Cake Decorating Basics: How To Color Fondant

Adding food coloring

Learn how to color fondant with this step-by-step photo tutorial. Perfect for all your cake and cupcake decorating projects.

How To Color Fondant

You can buy fondant in many different ways: large tubs, small packages, pure white, colored, you can make your own, whatever strikes your fancy.  

I typically will buy or make my fondant white and color it for whatever project I am working on.  Particularly if I’m only making a small amount of color. Fondant is far and away cheaper if you buy a big container of white rather than paying a premium for little containers of colored fondant. Coloring fondant is easy, but takes a little bit of time and muscle power, depending on how dark the color needs to be.

coloring fondant

What you need to color fondant:

  • fondant-however much you think you need for a particular project and then 30% more for when you make a mistake.
  • gel food coloring-why gel? because it makes the best, most true colors and it will not add too much water to the system so your fondant won’t get overly sticky. You can also use powdered food coloring here but it’s quite a bit messier than the gel.
  • food safe gloves-optional. I rarely use these but the food coloring will stain your hands. You can see in the pictures below for evidence on that….
  • toothpicks-if you don’t have squeeze bottles of gel food coloring
  • powdered sugar-in case your fondant gets overly sticky from too much food coloring (occasionally happens when making deep colors like red or black)
Adding food coloring

How to color to fondant:

Step 1:

Gather your materials from the material list above.

squeeze the food coloring onto the fondant

Step 2:

Next, using the toothpick or your squeeze bottle, dab a small amount of food coloring into the middle of the fondant ball.  

Step 3:

Pick up the ball and stretch fondant from the bottom of the ball over food coloring.  Keep stretching the fondant in various directions.

knead in the color

Eventually, your fondant will start looking streaked.  If a marbled look is what you are going for, stop here.  If you are looking for a more unified color keep stretching and pulling until everything is the same color.

Partially kneaded color

Troubleshooting:

  • Added too much food coloring, now my fondant is too dark-simply knead in some uncolored fondant to lighten it up
  • Food coloring made my fondant sticky-knead in a little bit (like a teaspoon at a time) of powdered sugar to take the stickiness out
  • Fondant color too light-you didn’t use enough food coloring, simply put in a little bit more color and knead it in. Remember: it’s easier to make it darker than lighter
How To Color Fondant

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Happy Baking!

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