Making Buttercream Red

I have been baking and cake decorating for about two three years and the one thing that gets me everytime is making red buttercream without making it bitter. I always order it ,BUT I would like to know how to mix it myself. Any Ideas for me?


Sharon A./Not Your Average Cupcake

I have the same dilemma. I am TOLD that Americolor Super Red is pretty good and LESS bitter, so I bought it but did not try it yet. Oh, and Wilton NO TASTE RED does have a taste. :( I was also told that possibly POWDERED color adds no taste.


Donna Tokazowski- Cake Hatteras, Hatteras N.C.

I use Americolor super red and I don’t seem to notice a problem. I also read once, to trying tinting the icing pink, and then add the red food coloring. By tinting the icing pink, (with pink food coloring) you don’t need as much red food coloring.

I hope this helps!

Xuân-Minh, Minh Cakes

Hi, I don’t know if you would mind the taste, but it might help to add a bit of dutched cocoa powder, which has a rich red tint to it. Not to turn the buttercream brown, but help darken it and turn it from pink to red.
Americolor super red tastes quite bitter in my opinion… but maybe I’m just sensitive!

Cake Decor in Cairns

I like the Americolor super red plus the cocoa powder.


I’ve had really good luck with using Ameicolor tulip red. It has no taste. It’ll look a little on the orange side at first, but as the color sits, it will darken.


If you make your own icing, add powder food color (in your case red) to the powdered confectionery sugar, mix thoroughly then add the liquid. You will have the best red icing you’ve ever seen using very little food color. If you add it after you you’ve add in the water or milk it will take more red food color and your icing will taste bitter. It’s a chemical thing so remember powder with powder. This works for all the deep dark colors even black.


I have used the claret and sky blue Rainbow dust pro gel colours; does what is says on the tube!

Sharon A./Not Your Average Cupcake

Thanks for replying …I’m learning a lot!

Xuân-Minh, Minh Cakes

Great advice pattycake! When you say “liquid”, does that include butter?

What if I make meringue buttercream, which don’t include any powdered sugar?

Calli Creations

Thanks patty cakes…. Good to know. I make my own icing as well, and I use sugar flair red extra, it’s concentrated and you use far less