Recipe round-up: The rainbow guide to food coloring

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It would be fair to say that the food coloring business has turned on its head over recent years.

Once a so-called simple business model, there have been countless studies which have shown that there are hidden dangers embedded in synthetic food dyes. It’s meant that it has almost reinvented itself and natural solutions are all-the-more common.

Bearing this in mind, today is about showcasing some of these recipes. Not all are going to be natural, but as we mull through each color you can rest assured that all food colorings are going to be completely safe. They can be stored for varied periods of time and used in other recipes of your choice. Let’s begin the round-up…


If you have ever ventured over to London, you’ll know all about the Hummingbird Bakery. Their red velvet cupcakes are renowned and in this recipe, they talk about how they manage to get the famous deep red tone. It’s not a natural method, like a lot of the recipes we look at, but for the sheer taste it’s completely worth it.

Link to recipe: Humming Bird Bakery


This next recipe takes on a different strand, as it provides different methods for different tastes. For example, it looks at lemon and passion fruit as two alternatives, while it also looks at a blend of carrots, peppers and tomatoes. It also breaks down each of the methods to fat and water-soluble ones, which provides even more insight in how you can use these natural yellow food colorings.

The natural factor for yellow should not be underestimated, either. For example, one of the most contested food colorings in the US at the moment is Yellow 5 & 6, which is banned in a lot of countries. Natural alternatives are a far better way of circumventing the issue.

Link to recipe: Instructables


It might be classed as a pink frosting recipe, but as you’ll soon see the methods can apply to a range of foods. The author provides three options, using either beetroot, raspberries or pomegranate juice for the final, pink effect. The concoction is stirred into the ingredient of choice before the desired pink shade is reached.

Link to recipe: Cool Mom Eats


Some of the ingredients we have listed today use just a couple of ingredients. Unfortunately, green can be a little more difficult to muster (at least if you are going down the natural route).

This recipe we have picked out uses everything from avocado, spinach, pistachios, parsley, red onions and possibly more (if it goes with your recipe). It’s a long-winded method, but one that tastes fantastically good as well as looking the part.

Link to recipe: The Simple Home Maker


Strangely enough, purple is one of the more difficult colorings to create. Therefore, this next recipe comes as part of a general food coloring tutorial. It shows how to make various shades, but purple is in there as well, and simply requires blueberries and a couple of teaspoons of water.

Link to recipe: Leite’s Culinaria


This was one of the more generic articles we found, but for anyone who is attempting to make orange food coloring for baking purposes it should serve well. The premise of the recipe is to turn to spices, such as turmeric, saffron or paprika. Then, mix with a tablespoon of water to turn into liquid. When the mixture is applied to your baking, you’ll find that the sugar masks the spicy flavor and instead just creates the deep orange appearance.

Link to recipe:


The thought of using red cabbage to create a blue color sounds utterly out of the ordinary. Well, according to this recipe, it works like a charm. Use alongside baking soda and the results are extraordinary and dare we say it, completely natural again.

Link to recipe: Feasting on Fruit

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