Thursday, September 11, 2008

All-natural cake decorating

All-natural food colors are hard to find, as are sprinkles without artificial colors. Some brands of liquid food coloring I have tried yield radically different colors than the bottle promises (such as pink instead of blue, brown instead of yellow, etc.). In addition, a lot of natural liquid colors cost upward of $8 per bottle, and about half a bottle is needed to color one batch of frosting.

This post is not about the negative effects of artificial food additives/colors, but you can do a google search on the subject if you are curious. In Germany, where I come from, most artificial food colors are not labeled safe for human consumption, and are thus not allowed to be used in food items. Yet, there are many cake decorating items available in all sorts of colors, based on all-natural food extracts. For years, I have been searching to find something similar here in the United States, and I think I may just have found it.

India Tree makes a line of all natural food colorings and sprinkles called "Nature's Colors". Here is a picture of the shades of frosting that can be made with their liquid food colors, which are made from the following ingredients: BLUE: glycerin, deionized water, red cabbage. RED: beet juice, citric acid. YELLOW: glycerin, deionized water, turmeric, sodium hydroxide.

You can see from the picture that some colors, such as a bright red or a dark green or blue cannot be achieved with these natural colors, because they are based on real foods.

Decorating sugars are available in the following colors:

This is a picture of their other all-natural decorating items. The only thing not shown here are the all-natural snowflake sprinkles.

This company does not sell to the public, though. Some specialty and health food stores carry some of their products, but your best chances of finding the full assortment are online. ChefTools carries the full product line at very reasonable prices. Please note that not all of India Tree's decorating items are all natural, but only the ones labeled as such (all of which I listed above). ChefTools lists the ingredients in each of the individual products, so you can check before purchasing.

I am going to order from them later today, and will write another post to update you on how I liked their products.


  1. Zsuzsanna-

    Thanks so much writing about this. I found the full selection of India tree products at Fresh Market, not 5 minutes from my house. I've probably walked by them a dozen times without looking. Thanks to you, they are all now in my possession!

    Also- I do use parchment paper that I buy at Whole Foods- unbleached, organic etc. It is my understanding that there are no chemicals in it. Do you have different information? (I'm a Mom of 6, and bake several times a week- although not daily like you! I use the whole foods parchment for quicker clean up!)

    Please share some of your recipes with us!!


  2. Deb,

    How nice that you were able to find their products at your local store! The Whole Foods in AZ only carry 3 colors of their sprinkles, and none of the other items. I ordered the liquid food color and snowflake sprinkles online, and hope to find some more sprinkles at a store in town that was listed on their website.

    I have never thought to look for parchment paper at Whole Foods, but I will now. That would be convenient! In Germany, the parchment paper is not chemically treated, so I know it's possible.

    As far as recipes, I mostly use regular recipes I find in cookbooks or online, and just make my own ingredient substitutions. I would like to post more of them on here as time allows.

    Wow, 6 kids is certainly more work than my 4! How old are your children?


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