How To Make Purple Food Coloring Easily

How To Make Purple Food Coloring
20 min reading time

Are you looking to add a pop of vibrant purple to your culinary creations? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the process of creating your very own homemade purple food coloring. Whether you’re a baking enthusiast or a crafty individual, making your own DIY purple dye allows you to customize the shade and ensure the use of natural ingredients.

With our step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to know how to make purple food coloring that will elevate your dishes to a whole new level. Get ready to unleash your creativity and create show-stopping purple treats that will impress everyone!

Main Highlights:

  • Creating homemade purple food coloring allows for customization and the use of natural ingredients.
  • By understanding the science behind purple pigmentation and the right ingredients, you can easily achieve vibrant hues.
  • D.I.Y. purple food coloring opens up a world of possibilities for creative and visually appealing culinary creations.
  • Homemade purple food coloring can be stored for future use, ensuring you always have it on hand when needed.
  • Incorporating purple food coloring into party themes can add a fun and vibrant touch to any occasion.

Understanding Natural Food Coloring

Natural food coloring has gained popularity as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to artificial coloring. In this section, we will explore the benefits of using natural colors and the common sources from which these colors are derived.

Benefits of Natural vs. Artificial Coloring

Natural food coloring offers numerous advantages compared to artificial coloring options. Firstly, natural colors are derived from plant-based sources, making them free from synthetic chemicals and additives. This makes them a safer choice for individuals with sensitivities or allergies. Additionally, natural food coloring is often rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, providing potential health benefits while adding vibrant hues to your recipes.

Furthermore, natural food coloring supports sustainability and environmental responsibility. By opting for natural colors, you contribute to reducing the demand for artificial dyes that may have negative impacts on the environment during production and disposal.

Common Sources of Natural Colors

Natural colors can be obtained from a wide range of sources, including fruits, vegetables, and spices. These ingredients not only bring beautiful hues to your creations but also offer unique flavors and aromas. Here are some common sources of natural colors:

  • Fruits: Fruits like berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries), grapes, and cherries are known for their vibrant natural pigments. These fruits can be used to create shades of purple in your food and beverages.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables like beets, red cabbage, purple sweet potatoes, and purple carrots contain natural pigments that can be extracted to achieve various shades of purple. These vegetables also offer added nutritional value.
  • Spices: Certain spices, such as turmeric, elderberry, and butterfly pea flower, possess natural pigments that can be utilized to create purple hues in your recipes. These spices not only contribute to the color but also bring unique flavors and aromas.

By utilizing these natural sources of colors, you can create visually appealing dishes while incorporating the goodness of natural ingredients into your culinary creations.

Natural SourceColorExample Dishes
BerriesPurple, Red, BluePurple smoothies, berry compote
VegetablesPurple, Red, BluePurple mashed potatoes, beetroot hummus
SpicesPurple, BlueTurmeric-infused rice, butterfly pea flower tea

The Science Behind Purple Pigmentation

Purple pigmentation in fruits and vegetables is a result of specific compounds known as anthocyanins. These natural pigments are responsible for the vibrant purple hues. Furthermore, the pH levels of the environment can influence the color intensity.

Anthocyanins: Nature’s Purple Dye

Anthocyanins are a class of water-soluble pigments found in various plant tissues. They provide colors ranging from red, purple, blue, to black in fruits, flowers, and leaves. These pigments are synthesized in the cell vacuoles and can be influenced by factors such as light exposure, temperature, and genetics. Anthocyanins contribute to the purple pigmentation in fruits and vegetables, giving them their characteristic hue.

The pH Levels Impact on Color

pH levels play a significant role in determining the color intensity of anthocyanins. In an acidic environment, the anthocyanin pigments appear reddish, while in an alkaline environment, they exhibit a bluish hue. The specific shade of purple can be adjusted by altering the pH of the solution in which the pigments are present. For example, adding lemon juice, which is acidic, can intensify the purple color, while adding baking soda, which is alkaline, can shift the color towards blue.

