How to Make Colored Icing for Birthday Cakes

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Birthday cakes come alive when you add brightly colored details like flowers, animals, piping and lettering to the top. Colored icing is key to creating the fun and theme of a birthday cake and can be whipped up easily using white icing as a base. Purchase paste, liquid or powdered food coloring from your local baking supply store. You'll find a rainbow of color options suitable for every theme and design you may want for your birthday cake.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1-1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Food coloring
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Rubber spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Toothpick
  • Small mixing bowls
  • Measure the butter into your mixing bowl and cream until smooth and well blended using the electric mixer on low speed.

  • Add in the vanilla extract and continue blending on low speed.

  • Beat the sugar into the butter mixture slowly and carefully. Scrape down the sides as you go using your spatula.

  • Add the milk and beat on high until the icing is light and fluffy. This is the white icing base that you'll use for coloring.

  • Divide the frosting into smaller bowls based upon the number of colors you will be using. Each bowl will be tinted a different color.

  • Swirl a toothpick in the food coloring, picking up a very small amount. Start small so that you can build up to the desired color.

  • Pass the toothpick through the first bowl of icing, swirling and mixing the dye into the icing. Use the wooden spoon to thoroughly blend the dye into the icing.

  • Repeat Steps 6 and 7 to deepen the color, if desired. Once you have achieved the color you'd like, move on to the next bowl of icing and the next color.

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References

  • Photo Credit cake image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com
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