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How To: DIY Natural Food Coloring

Making pink DIY Natural Food Dye with a fresh beet

Bowl of homemade Pink Natural Food ColoringBatch of sugar cookies with some topped with pink frosting made from beets

DIY Natural Food Dye

Simple, 1-ingredient natural food dye perfect for coloring frostings, baked goods and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Squeezing beet juice into a bowl to make DIY Natural Food Dye
4.8 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No

Ingredients

  • 1 large beet

Instructions

  • Wash and thoroughly scrub your beet. Then finely grate over a paper towel or thin, clean dish towel, being sure to set the towel over a plate so the beet juice doesn't stain your countertops. 1 beet should yield roughly 3 Tbsp (45 ml) beet juice.
  • Once your beet is grated, gently squeeze the beet juice into whatever you're dying - in this case, it was buttercream frosting for vegan sugar cookies.
  • The more juice you add, the more intense the hue (see photos).
  • Other readers have suggested turmeric for yellow, pomegranate for red, and matcha powder or spirulina for green!

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 3 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tbsp servings Calories: 7 Carbohydrates: 1.5 g Protein: 0.2 g Fat: 0 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 0 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 1.4 g

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Jayden says

    I recently used purple cabbage with some baking soda to dye my frosting using this method after quickly boiling it! It worked great and came out a really beautiful blue. I assume you can not add the backing soda for a purple, as the only reason it was blue was due to the ph change from the baking soda!

  2. Carol A Konyha says

    I would love recipe suggestions for red velvet cupcakes –no artificial dyes please!
    thank you,
    Carol in Phoenix

  3. Kim says

    This was so easy! Other recipes require you to cook the beets but this is way faster. I made the Minimalist Baker funfetti cupcake recipe (except without the sprinkles) and of course it was amazing!! None of my friends could believe they were vegan.
    I wanted to try dying the icing the color of red wine. I was worried it would taste weird with that much beet juice. I got the icing a pretty deep pink and I still couldn’t taste the beet flavor. I added cocoa to make it more like the color of wine. The amount of beet juice made it runnier, so I just added extra powdered sugar until it thickened up. It tasted really good with a little bit of cocoa! I didn’t get the color quite right but I was still impressed what you can do with beet juice and a little cocoa. Next time, I would just make the icing without the splash of non-dairy milk and would use the beet juice to thin it instead.

  4. Roopa says

    Wow ! Thanks so much for the lovely idea. I used it for my daughter’s birthday cake. Pink frosting and all of us loved it. It was my first try and it came out very well.

    • Lele says

      This was the most helpful way to make this it was so easy, it was my cousins birthday and I didn’t want to make her a plain white cake.i loved how this recipe didn’t need anything to do with cooking like the other recipes

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lele. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  5. Bhumika says

    Hi,was thinking of using beet for pink color..can i make my beetbuttercream frosting 2 days in advance.Am worried will it make buttercream color discolored

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    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! We quite often add videos and how-to’s to our recipes so be on the look out for upcoming ones!

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  9. Nivian says

    Im doing a rainbow cupcake and I want to use natural ways to color the batter.
    beets-red
    matcha podwer -green
    blueberries – purple
    what can I you use for yellow, orange and blue?

    Im afraid that all these different ingredients will give the cupcakes a weird taste. any suggestion?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nivian!
      For yellow: turmeric powder should do the trick!
      Orange: carrot juice!
      Blue: This may help. I have not tried these but if you do, report back on how it goes! Good luck!

    • Micke says

      I accidentally made my daughter’s raspberry cupcakes blue-green. Not sure what happened, but I think it was a reaction like the one mentioned with purple cabbage. I added pulverized freeze-dried raspberries into a recipe for vegan, yellow cake batter (whatever I had left over from when I made the frosting). To my surprise, when we were ready to frost them, they were blue-green. Still tasted great though.

      • Kathy says

        I have been told that when you add natural colorings, especially in the red and purple shades, that if you are baking that food it turns brown. So that would mean cookie dough and cake batter, right? I just wonder how the other colors react to heat.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Though I have not tried this, you can apparently use black cocoa powder or activated charcoal powder to make a natural black dye. Report back if you give it a try! Good luck!

  10. Ernest Garcia says

    This sounds like a silly question and I see it mentioned above. Does the beet or even spirulina affect the taste? I am joining in on my first cookie decorating day with my mother-in-laws family and wanted to use your cookie recipe along with icing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      A little, depends on how much you use. With the amount of beet juice you see there, not really. But spirulina has a stronger taste.

  11. Jennifer Wilson says

    This sounds like a silly question and I see it mentioned above. Does the beet or even spirulina affect the taste? I am joining in on my first cookie decorating day with my mother-in-laws family and wanted to use your cookie recipe along with icing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      A little, depends on how much you use. With the amount of beet juice you see there, not really. But spirulina has a stronger taste.

  12. Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says

    LOVE this idea…especially for red velvet-loving me! I’ll definitely be playing around with this method – thanks!

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