Monday, March 19, 2012

Coloring Fondant Red

I finally figured out the secret ingredient for true red fondant: Super Red Soft Gel Paste by AmeriColor. Add it to the fondant recipe when you've reached the liquid stage (detailed below), and you should wind up with true red fondant like you see on the cake above (as well as unstained hands). Amazingly, Super Red has no chemical "red" taste; it just couldn't be more flawless! My knee-jerk reaction was to take down the following post, because it's mostly a play-by-play of the wrong turns I took on the road to the right red, but I thought you might find it amusing. And mostly, I want to spare you the same tedious journey! So, here you go, for nostalgia's sake:

The name of today's post really ought to be "The Trials and (mostly) Errors of Coloring Fondant Red"; I can't honestly say I've come up with the definitive process of making fondant from scratch in this rather challenging color. I have a project coming up that requires true red fondant, and I'm thinking I might need to pick up a tub of Satin Ice Red Fondant (after all, this is the stuff that Buddy uses and it reportedly tastes good).

I do have one tip for coloring fondant in any color that I want to share with you. If you're following my fondant from scratch recipe, when you get to the "liquid stage" (where you're combining melted gelatine, glycerine, flavorings, and corn syrup), try adding the coloring to the mix. This was the first time ever in my fondant-coloring experience that I didn't have hands the color of my most recent project for days after.
The only drawback to coloring fondant using this method that I can see is you need to color the entire batch at once (as opposed to the method of adding color to only the amount of fondant you need). This, by the way, was the color I used, Red Red by AmeriColor; I used about five generous squirts of it:
 And this is the end result. On my monitor it looks very orange (as does the color spot on the container above). I assure you, in person the color was redder than this; you might want to see for yourself at the AmeriColor site (look up Red Red).
In a fit of nostalgia for my color theory days of art classes in high school, I gave the above fondant a shot of AmeriColor's Violet (figuring the blue in purple might cool it down a notch and the red in purple would just be redundant), and then this happened:
The difference is subtle, but definitely more delectable. In person, it has almost a fabric- or leather-like appearance. My quest for the perfect red is definitely not over…SO glad that I'm within a stone's throw of a store that stocks Satin Ice Red Fondant!

P.S. Last year I experimented with the Wilton reds; I've tried their Red-Red, Christmas Red, and No-Taste Red. All yielded shades of pink reminiscent of that thing you keep hearing about in the news


  1. Hi there :)

    I was wondering if your technique for getting a true red would work with marshmallow fondant? I have a hard time getting a nice red when I color my MMF because of the base white it starts in, I just end up with pink. Could I add the red coloring to the melted marshmallows before mixing in my icing sugar to make the fondant?

  2. Hi Anna,
    Wow, I really don't know; I've never made MMF. I'm going to guess it would be successful, though, because I've used Super Red by AmeriColor to color royal icing, and it was just as true red as it was with my fondant from scratch. If you'd like to see how that looked, here's an example:
    Also, if you enter "super red" in the search bar at the upper left corner of the page, you'll see some other times I've used it, like coloring meringues and canned frosting. It always seems to turn out true red. Good luck! I'll be curious to hear how it turns out.