How to Make Purple Food Coloring

In this section, we will provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to make purple food coloring at home. Whether you want to add a touch of purple to your baked goods or create vibrant purple icing, making your own food coloring allows you to customize the shade and ensure the use of natural ingredients.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Start by selecting the right ingredients. Some popular options for making homemade purple food coloring include blueberries, red cabbage, and purple sweet potatoes.
  2. Prepare the ingredients by washing them thoroughly and removing any stems or leaves.
  3. For fruits like blueberries, place them in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. For vegetables like red cabbage or purple sweet potatoes, chop them into small pieces.
  4. If necessary, strain the pureed mixture to remove any large or chunky particles.
  5. To extract the color, you can either simmer the puree with a small amount of water on the stovetop for about 10-15 minutes or blend it with water and then strain the liquid.
  6. Allow the liquid to cool completely before transferring it to a clean, airtight container for storage.
  7. To achieve a more concentrated shade, you can reduce the liquid by simmering it on low heat until desired intensity is reached.
  8. Store your homemade purple food coloring in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze it for longer-term use.

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Shade

  • Experiment with different ingredients to create unique shades of purple. For example, adding a squeeze of lemon juice to blueberry puree can create a brighter, more vibrant purple color.
  • If your homemade purple food coloring turns out too light, you can add a few drops of natural purple food coloring extract or gel to intensify the shade.
  • To achieve a deeper or darker purple, you can mix your homemade purple food coloring with a small amount of natural black food coloring or natural cocoa powder.
  • Remember that the final shade may vary depending on the ingredients used and the concentration of the color extract, so it’s best to start with a small batch and adjust as needed.
IngredientsColor Shade
BlueberriesMuted purple
Red cabbageDeep purple
Purple sweet potatoesRich purple

Selecting The Right Ingredients

How To Make Purple Food Coloring

The key to creating vibrant purple food coloring lies in selecting the right ingredients. Whether you’re looking for fruits and vegetables that naturally produce purple hues or exploring alternative sources for unique shades, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Choosing Fruits and Vegetables for Purple Hues

Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of natural purple pigments. Here are some options to consider:

  • Blueberries: These small berries are packed with anthocyanins, which give them their rich purple color. They are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes.
  • Grapes: Both red and black grapes contain anthocyanins, making them ideal for creating purple food coloring. You can use them whole or extract their juice for coloring purposes.
  • Red Cabbage: With its vibrant purple color, red cabbage is an excellent choice for creating purple hues. It can be boiled or blended to extract the natural pigment.

Alternative Natural Sources for Purple

If you’re looking to experiment with unique shades of purple, consider these alternative natural sources:

  • Lavender: This fragrant flower not only adds a touch of purple but also imparts a delicate floral flavor. It can be used in teas, desserts, or infused oils to enhance the purple hue.
  • Beetroot: While commonly known for its deep red color, beetroot can also provide a beautiful purple shade. Roasting or boiling the beetroot and using the extracted juice can give your food coloring a vibrant purple hue.
  • Butterfly Pea Flower: This stunning flower is native to Southeast Asia and is known for its natural deep indigo color. When steeped in hot water, it releases a vibrant blue pigment that can be used as a natural dye, which reacts with acidic ingredients like lime or lemon juice to create a vivid purple.

By carefully selecting fruits, vegetables, and alternative natural sources, you can unleash a world of vibrant purple hues for your food coloring creations.

Fruits and VegetablesAlternative Sources
Red CabbageButterfly Pea Flower

D.I.Y. Purple Food Coloring Recipes

This section provides a collection of D.I.Y. purple food coloring recipes using natural ingredients. These recipes offer a range of options to create homemade purple dye for your culinary creations. Let’s explore these recipes and discover how you can easily make your own vibrant and all-natural purple food coloring.

“Making your own purple food coloring at home allows you to control the ingredients and customize the shade to your liking.” – Chef Lisa Smith

Blueberry Surprise

Create a beautiful purple hue by mashing fresh blueberries and straining the juice. Mix the juice with a small amount of lemon juice to enhance the vibrant color. Use this natural blueberry dye in your cakes, frostings, or smoothies for a burst of purple.

Fresh blueberries
  1. Mash fresh blueberries to extract the juice.
  2. Strain the juice to remove any pulp.
  3. Add a dash of lemon juice to the blueberry juice and mix well.

