type of cake batter you use. For example a more acidic recipe with sour cream or buttermilk may alter the colours. As we haven’t tested it, we can’t be 100% sure – we would recommend starting with the ratios listed in the colour chart and then building up from there. Keep a bowl of plain cake batter on hand to lighten the shades just in case you go too dark!

Queen Fine Foods

Hey, these number of drops are valid for gel colors or liquid colors? and does the result differ between whipped cream and buttercream? i am going to use whipped cream.


Hi Tahreem, the chart below uses our Queen Gel Colours in one cup of prepared buttercream. The colour intensity will be very similar between whipped cream and buttercream, however keep in mind that whipped cream is whiter to begin with so it may effect the shade slightly. Let us know if you have any other questions! Happy baking 🙂

Queen Fine Foods

Hi there,
How much icing was used in these examples?


Hi Emily, thanks for getting in touch. Our colour recipes are made in one cup of prepared buttercream. Regards, The Queen Team