Gel versus Liquid Food Coloring?


jesslane94

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Can anyone enlighten me on what exactly the difference between the two is? Is it better in some situations to use the gel? Thanks for your help!
 
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Soliloquy

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Gel is a lot more concentrated than liquid food coloring, so definitely use it when changing the amount of liquid could have a significant affect on the final results, like frosting. You'll also get much brighter, more saturated colors from the gel.
 

jesslane94

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Oh, thank you so much! I'll probably get the gel then. Might make some pokeball sugar cookies sometime, and I want it to be red and not pink!
 

Marie

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I tend to use the paste (is this the same as gel?) as it's much thicker and more concentrated. I still struggle to get some vibrant colours as bright and vivid as I'd like ( specifically Black and Red) but I find it much better than the liquid..
With frosting, I still have to add more icing sugar to get it the right consistency.. and I still have to add quite a lot of colours to stop Red being Pink and Black being Grey etc..

Has anyone had any experience with powders? Or any suggestions on how better to use paste food colouring?
 

jesslane94

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Oh really? I've never heard of paste... I have got to check that out! I definitely agree with the red, it is so hard to get it vivid. For example, I made red velvet cupcakes the other day with a whole thing of red dye and it hardly looked red to me. :C I need to try these gels and pastes! I know the struggle.

Powders? Never heard of that either! I would love to hear someone's suggestions also!
 

edimzy

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I've personally never used gel and these facts are very interesting to read. I'm just used to using the traditional liquid, and they turn out good for me. Sometimes I can't get that bright or dark of a color, but I'm okay with that. For example, last year for The 4th of July I made cupcakes and I needed a dark red and blue color, but they came up pinkish and light blue. For more vibrant colors I think the gel is needed.
 
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mommykerrie

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Oh, thank you so much! I'll probably get the gel then. Might make some pokeball sugar cookies sometime, and I want it to be red and not pink!
OMG, this cake picture is amazing! What a gorgeous rainbow.You can get that from gel?
 

stanfordsarah

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Can anyone enlighten me on what exactly the difference between the two is? Is it better in some situations to use the gel? Thanks for your help!
I guess it depends on what you are using it for. I made peppermint marshmallows last Christmas and had gel food coloring and it was hard to swirl through the marshmallow mixture. i think liquid would have been easier. I find them to be similar in terms of "messiness", though.
 

cefmac

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I usually use gel and I much prefer it. It doesn't change the consistency of the icing as much, and you get a lot more control over the colour - it takes a lot less to make a vibrant colour, so it lasts longer as well. I also find that liquid food colouring tends to smell and taste weird after a while, but gel takes longer to go out of date. I always put gel food colouring into my icing with a cocktail stick, which makes it very easy to change the colour of the icing gradually as you do it in small increments.
 

jesslane94

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Thanks for all the input guys! I want to try gel food coloring now! Sometimes it's difficult for me to get that bright, vibrant color too. And I got my rainbow cake pic, off the internet, to be honest, so I don't know if it was made with gel food coloring!
 

Rubymusic1

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That cake does look very nice though! I'm presuming it was done using gel, unless it was photoshopped for the bright colours which could be the case...
 
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jodiann12

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Gel is a lot more concentrated than liquid food coloring, so definitely use it when changing the amount of liquid could have a significant affect on the final results, like frosting. You'll also get much brighter, more saturated colors from the gel.
Thank you so much Soliloquy for this. I am scared sometimes to do too much decorating and handling food coloring because I don't want to get the color wrong. This has really helped me to tell the difference between the two.
 

jodiann12

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I usually use gel and I much prefer it. It doesn't change the consistency of the icing as much, and you get a lot more control over the colour - it takes a lot less to make a vibrant colour, so it lasts longer as well. I also find that liquid food colouring tends to smell and taste weird after a while, but gel takes longer to go out of date. I always put gel food colouring into my icing with a cocktail stick, which makes it very easy to change the colour of the icing gradually as you do it in small increments.
Thank you so much for this tip Cefmac. I will definitely try this when trying to gradually change the color of the icing.
 

kmo1484

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I generally MUCH prefer gel over food coloring. The coloring is so much brighter and in my opinion, its easier to use! I like to get it in tubes as well and use it to stencil decorate, or just free-hand!
 

Meaw Laade

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There should be a proper way of using the gel and liquid food coloring in there respective recipes if both are mix in the same recipe then there would be a mixture of texture in your mouth while eating the dish many people use the both in same dish but in a very limited way if you want to give a bite as well as a vibrant texture to your dish then add a little bit of honey to it if you want to make it more healthy then use the natural honey which has more flavor and also no added preservatives.
Find more recipe.
 

susieeQT

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I've only used gel to color icing. It's really easy and you don't use very much, and you can experiment with different shades. I haven't tried using it to color anything else yet, mostly because I don't know how or what difference it would make compared to food coloring.

The only downside for me is that the gel that I use stains very, very, very easily. You literally can't touch it to anything else, especially your skin, or you'll have colorful fingers for a few days. :p
 
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Tina Nord

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The rainbow cake looks amazing and is making my mouth water right now!! I tend to prefer gel food coloring as well as it is more controllable and less messy. There are a few applications where you pretty much need to use liquid, but for most cakes and frostings, gel is the way to go.
 

jlynn71

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The gel I think is more concentrated that the drops, the paste more than the gel. I have seen some add the paste to icing using a toothpick because it is so strong. I work in a deli/bakery and we do occasionally use gel to color some of the icing. When adding gel, it still does tend to water the icing down a bit, so I would highly recommend paste if you can get it.
 

torreyy

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That cake does look very nice though! I'm presuming it was done using gel, unless it was photoshopped for the bright colours which could be the case...
It is a beautiful cake, the colors are fabulous. I'm wondering though, what about bitterness???
 
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jlynn71

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I have not tried the rainbow cake in particular, but I know if you use red #40 no-taste red instead of red #3, there is no bitterness. I agree with everyone else about the difficulty in getting saturated color, I have not tried powered colorings, but paste is usually very strong. I would like to try the power, it would help maintain the consistency of the icing.
 

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