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What To Consider When Using Liquid Food Coloring To Dye Buttercream

brightly colored cupcakes
brightly colored cupcakes - LauriPatterson/Getty Images

Before you add drops of liquid food coloring to your carefully crafted buttercream frosting, like Tasting Table's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, there are a few things you should know before turning to this standard option for dyeing desserts. While it may seem like an easy solution for adding a pop of color to your frosting, you might not get the results you want -- depending on the final look you are striving for.

The biggest issue is water. Liquid food coloring is, well, liquid -- meaning you can't use much of it without potentially turning your buttercream into a soupy mess. Because liquid food coloring is primarily water-based, the water and butter, the base of buttercream frosting, don't interact well. The water in liquid food coloring can cause your buttercream to become thin and runny, throwing off the texture and consistency you've worked so hard to achieve -- or even cause it to curdle. And even if you do add plenty of coloring, the resulting color will be softer and more pastel than the vibrant hues you might be aiming for.

Read more: 25 Best Ice Cream Brands Ranked

Use Gel Food Coloring For Vibrant Colors

ombre pink frosting
ombre pink frosting - Mtreasure/Getty Images

So, what's a baker to do? If you're after brightly colored buttercream that holds its shape and texture, it's best to explore other options. Gel food coloring, for example, offers concentrated color without the excess water — allowing you to achieve bold, vibrant shades with just a small amount of product. You can also use liquid gel food coloring, which has less moisture too.

But if you're determined to use liquid food coloring, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk. Start by adding the coloring a drop at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions to gauge the intensity of the color. Be prepared to adjust the consistency of your buttercream as needed with additional powdered sugar.

In the end, the choice is yours, but armed with this knowledge, you'll be better equipped to tackle the colorful world of buttercream frosting like a pro. So go ahead, experiment, and don't be afraid to get creative. Just remember: When it comes to liquid food coloring in buttercream, it's best to use small amounts.

Read the original article on Tasting Table