Using Kool-aid to Color Frosting

Updated on October 03, 2013
S.B. asks from Encino, CA
11 answers

Hello moms -
I need to make fire-engine red frosting for a fire engine cake, and heard that getting a true red requires a lot of food coloring (gel or liquid) and messes with the flavor. I've also heard that you can use kool-aid to color frosting. Has anyone done that before, and if so, what was the result? Are you able to get a true red? How much do you need? How does it taste afterward?

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So What Happened?

Thanks, everyone. I've decided to go with the gel coloring plus cocoa, let it sit for a day, and see how that works. Don't need any Kool-Aid stains!
Update - I first used cocoa powder to make the white frosting tan, and then added gel coloring and let it sit for a day. It turned a great shade of red - absolutely what I was going for. Thanks for all the advice!

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

When I have used red, I buy a tube of red frosting (Wilton makes it). It's the only way I've gotten the right red with good consistency and still a good flavor. I get it at Michael's and use a coupon. :)

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answers from Albuquerque on

I've had to do fire engine red before and my advice is that you'll get the best color if you get a cake grade gel color. Not the drops from the grocery store. And not Kool aid. Kool aid *will* color your frosting, but not to that extent. Plus, it will add a chemical sweetness if you use too much. You need high quality color like cake decorators use. Those don't add any flavor...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I used to be a cake decorator. We never had issues with our dye altering the flavor of our frosting... We used a gel dye.

Another option is to frost it in white, then get some spray color to make it right. Craft stores often carry it in their cake decorating section, and it makes a nice, bold color without having to dye the frosting itself. It's like spray paint for cake! Lol.

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answers from Reno on

Williams-Sonoma sells food coloring (5 colors in a pack for $10). It's a gel/paste consistency so it doens't make your frosting watery. They have a set of primary colors and the red is RED. You only use a drop or two and you get true, bright red. (They also have a set of bright colors that include hot pink, turquoise/royal blue, lime green, yellow). The colors are true and bright. I know all their decorator sugars are made with natural (nothing artificial) coloring from food, but I'm not sure about the food coloring.

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answers from Boise on

I've done it and it tastes good, but be aware that it stains and can turn mouths, fingers, carpet, etc... the same color which can be difficult to get out. I made an ocean cake with a sailboat on it with both red and blue kool-aid, so just keep that in mind! :)

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answers from Washington DC on

I did a quick google and found this tutorial for red ....

Another trick might be to color and let it sit overnight and then darken a little again. I know exposure to air and time do tend to darken it.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

You can use Kool-aid, of course, and it's cheap, but the ingredients that make Kool-aid a problem on clothing fabric and carpeting are the same ingredients that you're putting on your cakes. So I don't know that it's the best solution. Do you have a bakery supply store or a cake decoration store near you? You could call one of those places and pick their brains.

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answers from Seattle on

I've used kool-aid to color home made playdough. So frosting seems like a easy application.

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answers from Chicago on

Could you let me know how it works out? I've got a fire engine cake to make in Dec, and while my son was happy with the hot pinkish red last year, he may not be as happy with it this year!

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answers from Washington DC on

kool-aid IS basically food coloring, and has sugar too so it will mess with the flavor. i agree with the suggestion to try the gel or the spray.

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answers from Chicago on

I have used it to color home made play dough, but not frosting.

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