Natural Food Colors
Made from vegetables instead of petrochemicals.
Our all-natural food colorings are a wonderful alternative to the artificial FD&C food dyes found on store shelves. You'll feel so much better using natural dyes—extracted from real foods—in your kitchen!
Tips for Using Our Natural Food Colors
Results will vary
Natural colors are a little wild! It can be difficult to predict exactly how they will look in a particular recipe.
The pH level (acidity) of the recipe, temperature, and exposure to light and air can all affect the final outcome. Another thing to keep in mind is that, in general, natural colors are less intense or bright compared to the chemical dyes you might be used to. But with an appreciation for their special character along with a little experimentation, you'll be making beautiful, edible works of art using natural colors in no time!
If you're the kind of person who would enjoy some more in-depth information about the behavior of natural colors, read on...Otherwise, you should feel free to jump right in and start playing with these pretty colors!
Keep the bottles tightly closed in a cool place, preferably the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh for about 6 months. They may be stored in the freezer for even greater longevity (but take care that the glass bottle doesn't break if frozen). With age and/or heat exposure the colors will eventually become dull.
Hot temperatures cause natural colors to fade and brown—they are, after all, made from natural vegetables. To achieve the brightest red tone for a red velvet cake, for example, use a pan size and shape that will bake at the lowest temperature and for the shortest time. This will reduce color degradation caused by exposure to heat.
Just as you would do with paint, you can produce beautiful new shades of color as well as increase intensity or stability by mixing you own colors. For example, our green food color can turn brownish/yellow in an acid environment. If this happens, you might try making your own green by mixing yellow and blue and see if the color works better in your particular recipe.
These food colors are water-soluble. To encourage even dispersion, you can add them to the most neutral, water-based ingredient in the recipe. If the recipe is mostly fat-based, specks of color may be noticeable to the discerning eye (probably only the cook will notice!).
The following chart illustrates the effect of acid on natural colors. (The blue and green colorants are made from cabbage, yellow from turmeric, red from beets, orange from annatto and purple from red cabbage.)
Effects of a LESS acidic recipe on color
Example: Royal Icing made with just egg whites and powdered sugar (no cream of tartar or other acid)
Blue - greenish, almost teal tone
Yellow - almost orange
Green - emerald
Purple - blue tone
Effects of a MORE acidic recipe on color
Example: Simple Buttercream made with butter and powdered sugar
Blue - lighter, slightly grey tone
Yellow - intensely yellow
Green - brown tinge
Purple - turns pink
Relative acidity of some common frosting/icing ingredients
• White sugar - no impact on acidity
• Egg whites - least acidic (they're actually basic)
• Butter and cream cheese - acidic
• Syrups (i.e. corn syrup, honey, maple syrup)- aidic
• Lemon juice and cream of tartar - most acidic
Note: The frosting on the cupcakes pictured was made with organic palm shortening and regular powdered sugar. We also tested an egg white frosting made with organic sugar. We found organic sugar (granulated and powdered both) produces a slightly duller white frosting, which may affect the final intensity of the food colors. Plus, the less refined organic sugar may have some acidity to it as all the molasses has not been removed. Just something to be aware of when using organic sugar—it probably affects the color.
Mix & Match Discount on Natural Food Colors
• Buy 3-5 bottles - Get 10% off!
• Buy 6+ bottles - Get 15% off!
Discount applied at checkout.