Make Your Own Food Coloring

Posted on February 22nd, 2012 by Discount Debbie


My 3-year-old daughter is a huge Veggie Tales fan. So, when we first started talking about making plans for her birthday party, it didn’t take long for the names “Bob” and “Larry” to come up. I started looking online and found lots of examples of Veggie Tales cakes that moms had made for their children. While I love to bake, I had some concerns about being able to pull off Bob and Larry. One of the concerns was food coloring. My husband and I did not want to use any of the chemicals, artificial substances that are found in conventional food coloring. Before long, I found that there are many ways to color food without using the toxic elements. So, what would I use to color the frosting for my daughter’s birthday cake?

FOOD! What I found was refreshing and fun. I could use food that is healthy and even organic to add to my homemade cream cheese frosting to get the desired effect without the artificial colors.

Here is what I used to get the colors I needed for our Veggie Tales birthday cake.

For Bob (Red), I pureed blackberries and a few strawberries and mixed them in with some pureed baked beet. I prepped my daughter beforehand by talking about the very real possibility of a “dark pink” Bob. But, at least he’d be one we would feel great about eating. Incidentally, she didn’t care that Bob wasn’t red. She was thrilled about the character on the cake as it was.

For Larry, I put a little bit of spinach in a saucepan with just a little bit of water. Brought it to a boil and cooked for about 3-4 minutes. When it cooled, I pureed the spinach until it reached the texture of a paste.

In both cases, I added the “color” to the cream cheese frosting until I got a shade that would work. Incidentally, you can’t taste the spinach and there’s only a hint of berry in the “red” frosting. Both green and red on chocolate cake were a big hit with the family.

There are so many fun, inexpensive and healthy ways to make food coloring. Have you tried making food coloring at home? What other colors have you made at home?



  1. Anastasia @ Eco-Babyz February 22, 2012

    That is a great idea and so much better than the artificial stuff!

  2. Erin F February 22, 2012

    Awesome! Now that we’re thinking about having kids, I’m becoming really aware of the artificial stuff I put into my body. What a great alternative!

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