Food coloring is tricky business. Finding the perfect colors that will deliver the result you’re going for without compromising the quality of the product is always a bit of a challenge. Plus, there’s the choice between liquids and gels to consider. Gel food coloring is generally preferred because its thicker formula is less likely to thin out frostings and other liquids and cause issues. However, not all gels are created the same. Some have better color depth or selection, while others will provide less of an aftertaste.
This guide will help you find the best gel food coloring collections or individual colors, no matter what you have in mind. We have reviewed the top gel food colorings on the market today and provided an in-depth look at what each has to offer. Plus, at the end of this guide, you’ll find helpful information about how to buy the best food coloring for any baking or creating needs. First up, let’s take a quick look at how the products stack up by grade.
Our favorite set is the AmeriColor Student Kit that includes 12 assorted food coloring gel pastes in bright colors that leave no aftertaste and that won’t separate, no matter how they are used. Plus, this set is known for producing consistent color results time and again.
People on a budget will love the gel set from Wilton, a leader in home baking products and accessories. Wilton’s 12-count gel-based food coloring set includes vibrant colors in easy-to-use containers at a price everyone can appreciate.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Gel Food Colorings
- 1. AmeriColor Student Kit Gel Food Coloring
- 2. Wilton Icing Colors, 12-Count Gel-Based Food Color
- 3. Wilton Neon Gel Food Color Set
- 4. U.S. Cake Supply 12 Color Cake Food Coloring Liqua-Gel
- 5. Good Cooking Food Coloring Liqua-Gel
- 6. Wilton 610-981 Icing Gel
- 7. Chefmaster Liqua-Gel Starter Set
- 8. AmeriColor Food Coloring Soft Gel Paste
- How To Choose the Best Gel Food Coloring: For Baking, Decorating, and More
Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Gel Food Colorings
This collection of gel food coloring from AmeriColor delivers the perfect starter set for beginners as well as those who are more advanced in the kitchen. Don't let the name fool you—this kit has all the utility that an experienced baker needs with plenty of colors for a variety of creations. This set is known for its premium quality and superior pigmentation, providing bright, vibrant colors with less gel needed than its competitors. Plus, they come in easy squeeze bottles that won’t spill or over-pour.
This kit includes all of the standard primary colors, along with additional popular colors. The set includes super black, royal blue, sky blue, lemon yellow, chocolate brown, super red, deep pink, fuchsia, violet, leaf green, teal, and orange colors. Whatever colors you don’t have can be mixed from those included, giving you endless possibilities. This set includes premium ingredients for no residual aftertaste and is Kosher-certified. The color results are vibrant and authentic, and the gel will last longer because it goes further than most, giving you more for your money.
The 12-count gel food coloring set from Wilton is a classic that many home cooks know and love. Wilton is known for creating pastry accessories and baking products, and this gel food color set is just another of their great products. Only a little gel is needed to create bright, vibrant colors that will be ideal for all kinds of decorating and food coloring needs. These are certified Kosher but are produced in a facility that processes soy, egg, and tree nuts.
This set of icing colors includes all of the primary colors plus brown, black, teal, copper, and burgundy. Each container holds 0.5 ounces of gel coloring with secure screw tops to ensure no spillage during storage or transit. This unique gel-based formula from Wilton is designed to provide bold colors without changing the consistency of your frosting or batter and they can be used with just about anything that you have in mind. A single toothpick dip into the color is enough to provide color for an entire batch, meaning these colors could last you for months to come.
3. Wilton Neon Gel Food Color Set
When you want something a little different, this Neon Gel Food Color Set from Wilton is sure to take the cake—literally… if that’s what you’re baking. This set includes four bright neon colors that will create the perfect shade for any occasion or design. With this set, you’ll get purple, magenta, teal, and orange food color gels for all kinds of treats and coloring needs, and each one will produce bold results without using too much product, so they’ll last for a long time even with regular use.These food colors are made in the USA and designed to work without altering the taste or consistency of the food that you’re making. The colors are also Kosher-certified and gluten-free, but they are processed in a plant that processes tree nuts, soy, and eggs.
4. U.S. Cake Supply 12 Color Cake Food Coloring Liqua-Gel
The Liqua-Gel 12 Color set from U.S. Cake Supply is a cake maker’s dream. This set includes all of the best, boldest colors in gel form so that your batters and frostings aren’t altered in any fashion. There's no aftertaste to worry about, either, and the colors are easy to mix to get perfect results every single time. This set includes plenty of shades of red, along with other standard colors to make decorating a breeze. In the kit, you will find navy blue, white, teal green, forest green, Christmas red, Georgia peach, baker’s rose, golden yellow, tulip red, red red, burgundy wine, and fuchsia.