Beetroot Magic

For a deeper purple shade, try using beetroot. Boil beetroot slices in water until tender, then strain the liquid. Use this vibrant beetroot extract to color your icings, doughs, or savory dishes.

Fresh beetroot
  1. Peel and slice fresh beetroot.
  2. Boil the beetroot slices in water until tender.
  3. Strain the liquid to remove any solids.

Red Cabbage Elixir

Red cabbage is a surprising ingredient for creating purple food coloring. Boil shredded red cabbage in water and strain the liquid. Use this unique purple elixir in your batters, drinks, or pasta dough for an eye-catching touch.

Red cabbage
  1. Shred red cabbage into small pieces.
  2. Boil the shredded cabbage in water for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Strain the liquid and discard the cabbage.

Note: Experiment with different ratios of ingredients to achieve your desired shade of purple.

With these DIY purple food coloring recipes, you can easily create vibrant and natural shades of purple for all your culinary masterpieces. Enjoy the process of making your own homemade purple dye and let your creativity shine!

Ensuring Safety and Quality

Safety and quality are paramount when it comes to homemade food coloring. In this section, we will explore important considerations to ensure the safety and quality of your homemade dye. We will discuss how to test for allergies using homemade colors and provide preservation techniques to extend the shelf life of your dye.

Test for Allergies With Homemade Colors

Before using homemade food coloring, it is crucial to test for potential allergies to ensure the safety of yourself and others. To perform an allergy test, apply a small amount of the homemade dye to a small patch of skin and monitor for any adverse reactions for at least 24 hours. If no reactions occur, it is generally considered safe to use the dye. However, it is always recommended to consult with a medical professional if you have any concerns or known allergies.

Preservation Techniques for Homemade Dye

To maximize the shelf life of your homemade food coloring, proper preservation techniques are necessary. Here are some effective methods to prolong the usability of your dye:

  1. Refrigeration: Store your homemade dye in a clean, airtight container and keep it refrigerated. This helps to slow down the deterioration process and maintain the color intensity.
  2. Freezing: If you have a surplus of homemade dye, consider freezing it in ice cube trays. This allows you to conveniently thaw and use the dye when needed, while extending its shelf life.
  3. Add Acid: Adding a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to your homemade dye can help preserve its color and prevent the growth of bacteria. However, be mindful of the effects of acidity on the taste and texture of your final dish.
  4. Sunlight Protection: Exposure to direct sunlight can cause color fading and degradation. Therefore, it is advisable to store your homemade dye in a dark or opaque container and keep it away from direct light.

By following these preservation practices, you can enjoy the benefits of homemade food coloring for a longer period while ensuring its safety and quality.

Preservation TechniqueDescription
RefrigerationStore in an airtight container and keep refrigerated to maintain color intensity.
FreezingFreeze in ice cube trays to extend shelf life and thaw as needed.
Add AcidPreserve color and prevent bacterial growth by adding lemon juice or vinegar.
Sunlight ProtectionStore in a dark or opaque container to avoid color fading caused by direct sunlight.

Customizing the Intensity of Your Purple Dye

One of the key advantages of making your own purple dye is the ability to customize the intensity of the color. In this section, we will explore different techniques for adjusting the color saturation and blending colors to create unique shades of purple that perfectly suit your needs.

Adjusting Color Saturation

To achieve the desired intensity of purple dye, you can adjust the color saturation. This involves either intensifying or diluting the color to create a stronger or lighter shade of purple. Here are a few methods you can try:

  1. Dye Concentration: Increase or decrease the amount of dye used in your recipe to control the color saturation. Adding more dye will result in a richer, deeper shade of purple, while using less dye will create a lighter, pastel hue.
  2. Mixing Ratios: Experiment with different ratios of purple dye to other ingredients in your recipe. By adjusting the proportion of dye to base ingredients, you can fine-tune the color saturation to your liking.
  3. Layering: Apply multiple layers of purple dye to build up the color intensity. This method is particularly effective when working with lighter shades of purple, as layering allows you to gradually deepen the color without overpowering the other ingredients.

