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Red icing

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#1 Tigster

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

My son has asked for a red cake for his birthday, and without thinking about it I agreed.

The problem is that I normally use butter cream icing, but this always looks pink no matter how much food colouring I use.

Can anyone recommend a type of icing that will actually look red without killing everyone with red food dye?

#2 monnianni

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:19 PM

I think you will need a gel food colour, you can get them at spotlight, some kitchen shops or online.

Edited by monnianni, 08 November 2012 - 03:20 PM.

#3 taffy19

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

Wiltons gel red red id what I use if I want real red colouring

#4 heatherbell89

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

I have had red buttercream, the first time, I used wiltons whitener to make it white then used red red / christmas red to colour it. Put it in fridge because as it cools the colour deepens/ Also I read online another hint is to make chocolate buttercream (just add cocoa) then use a red gel colour to get a deep dark red colour, I did a combination of all the above and ended up with perfectly shaded dr suess hat original.gif

#5 SeaPrincess

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:24 PM

I find even the gel red doesn't go really red.  When DS asked for a red cake, I used ready-made red fondant.


#6 MintyBiscuit

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

Wiltons is great. There is also a Pillarbox Red by Queens in liquid form, but you do need to use a fair bit and it will change the consistency of the icing

FYI - the red icing in this picture was done using the Pillarbox Red colouring

Edited by HollyOllyOxenfree, 08 November 2012 - 03:31 PM.

#7 Procrastinator5000

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

Just a word of caution - when my DS had a bright red birthday cake, he came out in hives, after never having had any kind of allergies before. Didn't make for a fun birthday! It's a really strong artificial colour.

Just my 2c!

I'd probably go with the readymade red fondant icing if I was doing it though.

#8 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:45 PM

I don't rate fondant on kids' birthday cakes, because kids really only like the icing and fondant is BLEH!  I did a dalmatian with a red collar and big red tongue on DD2's cake this year, so I needed black and white and red icing. I went to my local cake decorating shop and got a tub of ready made white icing (tastes quite nice and is buttercream consistency) for $10. It would have cost me almost that much in butter and icing sugar to make that amount of buttercream, I was pleasantly surprised. I'm pretty sure they had red too, but I just used the red gel colouring that I already had and it came out beautifully (much better than when I've used it with buttercream, as that goes a bit orangey).

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

I just use the pre made red Wiltons icing instead of the usual butter cream. I have tried all other sorts and methods of getting a 'red red' but nothing beats the Wiltons.

#10 Feralmummacat

Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

I used the wilton's no taste red gel in butter cream this year for DS2 birthday cake and it worked really well. The kitchen shop just said that you need to use a lot of the gel to get the right colour. They were right.

I had used the wilton powder red in previous years and it turned out pink so you really need the gel.

#11 SqueakyPeanut

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

When making red cakes my first preference is pre-coloured fondant, but if I'm using buttercream the Wilton or Americolor gels. A tip I was given was to colour the buttercream orange first and then red that way you don't need a much red colouring, and let it rest to let the colour develop.

#12 Shanski

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:07 PM

I made Elmo cupcakes last week and I used buttercream with a combination of wiltons red gel, americolour red gel and some queens pillar box red. I beat the butter until it was almost white and still needed all 3 brands to get to the level of red required. Then I discovered if I put it in the fridge to get hard and cold the colour went deeper, if only I had of known that earlier I might not have needed so much red colour.

Could you use a meringue icing instead of the buttercream to get a whiter base to start with?

Also be careful if the icing gets too soft as it will stain your hands and the kids hands red.

Best of luck and can you post a picture if your cake when you are finished please?

#13 misse10

Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:13 PM

You'll get the most true rd if you use powder colouring. I've studied cake decorating and we were taught to use powder to get red as everything else can go pink. Good luck!

#14 Jaffacakes

Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:18 PM

I'm no professional, but I used red powder for an Elmo cake with buttercream icing a few years ago. Turned out great.

#15 Bunsen the feral

Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:28 PM

Either ready made red fondant (but this can be hard to work with) or use powdered colour.

Colour the icing the day before as it will deepen overnight.

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