This food coloring gel set is made up of the most popular secondary colors. It is made in the U.S. and uses only the highest quality ingredients. These gel food colors are certified Kosher and come in a convenient box that stores them and keeps them protected from the light and the elements. Each color will produce vibrant results without having to use as much as you would with liquid food coloring, giving you more for your money. Plus, this brand is the preferred choice for professional cake makers and has been for many years.
5. Good Cooking Food Coloring Liqua-Gel
The Liqua-Gel Food Coloring 12 PK includes all of the basic primary colors for all kinds of decorating and food coloring needs. This set offers a dozen colors that are easily dispensed, thanks to their convenient squeeze bottles and flip-cap design that closes securely to keep the colors from leaking in storage, even if they are stored on their side. The set will not separate or weep when mixed with any foods or frostings, and the colors are vibrant when mixed properly. You can use them for all kinds of baking, decorating, and cooking needs and they will last longer because a little goes a long way.This kit features the following colors: coal black, sky blue, royal blue, lemon yellow, buckeye brown, leaf green, teal, fuchsia, sunset orange, super red, deep pink, and violet. These can even be used for making slime, homemade playdough, and other non-edible crafts and items. These gel colors are certified Kosher and made in the USA. They are made with premium ingredients for better color saturation without affecting the consistency of your doughs, frostings, or other foods.
6. Wilton 610-981 Icing Gel
For the ultimate black in all of your food coloring, this Wilton Icing Gel delivers exactly what you need. The 1-ounce container includes concentrated food coloring gel that is certified Kosher and designed to produce deeper, richer colors than liquid food coloring. You only need a small amount of this coloring to create the perfect brightness, and large quantities could affect the taste of the food that you color. While most of the options on this list are sets, there are plenty of cooks and decorators who will tell you the value of being able to buy black food coloring and icing separately.This single container can go a long way, thanks to the superior coloring technology employed in making the concentrated gel. Plus, it comes from the reputable brand Wilton, so you can trust that you are getting a quality product no matter what you use it for. The true black color is also fun for homemade slime or play dough, as well as other crafts. Made from simple ingredients and designed to deliver impressive results, this black gel food coloring is a must-have for anyone who decorates or colors foods regularly.
7. Chefmaster Liqua-Gel Starter Set
Whether you’re just starting with food colors or you’re just looking to buy a full set at once, the Chefmaster Liqua-Gel Starter Set delivers everything that you need. This set includes 12 bold colors in 0.7-ounce bottles that will go a long way since you only need a couple of drops to achieve color perfection. These certified-Kosher colors are made locally in the USA, so you can trust that you are getting quality, FDA-approved food-safe products. Plus, these gels won’t break down or weep when mixed with any kind of whipped or light frosting.This starter set includes all of the primary colors, as well as a few bonus colors. In the pack, you will get buckeye brown, leaf green, sky blue, sunset orange, violet, royal blue, deep pink, flesh tone, lemon yellow, fuchsia, super red, and coal black. These colors don’t have any taste, so you won’t have to worry about them affecting the flavor of your foods, either.
8. AmeriColor Food Coloring Soft Gel Paste
This bottle of gel paste in bright white is a bestseller from AmeriColor. One bottle includes plenty of gel paste to provide plenty of use in frostings, icings, fondant, batters, macarons, and so much more. You can even use it to make homemade play dough and slime when you want a bright, vibrant white finish. Another reason people choose white is to have a solid base before they begin coloring to achieve the perfect color result. Either way, this coloring from AmeriColor will provide everything that you need.
The high-quality ingredients used to make this gel paste are designed to mix with anything without separating, bleeding, weeping, or hardening in the process. It works with just a few drops of color to produce vibrant results, and every single product from this brand is made in the USA and certified Kosher. Get the colors you’ve always wanted and never worry about changing the consistency of your frosting or dough along the way, thanks to the smooth gel consistency. Plus, it comes from AmeriColor, a leader in food coloring products for several years, so you can trust that you’re getting a high-quality food coloring product.
How To Choose the Best Gel Food Coloring: For Baking, Decorating, and More
There is a lot that you can do with the right food coloring product, but first you have to find which is the right one for you. First and foremost, of course, you have to find the right colors for whatever your decorating or baking needs might be. Then, you’ll want to consider buying a set versus individual colors, as well as which sets offer the best value, and what ingredients are used.
There are some other factors to consider, as well, but the ultimate goal is to ensure that you get the best gel food coloring for your needs, no matter what that might be. Keep reading to learn more about what factors should be on your must-have list.
