Making grey fondant would seem to be pretty easy, but because you’ll be using food coloring, the colors can end up looking too purple or green.
There are some tricks that you can use to adjust the tint, and it comes down to color theory.
Why does food coloring fade?
Since food coloring is made from synthetic chemicals, it isn’t as permanent as regular ink and it can fade and change color over time, even in a short time frame.
Synthetic colors can be sensitive to temperature, humidity, and light.
I’ve made purple fondant that changed to blue within a few hours because the food coloring I was using had a volatile red in it, and it totally faded out.
The same thing happened to purple icing that turned blue in the space of an hour!
Grey is made from black and white, and it would seem to be pretty easy to mix some black fondant into white fondant and end up with grey.
But black fondant, isn’t pure black, it’s made up of a bunch of colors, and because of that it can fade or change colors in a bunch of ways.
You might not be able to predict what happens!
Start with black fondant, it doesn’t fade and mixes well to make grey.
You could also try grey food coloring to see if it maintains the color better!
How to make grey fondant.
To start making grey fondant, start with white and a small amount of black food coloring or black fondant.
Mix the black in a little at a time, kneading the fondant until the color is even all the way through.
You’ll be able to add a little more as you’re kneading when the color starts to be even enough to see how deep the grey color is.
For a light grey, you won’t need too much food coloring or black fondant, it should be pretty quick to get to the lighter grey that you want.
For really dark grey, you might want to start with black fondant that came pre-colored instead of food coloring.
That way you won’t have to mix as much food coloring in, because that can be a mess if you need a darker color.
What to do if your grey fondant has a colored tint.
The trick to getting a good grey color, and not something that looks green or purple, will be to add a little bit of a color that will counteract the tint that you end up with.
You’ll want to add the opposite color based on the color wheel, called the complementary color, and that should neutralize any tint that the grey might have.
(For another article about how to make mauve icing using complementary colors, click here.)
If the grey fondant looks a little green to you, you should add some red to neutralize the green.
Since red and green are opposite each other on the color wheel they’ll cancel each other out.
Start with a small amount of red or you’ll end up with a pink tint!
If the grey fondant is a little too purple-looking, add a little yellow.
Those colors will cancel each other out and it will take the grey back to being more neutral.
It’s really common for grey fondant to have a purple tint because of how the colors in black fondant are combined.
Adding some yellow a little bit at a time will work to counteract the yellow tint.
Adding the complementary color can also be used to adjust the tone of the grey so that it looks warmer (more red-toned) or cooler (more blue tones.)
Start with a small amount of whatever color you’re mixing in, and add more a tiny bit at a time until you get to the color that you want.
If you ever go too far in one direction it might be easier to take a piece of the grey that you’ve made, add some complementary color to neutralize the tint, then add that into more white.
If you’re careful, you’ll end up with a grey color that matches what you’re imagining.