Blending Colors for Unique Shades

If you’re looking to create truly unique shades of purple, consider blending different colors together. Mixing various hues can result in stunning and personalized shades that are distinct from conventional purple tones. Here are a few blending techniques to explore:

  • Primary Colors: Blend together primary colors like red and blue to create a vibrant purple shade. Adjust the ratio of each color based on your desired result.
  • Secondary Colors: Experiment with mixing secondary colors like violet and magenta to achieve different variations of purple. These pre-mixed colors provide a convenient starting point for blending.
  • Complementary Colors: Combine purple with its complementary color, such as yellow or green, to create unique and unexpected shades of purple. These color combinations can yield interesting results and add depth to your creations.

Remember to experiment with different techniques and ratios to find the perfect balance and achieve the desired shade of purple. By customizing the intensity and blending colors, you can create your own signature purple dye that adds a touch of uniqueness to your culinary creations.

Dye ConcentrationVarying the amount of dye used to control color saturation
Mixing RatiosExperimenting with different proportions of dye to other ingredients
LayeringApplying multiple layers of dye to achieve desired intensity
Primary ColorsBlending red and blue to create vibrant purple shades
Secondary ColorsMixing violet and magenta for unique variations of purple
Complementary ColorsCombining purple with its complementary colors for distinct shades

Utilizing Your Homemade Purple Coloring in Recipes

How To Make Purple Food Coloring

Once you have created your homemade purple food coloring, it’s time to explore the exciting possibilities of incorporating it into various recipes. Whether you are baking, cooking, or making beverages, using your own homemade purple dye adds a vibrant and natural touch to your culinary creations.

Here are some ideas and suggestions on how to make the most of your homemade purple coloring:

  1. Baking: Add a splash of purple to your favorite baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and muffins. Use your homemade purple food coloring to create eye-catching designs, swirls, and patterns. Think purple velvet cupcakes, lavender macarons, or purple ombré layer cake.
  2. Desserts: Elevate your desserts with homemade purple coloring. Add it to frostings, icings, or whipped creams to transform them into stunning purple delights. Consider making lavender-infused panna cotta, purple berry parfait, or purple grape sorbet for a refreshing treat.
  3. Beverages: Create uniquely colored beverages with your homemade purple dye. Make purple lemonade, lavender-infused iced tea, or a refreshing purple smoothie using ingredients like blueberries or blackberries.
  4. Main Courses: Surprise your guests with purple-infused main dishes. Using your homemade purple coloring, experiment with purple pasta, purple mashed potatoes, or purple cauliflower pizza crust. These visually striking dishes are sure to impress.

Remember, the possibilities are endless when it comes to utilizing your homemade purple coloring. Let your creativity soar, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes and flavors. Enjoy the magical transformation of your dishes into vibrant purple masterpieces!

Storing Your Purple Coloring for Future Use

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the quality and potency of your homemade purple food coloring. To ensure that your dye remains vibrant and ready for future use, follow these best practices for longevity:

Choose Suitable Containers

When storing your homemade purple coloring, opt for airtight containers to prevent air and moisture from affecting the dye. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids or plastic containers with secure seals are ideal options to maintain color integrity.

Provide Optimal Storage Conditions

Keep your homemade dye in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat and light can accelerate color fading. A pantry or a cabinet is a suitable location for storage.

Prevent Cross-Contamination

To avoid mixing colors or compromising the purity of your purple dye, ensure that the containers and utensils used for storage are clean and free from any residual colors. Wash them thoroughly before use.

Label and Date Your Containers

Label each container with the name of the dye and the date it was prepared. This will help you keep track of its freshness and ensure that you use it within the recommended time.

Reactivating Color After Storage

If you notice that the color of your homemade purple food coloring has faded slightly after storage, there are a few methods you can use to reactivate the color:

Shake Well

If your dye has separated into layers, give it a good shake to mix the pigments and restore the vibrant purple color.

Add a Fresh Ingredient

If the color has significantly faded, you can add a small amount of fresh homemade dye or a concentrated natural purple coloring ingredient to revive the color. Gradually add and mix until the desired color intensity is achieved.

Adjust the pH

In some cases, the color may fade due to changes in pH. Experiment by adding a small amount of an acid or base ingredient, such as lemon juice or baking soda, to adjust the pH and bring back the vibrant purple hue.

