How To Make Maroon, Burgundy, And Other Deep Red Colored Icing and Frosting

Whether it's maroon, burgundy, crimson, or dark red icing, you can use these color formulas to help you get the right color with the least amount of food coloring! 

How do I make burgundy, maroon, or dark red icing or frosting colors?

There is no doubt about it -- getting the perfect red icing color is a total pain. Not like "Giving birth to triplets in the jungle while simultaneously blowing bubbles to distract a nearby crocodile" pain. But definitely somewhere between "Stepping on Legos in the nighttime" and "Brushing your teeth with hand soap" kind of pain.'s compounded by the illusion that we all identify colors by the same name. 

Take for example....maroon and burgundy. 

How to make maroon, burgundy, and deep red icing and frosting

These are quite possibly the most mixed up colors by name in the history of ever. They are OFTEN confused for each other. Sometimes even in very official settings. Do you know which one is which?

Maroon comes from the French "le marron" which means -- CHESTNUT or BROWN. 

Burgundy refers to the color of BURGUNDY WINE -- which has a purple tint to it. 

But here's the thing -- it just doesn't matter which one is RIGHT. What matters -- is what color your customer is asking for....and mixing it as accurately as possible. And that's where I come in. 

Whether it's burgundy, maroon, crimson, brick red, garnet, cherry, currant... 

When a client asks for a specific color of darkish red -- BY NAME -- I strongly recommend that you show them my numbered chart at the top of this post. Ask them which color is closest to what they are thinking. And then come back here and make that exact color!! Easy peasy. 

Side note: If your client uses the words "I don't know," "maybe," or "probably" when choosing one of these colors, it's safe to assume that close enough is good enough. Don't stress over getting it exactly perfect. On the flip side, if a client responds by sending you a more precise example of the color they are hoping will need to be aware that exact colors are important to your client. It might be best to assure them you'll do your best, but some color differences might occur. Make sure they are okay with that before proceeding if you're not confident you can achieve an exact color match. 

What food color do I use to make maroon, burgundy, or dark red icing or frosting?

I used Chefmaster brand food coloring for all of these formulas. 

If you're not sure what the "parts" mean, or how to use these formulas, check out THIS POST for detailed step-by-step photos! 

ALL of these colors will deepen after 24 hours and then just a little more as they dry on the cookie. When making the darkest versions of these colors, stop just before it's as dark as you want it to be. If at all possible, make the icing 1-2 days in advance so you have time to add just a little more food coloring if you need to. It will help you use the least amount of food coloring to get those deep dark colors you are looking for!!! (And keep your icing tasting sweet instead of bitter!)

See more of my color palettes and formulas HERE

Cookie decorating pro tip -- get a color swatch from your customer to help you match icing colors


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