Here are some tips you want to consider when applying icing colors:
- For deep colors like brown or black, you want to use a food coloring in larger amounts than the usual. In most cases, you’ll end up using 1 oz. of paste food color for every cup of icing to get that rich, deep color. However, deep colors are only ideal for accent colors.
- Make sure you store your cake in a cool room away from direct light. This is because sunlight, or even fluorescent light, will cause some of the icing colors to fade.
- Don’t ice your cakes when frozen. Therefore, you want to defrost it before applying icing to prevent the colors from “bleeding”.
- Natural deep colors will naturally stain, though they’re not necessarily harmful. You can simply wash the stained area with soap and warm water.
- Make sure you apply icing colors 1-2 hours before you start decorating your cake. This is because the colors will deepen in buttercream icings when set.
- Cream of tartar, or lemon juice in some cases, can cause the colors to change.
Therefore, if any of them is included in your cake’s ingredients, make sure to remove it.
Also, some water from certain areas can cause a color change. If your buttercream icing is made with water, you can opt for milk as an alternative.