Monday, February 2, 2015

Making Easy Pink Food Coloring from Beets and Vegan Frosting

When I started reading up on how to make a natural pink food coloring, I got really excited because beets was the number one ingredient that came up. I just happened to have beets in our fridge from our food CSA. Every now and then they offer them and I buy them thinking I will do something with them, then usually use all the greens in smoothies (which I did) and leave the beets laying there for a month or so. Nobody likes them but me, so I usually don't cook them. I really need to start adding them to juice, or putting them into my famous vegan pancakes, or something...

With Valentine's Day coming up, I knew I wanted to bake or make something sweet with the charming pink or red coloring that is splashed all over Pinterest, on every foodie blog and mommy blog alike. However, I'm SICK of artificial food coloring. I'm just OVER feeding my kids, my family, or anyone's kids or family some nasty synthetic liquid chemical in freakish colors that should probably have a warning label similar to the one found on a pack of cigarettes or weed killer. That stuff is just not food and if you google food coloring, you will find that each color has a nasty list of potential health hazards pretty much flipping the bird to our FDA who is as usual, fast asleep at the wheel.

You want to know what turns frosting or cake or any food the most gorgeous shade of pink? Start chopping beets and look at your fingers. Like magic, a luscious, rich color will appear.

So when shopping for beets food coloring recipes for icing, I found some people boiling them, some were juicing, some food processing and squeezing through cheesecloth. It all seemed like a pain. I came across one method of just tossing beets in the frosting. I'm always searching for an easy way out, so this is how I wanted to start.

First I peeled the beet. Then I sliced it. Then, with dripping magenta juices on my cutting board, knife, and fingers I dropped my small beet into my frosting. Within seconds, the lovely color was streaming into my snowy white frosting. The longer I let it sit, the more I stirred, the more color blossomed until I had the most beautiful pink hue I had ever seen.

Did it taste like beets? NO way! I fished all the slices out with a fork, added a bit more sugar, ran it through my food processor one more time to get the lumps out and I was all set. Chemical and poison free. Now I just had to worry about the ridiculous amount of sugar I was going to give my toddler and decided that Valentine's Day was a holiday that we could make an exception for. Just this once. Next cupcake I was going to figure out how to chill on all that nasty sugar, too.

What you need for the frosting:
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar divided
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
1/2 tsp of vanilla (optional)
2 tbsp soy, almond, or other milk
1 small beet

What you do:
Peel and slice your beet.
Put 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla in food processer and mix until smooth.
Transfer to bowl and add beet slices, stirring gently until frosting turns desired color.
Remove beets.
If beets water down your frosting, add remainder of powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
Transfer frosting back into food processor and mix until smooth.
Pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

You can see my Vegan Chocolate Cupcake Recipe here.


  1. I will have to read more on this one. Kinda different. Thanks for the information.

  2. This is great. Thank you. I'm not surprised that this works....everytime I cook beets my hands are stained pink. I will definitely use this recipe. Thanks again. #sitsblogging.

  3. What a great idea!

  4. This is such a great idea because I can't stand the thought of food coloring. Pinning this. Thanks!

  5. I agree with Marci. Food coloring is not something I want my family eating. I love natural options, so this is very exciting.


Thanks for the comment!

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