Color Theory for Frosting

Color theory isn’t just for painters. It’s for artists in all areas, even baking. In this post we’ll show you how you can make any color of frosting you want with only three colors: red, yellow and blue.

I just made a basic frosting out of butter, powdered sugar and cream and separated it into three bowls.

Place two drops of red food coloring into the white frosting.

Mix well… and we get red.

Place two drops of yellow food coloring into the white frosting.

Mix well… and yellow appears.

Place two drops of blue food coloring into the white frosting.

Mix well and the frosting will turn blue. After I mixed my first blue, I didn’t think it was dark enough so I added another drop.

You’ll want to do this with each of your colors so they are somewhat similar in brightness.

Next, we mix the primary colors together. When we add red and yellow together….

We get orange!

Blue and red make…


And finally, yellow and blue mixed together make…


You get the idea. Depending upon the particular shade you are going for, you’ll want to add more drops of one color than another. Get creative and play around! See what colors you can come up with!

(Note: At Gygi’s we have found that using the specific food coloring for the specific color you want works best. Like green food coloring for green frosting. The color does come out richer this way. But if for some reason, you are stuck in jam, and need green frosting for your little boys birthday cake, but couldn’t make it to the store in time… then we have just provided you with a quick solution!)

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    brian gallagher
    February 17, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Wondering about cost effective non-corn based food coloring options. We’ve used beet powder & tumeric. What else?

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