Guilty, as charged.

March 5, 2010 · 6 comments


The boy wants a fire engine cake. And I’m here to tell you — there is no way to get frosting to an appropriate level of red by using beets. I started there — really, I did — hoping to make a cake that he could eat, start-to-finish. But when I asked him yesterday, a bit casually, if he would mind having a pink fire engine, the answer was such an emphatic NO that I realized we were doomed to veer right, down that road-to-destruction called “FD&C Red.”

And so we did. One small bottle, a tube of gel, and half a large bottle. With beet juice to boot. And you wanna know the truly horrifying part? It’s still not red.

So, I’ll be scraping the hot pink red off of his piece. And offer to do the same for any other moms who might be alarmed by the color (I’ll have a bowl of plain white icing to substitute).

My hands were tied, right?

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Dad March 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm

See if Tim has some red paint – just don’t let him eat it.

Melissa March 6, 2010 at 1:10 am

A pink firetruck? of course not mom. I had the same problem once when I attempted a red velvet cake. I kept pouring in dye and pouring and it never looked red.

Happy Birthday Townes. (just so I don’t forget and miss it too.)

Stephanie March 6, 2010 at 11:07 am

To get a really red red, I usually start off with chocolate buttercream – a trick I learned at that fancy Wilton class. 😉 Or, buy the Wilton paste dye – it’s a little more expensive, but it really works. I made Andrew (my brother) a Tylenol cake when he was in pharmacy school, complete with have bright yellow, half bright red pill, and it worked. But it took over half a container of red dye – the paste kind. HALF. Probably took a couple of years off our lives.

katy March 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Thanks for the tip, Dad.
Mel, I’ve heard that red velvet cake takes two full bottles of red coloring. That’s where I got the idea to dump two bottles into this. It wasn’t bright red, but it did darken up a little, and passed as a red fire truck. I’ll post a photo — it wasn’t a masterpiece, for sure.
Steph, I wondered about starting with chocolate. I wish I had — it probably would’ve tasted better, too. And by the time I bought three different types of red color, I probably spent more than I would have if I’d bought the Wilton to begin with. But they don’t sell Wilton at Kroger. And therein lies the rub.

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