How To Make Red Food Coloring Without Beets?

Muffins, Cakes, Icecreams or soup, just add some colors to them and see the magic. Colorful foods are more appealing and attract people to try them. Some research shows that red color makes us feel more hungry. Now, you know why most of the popular restaurants have a red interior. Well, that’s pretty much true. Even adding colors to your food can also work the same for your hunger. Today I am gonna tell you how to make red food coloring without beets or beetroots.

Beetroots are the first choice for making red color. The beet juice is intense red in color and can leave a tint just by drinking it. Color can be easily extracted by grinding or crushing the beet. But what if you don’t have beetroot or you don’t like it? I have some alternatives that you can try and get awesome results.

How To Make Red Food Coloring Without Beets

Also, check out- How to Make Icing For Cake At Home?

How To Make Red Food Coloring Without Beets?

To make red food coloring without beets you can use flowers or some fruits. Flowers like hibiscus and rose can help you to get that. If you don’t have flowers or wanna use some fruits for red color, go for pomegranate, cranberries, and watermelons. Organic foods colors are easy to make at home. Let see the possible alternatives of red food color.

Preparing red food coloring with beetroots is super easy. Almost everyone knows the process of extracting juice or using beet pulp for red food color. But, the problem is the taste or availability. Although it doesn’t contain any intense flavor, just a light earthy scent is there. That also when taken directly. But even after that if you don’t want it, Just check out the below options.

Use Flowers to make red color

I usually use red hibiscus and rose. You can also use different flowers. But make sure you are using flowers that are not toxic. Hibiscus and rose both are edible and are totally safe to use in foods. Even These two flowers are used in making ayurvedic medicines also. So, it’ll be great if you use them too, if available.


Hibiscus petals are thin as compared to rose petals. You just have to pluck the flowers wash them off thoroughly with water. Separate all the hibiscus petals and put them in a bowl. Pour some hot water in it and leave it until it cools down. Please do not add lots of water as it’ll become tough to use. The petals will leave nice red color in the water. You can also steep dried hibiscus flowers.

Prepare colored pancake batter using this hibiscus water. You can use it in a cake or ice cream also. I mainly use it for the pink color you can leave the flowers in water for longer to get a darker shade. To be very honest, this is not gonna work as ready-made food colors. But looks really very nice. You will get purplish-red color initially. Use it if you liked it or just add a few drops of lemon juice or orange juice to it.

Lemon juice or orange juice will lighten the color of hibiscus juice. But keep in mind, adding lemon or orange will add citrusy flavor to your dish also. Yous DIY red food coloring is ready without beets.

rose and hibiscus for food color


Using rose for food coloring is not that common. You cannon use the same technique as you did with hibiscus flowers. But instead of using water or heating methods, I recommend the grinding technique. You can use mortar or your mixer grinder to get a fine paste.

I usually add powdered sugar or icing sugar with the rose petals and smash them using my hands. Crush all the petals using your fingers it is so satisfying. After some time sugar and petals release some red juice. At this stage, you can keep crushing them for more pigmented juice. Then squeeze the juice out and use it as a food coloring. But keep in mind it is sugar syrup and can make your dish sweeter.

I further grind the crushed petals using mortar. After it turns into a fine red or pink paste take it out in a bowl or store it in an airtight container. I love rose-flavored ice cream, smoothie, or shakes. Also, add a small amount of this rose paste to your icing cream and give beautiful red or pink color to your cake. I recommend using dark red or pink roses for this process you can use the color you want.

Prepare red food coloring with your favorite fruit


Cranberries are best to use for intense red food color. You just have to boil the berries and smash them. I like the nice color of berries and mainly use them for Halloween dishes. Boil the berries with some water for 10-15 minutes. The flame should be shimmer do not rush. Now switch off the flame stir and crush the berries in the pan. Let it covered for another 10 minutes or until it cools down. Strain the cranberry mixture and your DIY food color is ready. Use the residue of berries for smoothies or icecreams.

The second method is even easier to do. You have to grind the berries into a fine paste and cook for a few minutes. Directly use the Berry paste if you like. However, you can add water to make it thin syrup. Now strain the juice out and use it for coloring your food.


Let me clear one thing that watermelons are not that effective for coloring food. If you are using white icing or pancake batter or anything similar to white color, then only watermelon juice will work. You can simply squeeze the watermelon pulp on a strainer to strain seeds and pulps. Always try to use darker color watermelons. Be careful while using watermelon juice for coloring as it is very thin in consistency and can change the consistency of your food also.


Pomegranate juice is an amazing option for Red food color. It is one of the healthiest ways of coloring food. You can directly use pomegranate juice for coloring or use reduced juice for more intense colors.

Cherries, Strawberries, and Raspberries

Red berries can also be used for food coloring. Cherries are mainly used as a topping for pie, cake, or ice cream. You can mix the paste of cherries to your dish and get an amazing red color to your dish. This will change the flavor of your dish due to its intense taste and fragrance.

Not only cranberries, but you also can use other red berries. Raspberry and strawberry can also be good options for you. You only have to smash the berries and extract the colored juice.

I hope now you’ll be able to make red food coloring without beets now. Here are almost all possible ways to make red color at home. Please do not hesitate to share your recipe (if any). Let me know if you have your own tried recipe for food colors. I will try it add here for sure.

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