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How to Make Maroon or Burgundy Icing and Frosting

How to Make Maroon or Burgundy Icing and Frosting

Burgundy and maroon are popular colors for fall, especially for events like weddings, showers (baby, bridal), and birthdays. Many sports teams also use maroon as one of their team colors. It's easy to make these shades from food colors we already have at home.

These directions for making burgundy food color will work for all desserts including royal icing, buttercream, fondant, and cake batter.

What's the difference between Maroon and Burgundy?

difference between maroon and burgundy

Burgundy is a dark, muted purple color. Maroon is a dark red color.

These two colors are often mixed up. If you're creating desserts for a customer and they have asked for maroon or burgundy, it's best to show them some color options so you are both on the same page.

Burgundy gets its name from the color of the wine that comes from the Burgundy vineyards in France.

Maroon comes from the French word for "chestnut", which is why it describes reddish brown color, like a chestnut!

How to make popular Burgundy and Maroon Colors with Food Color

chart on making burgundy icing

Making Burgundy Using Color Theory

Burgundy tends to be a mixture of red, green and blue dyes turning into a brown with purple undertones. Knowing this information, we can start mixing our food gel colors to turn them into the shade of burgundy that we will need. 

When mixing colors to make our royal icing we first need to think about the amount of icing of each color that we are going to use and their consistencies. Once we have some sort of an idea, we can start mixing the colors and creating the ones that we are going to be using. The less amount of icing, the less amount of gel color added we will need.

Using our Essentials Gel colors, we have various ways of getting Burgundy. We can start with the basics by using our primary and secondary color selection with Royal Red Velvet, Gourmet Green, and True Blue.

Begin by turning the icing a vibrant red shade, then add a little bit of blue (drop) and a little bit of green (drop). Again, depending on the amount of icing that you want to make and how red you turned it first, will be the number of drops of the other two colors that you’ll need.

The second way that you can use to make burgundy is by mixing the shades of red that we carry with our purple (Royal Red Velvet, Brick Red, Positively Purple) This makes various shades of burgundy, from light to very dark. Up next, I will number other ways to get Burgundy using a variety of options including our Gel Colors.

  1. Positively Purple + Totally Brown: Turn the icing Purple first and then tone it with a little of brown. (1 drop at a time)
  2. Positively Purple + Royal Red Velvet + Gourmet Green: Turn the icing Purple first and then tone it with equal parts of red and green. (For darker shades use either more red or more purple. (1 drop at a time)
  3. Royal Red Velvet + True Blue: Make red icing first and then tone it with the blue. (1 drop at a time)
  4. Brick Red +True Blue: Make red icing first and then tone it with the blue. (1 drop at a time)
  5. Cocoa Powder + Positively Purple: Make a chocolate Royal Icing and then start adding drops of Positively Purple until you achieve the right shade of burgundy that you want.

Sports Teams and Colleges that Use Maroon as a Color

Many colleges and sports teams use maroons, crimsons, and dark reds as one of their signature colors. Including: Texas A&M, University of Southern California, University of Alabama, Harvard University, University of Chicago, and University of South Carolina.

You can buy officially licensed College stencils online in our store at

texas a&m cookies


Previous article Live tutorial replay! All about layering and using multi piece stencils.


Monica - April 25, 2024

so amazing! I have never made Maroon buttercream so easily in my 10 years of baking haha thanks so much for this!

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