Natural Dye for Easter Eggs

Cabbage. Red onions. Turmeric. Beets. They all make beautiful dye for Easter eggs, and it’s all-natural, too.

And what a lucky discovery: the dye that was left on the paper towels as they dried? Made some of our eggs even more beautiful.


And they are still just as delicious!lj041914eggs04

We also got some beautiful striations from the metal bowls I was dyeing the eggs in. Look at that green one about 8 o’clock!


I followed the handy guide in a recipe over at The Kitchn: Vibrant, Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs.

The basics: For each cup of water, add 1 cup of whatever vegetables or fruit gives you the color you want.

Red cabbage = blue eggs.lj041914eggs07

Beets = pink eggs.


Measure your water (I used 2 cups for each), add your dye-r and bring to a boil. Then let steep, like tea, for as long as it takes to get the color you want. (You can check by putting a little on a white plate.)lj041914eggs09



Then strain the vegetable matter:lj041914eggs15

And into the bowl add 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each cup of liquid. lj041914eggs16

You’re golden.

For eggs, I bring a pot of water to a boil, add my eggs, then boil for exactly 9 minutes.

lj041914eggs11 lj041914eggs12

Then I use a slotted spoon to remove them into an ice bath.

I did all that the night before, so that Sam and I could get busy dyeing eggs once she got up!lj041914eggs13    lj041914eggs17 lj041914eggs18

Beets, turmeric, red cabbage, onion skins and, my experiment: hibiscus tea. (Eh. I wouldn’t recommend it.)lj041914eggs19 lj041914eggs20 lj041914eggs21  lj041914eggs23 lj041914eggs24 lj041914eggs25  lj041914eggs27 lj041914eggs28

I left them for about 2 hours, while Sam napped.

I think it was a rousing success.


Natural Dye for Easter Eggs

Use 1 cup of each for 1 cup of water unless noted.

Blue: Red cabbage on white eggs
Green: Red cabbage on brown eggs
Pink: Beets on white eggs
Red: Beets on brown eggs
Lavender: Red onion skins on white eggs or Red Zinger tea (1 bag)
Yellow: Turmeric on white eggs (2 tablespoons)

Use a separate pot for each color you want. Chop or shred vegetables in a food processor. Add to a pot with the right ratio of water (1 cup to 1 cup). Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Let steep while it cools. Strain into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar for each cup water.

Submerge eggs in dye for at least 1 hour, and up to 2. They don’t seem to take on much more color after that.

To make crackled eggs, use a stainless steel bowl and move the eggs around.

To make tie-dye eggs, let them drain together on paper towels.

If you wish, you can polish the eggs with oil after they dry.


Originally published Apr 19, 2014 @ 10:00

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