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How to Color Frosting Using Natural Ingredients

by Rachel Riesgraf

March 21, 2022

by Rachel Riesgraf

It is easy to color frosting naturally by using vegetables, fruits, herbs, and organic powders. Not only is it fun to experiment with the rainbow of shades you can create with natural frosting, you will also know exactly what ingredients are in the frosting and thus going into your body (unless you are not tempted by delicious buttercream frosting, of course)! Skip artificial coloring; let’s look at some easy natural frosting dyes that are great when added to your favorite frosting. We suggest King Arthur Baking’s recipe. Skip to easy  Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe.

Beet juice is used to naturally color frosting.

Pink Frosting Using Beet Dye

Try buttercream frosting naturally colored pink with beet dye! Fresh organic beets work great as natural food coloring by shredding the beets and squeezing out their dark red juice. Mix a little beet juice with white buttercream frosting to create the most beautiful natural pink frosting that is completely free of artificial food dye. To create dark pink or red frosting, add more natural beet juice. The taste from the small amount of beet juice needed goes undetected when mixed with frosting!

Ingredients

  • 1 beet
  • 1 1/2 cups white vanilla buttercream frosting

Time
Prep: 10 minutes
Instructions
Shred one large beet using the large holes of a box grater.
Transfer the shredded beet to a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze the juice into a small bowl. You should get about 1-2 Tbsp. of beet juice.
Notes
If the frosting becomes too thin, mix in more powdered sugar. Beet juice will briefly dye your hands pink. When handling the beet, I recommend wearing gloves or washing your hands with soap immediately following.
Mix the beet juice with white buttercream, starting with a small amount and adding more as needed until you reach your desired color. For 1 1/2 cups of buttercream, a good starting point is 1/2 tsp. of beet juice.
Alternative natural dye
Dried beet, strawberry or raspberry powder is a great alternative. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.

 

Blue spirulina from spirulina algae is used for a natural frosting color.

Naturally Colored Blue Frosting

Blue spirulina from spirulina algae works great as a natural dye to make blue buttercream frosting! The bright aqua blue color of this nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich powder mixes well with white buttercream frosting to create a perfect, fun shade of blue frosting that is free of artificial food dye. The small amount of blue spirulina needed doesn't affect the taste or texture of the frosting.

Ingredients 

  • Blue spirulina powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white vanilla buttercream frosting

Time
Prep: 5 minutes
Instructions
Mix blue spirulina powder with white buttercream, starting with a small amount and adding more as needed until you reach your desired color. For 1 1/2 cups of buttercream, a good starting point is 1/4 tsp. of blue spirulina powder.

Matcha is used for a natural frosting color.

Green Frosting Using Matcha Powder

Frosting can be naturally colored green using matcha powder! Antioxidant-rich matcha green tea powder is a bright, vibrant shade of green that mixes well with white buttercream frosting. Together, the two create gorgeous natural green frosting that is free of artificial food dye. The small amount of matcha powder needed doesn't affect the taste or texture of the frosting. But if you love the taste of matcha, feel free to add more!

Ingredients 

  • Culinary grade matcha powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white buttercream frosting

Time
Prep: 5 minutes
Instructions
Mix matcha powder with white buttercream, starting with a small amount and adding more as needed until you reach your desired color. For 1 1/2 cups of buttercream, a good starting point is 1/2 tsp. of matcha powder.
Alternative natural dye
Thaw about 1 cup of frozen spinach. Transfer to a paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze the juice into a small pan. Boil until reduced down to about 1-2 Tbsp. Let cool, then mix with white frosting, starting with a small amount and adding more as needed.
Note
The amount of spinach juice needed to dye the frosting green will result in a thinner frosting that more closely resembles the consistency of icing.

Fresh blackberries are used for a natural frosting color.

Make Purple Frosting With Berries

Purple food coloring is so beautiful when made with fresh blackberries! This fruit works great as an organic food coloring by pureeing the blackberries and using a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Mix the deep purple blackberry puree with white buttercream frosting to create an irresistible natural purple frosting that is completely free of artificial food dye. The small amount of blackberry puree needed does not change the flavor of the frosting.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 1/2 cups white vanilla buttercream frosting

Time
Prep: 10 minutes
Instructions
Using a small blender or food processor, puree the blackberries and water until mostly smooth.
Transfer the pureed blackberries to a fine mesh strainer. Using the back of a spoon, press to squeeze the puree into a small bowl, leaving behind the seeds.
Mix the blackberry puree with white buttercream, starting with a small amount and adding more as needed until you reach your desired color. For 1 1/2 cups of buttercream, a good starting point is 1 tsp. of blackberry puree.
Notes
If the frosting becomes too thin, mix in more powdered sugar.
If you want the frosting to taste like blackberries, mix in more blackberry puree or even leave in the seeds, but keep in mind this will change the consistency of the frosting.
Alternative Natural Dye
Dried blackberry or blueberry powder is a great alternative. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.

Turmeric can be used to create a natural frosting color.

Natural Yellow Frosting

Dye frosting yellow using a pantry staple ingredient: turmeric powder! The golden yellow color of this anti-inflammatory spice mixes exceptionally well with white buttercream frosting to create a delectable shade of yellow frosting that is free of artificial food dye. The small amount of turmeric powder needed doesn't affect the taste or texture of the frosting.

Ingredients

  • Turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 cups white vanilla buttercream frosting

Time
Prep: 5 minutes
Instructions
Mix turmeric powder with white buttercream, starting with a small amount and adding more as needed until you reach your desired color. For 1 1/2 cups of buttercream, a good starting point is 1/4 tsp. of turmeric powder.
Alternative Natural Dye
Dried mango or pineapple powder is a great alternative. Start with a small amount and add more as needed.

 Alt. text: naturally-colored-frosting-32: Beautiful natural food dyes in piping bags.


King Arthur Baking Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  •  6 Tbsp. (85 g) Organic Valley Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (60 g) vegetable shortening
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 4 to 5 cups (454 to 567 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup (57 to 78g) milk or heavy cream, at room temperature

Time
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 3/4 cups
Instructions 
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, and salt until fluffy.
Add about half the confectioners' sugar, and beat slowly until well blended.
Add the vanilla and half the milk or cream, and beat until fluffy.
Continue mixing in sugar and milk alternately until they've been completely incorporated.

 

Carly Knowles

Rachel Riesgraf is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Modern Farmhouse Eats. Growing up on an Organic Valley dairy farm, I learned how to create the best homestyle recipes using fresh, seasonal ingredients. I carry that same style of cooking and baking with me as I develop easy, from scratch, comfort food recipes for the busy, modern cook.