When I noted that just a tad of Red 40 gives me a headache, and more than a tad of Red 40 triggers my epileptic seizures, I decided to give it up. Sadly, that means giving up pretty much everything in the tasty world.
Recently, I’ve decided to forgo food dyes altogether. This means giving up everything else in the food world.
Because food dye is everywhere. It’s in the obviously colorful marshmallow cereal, and it’s also in the not-so-obviously colored loaf of bread. I have to look at the back of every box/bag/carton/jug in order to be sure I won’t be waking up at 3am with vertigo.
So when I got pregnant and a big ol’ craving happens to be my ravenous need for sweets, I’ve had to learn how to improvise.
This week, we are learning the sex of our little one on the way. I really wanted to celebrate with family and have a blue or pink cake, but I wasn’t sure if it was something I could pull off. However, after doing some research, I learned that I can dye my cakes, cookies, cupcakes, jello, icing, and even sprinkles without that little box of food coloring. All it takes is a little bit of fruit/veggie juice (au natural of course). And doesn’t that sound yummier–and healthier?–than inking the batter?
First thing I learned was that I was going to have to use a white cake. Sounds like a no-brainwaver but who knows what this amateur chef/starving prego might grab off the shelf when the cake boxes are staring back with all their rich goodness. (I’m thinking chocolate dream?)
I only ruined one egg by trying to get the egg whites. After researching how to get only the egg whites out of an egg I successfully pulled three!
Useful link number one showed me how to use strawberry puree to give cake a pink glow.
Learn how to make an All Natural Strawberry Cake
When I first stirred in the red juice from the strawberries, I thought this was going to turn out great. But after a few swishes with the wisk, the pink sort of faded away. It was still pink, but it wasn’t as profound as I wanted it. According to useful link number two, which teaches you how to make a Rainbow Cake with All-Natural Dyes, strawberry will do that. She suggests beet juice.
Since I didn’t have beet juice, I used a few heated spoonfuls of frozen cherry juice.
After adding too much juice, the batter began to get pretty watered down. I decided to stop adding color and get on with the bake. If this is a girl in my belly oven, I’m going to try the whole recipe for the strawberry cake instead of just adding puree to a white cake mix.
- You can make your own Colored Sugar Sprinkles
- Cherry juice colors icing very well (but makes it reeeeeally sweet)
After all the baking was said and done, I got very very light shades of pink and blue.
Despite the faint coloring, I did get some yummy treats…
Some tips I plan to use next time (that may aid you if you decide to do this):
- For a pink cake, use the recipe for All Natural Strawberry Cake instead of using a white cake with a bit of puree
- For a blue cake, use a little more blueberry juice
Looking to use a different color?
According to the awesome gal who came up with the au natural Rainbow Cake, you can use these ingredients for other shades:
- Red: Beet Juice
- Orange: Carrot Juice
- Yellow: Egg Yolk
- Green: Spinach Juice
- Purple: Blackberry Juice
What color do you think I’ll be using this weekend?
Find out Wednesday on A Flock of Three