Have you wondered how to make pretty pink strawberry frosting with NO food coloring?!
When planning for Kasey's premiere party, I thought it would be fun if he recreated an improved version of the cupcakes that got him eliminated on the show (vanilla cupcakes and cream cheese frosting with bacon and marzipan), but he was adamant that he wanted to make Neapolitan cupcakes. He's quite headstrong when it comes to his baking — he knows what he wants to make and how he's going to make it! More times than I can count I'd hear what he planned to create next and say, “I don't think that'll work, Kasey…” He'd insist of course and end up surprising me. When he said he wanted to make Neapolitan cupcakes, all I could think of was how he'd have to make three different flavors of frosting and how in the world would he make a pretty pink strawberry frosting with no food coloring? But again, he knew what he wanted so we went with it.
Food coloring, ughhh…
Here's more about why to avoid the nasty chemical-filled food colorings: The Ugly Side of Food Dyes — Food Coloring Dangers are REAL. Besides avoiding it in your baking at home, also make sure it's not in the food you buy at the store — it's so much easier these days to stay away from it!
By the way, we tried the organic food colorings and they don't work. They're super pale or just come out with weird colors.
Early on when he needed to show some of his baking, he had to use food coloring in a few of his creations, but if it was really bad, like the pure black in the fondant on his soccer ball cake, we'd take pictures and then throw those parts in the trash. Even Kasey agreed: that stuff tastes like pure chemicals and is gross.
If it wasn't AS bad as that, like with his beach cake for example, then he'd have a piece and we'd share the rest around the neighborhood, which is what we did with most of his baked goods anyway. There's only so much we can eat, especially so much sugar, ughhhhh!
So when I asked him, “HOW are you going to make pretty pink strawberry frosting with NO food coloring?!” He said, “I'll just use strawberry puree,” and this was in his matter-of-fact “DUH” voice.
They were a hit at the party!
There was NO food coloring in the strawberry frosting and they tasted really good too! People were saying things like, “Normally I love chocolate, but the strawberry looked so pretty I wanted to try them, and now I can't stop! It has such a real strawberry taste that you normally don't get in frosting!”
Here's how he made his strawberry frosting with no food coloring…
I helped him pull the recipe together from a combination of a few different versions we found, plus we played around with amounts on our own:
Pretty Pink Strawberry Frosting with NO Food Coloring
Yield Frosts 2 9" pans, 48 mini cupcakes, or 24 regular cupcakes
- 6 cups organic powdered sugar, sift if it's clumpy (some organic brands are more clumpy than others, the one I linked to is our favorite)
- 1 cup softened butter, pastured butter is best
- 2/3 cup strawberry puree, see below
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Puree (this makes a little extra, try it in this dreamy recipe!!!)
- 3 cups sliced fresh or frozen organic strawberries
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1/8 cup water
For the puree, combine the strawberries, sugar, and water in a saucepan and bring them to a gentle boil until the berries reduce to about half, it'll take 20-30 minutes or so. Turn off the heat and let cool. Puree with a stick blender or in your food processor or blender until smooth.
Mix the butter, powdered sugar, and 1/2 cup of the puree until smooth in your mixer (I looooove my Bosch mixer for this and for so many things it's handy for in the kitchen). Add more puree if needed until it's a good consistency. If you add too much, just add a bit more powdered sugar. If it's too dry, add more puree or a little milk or cream until it's just right.
You can also make a strawberry cake with this puree, just decrease the other liquid called for in the recipe and add 3/4 cup of the puree instead.
Did you make a real food recipe?
More you might like:
- The Dark Disgusting Secrets of the Flavor Makers (That post is from 2011, it's wild how far we've come since then!)