Our daughter Emma ditched food dye about a year ago. While that may sound like something that should make a mama do a backflip of joy, it’s been hard. Really hard. But it’s also very important. We all realize how food dye affects her, and she doesn’t like feeling out of control like that.
Emma is an amazing label-reader… much better than I am even. I’m pretty sure she’s got a mobile food dye radar rigged up inside her pocket!
We’ve been blown away by the strange places we’ve found food dye sneaking in! Emma was going to splurge once on a Little Debbie Swiss Roll. (I know. I know. Don’t judge! 😉 ) Would you believe that Swiss Rolls contain Yellow #5, Red #40, and Blue #1??? TO MAKE CHOCOLATE LOOK LIKE CHOCOLATE! Needless to say, there’s other junk in there that we don’t usually eat, but hey… it was supposed to be a rare splurge. She chose to not splurge on Swiss Rolls.
Then we came to the cake. I always make her cakes. (And y’all… I make a KILLER buttercream using the recipe in this ebook!) How was I supposed to make emoji cakes without food dye?
I started searching and found two more natural options. So of course I ordered both of them. 😀 This definitely called for some kitchen experimenting!
The Color Kitchen Cupcake Coloring Set worked well, but the McCormick Natural Food Coloring was awesome! They were both packets of powder, which was a big difference for me. Both brands blended into the icing well. Neither made the icing taste funky (a HUGE factor! Don’t mess with my buttercream!).
When I order next time though, I’ll choose the McCormick brand colors. Both brands were pretty, but the McCormick ones were much more vivid. This was crucial for emojis.
The McCormick colors also had resealable envelopes for each color. Truth is… I still didn’t save the ones that were open. I had visions of them unexpectedly falling out of the box and forever staining my countertops. I’m OCD like that.
I thought the finished cakes came out well, but Emma was absolutely THRILLED with them! And that’s what really mattered!