Mary Ann's Blog

Easter Treats To Dye For

It’s getting to be crunch time for making and decorating those Easter Bunny cookies and hard boiled eggs. The dilemma is how to safely color these treats for the neighborhood Easter Egg Roll.

I am very suspicious of artificial food coloring and have eliminated using it, choosing instead to color and frost cookies and Easter eggs using natural foods.

Cranberry juice makes a really pretty pale pink frosting when mixed with confectioners sugar. Just a tad of cooked and pureed red beets (don’t tell the kids) results in red the shade of jolly Old Saint Nick’s suit and a pinch of powdered paprika dissolved in a little warm water gives a nice sunny yellow shade. Fresh blueberry juice will give a nice hue to white hard boiled eggs, and if you like speckled looking eggs then wrap the eggs in some cheesecloth and simmer them in a pan of brewed teabags. I’m still working on perfecting a natural green color, though, remembering from my school days that mixing yellow and blue usually results in green.  And there is always the option of just making a white icing and forgetting about coloring altogether.

My Easter cookies and hard boiled eggs may not have as much "bling" as their artificially colored counterparts, but they shine on their own as a wise baking decision when it comes to doing just a bit more to put natural back into the foods we prepare and enjoy.

Looking for some inspiration? Browse Ciao Italia cookie recipes here!

Happy Baking!


  1. Linda Kerschner's avatar

    Linda Kerschner

    I remember my great-grandmother making Easter "pocketbooks," nests made from sweet dough that were baked with dyed eggs as the contents. I wish I had the recipe for these treats that she brought with her from her little town near Cassino.
  2. Louise Rega's avatar

    Louise Rega

    I seem to remember a Little House on the Prairie episode where they used onion skins to dye wool and it ended up being green. Not sure how accurate this is but thought I would share!
  3. gina's avatar


    Linda, check out the blog savoringeverybite for something similar with the dyed eggs in a cookie "basket" idea though maybe you are in search of something more of a bread...
  4. christine shugrue's avatar

    christine shugrue

    Please tell Mary Ann that my family is from caltaniseta Sicily. since so many have passed away I am happy to have her cookbooks that I have time to cook and bake

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