How To Colour Fondant Naturally
Colouring fondant using natural vegetable and fruit dyes takes some getting used to. You will not always be able to achieve as bright a colour as you would if you were using artificial food dyes.
You will also find that when colouring your fondant with natural dyes, that it will be a little harder to work with and a little stickier, but you will get used to working with this texture and the more muted, natural colours.
While not as easy to work with as artificially coloured fondants, it is worth the extra effort to know that your kids aren’t ingesting toxic food colours – see Artificial Additives And Preservatives In Food Causing Us Serious Harm
Colouring Fondant With Vegetable & Fruits
You will first need to make your own home-made organic food colours. You can do this by boiling up organic berries and vegetables such as spinach, and beetroot and reducing it to a syrup.
Or you can use dehydrated or freeze dried vegetable powders sand spices like turmeric ( don’t worry you will not taste the turmeric flavour).
You can also use cacao powder or coffee mixed into a thick almost dry paste with a touch of boiled water.
See how to make a vibrant, bright, natural red food dye in my article How To Make Vegan, Natural Red Food Colouring Using Beetroots
*Remember even if you buy the natural food colours from the supermarkets, you will find the red and pink and some other colours contain Carmine or Cochineal – this is a bright red pigment extracted from crushed beetles.
Method For Colouring Your Fondant
- Take your lump of fondant and roll it into a ball.
- Next make an indentation with your finger in the middle of the ball and add a few drops of your food colour. If your are using a natural food colour powder you will need to add a tiny bit of boiled warm water to make a thick syrup/paste first.
- Knead and massage the fondant until the colour is spread through evenly.
- You may need to add more icing sugar if it gets too sticky, or you may need to add more colouring if it is not the shade you want.
Shaping & Cutting Your Naturally Coloured Fondant Tips
- To make your fondant less sticky when working with it, you may need to add some icing sugar to your rolling pin, board and hands.
- I find it helps to roll your fondant out onto a piece of unbleached, baking paper to stop it sticking, rather than straight on your baking board.
- If your finished fondant shape look a little dusty with icing sugar, you can gently wet a finger, or organic cotton tip with a little water and super gently dab it onto the dusty areas, this will leave the fondant glossy and shiny and make is easy to smooth and fix any cracks or mistake.
- If the fondant dries out it can get a little crumbly, again a minute amount of water will rectify this problem, be super careful to not over wet as you will create a slush.
- I use eco-friendly baking paper to trace out characters I have printed from the computer if they are too hard to free-hand cut out of fondant. I put the ink side up and place it onto of another clean piece of baking paper, to ensure no ink gets transferred onto the icing. I then trace the outline using a toothpick onto the some rolled out fondant and then cut it out with a very sharp, small and very pointy knife.
- Take small pieces of coloured fondant and using a little icing sugar to keep it from getting too mushy, you can roll little balls and using your fingers, then shape into heads, eyes, noses, mouths, hands and feet etc. For the rest of the body parts e.g arms, legs, torso, hair etc., I roll out the fondant onto some unbleached baking paper and cut it out free-hand.
- I find toothpicks are great for using to shape fondant, as you can dip the end in water if you need to get a smooth look or outline in the fondant.Birthday Cake.To stick your fondant onto the cake use either a little water and a clean paint brush or dip a your finger tip into the water and wet the back of the fondant piece you need to stick down . Alternatively you can also use organic strawberry jam or honey and for a stronger hold a touch of glucose syrup to stick down your fondant.
To add extra decorations to your fondant shapes see Natural and Healthier Cake Decorating Ideas.
Safety Information When Buying Natural Food Colours
You can also use Hoppers Natural Food Colours to colour your fondant, but please note the Hoppers Spirulina (the green colouring used in their blue, green and purple colours) does come from Japan. Hoppers has ensured me that their Spirulina is tested for radiation since the Fukushima accident in 2011.
For freeze dried vegetable powders I get them from Nutradry and I always find out the country of origin of each powder to ensure that none are from the pacific ocean ( due to radiation contamination from Fukushima leak Japan), or grown in areas of Europe still affected by Chernobyl.
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Be sure to check out some more of my healthy, organic, vegan and vegetarian recipes here.