By following these storage best practices and knowing how to reactivate the color when needed, you can ensure that your homemade purple food coloring stays fresh and ready to use for all your culinary creations.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, issues may arise when making homemade purple food coloring. This section will address common problems that may occur, such as color consistency issues or texture problems, and provide troubleshooting tips and solutions. With these insights, you’ll be able to overcome any challenges and create high-quality purple food coloring.

Color Consistency Issues

One common issue when making homemade purple food coloring is inconsistent color results. If you find that your purple dye is not as vibrant or uniform as desired, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you fix the problem:

  1. Adjust the ingredient ratios: Experiment with the amount of fruits or vegetables used in your recipe to achieve the desired color saturation. You may need to add more or less depending on the intensity you’re aiming for.
  2. Mix thoroughly: Ensure that all the ingredients are properly blended together to distribute the color evenly. Use a blender or food processor if needed to achieve a smooth consistency.
  3. Consider pH levels: The acidity or alkalinity of the environment can affect the color of your purple food coloring. Try adjusting the pH levels by adding a small amount of lemon juice or baking soda and observe the change in color.

Texture Problems

Another issue you may encounter when making homemade purple food coloring is texture problems, such as a gritty or lumpy consistency. Follow these troubleshooting tips to address texture issues:

  1. Strain the mixture: If your purple food coloring has a grainy texture, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids or particles.
  2. Blend or process longer: If the texture is not smooth, blend or process the mixture for a longer duration until the desired consistency is achieved. This will help break down any remaining chunks or fibers.
  3. Add a thickening agent: If your purple food coloring is too thin or watery, consider adding a natural thickening agent like arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Mix in small amounts at a time until the desired thickness is reached.

By troubleshooting these common issues related to color consistency and texture, you can overcome any challenges that may arise when making homemade purple food coloring. With persistence and experimentation, you’ll be able to create a high-quality and visually appealing purple dye for your culinary creations.

ProblemTroubleshooting Tips
Color Consistency IssuesAdjust ingredient ratios
Mix thoroughly
Consider pH levels
Texture ProblemsStrain the mixture
Blend or process longer
Add a thickening agent


In conclusion, creating your own purple food coloring at home is a simple and rewarding process. By understanding the science behind purple pigmentation and selecting the right ingredients, you can easily achieve vibrant and natural hues of purple. With the tips and techniques provided in this article, you’re now equipped to embark on your purple food coloring journey. Enjoy the process and let your creativity shine!


What are some common sources of natural colors for purple food coloring?

Fruits, vegetables, and spices are common sources of natural colors that can be used to create different shades of purple.

How does purple pigmentation occur in food?

Purple pigmentation in food is a result of specific compounds called anthocyanins.

Does the pH level of the environment affect the color of purple food dye?

Yes, the pH level can impact the color intensity of purple food dye.

Are there any tips for achieving the perfect shade of purple with homemade food coloring?

Yes, we will share some tips and tricks to help you achieve the desired shade of purple when making your own food coloring.

What factors should I consider when selecting ingredients for purple food coloring?

It is important to choose fruits and vegetables that contribute to vibrant purple hues. We will discuss this in more detail.

Are there alternative natural sources for creating purple food coloring?

Yes, apart from fruits and vegetables, flowers, herbs, and spices can also be used to achieve unique shades of purple.

How can I ensure the safety and quality of homemade food coloring?

We will discuss how to test for allergies using homemade colors and explore different preservation techniques to ensure safety and quality.

Is it possible to adjust the intensity and saturation of purple food coloring?

Yes, we will provide techniques on how to customize the intensity and saturation of your purple food coloring.

Can I use homemade purple food coloring in recipes?

Absolutely! We will provide suggestions and ideas on how to incorporate your homemade purple food coloring into various culinary creations.

How should I store homemade purple food coloring?

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the quality and longevity of your homemade purple food coloring. We will discuss best practices and suitable containers for storage

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Protection Status

Win one of the 20 coolest kitchen gadgets!

Image of Chefd giveaway Nessie Ladle.

Surprises every month. The fun twist is that you can choose your own in the next step.


Chefd subscribers - contest