The shades on our Food Colour Mixing Chart are made with Queen Food Colour Gels in our go-to Basic Buttercream recipe. For recipes that have larger ratios, you may find it easier to measure with a spoon.
Approx. ¼ tsp Queen Gel Colour = 40 drops Queen Gel Colour = 1 tsp Queen Liquid Colour
1 tube Queen Gel Colour = approx. 2 ¾ tsp
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.
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.