Viva La Buttercream

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    Product Review: Colour Mill Oil Based Colours


    If you’ve ever (tried) to colour Swiss Meringue, or chocolate, you’ll know its a frustrating process with gel colours. That’s where oil based colours come in!

    Instead of being water based (like gel colours), oil based colours blend more easily with oily foods like Buttercream, meringue, Royal Icing, and chocolate. This means less colour used, for colour gained.

    The folks at Colour Mill gave me their new range of Oil based colours to try, so yay first off, but also I was super stoked to try an AUSTRALIAN made colour, and and oil based one at that!

    They come from a Land Down Under

    You guys know I LOVE to support local products, especially food based products. We have such high standards here in OZ, and I like to know (and trust!) whats going into my food. Colour Mill is a new Australian owned and made brand, and better yet, they actively keep as little ‘stuff’ from going into your colour as possible.

    Each of the colours contains pigment, carrier oil, and in the case of pastels, some Titanium Dioxide. That’s it. No gums or thickeners, just colour. Love it.

    Though they be little they be fierce

    One of the most striking things about Colour Mill (apart from the absolutely beautiful packaging just quietly), is how little you need to use. Gel colour users will be familiar with the milking a cow squeeze for vibrant colours, but with oil based, you need only a small amount, so while the bottles may look standard gel size, they go a LONG way.

    Another thing that I found really rad, is the colour guide on the bottle, is pretty much spot on. I tested the colours with Basic Buttercream (1 Tablespoon of Buttercream to 1, 2, or 3 drops of colour).

    But how did they go



    Yep. Straight mixed Basic Buttercream, and 1 or 2 drops of colour, and I got pastels, WITHOUT pre lightening the Buttercream. Game Changer.

    This for me is the stand out of these colours, is the ability to get clean, sweet pastels, and without mucking around lightening the buttercream first. For that alone they get my tick of approval.


    Those little teardrops on the side aren’t just good branding, they are at least in Basic Buttercream, an accurate guide for what you get vs how many drops. Here’s ‘Eucalyptus’ with 1, 2, and 3 drops.

    Do I recommend them

    Heck yes. Australian Made. Vegan. Kosher. Halal. Allergen Free. Colours Meringue Buttercreams, chocolate, cake, fondant, everything.

    They are available at Cakers Warehouse (they ship Internationally), with international stockists to.

    For more info, check out Colour Mill’s webpage.

    Viva La Buttercream x

    18 thoughts on “Product Review: Colour Mill Oil Based Colours

    1. Thank you so much for the ratio of buttercream to colour mill. I’ve read before you only need a small amount and wondered why I wasn’t getting the colour in a big batch of buttercream. Problem solved!

    2. Do you whiten the buttercream using the white colour mill or any other brand before using the colours themselves? Or you just add directly to the buttercream which usually is pale yellow as a starter. Thx!

    3. Hello, thank you for the detailed information on this great food colour product. Question, I have been using gel colour in my meringue cookies. I have never to date had my meringue drop like I did today when I added 3 drops of the white colour mill colour to my 2 egg meringue mix as I normally would with the gel. Is the issue the mix ratio (too much for 2 eggs)? ( all other variables are the same and I have never had failed meringue) I will test but would’t mind knowing before I lose more product in testing 🙃Thank you so much for your help.

      1. Hi I just saw on an Autstralian cake decorators page that this colour brand is not suitable for macaron, I wonder if too it’s not suitable for meringue?

        1. Its no good for my royal icing, I assume its a protein thing, so I would say probably no good for meringue either. You could always give it a test run, just not when you need it!

    4. This is really helpful thanks. I’m just starting out with colouring my buttercream and just wondered how you can replicate results if you run out of buttercream in the middle of decorating and have to mix more 😩Or if you get the perfect colour you’re aiming for how can you make sure you get the same colour next time. Hope you can help with this, thanks

      1. To be honest it just comes down to experience, you get familiar with colours and just ‘know’ how much to add. My suggestion would be, if you’re making a special project, is make more than you need, even if it means some waste. Alternatively, you can make the lightest colour you need first, so you can colour the rest with the darker colours you’ll need. Cuts down on waste!

    5. I note you tested these colours in one tablespoon of buttercream. I have no idea how many drops I would need for enough buttercream to coat a four layer 8″ cake.Help! I will be making my daughter’s 40th cake this week using colormill Dusk.

      1. Depends on how dark you want it, I would suggest adding a few drops, mixing it through, then adding a few more at a time. You can always make it darker but you can’t take it back! The other option is to ice your cake in plain buttercream, and do a thin final coat in coloured buttercream. That way, you’ll use less colour, but also have less to colour.

    6. Thank you so much for this review. Does Colour Mill affect the taste if the buttercream? I am particularly interested in if the red color gives buttercream a bitter taste? Thanks.

      1. It didn’t when I wrote this, but to be honest I haven’t used it recently enough to guarantee it. given its popularity though, I would imagine there would be complaints all over social media if it was!

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