Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Natural blue food coloring is easy to make at home. You only need 2 ingredients: red cabbage and baking soda! So bring some color into your life and naturally dye your food blue – no one will believe that you used red cabbage to achieve this incredible blue color!

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

I wanted to make natural blue food coloring made with red cabbage for a long time and now I finally made it! Yay, I’m so excited! I put together a tutorial so that you can make natural blue food coloring too. You can use natural blue food coloring to color ice cream, cake, frosting & icing, drinks, pasta, fried eggs … (recipes below)

If you’re wondering if food colored with red cabbage food coloring doesn’t taste of red cabbage. 😉 No, if you don’t use to much natural blue food coloring to dye the food. Neither the blue cookies nor the blue milk nor the blue pasta tasted of red cabbage.


Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage


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


Cook The Cabbage

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Slice the red cabbage into strips. Put the sliced cabbage into a large pot, half cover it with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer the cabbage for about 15 minutes.

Strain out the red cabbage. Use the red cabbage for another recipe.

Simmer the purple water for another 15 – 30 minutes until the consistency of the natural blue food coloring is thick and syrupy.

Add Baking Soda

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Add baking soda a little at a time to turn the purple liquid into blue. It will foam up when you add the baking soda.

Don’t add more than 1/4 tsp baking soda or the natural blue food coloring will taste salty and not very pleasant!

Test The Color

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Because homemade natural blue food coloring is so dark, use some milk, soy milk or yogurt to test the color.

How To Store Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring

It’s best to use the food coloring when it’s fresh or freeze it. Homemade natural blue food coloring doesn’t keep very long in the fridge: The cabbage taste becomes more pronounced after some days!

How To Use Natural Blue Food Coloring

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

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage Taste

It’s best not to use too much red cabbage dye or the food (especially drinks and ice creams) might taste of red cabbage. If a food you dyed tastes of red cabbage, you can mask the taste with essential peppermint oil, homemade vanilla extract or rum. But it’s safe to dye icing, sugar & fried eggs dark blue (recipes below) – I’ve often made it and they’ve never tasted of red cabbage.

If you need a dark blue natural food coloring and are worried about the red cabbage taste, you can use butterfly pea tea instead.

Related: Dark Blue Mirror Glaze – Dairy-Free, No Corn Syrup & Colored With Butterfly Pea Tea

PH-Sensitivity Of Natural Blue Food Coloring

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 (e.g. lemon juice), the blue food coloring will change back to purple or even pink. You can use the ph-sensitivity to make your own ph indicator! I used the natural blue food coloring to test the ph level of the ingredients for my natural blue cake experiment.

Related: Blue Lemon Ice Cream – Colored With Butterfly Pea Tea


Recipes With Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring


All-Natural Blue Banana Milk Recipe

Candy & Desserts

Naturally Colored Patriotic Strawberries

Speckled Blue Robin Egg Chocolate Truffles

Ice Cream

DIY Edible Blue Ice Cream Cups Made Of Ice


Blue Cake With Natural Food Coloring


Naturally Blue Snowflake Cookies Recipe

Savory Recipes

Naturally Blue Fried Eggs


More Homemade Natural Food Dyes

Natural Green Food Coloring Spinach

Striped Meringue Kisses - Naturally Colored & Vegan


More Uses For Red Cabbage

DIY Natural Fabric Printing Inks

Please Pin It!

Homemade Natural Blue Food Coloring With Red Cabbage

51 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.

  7. I followed this recipe today. The dye looks blue but when I test it in yogurt it still looks purple. I used the full 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Any ideas what else I can do? Thanks!

    1. Thanks for trying out the recipe, Christie! 😀 You can add more baking soda if it’s still purple – just add a little at a time. It depends on the cabbage: Sometimes I have to add more baking soda and sometimes less.

  8. Hi, I was wondering if you have tried freezing this and whether you do it before or after adding the baking soda? I’m just wondering if the freezing process affects the colour / alkalinity at all. Thanks!

  9. Just wondering if you have tried this colouring in a buttercream icing? Or if you think it would work? Thanks!

    1. Keep in mind that natural blue food dye is ph-sensitive, so the mocktail shouldn’t contain acid like lemon juice or most other fruit juices. I’ve already used natural blue food dye to color banana milk and homemade orange liqueur blue (recipes are in the post).

      If you find a recipe for a blue mocktail, please share it! 🙂

  10. Hi made this with the intention to use it for a blue jelly pool. When i added it to the gelatin mixture it was blue at the bottom.but as soon as i mixed it it turned back to purple… i then added a green tea bag and it went to a grey colour…. i then tried again with stevia instead of honey incase it was the sweetener that made it turn back to alkaline but it still didnt work so i guess its the gelatine reacting? Any advice as to how i can make blue jelly?

    1. Is there some acid in the gelatin mixture you used? Because pure gelatin is not acidic – I always use organic gelatin sheets. Here I made natural blue jelly with butterfly pea tea and gelatin. And you can also use the natural blue food coloring as pH indicator – like I did for my blue cake experiment – by mixing a small amount of each ingredient you want to add to your jelly with the blue food coloring: then you can immediately spot what is acidic and replace that ingredient with a more alkaline ingredient.

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