Despite many peoples’ doubts, I did allow my daughter to eat cake on her first birthday. As much as I value good nutrition, sometimes I value tradition even more. So the little peanut got a big slice of cake on a red platter that read "You Are Special Today," and she enjoyed every second of it. However, it was a homemade cake using only the finest organic ingredients. Obviously.
I wanted to make her a pig cake, because her favorite book is about farm animals. But last I checked, pink food coloring isn’t all-natural and organic. So, I was forced to get creative.
When I think pink, I think beets. I have cooked with beets often enough to know that their juice is vibrant, indicating loads of nutrients. So I immediately scoured the internet for ideas on using beet juice to dye frosting, and pieced together a method that ended up working quite well.
2-3 cans organic beets (I used three, but only ended up needing about half of the reduction to get the right shade of pink)
Add beet juice to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and keep at a simmer/low boil, stirring occasionally, until only about 1-3 tablespoons of beet juice remain. Pour into frosting.
Note: Beet juice reduction will harden eventually at room temperature, so I recommend making the frosting first and then the dye, and adding it right away to the frosting.
This was so easy and made the perfect shade of pink for the pig cake. It did not alter the taste of the frosting at all, and I felt good that my daughter was not getting any artificial colors on her birthday!
I recommend saving the unused beets and adding them to soups, salads, chili, or even juicing them.