Rainbow Cake with homemade food coloring

 - by Dania

This is the “it didn’t” work the way I wanted story!

I was surfing the net the other day and ran across this really fun looking rainbow cake.  This is such a fun cake to make and it looks amazing.  It is perfect for a kid’s birthday party or just for fun on a rainy day!  Just as much fun to eat as it is to look at.  


 The full recipe and visuals http://www.omnomicon.com/rainbowcake. 

The only thing that bothered me is using artificial food coloring on the batter.  I had been reading an article about the chemicals used in these and it boggles the mind.  Long story short, I decided to make my own food coloring at home to mix into the batter. 

So I looked online and got some ideas and finally came up with my own ways.  Here goes:

Blue:  Take a cup full of large chunks of purple cabbage, add enough water to barely cover them and boil for 30 minutes.  Another option is to do the same with fresh or frozen blueberries.

Red:  Follow the same process used for the cabbage but with rasberries.  Another alternative would be to use fresh or frozen strawberries.

Yellow:  Grind up a pinch of saffron into powder and a couple of Tbsp of hot water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes then strain.  An alternative is to use stale turmeric and soak in hot water for about 20-30 minutes and then strain.

Green:  I mixed some yellow and blue above until I got the shade I liked.  Other ideas is the boil some kayle (swiss chard) or spinach for 20 minutes, let cool and strain.  I didn’t have either on hand so I mixed the other primary colors.  It does pay to stay in school 😉

Purple:  I mixed Blue and red above but another option is to boil a peeled beet in a bit of water.

Orange:  Again, I mixed yellow and red above. 

By the way all the flavors above (the ones I made today) are mild so they don’t interfere with the flavor of your cake.

Here’s what they looked like:

Now you can see why I thought my cake will look fabulous.  Unfortunately it didn’t work.  The colors were not strong enough to color the batter, they barely turned it off white!  Nothing left to do but plow through, the cake tasted fine and had a very faint hint of pinkish patches but we enjoyed it anyway!

From looking into it on the internet it seems that this kind of coloring works best on icing recipes.   I will try it  next time I make icing but if you have any natural food coloring recipes that work with cake batter, please send them, I would love to try them!

PS: It seems there are natural organic food coloring products out there, have to look in my neighbourhood health food stores to see if I can find any!

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