Yesterday my baby girl turned two years old. The time has seemed to just fly by since I first told you about her.
Anyway, we had a party for Janna and I decided to make cupcakes that were red with brown spots because her birthday theme was going to be ladybugs and the color yellow (her favorite).
Well, I did make cupcakes and they had brown spots (mini chocolate chips); however, they weren’t red. The icing was pink.
There is a good reason why the icing ended up being pink instead of red.
You see, I have been noticing that Joseph, my five year old, seems to negatively react to food dyes (behaviorally). Some experiments I have recently done with him appeared to confirm my suspicions.
This led me to try to figure out how to make cupcakes look sort of like ladybugs while using a natural food coloring.
I chose to use frozen raspberries and hoped that their red color would make my icing red.
I totally was winging this process, but I thought I would share it with you because, while my icing wasn’t red, it was a pretty pink.
I put 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan.
Then I brought them to a boil and simmered them for about 5 minutes. Next, I used my food processor to puree the raspberries.
To strain out the seeds I poured the pureed raspberries into a mesh strainer and let the juice drain into a bowl underneath.
Note: Don’t rush this process by trying to push the juice through the strainer or you will end up with seeds in your puree. (I speak from experience.)
When you are finished you should end up with some seeds in the strainer and a thick juice in the bowl underneath.
While it may seem like a lot of work, it really wasn’t a hard process. I think next time I will make a big batch and freeze the extras in ice cube trays.
After making the raspberry puree (I am totally remembering the song “Raspberry Beret” every time I type raspberry puree. I never liked it but it would get stuck in my head if it was on the radio. Now it might just be stuck in yours. 🙂 ) I mixed up a batch of icing and used all of the puree to color it. It turned out to be a pretty pink color and had a slight raspberry taste that nobody seemed to notice at the party.
As a bonus I tweaked the icing recipe to be dairy-free by using organic palm shortening and dairy-free milk.
Here’s the recipe in case you would like to make this icing. Even if you don’t use my icing recipe you can still give the natural food coloring a try.
- ¾ Cup Organic Palm Shortening
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 4+ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp. Dairy-Free Milk
- Natural Pink Coloring:
- ½ Cup Raspberries
- ½ Cup Water
- In the bowl of a mixer, mix the shortening and vanilla until creamy.
- Add ½ cup of powdered sugar and mix well. Repeat with remaining powdered sugar.
- Add a little milk at a time to help give the icing a creamy consistency.
- To make the pink coloring, combine the raspberries and water in a small sauce pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for approximately 5 minutes.
- Use a food processor to puree the raspberry mixture.
- Strain the seeds out of the puree using a fine mesh strainer.
- Add the strained puree to the icing and mix until well combined.
Have you ever made your own natural food coloring? I plan to experiment with different colors in the near future.