Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Using Natural Dye for Easter Eggs

This post is kind of surprising coming from someone like me whose middle name is practically "Wiltongelcoloring." I tint and sparkle almost everything I bake, even when I should just leave it alone. I can't open any cabinet in my kitchen without pots of food coloring or jars of sprinkles, edible glitters, non pareils, sugar pearls and dragees falling on my head. Until there is a 12 step program dedicated to "Embellishment Disorder", nothing will change any time soon. 

However, on my last trip to Munich I visited one of my favorite stores, Kräuterhaus LindigThe Original Upper Bavarian Herb and Root Shop

The smell is just heavenly in this gorgeous old fashioned shop. 

It like stepping back in time. There are tons of delicious natural skin care products, homeopathic remedies and great stuff to cook with. I always linger outside to look at the products in the window. This is when I spied a package of natural easter egg dyes and I had to try them.

The package contained 5 colors all made from herbs and roots:

Brown - walnut shells
Blue/violet -  brazil wood
Red - red sandalwood
Yellow - yellow wood
Green - mate leaves

The colors came out either intense or subtle. Nothing in between.

The green color was faint and the yellow turned out more orange:

Next time I will dilute the blue and red to get softer colors.

These are not traditional Easter colored eggs, however, I think they look quite interesting and almost elegant. 

I found another great resource from Diane's Desserts. She provides an extensive list of colors obtained from using fruits and veggies instead of the herbs and roots I used. The link is HERE.

Coloring Easter Eggs With Natural Dyes

  • Eggs with white shells
  • Natural dyes
  • Water

  • Use one pot for each color. I used metal and enamel pots to soak the dyes and then a saucepan to heat them.
  • Add 2 ounces of natural dyes to 4 cups of water.
  • Let stand 3 to 4 hours.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add eggs and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally to make sure the color is even.
  • Remove from water and cool.
  • Repeat with other colors.


  1. Wow, seems like you have been really busy with all the colouring there! And that is one very interesting shop, all dedicated to roots and herbs. How lovely.

  2. Wow I think these are so cool! I never knew that products like these even existed!

  3. The eggs look amazing! I love the natural dyes and have been experimenting for years to color my eggs with natural ingredients. Packets like that though would make it so much easier. :o)

  4. These are beautiful!! Martha's eggs couldn't have made prettier ;)!

  5. Your right they do look elegant. How fun, I love dying eggs at easter, brown onion skins always made cool patterns.

  6. Well, I think they're gorgeous...and yes, elegant. I do want to try natural dyes one of these years...time always sneaks up on me before I'm prepared and I resort to the "usual" dye kits. Oh well...I'll remember yours and hopefully be inspired ;)

  7. how amazing, I would love to try this with my girls this year!! i love the subtle colors!!

    thanks for sharing the link

  8. You can also dye eggs with onion peel! ;D That's how we do it in Russia. Just take a good amount of onion peel and boil it in water to make concentrated dye, and then put the eggs into it (leave the peel in). Makes for the loveliest red or dark red colour!

  9. This is so helpful :) I hope you don't mind I link to this post on my blog to give more reference on natural dying?
    Thanks so much for the post.
    take care!

  10. @guilty pleasures. Absolutely not. Post away! Thanks.

  11. Mate leaves give a darker colour if you let them ferment for one day. You can also put an iron nail in the bath and the colour will be from dark green to black. There are some samples ranging from yellow to black in my blog:
    Greetings from Argentina


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