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Old 03-07-2009, 05:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I hope I'm posting this in the right place

I am looking for natural food coloring for cake decorating (my son's birthday is coming up in a few months ), and it's really difficult to find.

I found liquid food coloring by India Tree (3 colors), and then several options on this website

http://www.naturesflavors.com/default.php?cPath=2

(Natural or organic food coloring, powder or liquid)

Has anyone had experience with either of them?

Since I want to dye icing, should I go with the powder rather than the liquid so that the icing won't get too thin? (I'd like strong colors, not pastels, so I'd probably would have to use more coloring).

Any advice would be appreciated

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:08 AM
 
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I bought India Tree's natural colorings for DS1's birthday cake this year. I couldn't seem to get yellow or blue (the only 2 colors I used) beyond a pastel. I didn't try the red, so I can't tell you what kind of experience you might have with it. The blue was also a little purplish looking rather than a "pure" blue, iykwim.
If you try the Nature's Flavors colorings (or if someone else has), I'd like to know what kind of experience you have with them.

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Old 03-07-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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I've used India Tree liquids also and had the same experience as pp -- they're very pastel and don't get dark. The red got the darkest. I was able to get frosting and cookie icing baby blue and I was able to get it yellow. For me, green was the hardest to try to make and I couldn't get more than a minty greenish color. The yellow is made from turmeric so if you use too much to try to get colors darker, it affects the icing flavor. I used them at Christmas for the royal icing on sugar cookies and they looked like easter colors. Still pretty, yummy, and no chemicals, so it was good. India Tree also sells colored sugar & some sprinkles but read the ingredients carefully -- I can't remember which color it was, but one of them did have artificial dye.

I'd also like to know what you think if you end up using the other brand -- please come back and post!
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the feedback

I think I'll give the Nature's flavors a try, then......would you go for the liquids or the powders? I read that the liquids from India tree are not so "watery", but have no idea how the other ones are

And yes, India Tree also makes some colored sugars without artificial dyes, you have to make sure that the descricption has the word "natural" in the title (they have both kinds for most of the colors). Unfortunately amazon.com won't ship those items to alaska......don't ask me why. And I haven't found it elsewhere (the ones on ebay seem to be the artificial kind). Otherwise I'd order some :

It might take me a while to get everything organized (I also still have to experiment with the frosting itself since DS shouldn't have sugar because of ECC and I'll have to try making it with xylitol instead), but I'll post about the nature's flavors colorings after I know more

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:46 PM
 
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I had one set that I LOVED, but I don't remember the brand. It was beets for the red, and I don't remember what else for the rest. It didn't taste like vegetables, but it colored wonderfully. It didn't ever get really really bright, but it got much darker than the india tree one. Unfortunately, i don't know what it is. I may have to try the nature's flavoring ones, those look good. let us know how they come out.

oh, and from my experiences with other natural food colors, I'd go with liquid. I've never had any problems with it watering the icing down. You don't need tons, you know? Maybe a little more than with artificial food coloring, but we're still talking drops not spoonfuls. also, some of them are really thick as liquids, which is interesting and works well. I can't imagine how the powder would work that well.... liquids, ya drop in and stir easy peasy

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Old 03-07-2009, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a lot for your input....I'll go and order those liquids, then....will let everyone know how they turn out
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:10 AM
 
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I used Nature's Flavors for my ds 1st b-day cake, which was 100% organic! I loved them, I used yellow and brown to make a honey bee. It was so cute, and he loved tearing into it! They are really friendly people, too, they helped with any questions I had! Good luck!

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbsmama View Post
I used Nature's Flavors for my ds 1st b-day cake, which was 100% organic! I loved them, I used yellow and brown to make a honey bee. It was so cute, and he loved tearing into it! They are really friendly people, too, they helped with any questions I had! Good luck!
You don't happen to know what the source is for their brown coloring, do you?

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Old 03-27-2009, 04:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, here's a first impression of the nature's flavors LIQUID food colorings:

I ordered the red, blue, yellow and orange. Yellow and orange are thicker, blue and red have the consistency of water. I used them with homemade cream cheese frosting.

