All-Natural Tinted Buttercream

ombre frosting
Photo: Raymond Hom
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
4 cups

Color us impressed. We've always wanted a natural way to tint frosting any shade, and new plant-based food dyes let us go Technicolor.


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • McCormick Color from Nature food colors, in Berry, Sunflower, and Sky Blue


  1. Beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, milk, and salt and beat until buttercream is smooth. (At this point, buttercream can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 days; before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth.) Use food colors to tint as desired.

Cook's Notes

For the hues shown, place 1/2 cup buttercream in each of seven small bowls. Tint as follows, then let stand 10 minutes before using to allow dyes to fully saturate.

Add 1/4 teaspoon Berry and 1/8 teaspoon Sunflower.

Add 1/4 teaspoon Berry.

Add 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower and a pinch of Berry.

Add 1/4 teaspoon Sunflower.

Add 1/8 teaspoon Sky Blue and 1/8 teaspoon Sunflower.

Add 1/8 teaspoon Sky Blue.

Add 1/8 teaspoon Sky Blue and 1/8 teaspoon Berry.

Related Articles