Let’s go all-natural this Valentine’s Day with some pretty pink frosting!
I’m fairly apathetic about Valentine’s Day (Kevin’s birthday is the day before, and the two of us are more into random acts of love + kindness throughout the year than forced ones on February 14th), BUT there’s something so undeniably fun about pink frosting to me.
So, in an attempt to spread a little extra love this year, I’m sharing some ideas for making your favorite frosting pink without using food coloring!
First, you’re going to need to start with white/vanilla frosting. Any will work (buttercream, cream cheese, powdered sugar icing for cookies, etc) for covering your favorite cookies, cupcakes, cakes, and brownies with a pretty layer of pink.
I used this frosting recipe for the pictures here, divided into four small bowls, and added more or less powdered sugar, as needed, to adjust for the liquid used to make it pink.
Here are four ways to make it happen:
Beets. Raw, shredded, and squeezed in your hands to get all that deep pink juice out. Just a few drops will give you a pale pink, and several tablespoons will deepen your frosting to a magenta hue. And no, it won’t make your frosting taste like beets, at all! Warning: doing this will most definitely turn your hands pink.
Freeze-dried strawberries. Ground into a fine powder in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder (that’s been fully cleaned and dried so you don’t have coffee flavored strawberries!) and used in place of some of the powdered sugar in the frosting recipe. This results in a speckled pink color and mild strawberry flavor!
Blood Orange Juice. Squeeze, baby, squeeze. Aka: juice your orange and use a few teaspoons of that crimson juice for a pale bubblegum pink frosting. Since this is less potent, color-wise, than beet juice, you will need to use more to achieve anything more than the palest pink. Be sure your frosting is extra thick to start, or you sub some of the OJ for milk in the frosting, if your recipe calls for it.
Fresh or frozen (defrosted) raspberries. Pour them into a fine mesh strainer and smash them with a spoon to get a pure, concentrated raspberry puree without any seeds, then just stir a few tablespoons into your frosting. This will give your frosting a deep pink color and subtle raspberry flavor.
And, if you’re in the market for some pretty pink sprinkles, freeze-dried fruit is my favorite! Just crush them in your fingers to get larger chunks, or grind them up for powdery, fairy-dust sprinkles. I used leftover freeze-dried strawberries here, but freeze-dried raspberries work beautifully, too! I find the best prices for freeze-dried fruit at Trader Joe’s, FYI.
I hope your week is full of love and lots of fluffy pink frosting!
If you try out any of these dye-free pink frostings on your Valentine’s Day treats, let me know how they turn out! Leave a comment below, or take a picture and share it with me on Instagram. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
- 1 blood orange
- 1 small red beet
- 1/2 cup fresh (or frozen, defrosted) raspberries
- 1 cup of freeze-dried strawberries
- 1. Make frosting according to recipe instructions, leaving out any liquid the recipe calls for. Once you've added your fruit or beet juice, you can always add a few drops of milk or an extra spoonful of powdered sugar to get it to your desired consistency.
- For blood orange-dyed frosting: squeeze the juice from the orange and use it in place of any milk in the recipe, or up to 2 Tablespoons of orange juice. This will yield a very pale, subtle pink frosting.
- For beet-dyed frosting: wash and shred the beet. Gather up the shredded beets in your hand and squeeze to release the liquid. Add beet juice to frosting, starting with a few drops for a pale pink, and up to several tablespoons for a bright magenta.
- For raspberry-dyed frosting: place raspberries in a fine mesh strainer and use the back of a spoon to mash them through. You should be left with mostly just seeds in the strainer, and thick raspberry puree on the other side. Scrape the raspberry puree off the bottom of the strainer and add to your frosting, a tablespoon at a time, until you've achieved your desired pink.
- For freeze-dried strawberry-dyed frosting: put freeze-dried strawberries in a completely dry food processor, blender, or clean electric spice or coffee grinder. Pulse until strawberries turn to powder. Sift through a fine mesh strainer to remove any large clumps (if desired), and add to frosting, 2 Tablespoons at a time, until desired color is reached.
- Freeze-dried berries also make beautiful sprinkles, too! Crush freeze-dried strawberries or raspberries in your hands for larger sprinkles, or pulverize them in the food processor for sprinkle dust!