So, I know all of you have seen that we've been coloring our desserts with beautiful natural food dyes lately. These food dyes come from ColorKitchen, which I try to promote whenever I can because I am obsessed with her colors! I have tried lots of natural dyes since opening Mimi's Cookie Bar (trust me lots!), and nothing compares to ColorKitchen. Her colors work so well, and you can create every color of the rainbow super easily. With other natural dyes, the only color that actually looked right was pink, and let's be real that's the easiest one. With ColorKitchen dyes you can get red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink and pastel versions of all these colors too!
So, I wanted to share more about this company because I want everyone to buy her colors! The owner is a girl boss, just like me, and her name is Ashley. I did a little interview with her below so you can get to know her and why she started ColorKitchen. And, I'm also sharing a recipe for this Flower Cake, using ColorKitchen of course!
Mimi: What made you start ColorKitchen?
Ashley: ColorKitchen developed out of my first entrepreneurial endeavor Glob Colors, eco-friendly paints. The natural craft paints are made with fruit and vegetable colors and organic extracts. With the success of Glob’s natural Easter Egg Coloring Kit, grocery buyers then asked for more colorful products for baking. ColorKitchen was born, using the natural plant-based food colors that are used in the craft paints.
M: How long have you been in business?
A: The ColorKitchen re-brand from Glob Colors took place mid 2015, so Color Kitchen is relatively new.
M: Do you have any employees, how many?
A: None, just me. I do have help though. I work with a fulfillment center that packages and ships my products, brokers that sell to stores, and a marketing and PR consultant, but as far as the day to day operations go, it’s all me.
M: Why is using natural dyes so important to you?
A: I long suffered from food allergies and chemical additives in products. With a nutritionist mother, I grew up aware of what was in my foods and paid close attention to my diet and how it affected my mind and body. Eating healthy has always been a priority for me, and with a rather substantial sweet tooth, finding healthy dessert options has been a life-long mission.
M: I know your dyes are All Natural, Plant Based, Non-GMO, Vegan and Gluten Free, but they aren't organic, can you explain why not?
A: Because crops grown specifically for color vibrancy are not organic farmed yet! There is not a big enough demand to make it cost effective for those farms. If they were available I would definite source organic.
M: Where do you sell ColorKitchen products?
A: In over 900 stores around the country, from local, independent natural food stores, to Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and larger chains like Meijers, HEB and select Target locations this Easter. ColorKitchen is also online through Amazon, ThriveMarket.com, and of course on our website.
M: Do you bake at home, and if so what’s your favorite thing to bake?
A: I enjoy making paleo cupcakes with coconut flour. Lately, I have been obsessed with perfecting a natural red velvet cake. I also like making coconut crème truffles when I am craving sweets, but that’s not something baked, more whipped up!
M: Describe a typical day for you:
I spend the morning enjoying my coffee, answering emails and processing orders until around noon. Then I take my 2 dogs for a hike in the gorgeous Bend, OR wilderness. I can get "away from it all" in a 5 to 10 minute drive from my house. After the dogs are worn out, I get back to work with meetings, shipping samples and so on. Being a "solo-preneur", I often work into the evening too.
Makes 3 Layer 6-inch Cake
1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) organic salted butter, softened
85 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic cane sugar
85 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic packed dark brown sugar
85 grams(1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic caramel sauce (find recipe here)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 organic large eggs
1/2 cup organic milk
198 grams (1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) all natural cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 sticks (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
3/4 stick (85 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
ColorKitchen Pink, Green, Yellow Dyes (find here)
2 to 3 teaspoons water
Method Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, sugar, brown sugar, caramel sauce and vanilla extract. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined and there’s no butter chunks.
Add the eggs and mix just slightly to combine.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder and sea salt and whisk together.
Add the milk and the cake flour mixture into the mixing bowl together, mix on low until combined into a smooth cake batter. You may have to scrap the sides of the bowl and mix again to combine completely. Make sure there are no sugar or butter chunks.
Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and measure cake batter evenly into each pan, about 226 grams each.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the cake pans.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy.
Crumb coat your cake first, find an easy tutorial here.
Once your cake is crumb coated, frost the outside smooth.
Next, make the decorating frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and powdered sugar. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined. Then add the water and speed mixer up to high for 1 minute or until light and fluffy. Separate into five small bowls.
The food dye amounts are so small I can’t give you measurements for. I just winged it and added green until I got the green color I wanted. Same for yellow. For the purples, mix pink and blue together, using more for the dark and less for the lavender. For the orange, mix yellow and pink and use more yellow than pink, about 2 parts yellow 1 part pink.
Once the frostings are colored, put them into piping bags with Ateco tips. I used #18 for yellow, #21 for orange, #32 for dark purple, #96 for lavender and #56 for green. You can use any tips you choose, just look for star shaped tips to make all kinds of different flowers.
Pipe the stems first, then pipe circles, roses or make up different shapes for the flowers. Have fun with it!
Store in a cake dome for up to 3 days.
Gluten Free - Replace the all natural cake flour with 198 grams (1 1/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend, my favorite is Namaste Organic Perfect Flour Blend.
High Altitude - Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.