Fun with Food Gel!

So you guys all saw the Giants game yesterday, right? That was insane. No one thought we were going to beat the Packers, but I had faith. Aside from exceptional athletic ability, I’m pretty sure the Giants won because of these cookies.

You may recognize them, despite their red and blue gear, as the Best Damn Sugar Cookies I have ever made. I tried my best to make these festive, and learned some things about food gel that I will pass along to you! **Update – totally realized too late that the label said Food Paste… so, yeah.**

Food gel is similar to food coloring, but it’s more concentrated and in a thicker form, rather than liquid. What does that mean for you? Certain recipes can be drastically affected if you upset the proportion of dry ingredients to wet, so the more viscous gel coloring is often a better alternative. Whereas some recipes, like Red Velvet Cake, allow for the addition of liquid food coloring, this sugar cookie recipe doesn’t. I would also like to take this opportunity to tell you that Icing Color is not the same as Food Gel. You can use food gel to color frosting, but icing color will not have the same vibrant look in baked products .

As you can see from the picture above, my cookies didn’t turn out blue so much as aqua. Since this was my first experiment with food gel, it was a game of trial and error. Here are some tips I will pass along to you so your cookie color fares bolder. (Then again, the Giants did win – so I could safely say Mission Accomplished.)

Add your food gel in with your liquid ingredients. In some cases this will be milk or water, but in the case of the sugar cookies I added it with the eggs and vanilla. I’m pretty sure the greenish tint is because the eggs added the only other color (yellow) to this dough. (Butter – if whipped properly – will turn white-ish once creamed with sugar.)

Once I started adding the flour, the color wasn’t as vibrant, so I tried adding more gel. It was more difficult blending it in at this phase, and I ended up with sort of tie-dyed dough. The problem with that was I was inclined to keep stirring the dough to get the color evened out, and that can easily lead to over-mixing and tough cookies (haha).

In summation – I would recommend you add more food gel than you think is necessary at the earlier stages of your recipe, since it will fade a bit with the addition of the flour which is lighter in color. I only added about 5 drops pre-flour, and another 2 after that didn’t mix in quite so well, since I didn’t realize how desaturated the flour would make it.

Working with food gel isn’t too difficult, but hopefully you fare better than I did in this, my first attempt. And great news is you have time to perfect your cookie coloring before the next Giants game on Sunday!


  1. they look awesome!! and delicious 🙂

    1. Thanks, definitely the best sugar cookies you’ll ever eat – blue or not 🙂

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