For Easter, I am planning to make an Easter Bunny cake. My problem is that I can never get bright, vibrant color in my icing. It always turns out a pale pastel color instead. How can I get brighter colors?--Tony
Your problem is likely that you are using the liquid food coloring that is available at most supermarkets and grocery stores. This coloring is so watered down that by the time you get anything much more that a pale tint to the icing, you have already added so much liquid that the icing is too runny to use. To fix that, you add more icing sugar, which makes the color paler, so you add coloring, which thins out the icing and so on. You are caught in an endless cycle of doom while your cake sits on the counter, drying out.
There is a simple way out of this, though. Instead of using liquid food coloring, you can buy concentrated pastes made specifically for coloring icings and frostings. These colors are so concentrated that even a small amount will give bright vivid colors. You can buy them at specialty stores that carry cake patterns and pans, some natural food stores, and the odd supermarket. The ones I use are made by Wilton. I get them at Nutter's in Saskatoon. You can also buy them online from Amazon.
Because they are so concentrated, it is easy to get the colors you want. For lighter shades, you need to be careful not to add too much. What I usually do is dip a toothpick into the paste and then swirl it around in the mixed icing to transfer the color, and then blend it in. I go back and forth like this a few times, using a clean toothpick each time so as not to contaminate the paste, until I get the color I want. For a really bright color, or a deep dark tone, you might try using the tip of a spoon to transfer more color at once but it doesn't take much.
Using concentrated icing paste should solve your problem.