How to color fondant

As I continue baking and cake decorating, I am LEARNING new things…

And nothing makes me happier than SHARING my knowledge with YOU 😀

So, I have decided to do even MORE “how to” posts, especially for BEGINNERS.

For instance… how to frost a cake, how to color fondant e.t.c.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know either in the comments or through email (

Anyways, today’s post is focusing on “How to color fondant.” 

But first, let’s briefly talk about fondant…

There are many DIFFERENT brands out there. You can use WHATEVER fondant you like. 

But, I normally use marshmallow fondant (MMF) which I make at home.

My recipe is full-proof and tastes GREAT. It’s also cheap and easy to make. 

NOW, let’s talk about COLORING…I have put together some important/helpful points that I WISH I had KNOWN when I first started out…

 – When coloring fondant, you should ALWAYS use gel colors.

– DON’T ever use liquid coloring to color fondant. They make your fondant very sticky and insanely difficult to work with. 

– Gel colors can be found in the cake decorating aisles at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. You can even order them online from cake decorating sites such as Wilton. 

– People think gel colors are pricey. They are actually quite CHEAP… about 2-3 dollars per bottle.

– There are many different brands of gel colors out there. The two brands I use are Wilton and Americolor. Americolor gels are a few cents more expensive than Wilton gels. Americolor gel colors also seem deeper/brighter than Wilton’s get colors. 

– Gel colors are available in a HUGE range of shades. You can also mix different gel colors to create your own unique shades. 

– Gel colors are CONCENTRATED which means a little goes a LONG way. Your bottles will last you a very long time. 

– Along with fondant, gel colors can ALSO be used to color gum paste and frostings/buttercream icings.

– Gel colors CANNOT be used to color candy melts or melted chocolate. You need to buy special oil based colors for that.  

– I highly recommend wearing disposable GLOVES when coloring fondant, especially if you are making red or blue or any other dark shade. These colors will STAIN your nails and fingers and it takes quite a few washings to get rid of them

– If your work area gets stained, just wiping with a wet cloth does NOT work well. However, these stains can easily be cleaned with some sort of a cleaning spray. I use Clorox sprays. 

– And finally, if you are planning on making a large quantity of the same colored fondant, it’s better to just add color when you are making marshmallow fondant. You will already be kneading and mixing the marshmallows and sugar. So, you might as well add color too…just so you don’t have to do it later.

The steps for coloring fondant are fairly simple.

This is what you need to do:

Step 1: 
Rub your work surface with some shortening.
Bring out your marshmallow fondant.
Knead it a little coz the warmth of your hands will make it more pliable.

Dip a toothpick in your bottle of color and rub it onto your ball of fondant.

Step 2:
Now, use your hands to knead the color thoroughly into the fondant.
It might get sticky. If that happens, rub some shortening on your hands and continue mixing.  

Step 3:
Once the color is fully mixed into the fondant, you may feel it’s not deep enough.
If that’s the case, dip your toothpick in the bottle of color again and mix in more color and knead the fondant until you have the shade you want. 

Step 4:
Use your colored fondant immediately or let it sit for a day or two so that the shade becomes deeper.
Fondant dries really quickly. When you are not using it, make sure to wrap it tightly in saran wrap and keep it at room temperature.  

And you are done!
Use your colored fondant to cut cut out cool shapes and decorate your cakes and cupcakes :) 

Hope you found this tutorial helpful and if you have any suggestions for my next “how to” post, leave a comment or send an email :)

Tata my lovelies!

49 thoughts on “How to color fondant

  1. Abeer

    @ Asmita… oh yes! you can easily knead on your countertop and no special mats are needed. I use my countertop too. Just rub the countertop and your hands with some shortening so it doesn’t stick to anything.

  2. Fondant

    My most sincere congratulations for your work and your product. I’m starting in the world of fondant and I love to see work so well made and with quality.

    Greetings from Spain.


  3. Lorraine

    Wondering if you’ve ever mixed two different kinds together and how that worked or didn’t work. I made marshmallow fondant and bought some of Duff’s buttercream fondant can I mix those two together?

  4. Cakewhiz

    @Lorraine…Yes! You can mix store bought fondant with homemade marshmallow fondant. I have mixed Wilton’s fondant with homemade marshmallow fondant and that worked just fine. The flavor changed a little but otherwise everything else seemed fine to me.

  5. tammy

    Can anyone help me I’m trying to color my fondant a plum color but its not working does anyone have any ideas…thank you in advance

  6. cakewhiz

    @ Tammy… I have made a lighter shade of plum color before and I used red and purple. Some people also use a combination of red, purple and burgundy. I did notice that the color got much much darker after about 1 week.

  7. Serena

    I am an Aussie living in Switzerland and I have never seen gel colouring, not sure what to do now as I need to make a cake this weekend for my sons fourth birthday, is there anyway you know of to thicken liquid colouring to make it work?

  8. cakewhiz

    @Serena… Liquid food coloring won’t work at all. It will make your fondant wet and sticky… not fun to work with at all! Have you considered ordering those gel colors from ebay, amazon or even online cake decorating sites? Many of them do express shipping internationally and you can probably get them in time. I am sorry I don’t know any other way of coloring fondant aside from gel colors…

  9. Abeer

    @zanet…If fondant is covered on a cake, you can keep it out for about 6 hours at room temperature. The fondant will dry up a little but the moisture from the buttercream will still keep it soft enough to be edible. If you have extra fondant that is not covering your cake, you have to wrap it up in plastic or else it will become hard and useless.

