How To Make A Darker Red With Food Coloring?

Updated on March 6, 2023

How To Make A Darker Red With Food Coloring?

When baking cakes, cookies, pastries, cupcakes, or several other bakery items that call for darker red frosting or coloring the item itself, there are a few tips and tricks that a baker should keep in mind for achieving the perfect outcome of color. For the overall darkening of the red mixture, add the darker food color in little amounts as large amounts can change the taste while causing bitterness. Moreover, there are many food color packages in the market that come in primary colors i-e yellow, red, green, and additional blue color.

Colors That Makes The Red Frosting Darker

First of all, you will have to make a black food color. Black food color is achieved by combining one drop of all the primary colors i-e yellow, blue, and red together. Then add one drop of black food color to the separate bowl of red food coloring. For achieving the bright red color of the frosting, continue adding the black food color into the red-colored mixture until you get the desired outcome.

The alternatives to these food colors are the food color gels that are available in a variety of colors. Using brown food color gel in the red mixture will make the red-colored mixture even darker and deep. The amount of dark-colored food gels will give you various shades of red. Moreover, you can also use chocolate frosting and can change the color by using a host of colors including purple to bright pink to make the color of the frosting even deeper or richer like maroon or cherry red.

In What Quantity Food Color Should Be Used?

The thumb rule of using the food color is to start with a smaller quantity and gradually increase it. Also, make use of a white dish or bowl for mixing different colors in order to clearly see the actual and desired results. In case of using liquid food color, make sure, to start by adding 3-5 drops of red food color and 1 drop of black color followed by the half drop until the desired shade is obtained.

On the other hand, using gel food color is a bit of an easy task. It is preferred to use 1/4 teaspoon of red food color and 1/8 teaspoon of brown food color drop by drop as less quantity is better until the perfect shade is obtained. When the frosting gets too dark, at this stage add a few tablespoons of the original frosting to get better results. Before using these food colors, make sure to do a small batch test first in order to prevent wastage of the frosting or batter.


What colors make red food coloring darker?

First, you have to start with the light pink colored frosting in order to add less red food color. Apart from this, you will have to add one drop of black food color in the red mixture to get the deeper toned red. Also, brown gel color can also make the red color even darker like cherry red or maroon.

What colors make a deep red?

You can make the deeper red color by mixing black or brown food color or various other colors including green or blue. In order to get a softer red-toned mixture, add a little bit of gray color to the red mixture.

Is gel food color better than liquid?

Unlike various food colors, gel food colors are the best that brings clarity and brilliance to colors without adding unnecessary liquid colors. Adding a few drops of gel food colors will give you the best results and desired outcomes.


When baking cakes, pastries, or cupcakes that require dark red frosting, you need to have a basic knowledge of colors in order to get the desired results. Moreover, you can enhance the red-colored frosting or batter by simply adding darker food color like black or brown that makes the batter or frosting, even more, deeper toned. In case of using gel food colors, make sure to add a few drops as less quantity serves more. Make sure to use gel food colors as they offer better clarity and give the best results.

Leave a Comment