How to Make This Super Red Royal Icing

I often get asked how I make my red royal icing “look so red.” Red is one of those colors that can make you want to pull your hair out. We live in a world where we want things “right now!” We don’t have to wait until we get home to make a phone call, we don’t have to sit by the mailbox waiting for the mailman, and we don’t even have to wait for our boss to hand us our paycheck. Do you remember what money looks like?

We want instant gratification. We want everything right now, but unfortunately, no one told the red royal icing to move into the 21st century. It still lives in the dark ages and is perfectly content to wait until it good ready to turn red. Don’t give up. There are a few things we can do to get that deep red royal icing we’re all hoping to find.

How to Make This Super Red Royal Icing | The Bearfoot Baker

How to Make Red Royal Icing | The Bearfoot Baker

  • The first mistake we make is not being patient. We try to make the perfect shade of red royal icing by adding so much color that you have to make three trips to the store because you keep running out of food gel. You don’t have to add a ton of red food gel to get a deep red color. You do however need to be patient. Adding a bottle or three of food gel will cause more problems than your red not being right or a dark enough shade. It will cause your icing colors to bleed (which means run together) long after you stop decorating your cookies. The less is more thing really works well in this situation.
  • Making the icing the day before you need to use it will really help the color develop. It’s like cheese, it needs time to mature into that beautiful color you’re looking for.

How to Make Super Red Royal Icing | The Bearfoot Baker

  • As a beginner decorator, I used Wilton Red Food Gel and it had a really bitter taste. Some people aren’t bothered by that, but unfortunately, I’m not one of those people. Sugar cookies are supposed to be sweet, hence the word ‘sugar’ in the title. Adding bitter icing to my sweet sugar cookie isn’t something I’m going to do. Other colors like black food gel paste are also bitter but that’s a story for another day. Today we will talk about red.
  • One day I noticed Wilton carried “No-Taste Red” so I bought every container the store had. No one told me it would take the entire bottle to make a pretty red color. Who wants to eat that much red color? Not me!

Red Royal Icing | The Bearfoot Baker

  • Then one day Sweet Sugarbelle did a tutorial and told us her secret to beautiful red icing. She didn’t use the Wilton Red or the Wilton No-Taste Red. She shared with us that AmeriColor Tulip Red Soft Gel Paste Food Color didn’t have that awful bitter taste. WOW! Once again she blew my mind. I never knew we had an option to use anything else.
  • The only problem for me was the red didn’t get as “deep” as I liked it.
  • I quickly learned if you add a drop of Chocolate Brown or Warm Brown to your icing, it will turn it into a nice deep red that would be a perfect shade for any Santa costume.

How to Make This Awesome Red Royal Icing | The Bearfoot Baker

  • If you want to make an even deeper red, don’t add the brown food gel colors. Try using a touch of blue (extremely small amount!) food gel. I think you will like what you see.
    As someone commented below, you can destroy the red if you add too much of another color so go slow and use an extremely small amount! I can’t stress this enough.

How to Make Red Royal Icing Video:

The video is short and sweet. Enjoy!

How to Make This Super Red Royal Icing | The Bearfoot Baker

So let’s wrap this up.

  • Adding less color is more effective if you are patient and wait a day before you use your icing.
  • Try Tulip Red-it tastes better.
  • Bleeding Icing Colors- Be patient and let the colors develop.

I hope this helps and I can’t wait to see your Santa cookies!

Bear hugs,