I love colourful cupcakes, especially when there is more than one colour. I definitely would say that I prefer Americolor over Wilton brand gels (pastes?). I’ve noticed that Wilton is streaky sometimes, which can be a little bit frustrating when you’ve worked hard on baking and decorating a cake/cupcakes.
I’ve tried a couple methods for putting different colours of icing in a single piping bag. The first way involves spooning icing of each colour onto plastic cling wrap, then rolling it up to make little sausage-like tubes of each colour (approximately equal size). When you’re ready to start icing you cut off the wrap at one end, and slide the tubes into a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip. For the second method, you simply spoon the different colours into the same piping bag (just be careful to put each colour in its own section of the bag so they don’t mix). This is MUCH easier if you use a clear piping bag.
For both techniques there are a couple things you need to pay attention to, like using equal amounts of each colour, and making sure you don’t put one colour further down the piping bag than the others. You also need to pipe the some of the icing onto a plate before all of the colours will come out. Personally, I like the spooning method better (especially if you’re only using two colours). The plastic wrap takes up a lot of space in the piping bag, and you get a lot of residual icing in the tubes. I also find that the tubes don’t get squeezed evenly, so you need to pipe out more icing before all the colours come out.
Camo cupcakes – tube method
Another fun way to add colour is to paint two stripes of food colouring on the inside of the piping bag (on opposite sides). You also need to pipe out a little bit of icing before the colour comes through.
I used two stripes of blue and two stripes of red in the piping bag for these cupcakes (one stripe on each ¼ of the bag). You can see that the thickness of the strip depends on how much colour the icing has to pick up (ie the stripes get thinner as you go).
I found the tube and spoon methods by searching around on the internet, the stripe method is from this summer’s cupcake/cake special edition of Canadian Living.
Now go experiment with some colour! 🙂