DIY Natural Food Dyes For Icing

natural food dye alternatives for icingI’ve been de-cluttering my kitchen today, going through every cabinet and drawer, emptying out stuff I no longer need. As I came to the container that holds all of my cookie and cake making supplies, I decided to take a closer look at what all was in there.

I began looking at the ingredients in my food coloring, and was honesty surprised at how much Red #40 and Parabens (among other junk) I’ve been lacing my children’s cupcakes with! Why in the world have I never paid attention to this before?

Of course, they went straight in the trash. But it got me thinking… what can I use instead? There must be natural food dyes that would work with icing.

I was so excited to find there are!!

There are many amazing ways to color icing with natural foods.

So I did some searching, and here’s what I’ve found so far…

Red & Pink– Beet juice will give brilliant color with practically no flavor added. You can also pulverize raspberries or pomegranate seeds and strain off the juice for beautiful color and delicious natural flavoring.

Orange– Carrot juice is said to lend the best orange-ish hues.

Yellow– Two particular spices can be used to create an intense yellow icing. These are saffron and turmeric. You only need a little of one of these to make your perfect shade.

Green– For a lovely shade of green, try juicing spinach! Supposedly, you won’t taste it at all. SO much better than artificial dyes!

Blue– Blueberries are an obvious good choice here, though they could turn your icing more of a blue-ish/purple-ish color than a bright blue. Another less obvious option is red cabbage! To make blue dye, cut the cabbage and boil it in a small amount of water until the liquids turn very concentrated in color. Strain off the now purple dye, and stir in a little bit of baking soda just a little at a time until you achieve the color you want. This actually makes a very pretty blue. (I’ve done this as an experiment with Jada for one of her science lessons. Very cool to watch.)

Purple– Red cabbage juice also makes beautiful purple dye. Just follow the directions as mentioned above, without adding baking soda. Blackberry juice is also said to make a nice shade of purple.

Isn’t this FANTASTIC to know?! I’m SO excited to have this list to refer to the next time I’m making cupcakes.

For more of this stuff, plus links to a bunch of recipes for natural food dyes, check out this article on 8 Ways to Make Organic Food Coloring.

Do you make your own natural food dyes? I’d love to know what you’ve found to work the best!

4 thoughts on “DIY Natural Food Dyes For Icing”

  1. I find it ironic that the label on the food coloring in the picture says, “A Gluten Free Food”. Because gluten is so much more horrible than propylene glycol, petroleum dyes and propylparabens?! YUCK! Not good for anyone, let alone children.


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