  10. Kristi F

    How long will the fondant last after making as long as I keep it wrapped and covered? How much fondant will one recipe make? I’m looking to cover a 2 layer 8×8 cake and have enough left over to make an Under Armor logo… And should I frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting before layering with the fondant? Sorry for all the questions, I’ve never done this before :)

  11. nicole


    I absolutely love your pictures, ideas, and tutorials. Thanks for sharing, not many would! Do you have a blog? I was trying to find one of your tuts (tool box cake) and could not.

    thank you lots!


  12. Tabitha

    Great tutorial! What if you are using a mold? I wanted my fondant to look like legos so I bought the little tray molds. When do I put it into the mold? How long would I leave it in? Do I keep it in mold until I need it? Help!

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      If you are using a mold, you need to push your soft fondant into the cavities and scrape off the excess with a knife.Then, remove the piece immediately and place it on a sheet of wax paper to dry and harden. If you use gum paste or 50/50, your leg pieces will dry faster. Hope this helps.

      1. Tabitha

        It does help… thanks! If I do it a few days in advance would I leave them stored at room temperature or in the freezer..

        1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

          I don’t advise anyone to keep fondant pieces in the fridge or freezer coz there is a high possibility of condensation droplets forming on the pieces, when you take them out. That becomes very messy and there’s no way to fix that damage. Store the pieces at room temperature, away from moisture and humidity. I hope this helps :)

  13. Becky

    Do you have a chart of how much of each color works well to create other colors?? I have seen these charts with regular liquid food coloring, but have not found one for gel colors (preferably wilton).

  14. carol hill

    Hi was reading about modelling fondant.You can place it in an air tight bag & place in freezer which I do.Also you can colour chocolate with gel it works fine, you dont have to use choc melts they havnt been around just more expensive I find and taste the same.Thanks

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      I use modeling chocolate, mainly for making flowers and cake toppers and not for covering cakes. But, it’s good to hear I can freeze it now too. Thanks!

  15. Becky

    Do yoi have tips on getting a deeper/darker blue. I cant seem to get my blue to be a dark as in your picture….same with my frosting

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      I tried that once and I wasn’t very satisfied. The color didn’t fully blend in. I would still suggest kneading in the color with your hands but make sure to wear disposable gloves so that you don’t stain your hands :)

  16. angela

    just want to clarify when to add color. you say that you can add it while mixing fondant, but the details of the tutorial show adding color once fondant is made. just want to be sure either is correct. thanks.

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      Color can easily be added while you are making fondant. But then, you will end up with a big ball of fondant in just 1 color.

      I like to prepare my fondant first and then break it up into smaller balls and color each ball a different color. This way, I have a bunch of different colored fondants all ready to use any time.

      Hope this helps :)

  17. lucia martinez

    I tried adding the same wilson red christmas color to it but it gave me a pink color the more i added the gross it got as a taste in my mouth. What can i do to make it a bright red? I also tried adding the gel when the marshmallow. Was nelted and still got the same color.

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      Red fondant and black fondant are both hard to make. A lot of people just buy ready-made red fondant from Satin Ice or Wilton. When you make it at home, you have to add a lot of red gel coloring and unfortunately that can make it taste a little weird. But, if you let your dark pink fondant sit for a week, the color will deepen and turn red.

  18. LittleLeahsKitchen (Hana)

    wow, i can not wait to try your fondant! your work is amazing… MA
    I will try your fondant and let you know my result soon… great job and thanks for sharing with us.

  19. Becky

    You should always use a new toothpick every time you get color gel out of bottle to help keep contaminants out of you color gels.

  20. Adriana

    Very helpful post. I’m having a problem with my colored fondant, instead of darkened it has gotten lighter by various shades (started with pink but end up with a very pale almost white pink). Do I need to let the color sit to develop before I use it? Do it loose color if left outside at room temperature without covering? I’m making a none edible “cake topper” with little flowers which I leave on my counter as I work my way to finish it.
    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      If your fondant in exposed to sunlight, the color will fade. I think that’s what’s happening in your case. When you are waiting for the pieces to dry, make sure to keep them in a cardboard box or a cupcake box but don’t seal the box. Just put the cover on loosely so that they are not exposed to any light.

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      Yes, you can use pre-colored fondant to color white fondant. But you will end up with a lighter shade… almost like pastel colors, which is quite pretty. If you want bright colored fondant, you will have to use gel colors. Hope this helps :)

  21. Talia

    I love this website- so helpful, thank you!
    I know you shouldn’t keep MMF in the fridge after it is made, but I know you said that MMF that was placed on a cake should not sit out for more than 6 hours… if I want to put my MMF on a cake for Sunday night on Saturday night or Sunday morning, can the cake (with MMF) go in the fridge?

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      It’s nice to hear you are finding my postings helpful :)

      A few cake makers have a separate fridge where the temperature is set up very close to room temperature (around 60-65 degrees). This way, when the cake is removed from the fridge, there is not much condensation and no mess at all.

      That could be something you can do to prevent your cakes from going bad and still maintain its freshness.


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