How to dye shredded coconut using food coloring

Updated February 21, 2017

Dyed, shredded coconut provides a convincing background for any number of decorations on a cake. Green coconut works well as grass, yellow coconut makes a whimsical duck and blue or green can be used to make characters from TV shows. Food colouring is nontoxic, allowing it to be used on anything edible and flaked coconut is porous enough to easily absorb the colours.

Place 1 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut in a zip-top bag.

Measure 1 tsp food colouring and drop it into the bag. Seal the bag shut tightly.

Shake the shredded coconut to coat the dye over the coconut. Massage the bag with your fingers, if necessary, to coat all the pieces of coconut with colouring.

Add additional food colouring if the colour is not dark enough by dropping 1 or 2 drops into the bag at a time. If the colour is too dark, add additional sweetened, shredded coconut, or a couple drops of water to dilute the coconut.


Try mixing primary colours to get secondary colour options. You can do this directly on the coconut by first adding 1 colour, then another colour, onto the coconut and mixing it in well.


Food colouring can stain skin and clothing.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 to 2 tsp liquid food colouring
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About the Author

Donna Tinus has been a writer since 2005. She has a background in medical terminology and has written articles for various websites on topics such as family, finance, medicine, health, pets, gardening, beauty and relationships. Tinus holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Centenary College.