How to Make Pink Food Colour at Home
It’s well known that artificial food colouring is linked to kids behaviour problems. So why not give our kids the best start in life and avoid artificial additives as much as possible. It’s not only food colouring bottles that we need to throw away, but also to start to look at the ingredient lists and eliminate artificial additives as much as realistically possible. Here are some simple steps to make natural pink food colour at home.
What Can I Use Instead of Food Coloring?
Nature gave us foods in so many beautiful colours, yet somehow it became a norm to colour it artificially to “enhance” the appearance, especially food marketed towards kids. Often colour is used to make food more appealing as there are no ingredients of natural origin.
My personal preference is to skip any colourings and let the fresh and natural ingredients show their true colour. Exception, however, is our kid’s birthdays or special occasions. In that instance, I give in, but take time to make homemade, natural and often organic food colours using turmeric, beetroot, green tea, cocoa as well as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
As we have a gorgeous girl, pink is a favourite and the easiest to make.
How do You Make Pink Food Coloring at Home?
Beetroot is loaded with nutrients, can be eaten raw or cooked and has vibrant colour – perfect for food colouring.
Finely grate cooked or fresh beetroot (on the photo below the beetroot is cooked)
Press through a fine sieve to extract the juice.
I’ve used it here to colour royal icing
Add a small amount of beetroot juice. You can always add more if necessary. The royal icing will turn from stiff peaks to soft.
If you need runny royal icing for “flooding” add more beetroot juice or water if you are happy with colour depth.
Here I’m using it to make white and pink butterflies. And let them dry… For the assembled butterflies see the top photo.
The cake and cupcake icing below are also coloured using beetroot juice. The pink is slightly different as it’s mixed with yellowish crème patisserie producing a vintage shade of pink.
Beetroot juice is also great for colouring homemade natural playdough.
Tips on Making Homemade Natural Food Colours
Our son isn’t that much into pink, so I use other natural food colours:
- yellow: turmeric
- gold: turmeric and cocoa
- green: powdered green tea
- reddish pink: raspberries (can turn blue or grey if the food you’re colouring is acidic)
- purple/blue: blueberries, blackberries
- brown: cocoa or chocolate
There are other possibilities, like spinach and avocado for green, but suitable for savoury dishes. Or use flowers (as above) and herbs (mint, parsley) for a nice contrast.
There are different solutions for colouring food. Whatever works for you is better than artificial food colouring. Please share with us your favourite ways of making pink food colour at home. Also, if you like beetroot, you can also try this vegetarian beetroot salad.
Gorgeous cupcakes and cakes, the frosting looks amazing, my girls birthday cakes have generally been pink to avoid the use of commercial colouring. I have also had a lot of sucess with berry juice, especially bosenberries and raspberries, using pretty much the same method.
Many thanks for the great ideas
Thank you Petalsmama.
I love your cubcakes and icing! How did you make the butterfly? Could you please send me the recipe for the cubcakes. I am going to bake for my daughter’s first birthday.
The inspiration for the butterflies is from Peggy Porschen’s book “Pretty Party Cakes”. I believe the cupcake recipe is from the same book. I don’t have the recipe, but google “vanilla cupcakes” to find it on the web.
For the butterflies you need stiff royal icing. Once you pipe the shapes, let them dry then fill in with runny royal icing the next day. The other book you might look for instructions is Mich Turner’s “Spectacular Cakes”. Your local library might have them.
Very pretty! I might try using beet juice in red velvet cake instead of the usual heaps of red food dye. 🙂
Do you have a recipe for the cupcake icing in the last picture? It looks like it pipes out really well.
Hi Vesna, very good solution for colouring food. You know what could probably work very well? Haven’t tried it myself but I’m sure you can use “roselle” (Hibiscus sabdariffa flower). It’s used for making hibiscus tea. Could work. Maybe. Just a thought.
hi, could you use the juice out of the jar or does it have to be from the beetroot itself??x
Possibly,I haven’t tried it as I don’t buy canned beetroot. I guess you can use it but could result in weaker colour and stronger taste.
Our family is NOT a big fan of the taste of beetroot….will this make the frosting taste like beetroot? The same with using blueberries for blue coloring…does it taste like blueberries?
I think this is why I only use non-tasting high grade commercial baking food colors…even though I would like to avoid the commercial coloring…I want it to taste like frosting, not another food….is this possible while using natural plants for food colorings?
Thanks for the great tips you have on your website…I love them all.
The frosting does not taste like beetroot, I couldn’t taste it, nor our guests. The best way to find it out is to try if it works for you.