Coloring icing is more of an art than a science. Of course, you can buy Wilton peach icing color, but how often do you need to color icing peach? Most of the time, that peach gel will just take up space in your cabinet. Besides, if you mix it yourself, you can get the exact color of peach you desire, and it will be unique and not exactly like anyone else's peach icing.
Mix With Gel Food Coloring
Although you can still buy liquid food coloring, gel food coloring is popular because it doesn't dilute what it's coloring the way liquid coloring does. With gel, however, you don't get definitive drops the way you do with liquid coloring. So, when directions tell you to mix three drops of red with four drops of yellow, you have to estimate what constitutes a drop. It's more important to understand the ratio of one color to another, which in this case is three parts red to four parts yellow.
To get the exact color for which you're looking, experiment with a small amount of icing first. Use the ratio you're given, mix the icing thoroughly and check the color. Is it a bit too red, too yellow or too orange? If it's too red, add another drop of yellow. Keep track of how many drops you're adding so when you get the desired shade, you can add the amounts of each color and mimic that in the rest of your icing.
Color Icing Peach
To get peach icing, the recommended ratio is one part red to three parts yellow. It's important that each part, or dab, of gel coloring you add is the same size for both colors. If your dabs of gel are different sizes, it will throw off your color.
Mix the gel coloring into your icing. You shouldn't see streaks of either color or patches that seem to be more of one color than the other. Keep mixing until it's all one color. Is it the color of peach for which you're looking? If not, add another dab of red or yellow and mix well, repeating until you have the color you want.
Experiment With Different Icings
One reason it's hard for someone to tell you exactly how much of each color to add to end up with a specific shade is that different types of icing take color in different ways. Buttercream icing doesn't take color the same way royal icing does, for example, and fondant acts differently than both.
Wilton has color charts that suggest how much of each color to add to arrive at a specific color. However, be aware that it will look different on each icing. If you mix up a simple drizzle of icing with powdered sugar and water or milk, the basic color combination is good to start with, but it will take color its own way too.
Follow Icing Tips
- Color icing one to two hours before decorating with it because the color may change. Colors deepen in buttercream icing and fade in royal and other icings.
- Sunlight and fluorescent light can fade icing too. After decorating, keep decorated items in a cool room away from these lights.
- Lemon juice and cream of tartar cause colors to change. If your icing has either of these ingredients, omit it.
- Water in some geographical areas will change the color of icing. If possible, use milk instead of water in your icing.
Barbara Bean-Mellinger is a freelance writer who lives in the Washington, D.C. area and writes about food for eHow.com and leaf.tv. She started baking on her own at age nine, creating appetizers at 10, and making family meals by 14. Barbara holds a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh, where she often cooked elaborate meals and desserts for friends.