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Old 09-25-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Making coloured icing (dusting) sugar, how?

Hi, I am new to the forum and have a question about "coloured" icing (dusting) sugars

I have to make a birthday cake (birthday is on Sep 28th) and this is the cake I am making:

The recipe is here:

I will not be making it exactly the same as in the recipe, there will be no nuts, instead, I will be putting a stencil over the top of the cake and dusting it with icing sugar, what I want to know is, how do I make yellow and orange dusting icing sugar from white icing sugar?

Can I mix liquid food colouring in to some white icing sugar to change the colour? Obviously, that will make it go hard when it dries, so I will have to grind it all down to fine powder again, will that work?

Alternatively, if I can't make coloured icing sugar to dust with, I will just have to use the plain white and add some cocoa powder to it to get differing shades from white to darker brown, any advice would be appreciated, thanks.



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Old 09-25-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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Hi SP --

To be honest, I think your best bet is buying colored dusting sugar, although I'm a bit confused by what you mean. Have you seen it available? (I only know of sugar flower dusts which are brushed onto dry sugar flowers.) You don't say where you're located but since it's a Delia recipe, I'd guess the U.K. If that's the case, why don't you try SK (Squire's Kitchen) products -- they have a good website.

You certainly could TRY making it as you described, but I couldn't guarantee success. If you do try ... let US know!

Dusting with white sugar and/or cocoa, however, is pretty easy and can be very effective on a light chocolate cake like you show above. However, the surface of the icing needs to be fairly dry or the sugar/cocoa will melt and possibly even bleed. Can you make a trial beforehand?

(I think many of these design approaches are most suited to fondant-covered cakes ...)

Good luck! Let us know how it all turns out?

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Old 09-25-2006, 10:13 AM   #3
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Ok few things.. Icing sugar with found colouring wont get hard... just like you see on a dougnuts if you try grinding that it will go back liquid.. heres what you can do but it is lengthy

You either buy coloured sugar and place that in a coffee grinder until its a powder becuase thats what essentially powdered sugar is.. OR

You can take white sugar boil as if your making sugar decorations etc. and get it to the candy stage drop some food colouring in.. put it on a sheet pan then take that and grind it up. If you choose to go that route ill give you the step by step instructions

BUT if you want to dust with cocoa powder you can do so.. Thats how i dust my truffles as long as its not going in the fridge as then the cocoa will melt :)

Hope this helps
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:33 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies Ayrton and Jen.

I had sort of wondered if it might go back to liquid if I tried to grind it after drying, so that's a no go then. As for the other ideas you mentioned, such as the sugar boil thing, I have never heard of that and I am not sure it's worth going to all that trouble really, plus with me being a complete novice at this sort of thing.

With regards to the bleeding from dusting icing powder on to the top of the cake, I didn't think of that happening if the fudge was/is damp, hmmmm, maybe I could add some icing sugar to the fudge topping so that it goes slightly hard, and therefore making it dry to apply the stencilling, thanks for the tip.

I have looked at local stores for coloured dust but they don't seem to stock it, and there are no specialist cake shops in my area of the UK either.

I did just find this on Google for making coloured sugar:

Coloured Sugar
• Zip-top bag
• 1 1/2 cup sugar
• Food Colouring
1. Place in a zip-top bag.
2. Add 4-6 drops of food colouring.
3. Zip top closed and shake.

I might give that a try, only I will spread the sugar out on the worktop after mixing and leave it to dry completely, before whizzing it to powder in a blender, might work, worth try anyway.

Thanks for you help!
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:37 PM   #5
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As mentioned previously, I am trying and make my own coloured icing sugar, I used normal granulated sugar, and added red, green and yellow liquid food colouring, filled a small pot with sugar, added a few drops of each colour, then shake the pot vigorously to coat all the sugar and spread it out on plates to dry thoroughly:

Tomorrow, the coloured sugar will be (hopefully) turned in to icing powder in a food blender, ready for doing the stencil on top of the cake, this is the stencil, I made it by copying part of it from something I found on Google, and added balloon and heart images, left a couple of spaces to pipe the persons name with icing:

Sorry about the photos, this tiny camera is rubbish and the photos are more grainy than the sugar , I will take more photos whilst baking the cake tomorrow.
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:13 PM   #6
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Location: Southern California
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Your chocolate cake looks great and as far as making coloured (dusting) sugar I have never used it.

This Cooking Site has the greatest cooks and chefs and I am sure they will have a answer for you.

Welcome to DC.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-27-2006, 12:13 AM   #7
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Good morning, SP1 --

I think you're doing pretty well so far, and I admire your perseverance! I suspect that the colored sugar you've made will pretty successfully grind down to a powder fine enough to work. Good for you!

However, if you hope to do this sort of thing again, do consider getting some specialist supplies. They're not all that expensive, but they'd probably require you to mailorder them (I mail order mine all the way down from the U.K. to Greece!). They'll be far less hassle and probably ultimately easier to work with / more satisfactory.

Also, consider covering your next cake with fondant. Have you used it before? I know it's common in the U.K. where you have very detailed decorating work (far more detailed than what's common in the U.S.). I do this for a hobby so if I can help at all, please let me know -- I'd be happy to advise!

Again, good job so far. I'm sure the birthday girl or boy will be very happy!

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