Icing / food colouring is split into 3 main groups: pastes, liquids and powders / dusts.
PASTE: Cake Stuff are delighted to recommend Sugarflair "Spectral" concentrated icing paste / gel colourings. Sugarflair paste coloring is, in our honest opinion, some of the best icing and food colour you can buy today. Many, many times more concentrated than supermarket icing colourings, these professional paste colours (also called gels) go a very long way and one 25g pot could easily last months or even years.
Within the Sugarflair icing color range you will find "Tartranil" icing paste colourings - specific popular shades without any added tartrazine, an additive linked to hyperactivity in some children. Tartrazine was, historically, always required to produce these particular shades. Sugarflair icing paste colourings are now probably the safest / healthiest in the world.
You will also find Sugarflair "Extra" maximum strength icing paste colourings - the 3 most popular colours, offering the busier cake decorator the ultimate in concentrated colour, and in larger 42g pots for unbeatable value. Cake Stuff also stock a selection of Sugarflair paste icing colourings in large 400g bulk trade pots.
Cake Stuff also recommends Wilton and Ateco concentrated paste / gel icing colors as these offer additional shades not easily found in the UK.
Icing paste colourings can be used by adding a tiny amount to sugarpaste, marzipan, royal icing or buttercream (and by "tiny" we mean literally dipping the end of cocktail stick in the paste as this allows you to build up to the required shade), or diluting with a little water or Rejuvenator Fluid / Spirit to create a liquid colouring for painting on to icing, or for airbrushing.
Equally suitable for colouring sponge cake, marzipan, white chocolate, various other food and drinks. Sugarflair icing paste colourings are fat free, nut free, gluten free, GM free, are certified Kosher and are suitable for vegetarians.
Use Rejuvenator Fluid to breathe new life into dried paste icing colourings and for cleaning icing colours from equipment.
LIQUID: supermarket liquid icing colourings are nothing more than paste / gel colours which have been diluted to offer a cheap product. They are false economy and often affect the consistency of icing or buttercream as so much (including a lot of extra water) has to be used. Cake Stuff recommend Sugarflair Droplet Tints - a range of professional strength liquid icing colours ideal for sugar art and airbrushing.
You can also create your own liquid icing colours by adding Rejuvenator Fluid to paste, gel or powder colourings.
POWDER / DUST: Cake Stuff have always recommended Sugarflair icing powder and dust colourings. Cake Stuff also recommend the new range of "Plain & Simple" edible dusts from Rainbow Dusts, and we will continue to stock both ranges in order to give our customers the widest possible range of colours to choose from.
Icing powder and dust colourings can be used in two mains ways: by brushing dry on to sugarpaste to add natural looking colour and shading to flower petals etc or by mixing with Rejuvenator Spirit to create an edible paint or liquid colouring for painting on to icing, or for airbrushing. It is also possible to knead colouring through sugarpaste or flower paste but results are not consistent and for this use we would recommend concentrated paste icing colourings. Icing powder and dust colourings are especially effective for colouring marzipan.
The Sugarflair POWDER / DUST range is then split again into 3 further categories:
BLOSSOM TINTS - 40 edible dusting powders which can be mixed with each other to create an infinite range of shades, mix with White Blossom Tint for paler shades, mix with Edible Lustres for sparkle effects etc.
EDIBLE LUSTRE - 24 edible lustre colourings which catch the light to give a gorgeous lustre effect. The subtle differences between the various silver and gold shades are fantastic and Snowflake or Pearl White give a stunning, pearlised sparkle which makes any cake look extra special. Mix with Blossom Tints for lots more shades. 100% edible.
CRAFT DUSTING COLOURS - 10 more shades which were part of the Blossom Tint range but are now classed as "non toxic non-edible". We understand why some customers may feel uneasy about using these and are happy to explain . . . the EU regularly re-classify a number of edible products. The two classifications for food colouring are "edible" and "non-toxic", and some shades which can only be created using certain colourings move from class to class. The shades offered as Craft Dusting Colours simply cannot be created as dusts without using these particular colourings, so they are now classed as "non-toxic non-edible". The most infamous example is a red colouring which is permitted to be classed as "edible" in glacé cherries but not elsewhere . . . work that out?
We hope it goes without saying that they are safe although Sugarflair have to keep themselves right by stating that they should be used on non-edible items, such as sugar flowers etc.
Cake Stuff also recommend the Rainbow Dust range of Plain & Simple dust colours, edible Pearl dusts, edible metallic dusts and food-contact glitters. Both the Plain & Simple and Sugarflair ranges are fat free, nut free, gluten free, GM free, certified Kosher and suitable for vegetarians.
PLEASE NOTE that not all brands use pots with seals but, where they do, can we ask you to note the following? . . .
Our picking teams here at Cake Stuff are taught to check-tighten every lid of every product when packing your order - this may occasionally mean we break a paper seal if we come across a loose lid. Please regard this is a good sign (ie that we tightened a loose lid to prevent spillage) as opposed to something sinister in that the seal has been moved or torn. The seals are really there for retail shops - to discourage customers from opening lids. We don't have that problem here and seals are in no way a legal requirement, so please understand why occasionally one may appear torn.
As you browse through the colourings, please be sure you are purchasing the correct product as we cannot accept the return of colourings (even if unopened) for food safety reasons. This does not affect your statutory rights.
Please remember colours shown on this site are limited by photography and shades may appear to vary on different PC monitors. Please also be aware that most white icing already contains blue colouring so adding further colouring may result in a different shade being produced . . . Sugarflair colourings are created especially to work best with Renshaw sugarpastes.
COLOURINGS & FOOD SAFETY . . .
Because Cake Stuff offers colourings from the USA as well as the UK, it's important we try to clarify the position with colourings / labelling / legalities / safety etc. It's not an easy area - there's lots of conflicting advice, not helped by a few jealous competitors who even claim it is "illegal" for us to sell US colourings. Well - no, it's not actually!
The confusion probably starts with "E" numbers . . . E numbers are not "bad" as many people seem to think, the "E" stands for Europe and this is the European classification system for additives which are approved as safe for use in food. In the USA you'd see an FD&C number (Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act) doing a similar job, showing that the colouring had been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
When we import US colourings, we have convert the American FD&C numbers to the European E numbers. Very occasionally the American system approves a colouring with the European system does not, and vice versa. The most well known example is Red 3 which the American FDA regards as completely safe but the European Union only approve for use in glacé cherries. OK, so without being political, here's the question . . . if the EU think it's safe to eat French glacé cherries, why would it not be safe to eat the same colouring in icing? America agrees.
Wherever an anomaly like this appears, we will show the colouring as being a "competition colouring". We are therefore not encouraging its use as an edible item - we offer it for use in competition / exhibition / display pieces and know our customers have more than enough intelligence to make the final decision about how and where to use the colouring. If there was any question of a product being unsafe we would not dream of offering it for sale.
In addition, latest EU regulations include a provision that foods containing the six food colours E110, E104, E122, E129, E102 and E124 must be labelled not only with the relevant E number but also with the words "may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in some children".