How To Make Grey Food Coloring - An In-depth Guide

Quick Recipe: How To Make Grey Food Coloring – An In-depth Guide

Running out of grey coloring is the worst! But fear not, because this is the ultimate tutorial on how to make brilliant grey food coloring.

While grey might not be the most popular color used in baking, it is certainly gaining traction and we love it! Grey food coloring adds a touch of elegance and mysticism to cakes and pasties alike. You can also check out our tutorial for making Gray Frosting.

Read more about What Colors Make Fuchsia Icing?

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How To Make Grey Food Coloring

In our opinion, getting the correct shade of grey in frostings and other baked goods is extremely difficult to achieve and often infuriating. You go to the baking shop and buy the exact shade you need, just to find out after hours of baking that it is one shade off. Now, some can let this go, but if you are anything like us, that one shade is one shade too many.

Luckily, today’s article is packed with a ton of ways you can make (and adjust) grey food coloring for your food items.

Wilton Icing Colors 12-Piece Gel Food Coloring Set

Option 1: Mixing black and white food coloring

This is the simplest and most effective way to make pure grey food coloring that you can store for later use. Mixing black and white food coloring will allow you to play around with different shades of grey until you find the one you are looking for. And, once you are done mixing, you can place the mixture into an old empty food coloring bottle or even a resealable plastic bag.

To start first, think about the shade of grey you want to get. If you want a very dark grey, add white to a black food coloring base. If you only want a light grey, you will add a few drops of black to a white food coloring base. You will always use much more of the base color.

If you want a mid-tone grey (one that isn’t very light but also isn’t very dark), use white as a base color and keep adding black. It is always easier to darker a color than to make it lighter.

Option 2: Mix other colors

You can actually use the color wheel to figure out what colors make gray. The rule of thumb to create a neutral grey is to mix a primary and a complimentary color. You can also mix all three primary colors to make grey.

  • red and green
  • blue and orange
  • yellow and purple

The biggest obstacle is lightening these colors. The easiest way to do so is by using white food coloring.

Another color mixing option is black and blue food coloring. But, again, you will need white to help lighten to color.

how to make the color grey

Option 3: Add color to a light batter

If you have a light batter, there are a ton of ingredients you can add to slowly change the color to grey. Adding black food coloring, specifically gel coloring will help create a ton of beautiful grey shades. The biggest problem with this is getting the nice dark shades of grey. You will need to add quite a lot of black which could be wasteful and be a messy experience.

Another clever method is to add some black cocoa powder. This will instantly give you a darker shade of grey, but it will also change the flavor of your dish.

What You Will Need To Make Grey Food Coloring

Ingredients

  • black gel food coloring
  • white gel food coloring

Equipment

  • small glass mixing bowl
  • toothpick or skewer
  • white paper towel
  • silicone spatula
  • storage container

Step by step instructions for making gray food coloring

Step 1: Mix the colors

To start is fairly easy; add some white gel food coloring into a small glass mixing bowl. If you need a very dark shade of grey, then start with the black food coloring as your base. Slowly add a few drops at a time to the white base and between each addition, mix the colors together using a toothpick or skewer.

Step 2: Test the color

Between every addition and mixing of colors, or even if you think you are close to getting the right color, you can test it on a piece of paper towel. To do this, simply take the toothpick with some color on it and softly paint it on the sheet of white kitchen towel.

Step 3: Use or store the coloring

Once you have achieved the desired shade of grey, you can either use it immediately, or you can store it for future use. To use it, slowly add a few drops of your homemade grey food coloring to the item you want to color. Mix before adding some more to get a darker color.

To store the coloring, use your spatula to scrape out as much coloring as you can from the glass bowl and place it into the container of your choice. We prefer using old empty (and cleaned) food coloring bottles.

mixing black and white

Tips And Tricks

  • You can the same method to test the shade of grey when mixing black and blue, or primary and complementary colors. We would however recommend combining those colors directly into your batter or frosting to have a much more accurate representation of what it will come out as.
  • The reason we use a toothpick or wooden skewer instead of a spoon to mix the colors is because of the surface area. A spoon has a bigger surface area, meaning more coloring will sit on it instead of mixing with each other. Naturally, a toothpick has less surface area, meaning it will mix more than it holds on to. Yes, it will take longer to mix the colors, but it is worth it!
  • Instead of testing the color on a paper towel, you can test it directly in your frosting or batter. Just make sure to add color slowly. Remember, it is harder to lighten a shade than to make it darker.

How To Make The Color Grey

Practice, practice, practice! The best way to figure out exactly how to make the color grey is by testing every method you can. This will help you choose what works best for you and what gives you the closest shade to what you have in mind. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time. It is a true skill to mix colors.

Feel free to let us know how your color mixing trial went or if you have any questions and remember to share this tutorial with all of your baking buddies!

How To Make Grey Food Coloring - An In-depth Guide

Running out of grey coloring is the worst! But fear not, because this is the ultimate tutorial on how to make brilliant grey food coloring.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make grey food coloring, how to make the color grey, mixing black and white, what colors make gray
Author: Cakedecorist

Equipment

  • small glass mixing bowl
  • toothpick or skewer
  • white paper towel
  • Silicone spatula
  • storage container

Ingredients
  

  • black gel food coloring
  • white gel food coloring

Instructions

  • Mix the colors.
    To start is fairly easy; add some white gel food coloring into a small glass mixing bowl. If you need a very dark shade of grey, then start with the black food coloring as your base. Slowly add a few drops at a time to the white base and between each addition, mix the colors together using a toothpick or skewer.
    black gel food coloring, white gel food coloring
  • Test the color.
    Between every addition and mixing of colors, or even if you think you are close to getting the right color, you can test it on a piece of paper towel. To do this, simply take the toothpick with some color on it and softly paint it on the sheet of white kitchen towel.
  • Use or store the coloring.
    Once you have achieved the desired shade of grey, you can either use it immediately, or you can store it for future use. To use it, slowly add a few drops of your homemade grey food coloring to the item you want to color. Mix before adding some more to get a darker color.
    To store the coloring, use your spatula to scrape out as much coloring as you can from the glass bowl and place it into the container of your choice. We prefer using old empty (and cleaned) food coloring bottles.

Notes

You can the same method to test the shade of grey when mixing black and blue, or primary and complementary colors. We would however recommend combining those colors directly into your batter or frosting to have a much more accurate representation of what it will come out as.
The reason we use a toothpick or wooden skewer instead of a spoon to mix the colors is because of the surface area. A spoon has a bigger surface area, meaning more coloring will sit on it instead of mixing with each other. Naturally, a toothpick has less surface area, meaning it will mix more than it holds on to. Yes, it will take longer to mix the colors, but it is worth it!
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