Delicious, exquisite, colorful cookies and cakes are everyone’s favorites. And if you love baking, you’d know how pleasurable it is to fill your recipes with attractive colors.
However, it is not always when you can find your favorite food coloring in the market. And if your recipe needs a teal coloring, it may seem impossible not to turn the shade into blue or cyan, or turquoise.
So, let’s jump right into the topic and explore more about teal color, how to make teal food coloring, and what factors play a role in getting the right teal dye for your recipes. In the end, you’ll also find a chart to help you differentiate different types of food dyes and how to make your teal food coloring with each.
Teal is a blue-green or greenish-blue shade that is often mixed with cyan. And though it does look similar to having a similar hue, it is not cyan. You can differentiate between a cyan and teal as the latter has a cyan-green shade; it looks just like cyan but with a touch of green.
Teal is also mixed with turquoise, but both are different as turquoise has more of a blue-to-green, opaque hue while teal has a medium-to-deep blue-green shade. You can only recognize the actual teal color within broad daylight as all colors look like blue or green in the dark.
You need to keep in mind two things when making teal food coloring: the number of base colors and the type of base dyes you are using. First, we’ll focus on a general method on how different colors can be mixed to make teal. Then, we’ll go deeper into each food dye type and see what changes you should make in the overall method according to the type of your base dyes, such as liquid, gel, or more. Let’s go!
Making teal food coloring is not a complex science as all you need is three primary colors (red, yellow, blue). And no, teal color is not made with primary colors, but the least you need is red, blue, and yellow.
The two base colors for teal are blue and green. The first is a primary color, and the second can be made by mixing equal proportions of blue and yellow. And the third color you’d need to make teal food dye is white which again, can be made by mixing equal parts of all three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow.
So, depending on what food dyes you already have, you can make them green and white. Also, white is only needed to balance the other two base colors until you reach your desired teal color.
Now let’s move to how much each base color you should add to make your teal food dye. The golden rule is always to add more blue than green and add white gradually. You can take five drops of blue and two drops of green and mix them to achieve a cyan (blue-green or greenish-blue) hue. Now, add one or two drops of white to balance the color; if needed, you can add more white drops until you reach the required teal shade.
The 5:2:1 (blue/green/white) ratio will give you the primary teal color. But, if you want more of a solid teal shade, you are welcome to add blue and green in an equal ratio (five drops each) and a few drops of white (no more than three).
Also, since green is a secondary color made from blue and yellow, you can try mixing the primary colors directly. However, this would take a lot of time balancing hues and is not recommended if you do not have expertise in the field.
Since the key is to add more blue than green, you can add five drops of blue and two drops more blue and yellow. Depending on how light or dark you want the teal shade, you can add white. To make everything easier for you, here is a chart:
|Blue (5 drops)
|Green (2 drops)
|White (1 or 2 drops)
|Blue (5 drops)
|Green (5 drops)
|White (1 or 2 drops)
|Blue (5 drops)
|Blue (2 drops), Yellow (2 drops)
|White (1 or 2 drops)
It is recommended to stay alert when adding white, as it can make or break your teal food coloring. You should always begin by adding one or two drops of white, mix thoroughly, and then observe how much more white your mixture needs to turn into teal.
Along with learning to make teal food coloring, it is also essential to understand different types of food dyes. These different dyes are used for various purposes in recipes depending upon the consistency and the intensity of food color. And thus, knowing about them will give you a fair idea of how you should make your teal food coloring.
Anything needing a pale teal tint and a light texture in cooking or baking should go with liquid dyes. Also known as a traditional dye, a liquid food coloring has a watery base and gives your recipe a light, pale color.
The synthetic dye is mixed in water and the perfect color to achieve is pastels. Liquid dyes are the most cost-effective, but at the same time, they would cost you a fortune if your want a darker color in your cooking.
Since it has a runny consistency, these dyes are primarily available in squeezing bottles with droppers at the opening to let you track how many drops you are adding to get the required color.
When trying to create a teal food color using liquid dye, you should first begin by adding a very few drops of base colors. If you are making a teal liquid dye for the first time, try adding one drop of base colors only.
Liquid dyes are best if you make
- syrups as topping for cakes, pastries, and deserts
- batter or dough for baking products
- a light cream filling in cream wafers, etc.
Making a teal food color with liquid dye is not recommended for viscous or solid recipes like crystal sugars or macarons. Still, you can make teal icing with liquid dye but make sure not to add too much of the coloring as it would thin out your entire mixture.
Liqua-Gel dye is a perfect alternative to liquid food dyes if you need a teal color with a darker shade and dense consistency. The only difference between the two is that unlike liquid dye having only a water base, the liqua-gel contains water, glycerine, and corn syrup. Because of the two additional base contents, liqua-gel dyes have a gel-like, semi-thick consistency and give a vivid, darker shade.
Making a teal dye requires thoroughly mixing after each step, and you should begin with one drop only for both base colors (blue and green).
If you add too much base color simultaneously, such as five drops of blue, the result will be much darker and may not go well with the recipe. Also, the gel-like texture makes the dye challenging to mix in dense recipes such as dough, chocolate, or fat-based products.
A liqua-gel teal food coloring is best for:
- icing in donuts and cinnamon rolls
- icing and frosting in pound cakes
- creamy glaze or decoration for candies
- fondant and gum paste for pastries
Mixing is most important if you make teal food coloring using liqua-gel dyes because of their thick consistency. Also, it is only after a rigorous mixing you’ll get to see the resulting shade to decide whether or not the mixture needs more base colors.
