Why Food Colour Gels Rule the Baker’s Kitchen!

Have you ever made a rainbow cake that looked bright and fabulous going into the oven, only to come out a little sad, brown and faded after baking? Well, we’re here to explain the importance of the type of food colour you use and help you achieve bold and colourful cakes and treats. Read on to find out more and you’ll never bake a faded cake again!

Liquid Colour or Gel Colour, what’s the difference?

Queen has both a liquid food colour range and a gel food colour range, each with their own benefits in the kitchen.

Queen Food Colour Gels are concentrated meaning you need less to achieve a bold, vibrant colour. The introduction of gel food colours was celebrated by home bakers everywhere as they make a huge difference in colourful cakes and icings and achieve colour intensity on a whole new level! Unlike liquid food colours, gel food colours bring brilliance and clarity of colour without the addition of a lot of unnecessary liquid. Only a few drops of gel colour will give you a the same, or better result than a teaspoon of liquid colour. They’re perfect for any recipe where the chemical make-up of the mix is important – think macarons, confectionery, and frostings – too much liquid would cause serious havoc here, so gels are the best option.

Queen Liquid Food Colours, also known as traditional food colourings, are water-based and work well for most purposes where a pastel shade is desired. If you try to achieve an intense colour with liquid, you would need to add a lot of colour, which can negatively impact the consistency of the recipe.


More Black, less Grey  

The one area where traditionally even gel food colours struggled, was black. Anyone who has tried to make a Thomas the Tank Engine cake (and there are a lot of us) has run into this problem. And with the popularity of black and space-inspired cakes, thanks to movies like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy, it was a real sticking point for a lot of bakers. Not anymore! We have recently launched Queen Black Food Colour Gel, which is approximately twice the colour intensity of our Black Liquid Food Colouring, and will give you deep, jet black that is non-negotiable for galaxy and sharp black details.

When using our black gel, it’s important to understand that the depth of colour is influenced by the medium it’s mixed in. It’s easy to achieve jet black buttercream, but anything with stark white egg whites, such as swiss meringue buttercream, will be more difficult. Some acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or cream of tartar will cause the colour to change as well. Finally, be patient – our black gel develops over time so it’s best to let your icing or batter sit for a few minutes to allow it to reach full intensity.

You can find our Black Food Colour Gel along with our full range of colours at your local Woolworths supermarket. Thomas doesn’t have to be grey anymore!




All the Colours of the Rainbow

The other serious boon for lovers of baking is food colour gels for rainbow cakes! Not only do gel colours create beautiful colours the entire spectrum of the rainbow, they also result is less browning at the edges of your cakes, meaning less trimming and cleaner edges – just what you want under a blanket of bright white frosting.




Food Colour Mixing Chart

We’ve mixed up our favourite array of colours using Queen Food Colour Gels and created an easy Food Colour Mixing Chart so you never forget how to make that perfect shade of turquoise. Each tinting recipe is for one cup of prepared buttercream and can be multiplied to make as much buttercream as you like. To achieve the perfect shade, divide your icing between two bowls and only add colour to one bowl. If you accidently add too much, you can lighten the colour with your spare icing. Click on the image below to view our Food Colour Mixing Chart.


Let your imagination run wild!

Food colour gels are the painter’s palette of the kitchen – they can take you anywhere your imagination can dream up. We hope this article gives you the tools your creativity deserves and allows you to take your baking to into a new realm of fun and colour! If you need any inspiration, check out our collection of jet black recipes and colourful rainbow recipes. Here’s a few to get you going!




Rainbow Stripe Cookies




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