Blue:
There was a blue tinge, but not a real blue color....pretty disappointing. If the liquid was thicker, I would have used more to see whether I could get the color stronger, but I didn't want to "water down" the frosting too much.

Red:
If you expect a bright red (e.g. tomato), you'll be disappointed. It does give you a pastel-purplish-red, though.....definitely usable for Easter cupcake decorations and the like, you just can't make a Lightning McQueen cake

Yellow:
Nice strong pastel yellow. I'm sure it can be made stronger by using a bit more of it.

Orange:
Same as with the yellow, nice, strong color.

Blue plus yellow:
Nice pastel green, you can't get it stronger because the blue is such a watery liquid. But perfect for Easter, and would also work for "grass" designs.

It's my husband's birthday tomorrow, and I've made him a "racecar cake".....the car is yellow with green and orange accents, and the checkered flag is brown and white (I used organic cocoa powder to color the brown frosting). It's not perfect, because those are not the typical "race car colors", but it still looks really nice. I think if you make a cake that uses mainly yellow, orange and brown colors (such as a honeybee, a cat face/dog face, giraffe, etc.), it's even better. For my son's birthday in May I'll make a Winnie the Pooh cake....our Pooh will just have to wear an orange shirt instead of the red

I have also just ordered a couple of the powdered food colorings (red and blue) to see whether that would make a difference. They are in the mail.....Will keep you updated

Bythe way, does anyone have a good recipe for a buttercream frosting with xylitol, not sugar...? The one I tried to make tasted horrible
(Therefore the cream cheese frosting on the race car)

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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Thanks for the update!
I have no experience with xylitol, so I can't be any help with the buttercream frosting, sorry.

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Old 03-30-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
You don't happen to know what the source is for their brown coloring, do you?
it is burnt sugar extract. I'm sorry. I've been reading though posts that I have missed, I've been sick for 6 days now! Yay me!

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Old 03-30-2009, 08:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilbsmama View Post
it is burnt sugar extract. I'm sorry. I've been reading though posts that I have missed, I've been sick for 6 days now! Yay me!
Thank you. I'm sorry to hear you've been ill. I hope you're better soon.

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One more update

I had ordered a few of the POWDERED food colorings from nature's flavors and have now finally tried them today (for my son's birthday cake, the Winnie the Pooh cake).

I had ordered the "Bright red (Tomato)", the blue and the orange powder.

Tried the red one first:
It gives you a VERY strong color, but not red...it turned out pink...not pastel pink, but neon pink :

Still looks fine for Pooh's shirt, just a bit different

Then I tried the blue powder for Pooh's honeypot. That also turned out a very strong color (maybe I used too much?), it looks like a metallic blue (would be great for a race car etc.). Next time I'll try using less. Still a lot better than the result with the liquid blue.

As for the handling, they were as easy to use as the liquids.

On the whole, I am quite happy with the nature's flavor colorings (except for the liquid blue, see above). They don't render all the desired results, e.g. there just doesn't seem to be a way to get a "racecar red" color, but with a little experimenting and a bit of "artistic freedom" () the cakes turn out good enough for my taste.....a lot better than having all colors of the rainbow but being forced to feed your child red # 40 and the other artificial colorings

I hope this thread might help some other people in the same situation as well.

If anyone else has any suggestions/ideas/experiences with red and black natural colorings that they could share, I'd really appreciate it.

I am having trouble coming up with black color for Winnie the Pooh's nose, eyes and mouth. Today I will just melt chocolate to do those accents but if someone knows a different solution, please let me know

I'd better go finish the Pooh cake now before the birthday boy wakes up

Charlie
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Denali View Post
If anyone else has any suggestions/ideas/experiences with red and black natural colorings that they could share, I'd really appreciate it.
Even artificial coloring can't manage a decent black. I'd go with the dark brown of chocolate, if I were you.

For a better red, I'd probably just go with beet juice. Shred a (red) beet, soak it in water for a little while and the water will turn bright red. I've accidentally dyed all sorts of things like the counter, my hands and clothing with beet juice. It may not be the true red you're looking for, but it won't be neon pink.

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