In the center are the primary colors – Red, Yellow, and Blue. From these, all others are made.
In the inner ring are secondary colors – orange, green, violet, made by mixing equal amounts of primary colors. Mix red and yellow for orange, mix red and blue for violet, and mix blue and yellow for green.
In the outer ring are the tertiary colors – achieved by mixing varying amounts of one primary color with the adjacent primary. Mix a large amount of red with a small amount of blue and you will get a red-violet color. Do the opposite for blue-violet. Increase or decrease amounts form many hues in between.
White is an absence of color and black is a collection of the three primary colors in intense form.
|Black||Because it takes such a strong concentration of color to produce black, it is easier to buy black color. Mixing black color IS possible, but you need to use very strong paste colors and a LOT of it which makes the recipe bitter. A pinch of salt will help with the bitterness, but the only way to get a good strong black is with a LOT of color, especially when using gel color. Be careful with black. It will stain just about anything it touches. |
Use white icing with a combination of royal blue, red, orange and lemon. Or, start with a dark brown color or chocolate icing (made with melted chocolate and/or black or Dutch process cocoa) and add black. I Just keep adding more black color SLOWLY until you reach your desired color. Remember colors darken as they sit.
For small amounts of black icing (for piping buttons, dots, etc) you can just add enough black food coloring to your white icing to create black
|Brown||To make brown, mix red and green gel or paste color or melt unsweetened chocolate or use cocoa powder and mix it into your white icing. Brown color occasionally has a green overtone to it which occurs with the presence of acid in the icing; lemon juice or cream of tartar, so omit. Also dissolving brown color in 1/4 teaspoon water before adding to icing will eliminate the green tone.|
|Red||Making dark red icing can be a challenge. Make your icing a day ahead of time. That dark pink icing will darken over time and turn into the red you need if you give it 24 hours.|
|Purple||If using purple color for buttercream icing make sure there is milk added for the liquid. You’ll find your icing won’t fade blue as it crusts.|
|Pastels||add 2 parts of white icing to 1 part of any colored icing|
|Apricot||2 Orange + 1 Golden Yellow|
|Aqua||5 Sky Blue + 1 Leaf Green|
|Avocado||4 Lemon Yellow + 1 Leaf Green + touch of black|
|Burgundy||5 Rose Pink + 1 Violet|
|Chartreuse||5 Lemon Yellow + 1 Leaf Green|
|Rust||8 Orange + 2 Red + 1 Brown|
|Copper||1 Golden Yellow + 1 Brown + 1 Xmas-Red|
|Hunter Green||Kelly Green + small amount of black|
|Coral||3 Rose Pink + 2 Lemon Yellow|
|Lavender||5 Pink + 1 Violet|
|Black||Mix left over color icing together, then add black skin tone – Use a small amount of copper|
|Silver (Gray)||1 Black + 1 Blue|
|Turquoise||6 Sky Blue + 1 Lemon Yellow|
|Teal||9 Sky Blue + small amount of Lemon Yellow|
|Dusty Rose||5 Rose Pink + 1 Violet|
|Mauve||5 Rose Pink + 2 Orange + 2 Red + 2 Black|
|Plum||1 Violet + a touch of Christmas Red|
|Gold||10 Lemon Yellow + 3 Orange + 1 Red|
|Maroon||4 Red Red + 2 Burgundy|
|Ivory||Use ivory paste|
|Moss Green||2 Violet + 3 Lemon Yellow|
|Navy Blue||1 Sky Blue + 1 Violet|
|Grape||1 Sky Blue + 6 Rose Pink|
|Raspberry||3 Rose Pink + 1 Christmas Red|
|Ruby Red||1 Red Red + 1 touch black|
To keep the color consistent on the cake, mix enough of any one icing color for the entire cake. It is difficult to match the same shade of color again.
When icing is colored deep red, a bitter aftertaste may be detected. Wilton No-Taste Red should be used when a large portion of red coloring is used on the cake, such as for flowers and borders. Wilton No-Taste Red does not contain red 3 which causes the bitter taste.
When white buttercream is tinted dark black, it also can have a bitter taste. Instead add black paste food color to dark chocolate icing.
Lemon juice or cream of tartar can cause colors to change, for example, violet will become blue. If the recipe has one of these ingredients in it, omit it. In addition, water can cause color changes depending upon your geographical area. If buttercream icing is made with water, replace some of the water with milk or milk powder.
Brown color occasionally has a green overtone to it. This usually occurs with the presence of acid in the icing, such as lemon juice or cream of tartar. Omit the acid if tinting icing brown. Dissolving brown color in 1/4 teaspoon water before adding to icing will eliminate the green tone.
Lukewarm water should be used first to spot stained color. Rinse thoroughly, allow to dry. If color is still visible use a commercial cleaner on the garment, carpet, upholstery, etc. In the case of a color that has Red 3 as an ingredient use an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice to soak the stain first. Continue with lukewarm water and allow to dry before using a commercial cleaner.