Make Your Own Natural Food Coloring

It’s easy to make gorgeous Easter eggs with natural food coloring. For a fun trick, try gently cracking the shells of the hard-cooked eggs (try our technique) before steeping in the colorful dye to create a marbled effect. Using natural food coloring means the colored eggs are safe to eat.

Natural Food Coloring Recipe

Makes about ½ cup food coloring per color

Purple =  3 beets 
Green =  1 bunch spinach
Orange=  3 carrots
Blue =  ½ red cabbage + 1 tablespoon baking soda
Yellow =  1 tablespoon ground turmeric
Red = 1 tablespoon dried paprika
Brown = 3 bags black tea

Large saucepans, masher or blender, strainer

Vegetable-based food coloring 
Roughly chop the vegetable. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cover the chopped vegetable with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the water is the desired shade, 25 to 30 minutes. 

For the red cabbage: to turn it blue, add 1 tablespoon baking soda. 

Let cool. Using a masher or blender, puree the vegetables with their cooking water.  Strain and transfer to a clean glass jar.

Spice-based food coloring 
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the turmeric or paprika with ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a clean glass jar, no need to strain.

Tea-based food coloring
In a glass measuring cup or heatproof container, cover the tea bags with ½ cup boiling water. Let cool. Discard the tea bags and transfer the tea to a clean jar. 

When mixed into frostings, natural food coloring will make lovely pastel color rather than vibrant, neon hues. 

Store, tightly sealed, in the fridge and use within 1-2 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays and transfer to a zip freezer bag for longer storage. Thaw cubes before using.

Try our technique for boiling eggs here