heart-shaped cake with natural, dye-free pink icing

Natural, Dye-Free Pink Icing (with beets!).

  • Author: Bet Denton
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Enough icing for a 9x13 cake (or one heart-shaped cake!)


For the beets:

  • 3-4 red beets, peeled and sliced
  • water

For the icing:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid from cooking beets (more or less to get your desired shade)


For the beets:

  1. Place the sliced beets in a small saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated (you should have less than 1/4 cup liquid left). Reserve the liquid to use as dye!

For the icing:

  1. Whip the butter and about half of the powdered sugar for a couple of minutes. Add the vanilla and two tablespoons of milk. Gradually beat in the rest of the powdered sugar. Add more milk if needed, keeping in mind that the beet liquid will also thin out the icing. Mix in beet liquid to get your desired shade of pink!


Beet dye technique from Back to Her Roots, icing recipe adapted from my mom