Dairy-Free, Dye-Free Fall Frosting

91vwsqbattl-_sy679_A little natural Halloween pearl for the curious, adventurous baker.

If you need to color some frosting a rich yellow or orange without artificial food coloring, try a dab or two of red palm shortening–and you’ll also pack in a smidge of vitamin E.

You’ll have to be willing to play with it though. My family made some cut-out cookies for our pumpkin carving night last week. I mixed together for the frosting: Spectrum “All Vegetable” palm shortening at room temperature (this is white and is not truly “vegetable shortening,” but palm shortening), powdered sugar, vanilla, and a dab of Nutiva’s red palm oil (which is a solid at room temperature) for color.

The ratios depend on how thick you’d like your frosting, how sweet, and the color you’re aiming for. My ratio was approximately 1 cup of Spectrum’s (white) “all vegetable” palm shortening to 1 cup of powdered sugar to 1 teaspoon of vanilla to about 2 tablespoons of red palm oil. All estimates. It will need played with. Taste as you add more red palm oil so that you don’t pick up any unwanted off-flavors associated with unrefined red palm oil. Mix with an electric mixer. This could be thinned by adding your choice of alternative milk.

Please note that there is controversy regarding palm-derived oils and the destructive clearing of land for palm plantations and displacement and endangerment of native animals.

Sustainable palm products do not completely eliminate these issues, but it is an important step at preserving land and animals while continuing the livelihood of the local people who rely on production.

I hope you all have a great weekend.



2 thoughts on “Dairy-Free, Dye-Free Fall Frosting

  1. gabriella kadar

    What about saffron? I know it has a flavour but it wouldn’t take much. If you heat up the shortening, put the saffron threads in the liquid fat, the colour will come out, then strain and cool.

    Beet juice would work too if you want red-pink frosting. Gently heat it so the juice concentrates. 1 teaspoon ought to do the job.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hmmm. I don’t know Gabriella, about the saffron. The base palm shortening doesn’t like to be melted very well that way. I don’t think that will work, but I will have to try it before I say that with confidence. They’d be about the same “price.” Saffron looks like you could get it about 12-14 dollars and red palm oil the same. Although red palm oil can be used in more places around the kitchen for that nice vitamin E profile, and I thought the red palm oil gave it a nice, silky finish absent from just plain frosting.

      Thanks for the beet tip. Red is so hard. And that’s the color we ax the most.


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