How to Make Maroon Icing in 4 Simple Steps

Published Categorized as Guide

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Precision is everything in baking.  From measuring the exact amount of each ingredient to achieving the perfect icing color for your cookies, cakes, and cupcakes.  If you’ve been searching for how to make maroon icing, I’d love to help you find the exact combination of colors to make your vision a reality.  Continue reading, and I’ll share everything you’ll need to make maroon icing along with step-by-step directions you can follow.

Table of Contents

What color is maroon?

Let’s start by describing what maroon is, so we can make sure we’re all on the same page here.  The color maroon’s name comes from the French word for chestnut, marron.  Depending on which dictionary you read, you may find some conflicting information about exactly what color maroon is.  According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, maroon is a “dark reddish-purple color,” while the Lexico Online Dictionary defines it as “of a brownish-crimson color.”

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to go with the definition that maroon is a deeper red with a hint of brown.  If you’re making baked goods for a customer, and they ask for maroon icing, you may want to request a color sample or show them a picture of the color you’re picturing.  This is important because, as we can see, the definition of maroon can vary some.

Is maroon the same as burgundy?

No, maroon and burgundy are not the same color.  However, they are commonly confused with one another.  As we shared above, maroon comes from the French word marron, which means chestnut.  Burgundy, on the other hand, is named after wine. 

When thinking about maroon, you can picture a chestnut to help you remember that maroon is deep red with a little brown.  Thinking about wine can help you remember that burgundy has some purple in it.

how to make maroon icing

How to Make Maroon Icing

Some icing colors are easy to make, others, like maroon icing, teal icing, or skin-colored icing, can be more complicated.  In the next few sections, I’ll outline the various tools and ingredients you’ll need to make maroon icing.  Then, I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions that will help you achieve that perfect color you’re aiming for.

What You’ll Need

  • Red gel food coloring
  • Blue gel food coloring
  • Brown gel food coloring
  • White icing

Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Maroon Icing

Ready to learn how to make maroon icing?  Use the directions below and adjust the ratios to match the amount of frosting you have.  Remember, each type of frosting and brand of food coloring may be slightly different, so these quantities are just estimations.  The exact number of drops of food coloring you’ll need will also vary based on the exact shade of maroon you’re after.

  1. Begin with ½ cup white icing.
  2. Add in 24 drops of red gel food coloring and 3 drops of blue gel food coloring.
  3. Stir in the food coloring to fully blend all the colors.
  4. If you desire a deeper reddish-brown color, you can also add in a few drops of brown food coloring (one at a time, mixing after each addition).
In this video, you’ll learn the steps for making maroon icing, as well as other popular shades of red such as burgundy and coral.

Tips For Making Maroon Icing

  • When adding food coloring, start with less than you think you’ll need.  You can add more to darken the color, but you won’t be able to take the food coloring out once it is in the bowl.
  • If the color turns out too deep or dark for your liking, mix in some additional white icing to lighten it.
  • Remember, the final color of the icing will darken a bit.  If you think you’re close to the color you want, but aren’t sure, let the icing sit in a container covered with plastic wrap for 30 minutes to two hours to see how the color deepens.
  • You can also make maroon icing starting with chocolate icing, rather than white icing.  To make maroon with a chocolate base, mix red coloring into your icing and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  This will allow the color to deepen.  Then, add a few drops of dark brown food coloring at a time and mix until you achieve the maroon color you’re after.
  • Make more icing than you think you need.  If you don’t make quite enough, you may find it difficult to replicate the exact shade of maroon that you made for your first batch.
  • Be careful making (and eating) maroon icing.  If it gets on your clothing, it may stain.
how to make maroon icing

Is gel or liquid food coloring best for making maroon icing?

Either gel or liquid food coloring can be used to make maroon icing.  Many professional bakers choose gel dye over liquid dye because the gel won’t add excess liquid to make their icing too watery.

However, as long as you add a small amount of liquid dye to your icing at a time and mix them in thoroughly, you probably won’t need to worry about your icing getting watered down.

Can I start with any type of icing to make maroon icing?

Yes, you can make maroon icing with any icing base.  This includes buttercream icing, cream cheese icing, and even chocolate icing.

Storing Leftover Maroon Icing

In most cases, you can leave extra icing on the counter for a day or two.  If you plan to do this, be sure to store your icing in an airtight container to keep it fresh and soft.

If you want to keep your maroon icing for more than a few days, you’ll want to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.  Icing should stay fresh for up to one week in the refrigerator, and up to three months in the freezer. 

If you wish to store your icing in the refrigerator, place it in an airtight container.  If you have some leftover icing in your piping bags, you’ll want to transfer it to an airtight container.  Piping bags will allow too much air to hit the icing, which can cause it to become hard and crusty, especially around the edges.

You will also want to be purposeful about where you place your icing container in the refrigerator.  Placing it near fish, onions, or other strong-smelling foods could alter the flavor of your icing.  To store maroon icing in the freezer, it will also need to be put in an airtight container.

When you remove your icing from the refrigerators or freezer (with thawing), it may have separated.  Don’t fret, you can easily mix it back together again.  If the maroon color seems to have lightened from what it initially was, mix in a few more drops of red, blue, or brown food coloring until you get the deeper color back.

How to Make Maroon Icing in 4 Simple Steps

Making Maroon Icing

Now, you should feel prepared to make maroon icing for all of your cookie, cake, and cupcake decorating needs.  Are you excited to get in the kitchen and mix up a batch of icing for your next project?


What colors do you mix to make maroon icing?

If you want to make maroon icing starting with white icing, you will need red, blue, and brown food coloring.  If you wish to make maroon icing starting with chocolate icing, you will need red and brown food coloring.

How do you make red maroon icing?

To make maroon icing, you’ll need ½ cup white icing.  Then, mix in 24 drops of red gel food coloring and 3 drops of blue gel food coloring.  If you want to deepen the color, add in a drop or two of brown gel food coloring.

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