Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Today I’m sharing a great recipe with you: Natural blue food coloring made with red cabbage and baking soda! You can use natural blue food coloring to color ice cream – yay! I made blue ice cream 😀 – frosting, drinks etc.

Red cabbage is great: I’ve used it before to dye Easter eggs blue, in my red cabbage dye samples, and to dye cotton fabric a washfast and lightfast blue.


  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • about 1/4 tsp baking soda


diy natural blue food coloring tutorial red cabbage

Slice the red cabbage. Cover it with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Strain out the red cabbage (use the red cabbage for another recipe). Simmer the purple water for another 15 minutes till the consistency is syrupy.

tutorial natural blue food coloring tutorial red cabbage baking soda

Gradually add baking soda (not more than 1/4 tsp or it’ll taste salty and not very pleasant) to turn purple to blue.

natural blue food coloring tutorial red cabbage baking soda vegan soy milk

Because homemade blue food coloring is so dark, use some (soy) milk to test the color.

homemade natural blue frosting tutorial with red cabbage

Now have fun with your homemade natural blue food coloring! I made blue frosting with powdered sugar, water and blue food coloring. If you add more blue food coloring, the frosting will be dark blue like the cookie on the right, if you add less blue food coloring it’ll be turquoise like the cookie on the left.

red cabbage natural blue food coloring tutorial blue frosting blue milk blue foods

If you’re wondering if food colored with red cabbage food coloring doesn’t taste like red cabbage. 😉 No, neither the blue ice cream nor the cookies nor the soy milk tasted like red cabbage.

Natural blue food coloring is ph-sensitive: If you color an alkaline food, it’ll be blue. If you add it to an acidic food, the blue food coloring will change back to purple or even pink. But you can use the ph-sensitivity of DIY blue food coloring to make natural lavender colored ice cream or frosting: just add some drops of orange juice.

It’s best to use natural blue food coloring when it’s fresh; I don’t think it’ll keep very long in the fridge.

diy natural blue food coloring tutorial red cabbage baking soda blue frosting blue food dye

I used homemade natural blue food coloring to make blue ice cream, speckled blue robin egg truffles, blue snowflake cookies, rainbow ice cream cake, sparkling blue cookies, blue ice cream bombe, blue cake, baby blue frosting & icing, dark blue sugar hearts, blue ice bowls, blue pasta, blue-green pudding, dark blue sugar sprinkles and turquoise cake.

Here you’ll find my recipe for natural pink food coloring made with raw beetroot and natural green food coloring made with sunflower seeds.

41 thoughts on “Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

  1. I’m also still fascinated by that beautiful blue. 🙂 I never would’ve thought that it’s possible to make naturally colored blue drinks and ice cream!

  2. That’s amazing, I thought it would change the taste. It seems red cabbage is way more useful than I’d ever realise!

    1. If you’d use too much natural blue food coloring, it will change the taste, e.g. the dark blue sugar hearts, which I made a while ago, taste slightly of red cabbage. But it’s possible to mask the red cabbage taste, e.g. with rum or one drop of organic peppermint oil.

    1. Naturally colored blue frosting is best eaten fresh. It’ll keep for 1 or 2 days in the fridge. If you have leftover blue frosting, you could try to freeze it.

  3. It’s so lovely to see a natural recipe for blue food colouring! Thank you so much for sharing it! I love how easy it is to make too. If you have time, please do pop over to my site and share this post with The Hearth and Soul Link Party – it’s the sort of post everyone will love! Have a great weekend!

  4. What a great idea, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and you have a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon
    Miz Helen

  5. This is amazing. My grandson loves using food coloring in homemade slime. However, it can get expensive. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best. If you have other colors, please share.

  6. Very interesting! I never would have thought of this, and I’m sure it’s better to use natural food coloring, rather than something synthetic. Thank you for linking up at The Blogger’s Pit Stop. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

    1. Thanks, Angela! You can make homemade ph-indicator with red cabbage! Purple red cabbage water turns pink and red when you add an acid, and blue, green and yellow when you add a base.

      1. And like I said in my post, natural blue food coloring is ph-sensitive, so you can color alkaline food blue, such as sugar or milk, but you can’t use it for acidic food.

    1. Depending on how much water you add and how fresh the cabbage is, it can take longer to boil the purple cabbage water down. Boil the purple water down till it’s syrupy – it can take 30 minutes or even an hour. And the cabbage water thickens again when you add the baking soda.

    1. Hi, I need more info in order to help you. Is the food coloring that you made dark blue like in the pictures above? What’s in the fondant that you used? Could you dye sugar dark blue? And you could try another red cabbage. I’ve made the food coloring more than once and sometimes the red cabbage is the problem and I don’t get dark blue: when the cabbage wasn’t fresh enough or there was something different in the soil where it grew.

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