Inspired by my fresh baby girl, I'm starting a new monthly series in my journal exploring natural products and recipes for cleaner kid cakes. (Not that my baby is eating cake anytime soon..) But she will, and when she does finally get her first smash cake, I want to be sure it's as pure and clean as her little system. That means, no "yellow 5" or "red 40" possibly causing hyperactivity, allergies, irritability or even cancer. No nasties...no way, no how.
Not only that, I want my cakes to appeal to younger eyes, which is an entirely new challenge and world of baking for me (hello food coloring and sprinkles!) in which I truly have little to no experience. So, I hope you'll join me, messes, spills, hiccups and all, as we learn, grow and hopefully delight some little tastebuds along the way.
First up, how to color frostings, naturally...
If you're familiar with my baking, you already know that I regularly use fruit purees and beet juice to add color, but it can be a little labor intensive to reduce fruits and veggies enough to concentrate colors as brightly as I'd like. Also, I don't always want flavors impacted by fruit and veggie reductions; sometimes I just want the color. Also, as lovely a pink as cochineal can make, I'm not interested in adding dried bugs to my baked goods thank you very much.
- Prep your favorite white frosting (I made a half-batch of my go-to Swiss Meringue Buttercream yielding four cups), which was way more than enough for a 4" cake.
- Empty contents of pigment into a small bowl. (I used "Pomegranate", but I've still got some other brilliant shades to play with like orange, yellow and magic blackberry)
- Add 1 tablespoon water and stir to dissolve (or as they say, "bloom" the color)
- Once fully dissolved, I added 1/2 teaspoon to the buttercream to the vivid, rosey pink I was after.
- Lastly, frost, add sprinkles (I used white soy-free, gluten-free sequin sprinkles also from Supernatural kitchen), a beeswax candle, and voila!
Too easy, huh?
- I found the pomegranate to be super concentrated and had several teaspoons of color leftover, which was also probably due to me going for more of a pink than a red. Next time, I may try to save a bit of the color powder for another day or better yet, prep extra batter, so I can color the actual cake, too!
- If you look at the cake slices closely, you'll see faint specks of yellow and orange. I actually added some Starfetti sprinkles to the batter to attempt a more natural funfetti cake, but discovered that these sprinkles are better suited for cake toppings in case anyone else has the same idea;)
Have you used Natural food colors or sprinkles before?
Please comment below and share your favorites for me to try!