Save on Pinterest

8 Natural Food Dyes You Can Make at Home

Skip the store-bought food coloring and try these natural food dyes instead. They're made from some of your favorite foods!

1 / 8
Fresh young sliced beets on tablePhoto: Shutterstock/Africa Studio


One of the most common veggies used as dye, beets produce a deep pink (almost red) hue. Blend 1/4 cup of cooked beets with 1/2 cup beet juice. Strain out any large pieces, then save the remaining liquid to use as food coloring for your next red velvet cake.

2 / 8
Fresh and sweet carrot on a grey wooden tablePhoto: Shutterstock / 5 second Studio


“Orange” you glad you can use carrots instead of processed food coloring? Except your final result will be more yellow than orange, most likely. Put raw carrots through a juicer to create your dye (you may need to add some water to thin out the liquid). It’s perfect for one of these magical unicorn recipes.

3 / 8
fresh turmeric roots on wooden tablePhoto: Shutterstock/SOMMAI


The super trendy Indian spice can also double as a vibrant yellow food dye. Simmer 1/2 cup of water with about a teaspoon of turmeric (a little goes a long way!), then let it cool. You can use it to tint these lemon star cookies or any other bright treat.

4 / 8
Raw Organic Green Matcha Tea in a BowlPhoto: Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker


This green tea powder isn’t just for smoothies…it’s also a great way to naturally give your baking a gorgeous green color. And matcha is simple: Just blend the powder directly in with your ingredients while you’re mixing. It’s perfect for holiday baking (think festive St. Patrick’s Day treats or Christmas cookies).

5 / 8
Young spinach in a wooden plate


Another alternative to green food coloring. Place two handfuls of fresh spinach into a pan, then fill with water just to cover the leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes (until the water reduces by half) before letting cool and blending into a liquid. Green eggs and ham, anyone?

6 / 8
Red cabbage sliced on wood board, white wood backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/Oleksandra Naumenko

Red Cabbage

It’s not surprising that this colorful cabbage makes a great food dye. To make it blue, simmer cabbage for about 20 minutes, strain the water and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Store in the refrigerator for up to six weeks and mix it in to doughs, icings and more.

7 / 8
Fresh and tasty looking raspberries on a wooden tablePhoto: Shutterstock/And-One


These are great for giving cakes a pretty pink color without the added taste. Begin with freeze-dried raspberries and pulse them in a food processor until they’re ground to a fine powder. Remove any big chunks or seeds, then mix into the dry ingredients of your cake and bake according to the directions.

8 / 8
fresh blueberriesPhoto: Shutterstock/MaraZe


These tiny berries pack a big punch. Despite having “blue” in the name, blueberries give off a much more purple shade. Blend fresh or frozen berries with a little bit of water to form your coloring. Then add it to frostings (like this classic buttercream), cakes or cookies for a very violet tint.

Amanda Tarlton
As both a freelance lifestyle writer and editor for a national teen magazine, Amanda spends most of her time creating #content. In those (rare) moments when she's not at her desk typing furiously, she's likely teaching a hot yoga class, reading the latest chick-lit or baking a batch of her famous scones.