Natural Food Coloring For Buttercream Frosting

Since I’ve been testing food coloring recently, I found this Watkins natural food coloring and decided to see how it looked and what kind of colors it created. It ended up making some pretty colors, with a few things to watch out for.

natural food coloring test

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Watkins natural food coloring.

box of watkins food coloring

I found this brand of natural food coloring that’s made with vegetable and plant colors instead of the artificial ones.

box of watkins food coloring

They come in bottles in four colors, red, yellow, blue, and green. Some of these colors were thicker than the others, but you’ll definitely need to shake them up before using them to make sure they’re mixed well.

one drop of food coloring in icing dishes

I started with about 1/4 a cup of white icing and 1 drop of food coloring in each dish.

pale pastel icing in dishes

This ended up being REALLY light, and the green was basically a pale yellow. If you had a lot of icing you’d need a decent amount of food coloring to get this light color.

pale pastel icing in dishes

With two drops of food coloring, it gets a little darker but not much.

pale pastel icing in dishes

Three drops and it’s a little darker, and the green is more green and less yellow.

colored icing in dishes

I finally just squeezed a bunch of it in to see how dark it would get with a lot of food coloring in the frosting.

The answer is “not very,” and the yellow ended up getting watered down a little.

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The final colors.

pink icing

This was the final color from the red food coloring. It’s a pretty pink color but definitely not red-red.

green icing natural food coloring

This is the green, and it’s a decent Spring green color, but still light. It’s not yellow, though, when you compare the two of them together. If you wanted to make it a little greener and less yellow, you could add some of the blue to green it up.

yellow icing natural food coloring

Comparing this yellow to the green, they’re different but similar. If you put them right next to each other they wouldn’t look the same even though the green is still pretty yellowish.

The yellow turned brighter faster than the other colors, and it didn’t get a lot darker after a certain point. You’ll be able to use less of it and still be able to get a good yellow color.

blue icing natural food coloring

The blue made a nice, dusty blue that would be fine for a boy baby shower or for piping flowers.

Click here to see Watkins Food Coloring on Amazon.

The final verdict.

These food colorings would be good for doing cakes that didn’t need really saturated colors. I don’t think that you’d be able to get super bright colors from these no matter how much you added, but that’s the nature of natural colors.

The colors that you do get from this set is very pretty, and as long as you like the softer colors, they’ll be perfect.

One thing to keep in mind is that the more food coloring you put into the frosting, the wetter and softer the frosting will end up. It can be too soft to pipe and hold its shape, so you need to watch out.

If you add some extra confectioner’s sugar to the icing it will stiffen it up, but since the natural colors don’t have chemical stabilizers, adding other ingredients can change the color. Make sure that you read the packaging of whatever brand you choose so that you don’t add things that will shift the color.

You can see a comparison of some professional gel colors in these food coloring comparison articles: PinkBrown and OrangeYellowBlue.

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