It’s Thursday! Thirsty Thursday, as my peers in college would have called it.
And today…all I’m thirsty for is icing.
Okay, that would be gross tbh. But hear me out!
Easter time reminds me of one thing and one thing only: Easter Bread.
My mom and I make Easter Bread every single year. You can read this post for a gluten free recipe and to learn a little more about the bread, but the tl;dr version is that it’s pretty much the best sweet dessert bread there ever was. And a single bite of the stuff takes me back to my 5-years-old days.
But my favorite thing about Easter Bread as a kid? Making it. More specifically: icing it.
We’d line our kitchen table (yes, the entire table – that’s how much bread we were making at a time) with wax paper, then put the cooling racks for the bread on top. Once the bread was cool enough, we’d ice it with a simple powdered sugar, food dye, milk glaze.
But the best part of the whole icing experience? Eating the icing that had dripped off each of the loaves. We’d just slide our fingers across the icing that had fallen on the wax paper and went.to.town. Our fingers would be dyed crazy colors, we were totally hopped up on sugar, and we would just have the best time ever.
So because of all of those warm and fuzzy memories I have this time of year, I wanted to find a way to naturally dye some icing in the hopes of a somewhat healthier, but still totally beautiful and delicious, baked good for the season.
Yep, just because you’re trying to be a little healthier doesn’t mean that you need to skip out on cute baked goods and desserts! *cue sugar-induced happy dance*
Nature is like…really cool. It gave us so many sources of beautiful colors – so we’re using them today to make natural pink, brown, yellow, and green food dye for icing! And I seriously couldn’t be more excited about the results!
How to Make Natural Pink Icing
Not gonna lie, when I picked up blueberries from the store, I totally thought I’d end up with blue icing. Not exactly sure why – I’ve certainly had my fair share of blueberries before so I know they’re redish purple on the inside, but oh well – we ended up with the cutest light pink icing instead!
When pink is a mistake, you know it’s going to be a very good day.
I just blended about 1 cup of blueberries with about 1/2 cup water and then strained the mixture to get a beautiful dark purple juice. Once I added a bit to my powdered sugar, it became the most beautiful light pink glaze ever.
If you’re not a fan of blueberries, or if you’re holding back from buying them until they’re in-season…do not fret. I got you.
Use red juice instead! Cranberry! Pomegranate! Blueberry! Raspberry! Choose your fave and go to town.
How to Make Natural Brown Icing
Not gonna lie, brown is kinda boring. But! It’s a nice neutral that pairs nicely with the rest of our colors. I had an awesome idea to use it to make speckles on my pink/yellow/green iced goodies, but it was a much better idea in theory.
Regardless! If you’re after brown icing, it couldn’t be simpler. Add cocoa powder to your powdered sugar for a brown (and chocolate-flavored!) icing.
If you don’t want a chocolate flavored icing for some reason (???), and you just want the brown color, no worries. Use a dark brewed coffee instead!
How to Make Natural Yellow Icing
I’m absolutely obsessed with how the yellow icing turned out. That mustardy yellow color is just so lovely this time of year, and it all comes from one of the trendiest ingredients around: turmeric!
You know how when you’re cooking with turmeric and some of it splashes out of your pot and it completely stains your countertops? That’s exactly why it makes the perfect yellow icing for cookies and baked goods alike.
How to Make Natural Green Icing
My favorite of the bunch! That green color is one of my favorite colors eeever. And it all comes from matcha!
You all know I love me some matcha. It is awesome as a icing dye as well! You’ll see that my green icing is kinda speckled because the matcha didn’t fully dissolve. I loved that about my icing because it worked with the type of cookie I was icing (sneak peak below :) ), but I can totally understand how that could be annoying. If you want a smooth icing, I’d suggest dissolving the matcha in 1-2 Tbsp. hot water (whisk super well!) before adding it to the powered sugar. Done and done!
AREN’T THEY THE CUTEST COOKIES EVER?! The recipe is coming next week! Eeep!
I hope you guys love these icings. The best part about them (aside from their completely adorable colors) is that the powdered sugar is so sweet on its own; the dyes barely flavor the icing. Especially once they’re on top of a delightful baked good!
Here’s to a delicious and colorful spring!
How to Make Natural Food Dye for Icing
|Prep:||Yield: ~1/4 cup icing||Total:|
Learn how to make natural pink, brown, yellow, and green icings from common healthy foods!
- 1/2 cup (organic) powdered sugar (per color), sifted
- 1-2 Tbsp. almond milk to thin, if needed
- splash vanilla, optional
- For green:
- 1/4 tsp. matcha green tea powder*
- For pink:
- 1-2 Tbsp. blueberry puree** or 1-2 Tbsp. red juice***
- For yellow:
- 1/16-1/8 tsp. turmeric
- For brown:
- 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted or 1-2 Tbsp. dark coffee/black tea
- Add powdered sugar to a bowl. Add your coloring to the powdered sugar. If it's a dry coloring like matcha, turmeric, or cocoa, use 1-2 Tbsp. almond milk to wet the mixture.
- Mix well to combine. You want the icing to be a thick glaze. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it's too thick, add additional liquid.
- Adjust colors if wanted or needed. Use as an icing for your favorite baked good! You can do two layers of icing for a more dramatic color, but I'm a huge fan of the muted colors.
*My green was a bit speckled because the matcha didn't fully dissolve. It was perfect for the recipe I used it for (egg cookies - coming next week!), but I can totally understand how that could be annoying. If you want a smooth icing, I'd suggest dissolving the matcha in 1-2 Tbsp. hot water (whisk super well!) before adding it to the powered sugar.
**To make the blueberry puree, blend 1 cup blueberries with 1/2 cup water. Strain, and use 1-2 Tbsp. for your recipe. Save the rest for smoothies or more icing!
**Red juice can be anything from cranberry to pomegranate to blueberry to raspberry! I used The Power of 7 Juice from Trader Joe's.
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I love how you discovered these. I’m not a fan of those artificial food dyes because the bright colours just kinda freak me out…they look waaaay to unnatural to eat (although to be fair I do enjoy m&ms ha.)
I’m studying food science and we actually learnt about the components that give food their colours and it is so cool how a lot of those components are extremely good for your health.
Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says
Thank you so much, Megan! I totally agree with you – those vibrant colors can be a little too…aggressive ;)
Your iced “eggs” are exquisite. I am eager to get the coming cookie recipe, too. Thank you!
Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says
Thank you so much, Larayne! I think they’re pretty adorable ;)
Meredith | Earth & Oven says
Blogs new look + logo are phenom! So fresh and clean. Looove this breakdown for natural cookie deco too, thanks for sharing :)!
Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says
Thank you so so much, Meredith! :)
Like the update and thank you for natural food icings ideas I’ll be use for Easter ?!
Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says
Awesome, Sheila!! Let me know how it goes :)