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Natural Frosting Coloring Tips 
Jay Berger

We seem to get this question a lot during the holidays so I thought I would repost it from our recipes section of our site. And send it to you to re-use as needed.  All natural dyes tend not to be as intense though in color.   And don't forget sprinkled confectioner's sugar (use a paper cut out to make a stencil), small plastic toys (if the kids are old enough to know not to eat it, and candies for decoration ideas too.

I cannot take credit for the original information.  It was compiled by parents such as you, posts online over the years and magazine articles, my own experimentation, and Diane Hartman.  

Note: Color outcomes are based on dyeing white foods; final colors will vary (based on original food product color & amt. of coloring agent used (e.g. yellow cake + pomegranate juice will turn more orange than red). Some colors (or amts.) may affect final flavor. Puree & drain fruits of seeds before use & account for added liquid in the recipe. For richer colors, use thawed (frozen) or concentrated juices of fruits & veggies. Or avoid coloring completely & use plain white icing & colorful, plastic toys for decoration.

Blue: blueberries

Blue-Purple: blueberries, purple grape juice, blackberries, & blackberry juice.

Brick red-orange: paprika

Green: pureed, cooked spinach (thawed frozen spinach works great)

Lavender: grape juice. For darker lavender use 4 cups frozen or fresh blueberries

Pink: cranberry juice, raspberries, red currants, strawberries

Red: pomegranate juice, or dried, powdered, boiled, unsalted red beets (ground in the blender or food processor-won't effect flavor).
Rich brown: instant coffee granules

Yellow, gold, & orange: small amts. of turmeric powder, yellow mustard powder, curry powder, annatto powder, & carrot juice (final color depends on amt. used).

Decorating Tip: Sprinkle shredded coconut over frosting before it hardens to create a realistic looking Santa's beard, lamb or other animal fur, etc.


These are things I have used to color Easter eggs: If you are using the dyes to make colored icing or dry items like play dough, omit the vinegar.

Dried powdered spinach will make a yellowish green. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar to 2 tablespoons powdered spinach and 1 cup boiling water


Dried dark red beets will make a red or pink shade depending on how much you use.) You can use them in the wet form, if you smash them, and strain the juice thru cheese cloth. You can also use dried red beets to make a great pink or red
icing perfect for valentines day) it does not effect the flavor. Strawberry juice or jam also work well for a flavored red or pink icing.


Red onion skins use very little water, boil and then strain thru cheese cloth

Yellow- turmeric for Easter eggs 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric + 2/3 cup boiling water and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Brown dyes- 1 tablespoon instant coffee or loose tea) 2/3 cup boiling water 3/4 teaspoon vinegar tea and coffee produce different shades of brown, so you might to experiment with this one. For an even different (color darker) brown use, but use cocoa powder instead of coffee

red cabbage juice makes a bluish color

Blackberry juice- reddish blue dye

Blueberry juice- bluish gray dye

Violet dyes:
1/2 cup violet blossoms can be found in the spring)
1 cup boiling water
Allow to stand for three hours, and then strain thru cheese cloth.  This will make a purple-blue dye

Lavender- add 1/8 cup lemon juice, it will cause some type of chemical reaction and make lavender color

Green: Add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and the dye will turn green, and if you allow it to stand for several hours to overnight, it will turn a dark yellow or orange

 

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