DIY naturally-colored frosting! This is one of our favorite hacks for how to color plain frosting without artificial colors. All you need is freeze-dried fruit of choice and your favorite frosting to make this dye free frosting.
We love making desserts to celebrate holidays and birthdays with our families. Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies galore!
But what do you do if you’re not super stoked to use the store-bought frosting made with food dye?
Don’t worry! We’ve got a tried-and-true recipe for frosting using freeze-dried fruit for natural coloring instead.
Why Make Dye Free Frosting
There are plenty of choices for frosting when you go to the grocery store. Many of them are fairly inexpensive, and of course they taste good – which is especially evident from the blue-lipped, blue-teethed kids at every birthday party!
But you may be looking for an alternative to commercial frostings for a few reasons.
First, you don’t have any control over what’s in them.
Frosting is meant to be sweet, so it’s not surprising that most store-bought varieties are chock full of added sugar in some form or another, which is often high fructose corn syrup.
They’re also generally dyed with artificial coloring, like red #40 or yellow #5.
Besides offering no health benefit, new research from the California EPA, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis earlier this year concluded that consumption of synthetic food dyes can increase hyperactivity and other neurobehavioral issues for some children.
As such, we’re interested to experiment with other ways to dye foods for our families using natural substances wherever possible.
Making your own dye free frosting allows you control over what ingredients go into it – and the freedom to play with new colors and flavors!
Tips for Success
Over the years of trying to find a good substitute for traditional colored frosting, we’ve discovered a few things that make it easier. Here are some tips!
- In our opinion, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry work best. Strawberry and raspberry will make pink and blueberry will make purple.
- A mini food processor works best but you can also add dried fruit to a closed bag and a use a rolling pin to smash them into a powder.
- If you’re using a food processor, the seeds will likely be at the top of the powder once it’s fully blended. We scoop those out for a more uniform look, but you don’t have to. Depending on the strength of your processor, it may take ~2 minutes to blend into a powder.
- This will make your frosting taste like the fruit you are using! We also find it makes it sweeter, so when making homemade frosting, we often cut out the powdered sugar by about half and sub in the powdered fruit for the other half.
- You can add as little powder or as much as you like, depending on the shade you are going for.
Note that to use our natural dye recipe, you can choose to either make your own frosting base at home, or purchase a white frosting from the store to then dye naturally with this recipe. That’s totally up to you!
How to Make Naturally-Colored Frosting at Home
To naturally dye your frosting only requires a few easy steps.
First, decide what flavor and color you want to use.
Pick up some freeze-dried raspberries, strawberries, and/or blueberries from the store.
Toss your freeze-dried fruit into a mini food processor and blend it into a powder.
Add it to your prepared frosting of choice (either homemade or store-bought white frosting!).
Gently mix together. Start with a small amount of powder and increase gradually, to achieve the color depth you want.
Slather your naturally-colored frosting into whatever delicious dessert you have waiting.
That’s it! Find the printable instructions below.
- Mini food processor or coffee grinder
- 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries This isn't an exact amount – use more or less depending on how much frosting you need to color. A little bit goes a long way!
- Place freeze-dried fruit into a mini food processor and blend into a fine dry powder.
- Mix a couple of spoonfuls into your prepared frosting and add more as needed to reach the desired color.
- Slather your naturally-colored frosting onto your dessert, and enjoy!
We hope you love this DIY naturally-colored frosting! It can be this easy to color plain frosting without artificial colors. All you need is freeze-dried fruit of choice and your favorite frosting to make this dye free frosting. Share your naturally-colored frosting treats and tag us on Instagram #plantbasedjuniors! Love to see your creations.
Chime In: Have you ever used natural coloring for other types of foods at home?
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Is there a recipe for frosting that you guys like? Not a fan of store bought and don’t like the recipes loaded with crazy processed vegan “butter.”
I usually make a coconut cream frosting! Minimalist Baker has a good one: https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-coconut-whipped-cream/
What a great idea, thank you! Now I’ll be waiting for healthy/sugar-free frosting or other toppings for cupcakes 🙂
Hello I want to make a green but tasty frosting for a caterpillar. Any ideas ?
Chlorella? I haven’t used it before in frosting, so not sure how it would work/taste. I don’t think a spinach powder would work as you’d need a lot of it to color and then it would taste like spinach!