What are the Ingredients?
Almost all gel food coloring products have similar ingredients that include a mix of sugars, color pigments, and water. Some include other ingredients or a base other than water, but the most important element is the color pigment used. If anything, this is what could alter the taste of the product, and that’s the last thing that you want. Read the label carefully to ensure that you are getting products with minimal ingredients and that won’t affect the taste or consistency of the final product.
One big thing to watch out for is where the ingredients are sourced and where the product is made. Products made in the USA are FDA-approved and food safe so that you can trust what you buy, even when you’re shopping online. Whenever you’re mixing something with food, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re putting into your body or those of other people.
If you need things like vegan, non-GMO, and other specially crafted gel food colors, those are also available. You'll just have to look at the listings and labels to make sure that you find what you need. The nice thing about food colors is that they don’t generally have ingredients that would go against specific dietary needs, however, so this may be less of an issue.
How Many Colors are Included?
All but two products on our list of the best gel food coloring products are sold in the form of a set. Most include about a dozen colors, although there are smaller and larger sets available. The neon set listed, for example, only includes four colors. It isn’t really about getting the most colors so much as it is about getting the right colors for your needs.
Many people only want one or two colors, so they might feel like it’s a waste of money to buy a whole set that includes 12 or more different colors. However, you might be surprised at just how much you use them once you have them. Plus, you can always give them to people who will use them if you don’t need the entire set. Individual colors are fine if you only need one or two. However, you’ll usually get a better deal by buying the set.
Another thing to think about is which colors are included in the set. As you saw in the list above, a lot of sets include primary colors along with one or two additions. There are other sets, like the neon and secondary color sets, as well. Thanks to online shopping, you can find almost anything you want in terms of gel food coloring sets and kits, regardless of what you have in mind.
Container/Dispenser Design and Ease of Use
The biggest flaw of food coloring, including the gel form, is that it is often difficult to work with because of the high risk of staining counters or other items that aren’t meant to be colored. That's why it’s important to look at the dispenser or container that holds the gel food coloring and see how the coloring is applied. A lot of the sets on our list include a squeeze bottle design, which is the easiest to use because it allows you to add one drop at a time without requiring additional tools or containers.
Some of the Wilton colors come in small pots with screw-on lids, but even Wilton just suggests dipping the colors out with a toothpick. Thus, the use shouldn’t be that much more difficult. Of course, some people won’t want to have open containers of gel coloring on the counter for extended periods, which is why the squeeze bottles and flip-top lids are usually the preferred options.
Precision is critical when it comes to creating the perfect color. You can’t get precision without the right dispenser, so even though it might seem trivial, it matters more than you realize. Take the time to consider the dispensing method and container style of a food coloring set before you make your decision. You'll likely find out once you start working that it makes a bigger difference in how easy it is to work with and be glad that you did.
The Benefits of Gel Food Coloring
Using gel food colors is a way to produce vibrant colors and reduce the risk of thinning out the liquid or item that you are trying to color in the process. Liquid food colors are far more common, but even the average home chef knows that they can be risky because even just a drop too much and the entire recipe can be compromised. That's why a lot of people like gels, even if they are harder to find.
Fortunately, today, anyone can shop online and find a huge selection of high-quality gel food coloring products to choose from. Working with gels has several perks, including:
- Brighter colors are created with less food coloring used. Gels are not only going to produce brighter colors in general, but they will need much less product to be used, meaning you get more for your money and have fewer added items in your mixtures.
- Gel food coloring can be used for non-baking crafts and creations, as well, including making slime and homemade playdough. They will again create more vibrant colors than liquids and won’t change the consistency of the slime or dough, which can be critical to the successful outcome.
- Gel products are made with Kosher-certified ingredients in most cases. This isn’t always the case, so be sure to read the label for exact details, but most food colors are Kosher.
- Working with gel is less messy. You won’t have to worry as much about spills, stains, drips, or getting too much coloring in your batter or frosting, because the gel is easier to control. Even if it’s not in a squeeze bottle, it’s still going to be easier to work with than liquid.
- Gel food coloring is usually fade-resistant and designed for long-term use without having to worry about the product degrading over time. They have a long shelf-life and will produce the same vibrant colors from the first day to the last, unlike liquids that can dry up, separate, or have other issues over time.
That wraps up our guide to the best gel food coloring. Remember to consider the ingredients and the ease of use of the gels, as well as how many colors you’ll get. If you’re looking for one or two colors, you might spend a little more for individual bottles. There are often better deals on bulk sets to help save money. The sets are also ideal for those who need more than one color or who want an entire collection of food coloring gels.