Gel food coloring is difficult to handle, especially if you are new to baking, but it can be precisely what you’d need in your recipes if you are preparing big batches of icing, batter, or dough for cakes or pastries.
Gel dyes are made of water, glycerine, and corn syrup, just like liqua-gel. However, they are a more concentrated form than liqua-gel coloring and thus, have a thicker consistency and much darker shade. Instead of squeezing bottles or droppers, you’ll find them in small bottles, pots, or jars.
The important thing to remember about gel dyes is that even a tiny amount can be enough for a large mixture, which is why it takes a lot of trial and error to find the perfect quantity. Using a toothpick instead of a spoon is recommended to take out a small quantity from the jar.
Also, since the quantity of gel base colors cannot be fully measured using a toothpick, you’d have to be very careful when making your teal food coloring.
Gel dyes are mixed directly Using Because such small amounts of base colors cannot be mixed in a separate bowl. Time plays a factor, and so does thorough mixing since gel dyes tend to change shades over time. If you are using gel food coloring to make a teal color, make sure:
- Prepare your batter/dough.
- Add a tiny amount of blue color using a toothpick to your batter/dough.
- Mix thoroughly for five to ten minutes, or use a mixer.
- Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Observe the resulting color in good light; if it’s light, add more (a minimal amount) blue and green; if it’s too dark, add white.
Lastly, you should be careful while using gel dyes as they can easily create a mess. Keep a box of tissues or kitchen towels alongside when making a teal food coloring from gel dyes.
As suggested by the name, powder dyes are entirely opposite of all the previous types of food coloring. These types of food coloring contain no water, glycerine, or corn syrup which is why they are first mixed with a liquid such as water or alcohol to make a liquidy, thin consistency.
They are available in jars, and unlike gel dyes, it is easy to measure powdered dyes as you can use any spoon or measure them in pinche.
Powdered dyes are the most common and widely used form of food coloring as they are:
- easy to use and store
- save time and energy
- last longer than other alternatives
Also, you can use powdered dyes in a lot of ways, such as:
- Directly apply to recipe using a wet brush; gives a medium to dark color
- Sprinkle over crystal sugar, meringues, cakes, pastries; gives a dark, vibrant color
- Mix with water or alcohol to use in syrups, batter, cream fillings for chocolate, meringues, or macarons; give a light to medium color.
Anyone can use powdered dyes to make teal food coloring. Simply take a pinch teaspoon or use your fingers to mix two pinches of blue and one pinch of green. Now add one drop of water or clear alcohol and give it a rest for 5-10 minutes to get the desired result. You can also add white color but make sure water or alcohol mixed with white does not make the teal color too light.
Natural dyes are organic; they come without any additives or preservatives such as glycerine or corn syrup. Though you cannot use them in every recipe (especially the ones required for heating), they are primarily great for topping purposes. You can find them in small dropper bottles, and they are sourced with plants to give the best natural color possible.
You should also remember that since there are no preservatives, natural food color is most likely to fade within 24 hours if put in sunlight. You can get them online, but they are mostly locally stored and used within a few days. To make teal using natural food dyes, just go for a 5:2 ratio for blue and green and add white when necessary.
However, you can also make it at your home with just two ingredients: red cabbage and baking soda. Here’s how you can make your natural teal food coloring at your home:
- Cut/shred the red cabbage.
- Boil water in a saucepan and add cabbage.
- Let the cabbage boil until the water turns purplish.
- Take out the water in a jar.
- Add a pinch of baking soda; mix thoroughly.
- Add more baking soda if needed.
The primary element here is the baking soda, and you should ensure that its presence wouldn’t be a problem for your recipe before making a natural teal food coloring. Also, this type of dye is best known as syrups or toppings in desserts, cakes, pastries, etc.
|Not Recommended For
|Start by adding one drop of blue and green. Mix, add further equal amounts of blue and green with one drop of white.
|Topping, syrups, batter, dough, cream filling, icing
|Cakes, pastries, desserts, cream wafers
|Viscous or solid recipes (if can flow out)
|Add only one drop of blue and green. Mix thoroughly. Add white if needed.
|Icing, frosting, creamy glaze, fondant, gum paste
|Donuts, cinnamon rolls, pound cakes, pastries, candies
|Thick, dense recipes such as dough
|Add a tiny amount of blue and green using a toothpick to the batter/dough. Mix thoroughly for 5-10 minutes, let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes. Add more base color to darken or white to lighten.
|Large batches of batter, dough
|Light, runny recipes such as topping, syrups.
|Light to medium, Powder
|Take blue and green in a 2:1 ratio with a pinching spoon and add one drop of water. Add one pinch white to lighten or more base colors to darken.
|Sprinkle, topping, syrups, batter, dough, cream filling, icing, cream filling
|crystal sugar, meringues, cakes, pastries, chocolate, macarons
|Medium, Thin consistency
|Add blue and green with a 5:2 ratio, mix and add white if needed.
|Syrups, toppings, batter, dough
|Cakes, pastries, desserts
|Recipes that require heating
Teal food coloring is great to add to various baking recipes. However, just like the unique color, the teal food dye is often not available. The easy and quick way is to make teal food coloring yourself, which you can do by just mixing blue, green, and white.
The two factors that play a crucial role in getting the perfect teal color are the base colors you are adding and the base dye type you are using. You can use liquid, liqua-gel, gel, powder, and natural food dye to make teal coloring, but the quantity of base colors and dye usage in recipes would be different.
As a general rule, always start with minimal; add more blue than green and use white to balance the overall color!