Use Natural Food Coloring from Plants to Make Beautiful Cakes, Cookies and More
Learn how to use freeze-dried fruit and vegetables to bring natural color to your favorite baked goods.
Plants have got it going on when it comes to putting the shades of the rainbow on glorious display. That's why we turned to them here to doll up cakes, cookies and more, including the gorgeous Orange Ombre Cake pictured above, which gets its color from freeze-dried goldenberry powder.
Freeze-Dried Fruit for Food Coloring
Freeze-dried fruits have all their water removed in a heat-free, vacuum process that also protects colors, keeps flavors fresh and fruity and creates a crumbly texture (unlike the leathery, traditionally dried ones). Ground into powder, they're ideal for coloring.
Where to Buy Freeze-Dried Fruit
Both freeze-dried fruit and pre-ground powders are readily available. Look for them at the super-market with other dried fruit or online at amazon.com.
To Prepare Freeze-Dried Fruit
Grind freeze-dried fruits in a food processor until they become a fine powder. (If you find dried fruits already powdered, there's not need to grind them.)
Recipes with Freeze-Dried Fruit
These Bunny Cupcakes get their hue from raspberries.
The sparkling sugar on these Shortbread Cookies with Blueberry Sparkling Sugar is made with—you guessed it—freeze-dried blueberries.
These Naturally Red Velvet Doughnuts get their color from a combination of sweet red beets and freeze-dried pomegranate powder.
These Easter Sugar Cookies get their colors from freeze-dried raspberry, blueberry and dried goldenberry powders, but you could use any type of freeze-dried fruit or vegetable to color cookies for any holiday or party.
Other All-Natural Food Colorings
There's an array of all-natural food colorings that work well for most any recipe (but can't be swapped in equal amounts for fruit powders). Brands we tried and liked include: McCormick, Watkins, ColorKitchen, ChefMaster and Supernatural. You can also make natural decorating sugar with fruit juice concentrates. And don't forget that you can use natural food coloring for Easter eggs too!
This story originally appeared in EatingWell Magazine April 2020.