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How do you make teal blue with food coloring?

Mixing colors to achieve new shades is an exciting part of baking, decorating, and crafting. Teal is a beautiful blue-green color that can add a pop of color to cakes, cookies, and more. While teal food coloring does exist, you can also mix your own custom teal icing or frosting at home using basic food dyes you likely already have on hand – blue and green.

What is Teal?

Teal is a greenish-blue color that takes its name from the common teal bird which has striking blue and green feathers. Teal falls between blue and green on the color wheel and has become a popular paint color for walls. In design, teal evokes feelings of renewal, relaxation, sophistication, balance, and even spirituality.

In the kitchen, teal can lend these same uplifting qualities to your baked goods and confections. It looks beautiful on cakes, cupcakes, sugar cookies, macarons, cake pops, rice cereal treats, and more. A teal frosting or glaze over a white or chocolate cake looks especially elegant.

Food Coloring Basics

Before mixing your own teal food coloring, it helps to understand the basics of food dyes:

  • Liquid food coloring is more concentrated than gel. A little bit of liquid dye goes a long way.
  • Gel food coloring provides richer, more vivid colors.
  • Basic primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Mixing primary colors together creates secondary colors.
  • Complementary colors are across from each other on the color wheel. They balance each other out when mixed.

With this color theory in mind, we can mix a secondary teal color by blending the primary colors blue and green. We can use either liquid or gel dyes, or even mix the two for a custom shade.

How to Make Teal Icing

Icing is an ideal way to use your custom mixed teal food coloring. Try it in buttercream, cream cheese frosting, ganache, or royal icing. Here is a simple recipe and method:


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Blue and green food coloring, liquid or gel


  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter for 1 minute until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt and mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  4. Add a few drops of blue and green food coloring. Start with more blue than green for a true teal color rather than mint green.
  5. Mix again until the color is evenly distributed.
  6. Taste a dab of the icing and adjust the color if needed by adding more green or blue.

You now have beautiful teal buttercream icing ready decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more! Store leftover icing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Achieving the Perfect Teal Color

Mixing food coloring is part art, part science. It may take some trial and error to achieve the exact teal shade you’re envisioning. Here are some tips:

  • Add coloring gradually and mix well. It’s easier to add more dye than to try removing it.
  • Use toothpicks for adding drops of liquid food coloring for better control.
  • Keep a spoonful of uncolored icing or frosting to use for color comparison.
  • Look at the teal icing in different lights as the color may vary slightly.
  • Match it against a teal color swatch if you have a specific shade in mind.
  • Add a touch of black coloring to darken the teal or white to soften it.

Be patient and creative with the mixing process. Part of the fun is tweaking the color until you reach that perfect teal tone.

Teal Food Coloring Ratios

To reproduce the same teal food coloring each time, you’ll want to make note of the exact ratio of blue and green dyes you used. A good starting point is approximately 4 parts blue food coloring to 1 part green. But you may need to adjust the ratio depending on the particular shades and brands of dye.

Record how many drops or teaspoons of each color you added. The following table can help you keep track of your custom teal food color mixes:

Blue Food Coloring Green Food Coloring Teal Result
5 drops liquid 1 drop liquid Dark teal, slightly blue
1/2 tsp gel 1/8 tsp gel Bright teal, balanced color

Continue adding your mixing results to the table until you create your perfect teal. Then you’ll know exactly how to recreate it every time.

Teal Food Coloring Uses

Once you have your ideal homemade teal food dye, there are so many fun ways to use it in the kitchen:

  • Cake frosting or fillings – For a teal ombre cake, gradually increase the teal coloring from light to dark.
  • Royal icing – Pipe elegant teal borders and designs on sugar cookies.
  • Candy melts – Color white chocolate or candy melts to teal for dipping fruit, pretzels or cookies.
  • Marshmallows – Add teal dye while making homemade marshmallows for a colorful treat.
  • Macarons – Tint your meringue or ganache filling teal before sandwiching French macarons.
  • Meringue – Swirl teal-tinted meringue into pies, pavlovas, or to top cupcakes.

For decorating, fill small piping bags with teal icing to drizzle over cakes or pipe borders. Use teal icing to adhere fondant shapes or write messages. Brush teal food coloring on fruit like oranges or kiwis for a fun garnish.

Get creative with teal in your baking – it’s sure to impress!

Teal Food Coloring Recipe Variations

While gel or liquid food dyes are the most common way to tint foods teal, you can also achieve natural teal coloring using spices, fruits, vegetables, and teas:

Ingredient How to Use Color Result
Blue spirulina powder Add to frosting, dough, batter Blue-green teal
Matcha green tea powder Mix into dairy for frosting or dough Greenish teal
Blueberries Puree for coloring Purple-tinged teal
Turmeric Add to dairy for color Yellow-green teal

Have fun experimenting with these natural ingredients to produce more muted, pastel teal shades.

Troubleshooting Teal Food Coloring

Sometimes your homemade teal food dye may not come out exactly as expected. Here are some common issues and how to fix them:

  • Too blue – Add more green food coloring a drop at a time until balanced.
  • Too green – Add a touch more blue dye to neutralize.
  • Too dark – Add a drop of yellow or white dye to lighten the teal.
  • Too dull – Use gel instead of liquid food coloring for more color intensity.
  • Too bright – A little black coloring will tone down the brightness.
  • Greenish tint – Check the ratio and add more blue dye as needed.

It may take a few tries to perfect the teal tone you love. Adjust the blue and green coloring ratios as needed until you achieve just the right sea green-blue shade.

Storing Teal Food Coloring

Like any homemade food dye, teal coloring is best used soon after mixing for maximum vibrancy. However, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Tips for storing teal food dye:

  • Use a container with a tight seal to prevent drying out.
  • Keep away from light to prevent fading.
  • Mark the container with the blue/green ratios for future mixing.
  • If coloring seems to fade or separate, remix before using.
  • For long term storage up to 3 months, freeze the dye in ice cube trays.

With proper storage, your custom teal food coloring will stay bright and ready to use when you need it again for more colorful baking!


Mixing your own teal food dye at home opens up a world of colorful possibilities in the kitchen. With a combination of blue and green liquid or gel dyes, you can easily tint icings, frostings, chocolates, and more. Keep experimenting and recording your color ratios until you create the perfect seafoam teal. Your homemade food coloring will have you looking like a professional patisserie in no time.