How to Make Pink Food Coloring

Updated April 17, 2017

If you're making a birthday cake for your little princess, you might need a lot of pink frosting. Or maybe your best friend is celebrating a birthday and you want to make dress a cake or cookies in hot pink frost. Whatever the occasion, there are several ways to make frosting pink. You need to decide between using food colouring or using natural foods to colour the frosting. Just be aware that using natural foods introduces flavours you might not want.

Use red food colouring. Add one drop of red food colouring to a can of plain white frosting or homemade frosting. Mix well. You should have a light shade of pink. If you prefer it to be darker, add another drop of food colouring. Be careful not to go overboard, though, because too much food colouring will make your frosting taste bitter. In addition, some red food colourings contain chemicals that should not be consumed in large quantities.

Use Beet juice. Grate one medium beet over a bowl. Squeeze the grated beets over the bowl to get as much juice out as possible. Add the juice to your plain white frosting one teaspoon at a time until you get the desired colour. Beet juice in small amounts will be tasteless in the frosting, but too much will have the beet flavour overpowering the frosting. Taste as you go.

Use red berries. Add a half a cup of crushed strawberries, raspberries or cherries. Strawberries will typically give you the lightest pink, while raspberries will give you a much deeper pink. The benefits of using berries is that your frosting will have a fruity flavour that is typically appealing. The downside is that it might make your frosting a little to watery for your liking.

Use hibiscus tea leaves. Combine half a cup of dried hibiscus with one cup of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over the stove. Stir the mixture until you see it turning pink. Remove from the heat and strain the hibiscus leaves from the butter mixture. Allow it to cool, then place it in the refrigerator to harden. Use the pink butter in place of regular butter when making your homemade buttercream frosting.


If the colour ever gets too dark, simply add more white frosting.

Things You'll Need

  • Red food colouring
  • Plain white frosting
  • 1 Medium beet
  • 1/2 Cup crushed strawberries
  • 1/2 Cup crushed raspberries
  • 1/2 Cup crushed cherries
  • 1/2 Cup dried hibiscus leaves
  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.