Using Oil-Based Food Coloring

Using Oil-Based Food Coloring

Last Updated on August 11, 2022 by Cinthia

Food coloring is a great way to brighten up your favorite desserts. Using oil-based food coloring can be one of the best ways to color food, depending on what you are making. It can create beautiful, vibrant creations that will stand out.

Whether for a birthday party or graduation, having beautifully colored desserts can make the day even more special. Oil-based food coloring is great to use for many different foods. They are commonly used among many professional bakers to color different desserts.

Using Oil-Based Food Coloring

Oil-based food coloring is specially formulated to bind to oil-based products. It is meant to be used with any food where adding water would affect the mixture. It is specifically meant to be used with chocolate, candy melts, icing, and any fat or oil-based products.

With chocolate, you should never use regular food coloring as it will cause the chocolate to seize up. This will then ruin your chocolate, making it no longer presentable.

Oil-based food coloring is specifically made for binding coatings on candy melts and chocolate. Chocolate and candy melts are sensitive to water, which is why traditional food coloring does not work for them.

Oil-based food coloring for chocolate

No matter what type of chocolate you are working with, whether it is compound chocolate or genuine couverture chocolate, oil-based food coloring is the way to go. Using oil-based food coloring will ensure a smooth, consistent coloring throughout the chocolate.

If you try to use a water-based food coloring it will not properly mix into the chocolate, which will lead to it seizing. Oil-based food coloring provides bright, vibrant colors within your chocolate. There are many different colors available that you can use to color your chocolate or other fat or oil-based foods.

Other Types Of Food Coloring

There are several other types of food coloring available on the market. If you bake regularly, you will want to know the differences between them all so you know when to use what kind. Not all food colorings are created the same and not all of them can be used interchangeably.


Liquid food coloring is the most popular type to use and consists of synthetic coloring and a water base. It is ideal for achieving pastel colors but is not the best option for choosing darker, brighter colors.

Liquid food coloring is common for coloring cookies, cakes, doughs and frostings. It comes in small squeeze bottles and is easy to use.

Chocolate Coloring Oil Based Food Dye for Chocolate Candy Melts


Gel food coloring is much thicker than liquid food coloring. It creates more vibrant, darker colors, as less goes a long way. The color will deepen as it sits, so you often only need a few drops.

Gel food coloring is ideal for foods where you don’t want to add excess moisture, such as macarons. It is also great to achieve vibrant colors in cakes, frosting, and dough.


Liquid-gel is water-based but it also contains corn syrup and glycerine to make it thicker than traditional liquid food coloring. It is easier to use than gel food coloring and will provide deeper colors than liquid food coloring.

Liquid-gel is ideal for fondant, frosting, and cakes. It is a versatile food coloring that can be used for many different foods, except chocolate.


Powder food coloring does not contain any liquid. It is great for using on foods sensitive to additional liquid, such as macarons or chocolate.

It does not mix well with water so instead it should be mixed with a small amount of alcohol. You can also use a food-grade paintbrush and apply it directly to food as a decoration. It does not mix well in batters.


Natural food coloring is a liquid food coloring that uses only natural ingredients to make the colors. It uses ingredients such as beets, turmeric, and even spinach to make colors.

Natural food coloring is a great alternative to traditional food colorings if you are wanting to take a natural approach. However, it does not create very vibrant colors and you need to use several drops.


Though not as common, airbrush food coloring is used in an airbrush to decorate foods. It is great for using as decorations on cakes and even chocolate.

Creating Beautifully Colored Chocolate

Though there are a few types of food color that work to color chocolate, oil-based food colorings are the best way to go. They create bright, beautiful colors while keeping the consistency of the chocolate smooth. You want to avoid using traditional liquid food coloring with chocolate as it will not mix well.

where to buy oil-based food coloring

Oil-based food colorings are ideal to use on any foods where adding water could cause problems. They are also great to use in candy melts and frostings as well. Though you can buy oil-based food coloring, you can also make your own by combining vegetable oil and gel food coloring.

Do you have any questions regarding oil-based food coloring? If so, please ask any questions regarding using oil-based food coloring in the comment section down below.


How to Make Oil-Based Food Coloring?

You can easily make your own oil-based food coloring at home. To do so, you will need vegetable oil and gel food coloring.

Take 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil and mix it together with two drops of gel food coloring. Repeat with every color and repeat the process as needed. You can then use it to color chocolate or candy melts.

What is Oil-Based Food Coloring?

Oil-based food coloring is designed to bind to oil-based products such as chocolate and candy melts. It generally contains glycerol, colors and lecithin. It will create an even, smooth, vibrant coloring in chocolate that will stand out and will not cause the chocolate to seize.

Where to Buy Oil-Based Food Coloring?

Some grocery stores may sell oil-based food coloring, but they can be hard to find at some grocery stores. Many baking and craft stores will sell it. You can also buy oil-based food coloring online as well and there are many different brands available.

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