Comparing Orange Food Colorings: Chefmaster Sunset Orange, Americolor Orange and Terracotta

Comparing Orange Food Colorings for decorating cookies

It's August. WHAT?!? You know what that means, right? Halloween and Fall cookies will soon be upon us. This means we need a great orange food coloring for our royal icing


Today, let's look at three gel paste food coloring for orange cookie decorating - Chefmaster Sunset Orange, Americolor Orange, and Americolor Terracotta. I like all three of these colors very much; this post shows the difference in tone. I wouldn't say one is better than another. 


Just like in the comparison of two navy blue food colorings, I mixed equal amounts food coloring and royal icing. I also did very little editing of the photos to best show the true colors.


Comparing Orange Food Colorings for decorating cookies


Why use gel paste food coloring?


First, let's talk gel paste food coloring in general. These are not your grandmother's liquid food colorings from the grocery store. The consistency is thicker, hence the name gel or paste, and won't thin frostings, icings, or whatever you're coloring. 


A little goes a looooooong way with these. The color will also darken as it dries. In doing these food coloring comparisons, I've noticed that the colors become more similar as the icing dries. They may look quite different when first mixed but once dry, they seem to even out, especially with saturated colors like these. 


perfect royal icing

I started with my no-fail royal icing recipe. Once made, I scooped out 1/2 cup of the icing in separate bowls, weighing the bowls to ensure the same amount was in each. 


 

"Gel paste food colorings are not your grandmother's liquid food colorings from the grocery store. The consistency is thicker, hence the name gel or paste, and won't thin frostings, icings, or whatever you're coloring."

 


I added 1/4 teaspoon of food coloring to each bowl. When I'm actually decorating cookies, I don't measure out icing or food coloring and would have started with less than this. 


A quarter-teaspoon was the smallest measure I had on hand. You can see that 1/4 teaspoon for 1/2 cup gets a very vivid color. Generally when mixing icing colors, I wouldn't use this much for such a small amount of icing. I have a 1/8-teaspoon measure on hand now for future experiments. 


Comparing Orange Food Colorings: Chefmaster Sunset Orange, Americolor Orange and Terracotta

I thinned the icings with water to a 10-second consistency and popped them into tipless piping bags, not bothering with an outline-and-fill situation like I normally would when decorating cookies. I iced my perfect every time cut-out cookies and let them dry overnight. 


Comparing Orange Food Colorings for cookie decorating

Once dried, the Chefmaster Sunset Orange and Americolor Orange look virtually the same. They're rich, bright, and clear. 


Comparing Orange Food Colorings for cookie decorating

Americolor Terracotta is a more muted shade and is exactly what you'd expect - a perfect match for a terracotta planter. This orange has a bit of pink to it and isn't as bright as the other two oranges. Even though it's muted, it's still quite vibrant.


Going forward, I'll try some more muted shades - I think the differences in shade and tone will be more pronounced with a smaller food coloring: icing ratio. That's my hypothesis. 


Here are some of my favorite decorated cookies using orange food coloring:

Comparing Orange Food Colorings for cookie decorating

What food colors would you like to see compared side-by-side next? 

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5 comments

  1. These comparisons are really interesting! You'd never have gotten that terracotta with my mom's liquid colorings :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks...and you're right! There are incredible colors out these days!

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  2. I enjoyed the navy comparison you did not too long ago, and this one did not disappoint! You asked which colors we would like to see next; I vote for red! Red is my favorite color, it is my mom’s favorite, and it was also her mom’s (my grandmother’s) favorite, so I am a 3rd generation lover of anything red. I know that sometimes red icings can be a little bitter (maybe that’s the case with any really saturated color), but maybe you can give some tips on getting that color without crossing that line. Love your blog!

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  3. It really feels good to find an idea blog post such as this, nice articles.

    ReplyDelete

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