Often times in class I will have students that come in every week with pastel colors. Sometimes that is our preference as we all have our favorite colors/shades. But I’ve also noticed that if there is a student with brighter colors there are usually comments on how they get that color.
There are three keys to making bright and bold colors.
First if you know you know you are going for a bold color, start with a little thicker icing than you need. If you are going to need medium icing, then start with stiff icing.
Why is this?
The second key to bright colors is that you have to add color! I know I show you in class using toothpicks to get color out of the little jars, and this works with some of the colors like lemon yellow and rose pink, since those colors get pretty bright pretty fast. But with colors like blue, purple, green and the dreaded red/black you have to really add in some color.
You’ll have to forgive me on my not so great pictures here, but you can see that instead of a toothpick I used my favorite popsicle sticks. Can you see how much color I added to the butter cream?
I wish you could see the true colors I actually made. I used Wilton’s leaf green, violet, royal blue and black.
Now the third key is to plan ahead. Start your icing early, even the night before you need it. The colors in the icing will deepen as the icing sits. This also means that you may need to use less of the color gel. You may be able to see the slight color variation I got after letting them sit for 30 minutes.
If you are trying to match a color, then you really want to start early, because there is nothing more frustrating than getting the perfect match, putting it in a piping bag, decorating the cake, then coming back a couple hours later and having this darker color that is no longer a perfect match.
I know you are looking back at those pictures and are probably thinking, well what about your funky gray that is supposed to be black? Come back tomorrow, and I’ll add some tips and hints for dealing with the dreaded black color.
Thursday, September 29 - Let's Talk About Black Icing
Friday, September 30 - Bag Prep Tip