All Natural dyed airplane cake with sky & cloud cupcakes
Last weekend i had the opportunity to make an adorable little guys second birthday cake. His favorite flavor of cake is strawberry, and his mom is not into him having artificial dyes. So, I set out on an adventure to find a recipe for a strawberry cake made from real strawberries *gasp* not made from jello or any strawberry flavored things… Let me tell you! There are not many recipes out there! I did finally find one, and it turned out wonderful; tasted so very much like strawberry and was a pretty pink color when it was baked too. I made 2 dozen cupcakes and then a little airplane out of cake as well. For the airplane wings I used white chocolate, I sketched out how big i needed them, laid parchment down on top of that and then poured my chocolate with a spoon into the proper shape. Then before placing it in the cake I smoothed out the edges with a sharp knife to make it look a little neater.
Since little Ace’s mom does not want him to have artificial food coloring, I decided to make my own. I used a variety of veggies to get the pretty colors. I used beets for the red, purple cabbage for the blue and carrots for the yellow/orange color. I’ll tell you how I did it below the pictures 😉
Top: Beet Red, Bottom Left: Carrot orange/yellow bottom right: Red cabbage blue/grey
For the blue I used red cabbage. I chopped it up and place it in a small saucepan with about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. I then boiled it until the water was a dark purple…. Now you might be wondering, how does it turn blue though?! You add in something that has a base acidity, so for mine i used some strongly brewed green tea, you can also use baking soda, but i didn’t want my icing to taste like baking soda… After your cabbage “juice” has cooled you add in a small amount of the baking soda or green tea at a time until the purple is gone. This is a heat sensitive color. As the cupcakes sat overnight they turned back more purple than what they had started, which was disappointing. They still were a pretty color though and they were entirely natural!
For the red I did the same thing with the beets; cut three or four of them up and boil them until your water is a bright hue, just allow your beet “juice” to cool and add it directly into your icing, I used butter-cream and it mixed well with the icing and was smooth. It did get slightly darker as it sat. For the carrots i repeated the process, unfortunately the carrots caused the icing to separate a little bit, I tired mixing it more and it would not stay together how I wanted it to. I will have to try the orange/yellow color again at some point…
I REALLY want to get a dehydrator and make my own red dye from beet powder.. I suspect it would be more potent color and would not change the texture of the icing as much as the beet juice did…. hmmmmmm….
Happy baking! -B
All Natural Strawberry Cake
- 3 C. Flour
- 2 C. Sugar
- 1½ Tablespoon Baking Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- ¾ C. Vegetable Oil
- 1½ C. Strawberry Puree
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1 teasoon Lemon Juice
- 4 Eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease and flour your pans.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add in your vegetable oil, strawberry puree, vanilla, and lemon juice to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
Add the eggs to the batter and whisk until smooth. do not over mix it or the cake could become too chewy.
Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans or into cupcake liners
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently touched (if using cupcake pans it should not take as long.)