Artificially Colored Icing: Don’t do it!

Home baked, made from scratch is healthier than store-bought mixes, and usually tastes better too. Many of us make the cake ourselves, but use pre-made icing from the supermarket. Don’t let a tube of icing ruin your otherwise health{ier} treats!

Sure, it’s convenient, but we think it’s just not worth it. Here is a recipe for icing and some tips on different ways to dye it – naturally.

Vanilla Frosting Recipe

4 cups confectioner’s sugar
4 Tbsp butter (softened)
4 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.

Ideas on how to dye naturally:

  • Pureed spinach (for green)
  • Beet juice (for red/pink)
  • A pinch of turmeric (for yellow)
  • Pureed berries (blueberries, raspberries)
  • Buy pre-made natural dyes
  • Experiment!

Bottom line: While it is a bit more convenient, the extra ingredients, especially artificial colors, in cake icing & frosting are too much of a risk. Make your own!

  • James Cooper

    I claim that artificial colors pose no risks. Stevenson’s papers on hyperactivity have been found to be without merit.
    And guess how often I’ll be coloring my icing with spinach.

  • Catherine

    James, I am 40 yrs old and have severe psychological reactions to artificial dyes (as do my children and husband and my nephew and my sister and my cousin’s children and my friends’ children). There was a study done by a University in England that showed artificial dyes cause drug like reactions in most people’s brains with varying levels of external symptoms. Since that study was published I have never been able to find it again so I can’t give you a link. I remember reading it and thinking ‘oh, FINALLY, everyone will know about this’. What a joke. People’s capacity to resist change and ignore evidence is mind boggling. You cannot possibly think there is just one study or published paper on this?? Do you know what they are made from? Why would you want to put petrochemicals in your body? Regardless, making icing from scratch is so ridiculously easy and quick I don’t understand anyone buying the franken-frosting from the supermarket. My children have never had neon blue cupcakes and don’t appear to have suffered…

  • Katy Clark

    I have followed the Feingold program ( ever since I saw a correlation between my son’s mood instability and the ingestion of artificial coloring and artificial flavor. “White” prepackaged frosting often contains artificial blue and yellow colors. I’m grateful to Fooducate for helping to spread the word (no pun intended) about frosting. It’s too bad that I have to feel uneasy every time there is a birthday or a special “treat” day in my son’s class.

    I’d love to take on the FDA regarding pharmaceuticals as well as food, because what REALLY makes no sense is that some manufacturers put red dye in their generic immediate-release Adderall, a medication used to treat ADD/ADHD. This makes the medication useless and potentially harmful for the food-dye sensitive people who also need medication.

  • Health in training

    Has anyone tried this? Does it flavor the icing to taste like spinach/beets/turmeric? The only one I would even consider is the blueberry/raspberry one.

    • Fooducate

      The sugar overwhelms the other flavors.