Color Me Cupcake: How to Dye Your Confections Naturally

 Hold it! Put down the Wilton  and  back away slowly….why  not color  that frosting  naturally? It’s easy,  just as  vibrant and far less  expensive  than buying that Red  lake 40–  Just look at the  confections to  the right! These  vanilla and  chocolate cupcakes  are topped  with our whipped  vanilla  buttercream and, of  course,  topped with our custom  home-made marshmallow fondant. Now usually, we like to avoid coloring our frosting as it makes the fondant pop more, but seeing as this was a child’s birthday party we decided to make these confections a little more colorful.

I’m going to be honest, the fondant was dyed with colored gel *GASP!* but we figured since its more of an aesthetic component it’d be okay. However, the frosting was dyed naturally. For the sponge yellow frosting, we used a touch of freshly ground turmeric (yes, turmeric) and to achieve the light coral color, we threw in a little pomegranate juice ( be sure to reduce this a little  and cool completely before using, otherwise it’ll thin out your frosting) into the mix and VOILA, we have starfish frosting! If you can’t a hold of pomegranate juice, try using cherry, raspberry or cranberry. YUM!

Now here are two important take0home lessons:

1. A Little Goes a LONG Way: These “dyes” are naturally bright and can dye a whole batch with just a touch. Another reason to take it easy on the dye is that it may thin out your frosting, especially if you’re using juices. If this happens, go ahead and toss in some powdered sugar and some cream of tartar and throw it back in the fridge for 10 minutes to re-solidify it. Lastly, since you’re obviously using dye from natural ingredients, your frosting may also pick up the flavor if you use too much..I mean, we’re all about unique flavors, but who wants turmeric flavored frosting. YUCK!

2. Add Dye at the Last Minute: So the cakes are cooled, the frosting is set and the dye is ready to go… but cool your jets. If you add the dye to the frosting too far in advance it may lose it brightness or change colors all together. So our tip: go ahead and make everything a few hours in advance, but dye and assemble as close to the event time as possible.

If you guys have any other natural ways of dying, feel free to share =)



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One thought on “Color Me Cupcake: How to Dye Your Confections Naturally

  1. These are fantastic tips, Daryl! I’d love to use more natural dyes for my frostings. I really love the gel colors, but I hate thinking what’s in them. Ewww.

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