How to Make Purple Food Coloring?

How to Make Purple Food Coloring
Photo by Couleur

Purple food coloring is one of the most difficult colors to create naturally.

A lot of the artificial purple food coloring out there, especially the dye in Skittles and Grape Nuts, contains Red 40, which has been linked to hyperactivity in children. 

Luckily, with a few simple ingredients, you can create your own natural purple food coloring at home!

Best of all, it’s easy to tweak the amounts used to achieve any shade of purple you want!

Just follow these instructions on how to make purple food coloring. You’ll be making natural purple food coloring in no time!

Kinds of Food Coloring

Artificial food colorings are made from synthetic dyes and can be found in various foods. While these dyes are generally safe, some people may be sensitive to them. 

Natural food colorings are made from plant or animal extracts and tend to be more expensive than synthetic dyes.

However, many people prefer natural food colorings because they are more gentle on the body. 

How to Make Purple Food Coloring?

Here is a simple recipe for how to make purple food coloring. Many food coloring types with different characteristics may work better depending on what you’re looking for. 

Liquid Food Coloring

The liquid type works best when you want to dye an entire cake or large amounts of icing at once since it covers well and doesn’t stain your hands as powdered colors do.

Add a few drops at a time until you get the desired shade of purple that you want.

Liquid colors also work well if you add them to something like fruit punch, where a powder might settle at the bottom of the glass and not dissolve as quickly as desired.

Liquid Gel Dye

The gel kind is perfect for decorating small items like cupcakes or individual portions of baked goods like cookies.

It’s less messy than other varieties and comes in a squeeze bottle, making it easy to use.

Dissolve one package of gel dye into one cup of boiling water, then add two tablespoons of vinegar to help keep the liquid from being too sticky.

Stir thoroughly before adding it to your baking project. A little goes a long way, so start by adding just one drop at first.

Then gradually add more until you reach the desired intensity of the purple coloring.

Gel Paste Dye

If you’re looking for a stronger hue of purple, gel paste dye is perfect. You can buy it premixed in tubes.

You can also make your own by combining 1/2 teaspoon of food coloring with one tablespoon corn syrup.

Apply the paste to your choice of surface using a brush or toothpick, let dry and remove any extra pigment using tape.

Natural Food Coloring

When learning how to make purple food coloring naturally, all you need is fruit.  

Using Red cabbage as Natural Dye

Red cabbage! Just combine three cups of white wine vinegar with two cups of water and stir in about two pounds of thinly shredded cabbage.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 30 minutes or until the cabbage has softened.

Then strain out the solids using cheesecloth or a colander lined with paper towels, saving the liquid that seeps through.

Cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. It should last much longer, but I haven’t had mine around long enough to test.

Using blueberries as Natural Dyes

For a natural purple food coloring, you can use blueberries! Here’s how: 

  • Start by boiling some water. You’ll need about 1 cup water for every 1-2 cups of blueberries. 
  • Pour the boiling water over the blueberries in a heat-safe bowl or pot. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once the desired color is achieved, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove the solids. For best results, use the purple dye immediately or store it in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Using Purple Cabbage as Natural dyes

Have you ever wondered how those beautiful, vibrant shades of purple in your favorite baked goods are achieved? If you’re looking to avoid food dyes, the good news is that it’s easy to make your own natural purple food coloring at home with purple Cabbage; here is how:

Cut a small piece of cabbage from the middle and place it into a pot. Fill the pot with water until all of the cabbage is submerged.

Cook for about 15 minutes.  Allow cooling. Strain and transfer liquid into a container. Freeze for about 12 hours. Use as needed!

Why Use Natural Ingredients?

Having learned how to make purple food coloring naturally, one of the great things about natural ingredients is that they offer a wide range of colors.

Plus, they’re typically free of synthetic dyes and chemicals, which can harm your health. When making your own natural purple food coloring, you’ll need to combine two different colors – red and blue – to achieve the desired hue.

Note that the longer you leave the mixture sitting, the darker it will become as the dye oxidizes. You’ll have more than enough purple dye for all your culinary creations!


Who knew how to make purple food coloring at home was so easy? All you need is a little ingredient. Voila! You now have a beautiful, all-natural purple food coloring that you can use in various recipes.

Leave a Reply

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

You May Also Like