What Can You Use Instead Of Red Food Coloring For Red Velvet Cake?

Red velvet cake is a classic dessert that is known for its rich, chocolate flavor and distinctive red color.

The red color is typically achieved using red food coloring.

Good Substitute For Fed Food Coloring

But if you’re looking to avoid artificial ingredients or simply don’t have any on hand, there are several natural alternatives that you can use to give your red velvet cake a beautiful red hue.

Beet Juice or Pureed Beets

One option is to use beet juice or pureed beets as a natural food coloring. Beets are a good source of natural pigment and can add a vibrant red color to your cake batter.

Beet Juice
Beet Juice

Simply blend cooked, peeled beets in a blender or food processor until smooth and then mix them into the cake batter in place of the red food coloring.

Beets also add a slight earthy flavor to the cake, so keep this in mind if you are not a fan of beets.

Pureed Pomegranates

If you’re looking for a more natural way to add a vibrant, red hue to your red velvet cake, pomegranate juice or pureed pomegranates are an excellent option.

Pomegranates are a fruit that is naturally high in pigments that will give your cake a deep, rich red color.

Pomegranates Juice
Pomegranates Juice

To use them in your cake batter, simply blend fresh pomegranates in a blender or food processor until it is smooth and pour the puree in place of the red food coloring.

It is important to note that pomegranates have a slight tartness, so if you’re looking for a more neutral flavor, you may want to use a little less pomegranate puree or dilute it with water.

Raspberry and strawberry powder

If you’re looking for a more subtle shade of red for your cake, natural fruit powders can be the perfect solution.

strawberry powder
Strawberry powder

Raspberry and strawberry powder are both excellent options that are made from ground up freeze-dried fruit.

To use these powders, simply mix them into the cake batter in place of red food coloring.

Doing so will give the cake a slight fruit flavor that can be a nice complement to the chocolate.


To liven up the look of your red velvet cake without compromising on flavor, natural red plant pigments such as anthocyanin are a great option.

Anthocyanin is a pigment found in certain fruits and vegetables, giving them their red and blue colors.

This pigment can be extracted and used as a natural food coloring, providing a subtle yet vibrant touch of red to your cake.

By using anthocyanin, you can have the best of both worlds – a delicious red velvet cake with a vibrant, eye-catching color.

Final Thought

There are several natural alternatives to red food coloring that you can use to give your red velvet cake a beautiful red hue. Whether you prefer the deep, rich color of beets or pomegranates, the fruity flavor of raspberry or strawberry powder, or the neutral color of anthocyanin, there is an option that will suit your tastes and needs. So, next time you’re looking to make a red velvet cake, don’t let the lack of red food coloring hold you back – try one of these natural alternatives and see what works best for you!

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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