How to Make Purple With Food Coloring


Basic purple, grape, and dark purple -- you can easily use food coloring to mix a whole range of hues for the color purple. Just follow these instructions.

Note: These colors can be used in a variety of recipes or crafts, but to best show you the different variations of purple, we're using buttercream frosting as our visual "canvas."

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle of red food coloring, (1)
  • Bottle of blue food coloring, (1)
  • Rubber spatula, for mixing
  • Bowl
  • Drop stopper, optional


  • The drop stopper will help you count the drops of food dye. Alternatively, if you don't have access to a drop stopper, you can try to count the drops added individually. Another good way to measure the drops needed is by thinking that 100 drops of food coloring is equal to about 1 teaspoon.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Mix the Colors

It doesn't take that many drops for the color to develop! Always add the dye a few drops at a time to reach your desired strength of coloring.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Basic Purple

To make basic purple, add in 15 drops of blue food coloring with 80 drops of red food coloring. Mix to combine, then use as required.

(Image: Thalia Ho)


To make a grape color, add in 20 drops of blue food coloring with 115 drops of red food coloring. Mix to combine then use as required.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

Dark Purple

To make the color dark purple, add in 30 drops of blue food coloring with 130 drops of red food coloring. Mix to combine then use as required.

(Image: Thalia Ho)

The drops of dye needed will slightly vary depending upon the type and quantity of base that you are coloring. Test the strength of the color as you go. It's quite easy to over-color and difficult to lighten the shade after the food dye has been added.

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