how to color fondant

How to Color Fondant

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Learn everything there is to know about how to color fondant with gel colors. Follow these tips and tricks and avoid making little cake decorating mistakes.

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 ([email protected])

how to color fondant 1

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. 

how to color fondant 2

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.

how to color fondant 3

– 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.

how to color fondant 4

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.

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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.  

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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. 

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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.  

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

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

Tata my lovelies!

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57 Comments

  1. RavieNomNoms

    May 17, 2013 at 9:25 am

    You are SUCH a pro! I just want to watch you do things and soak it up like a sponge whenever I can! haha

  2. CCU

    May 18, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Great tips my friend 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

  3. Asmita

    May 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Hi,
    Can i simply knead it on my countertop. Does it need a special mat to knead?

  4. Abeer

    May 19, 2013 at 2:30 am

    @ 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.

  5. Fondant

    June 22, 2013 at 1:07 am

    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.

    Ina

  6. Lorraine

    October 11, 2013 at 6:37 am

    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?

  7. Cakewhiz

    October 12, 2013 at 1:16 am

    @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.

  8. tammy

    January 30, 2014 at 12:48 am

    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

  9. cakewhiz

    January 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    @ 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.

  10. Serena

    April 2, 2014 at 8:40 am

    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?

  11. cakewhiz

    April 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    @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…

  12. zanetA

    May 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    How long does it keep being out?

  13. Abeer

    May 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    @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.

  14. Kristi F

    June 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    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 🙂

  15. karen

    December 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    You’re so nice to share!

  16. nicole

    January 19, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    hello:

    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!

    Nicole

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      January 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm

      Hi Nicole! This is my blog: http://www.cakewhiz.com
      The tool box cake tutorial you are looking for, can be found here: http://cakewhiz.com/fathers-day-tool-box-cake/

      Hope it helps!

  17. Tabitha

    January 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    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

      January 25, 2015 at 12:23 am

      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

        January 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

        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

          January 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm

          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 🙂

  18. Lorita

    January 23, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Hi, love your tutorial. I am just starting to use fondant and I found this tutorial very helpful. Thank you!

  19. Becky

    March 20, 2015 at 10:41 am

    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).

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      March 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      I don’t have a chart on my blog but I think Wilton has something similar to what you are looking for. It’s a fondant color blending chart, using Wilton gel colors: http://www.wilton.com/decorating/fondant/fondant-color-blending-chart.cfm

      I hope this helps!

  20. carol hill

    April 5, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    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

      April 6, 2015 at 6:37 pm

      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!

  21. Becky

    April 7, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    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

  22. Marianne

    April 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Can I mix color into my fondant using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer?

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      May 3, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      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 🙂

  23. angela

    May 8, 2015 at 7:28 am

    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

      May 8, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      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 🙂

      1. angela

        May 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm

        yes, thank you!!

  24. lucia martinez

    May 15, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Hello,
    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

      May 17, 2015 at 3:39 am

      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.

  25. LittleLeahsKitchen (Hana)

    June 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    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.

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      June 2, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      Thanks Hana! I appreciate your sweet comment and hope you enjoy working with fondant as much as me!

  26. Becky

    June 5, 2015 at 5:25 am

    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.

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      June 5, 2015 at 9:02 am

      I agree! I forgot to include that in this post but I will edit it to include this as well. Thanks!

  27. Adriana

    June 10, 2015 at 4:31 am

    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

      June 17, 2015 at 2:25 am

      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.

  28. jen

    June 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    How can I store cake toppers after they are made? And how would I so so? I

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      June 17, 2015 at 2:23 am

      I keep them in a cardboard box or even a big cupcake box. Make sure to keep the box in a place that’s not exposed to moisture or sunlight.

  29. kelly

    July 8, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Hi,
    Can I use fondant already coloured to colour white fondant? hope that makes sense!

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      July 9, 2015 at 1:30 am

      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 🙂

  30. Talia

    September 11, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Hi!
    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

      September 11, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      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.

  31. Wildaomaris

    October 5, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Hi! I recently had my first baby and Im looking forward to do his first cake. I use before fondant but its hot in PR and it gets sticky. What fondant you think I should use the marshmallow one or the regular. Is theirs any tip you can give to avoid the effect of humidity? Thanks!!!!!

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      October 10, 2015 at 1:21 am

      Congrats on your baby! Fondant tends to get sticky in humidity, regardless of what type of fondant you use… homemade or store-bought! You can, however, make fondant more manageable by rolling out fondant on cornstarch instead of powdered sugar. Also, I highly recommend decorating the cake in an air conditioned kitchen so it doesn’t start sweating! Let me know if you need to know anything else 🙂

  32. louriecel rina

    April 3, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    if i color my fondant to black, will i let it sit first to deepen the color? how long will i sit for me to get the color i want? im planning to have my fondant with colors green and black on sunday. thanks

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      April 5, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Black and red are one of those colors that take very long to deepen and it’s just better to buy them. However, if you only need a small quantity of black fondant, start with brown fondant and then keep adding black gel coloring until you end up with a very dark shade of grey fondant. Let it sit for at least a week and it will become black. Hope this helps!

  33. Chandra

    May 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    How do I make skin colored fondant?

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      May 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Everyone does it differently. I start with white fondant and add a combination of red, brown and yellow gel coloring. Some people just use a bit of copper coloring and no other color.

  34. Doreen

    August 28, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Brilliant tutorial, thank you! Can you tell me how to get a pearl effect on fondant please?

    Hello from France

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      August 29, 2016 at 9:11 am

      Hi Doreen! I am so happy this tutorial was helpful. For the pearl effect, I just use white fondant and use an edible spray at the end. They creates a subtle shine.

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