HOMEMADE Playdough

Day 47 of Quarantine :

… we are out of both playdough AND food coloring LOL

here is a simple recipe I found to make your own homemade Playdough + also a couple ways to make your own food coloring using things from your fridge !

IMG_6862 2

The BEST Homemade Playdough by Domestic Superhero

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • gel food coloring
IMG_6863 2
    1. Mix together all the ingredients, except the food coloring, in a medium saucepan.

    2. Cook over low/medium heat, stirring. Once it begins to thicken, add the food coloring.

    3. Continue stirring until the mixture is much thicker and begins to gather around the spoon.

    4. Once the dough is not wet, remove and put onto wax paper or a plate to cool.

      After cooling (30 minutes) knead playdough for a few seconds.


  1. Store in an airtight container in the fridge!

Recipe Notes

The above will make you ONE large ball of playdough. I usually make it repeatedly for however many colors I want (so if you want 6 big balls, know that you will need 6 times the ingredients listed above, but you need to make them separately).


IMG_6866 2


1) Choose The Source Of Color.

Sources for natural colorings can be found all over the place, and many may already be in your pantry or fridge. More on how to turn these ingredients into food coloring below, but here are my favorite sources for certain colors. (The ingredients I used in this post are in italics.)

  • Pink: strawberries, raspberries
  • Red: beets, tomato
  • Orange: carrots, paprika, sweet potato
  • Yellow: saffron, turmeric
  • Green: matcha, spinach
  • Blue: red cabbage + baking soda
  • Purple: blueberries, purple sweet potato
  • Brown: coffee, tea, cocoa
  • Black: activated charcoal, squid Ink

2) Consider The Flavor.

One thing that natural food colors have—that commercial colors don’t—is taste. Because the color comes from real food ingredients, a small amount of flavor will remain in the final icing. The more color you add to the frosting, the more it’s going to taste like that ingredient. This may not matter much for ingredients like fruit, matcha, coffee, or cocoa, which are commonly used in baking, but it makes things tricky for ingredients like squid ink and spinach.

3) Keep Your Expectations Reasonable.

The challenge with naturally-occurring food colorings is that they aren’t as intense as commercial ones. So, my best advice is just to accept that off the bat: Your red won’t be pure red, but the colors have unique tints all their own. The key to achieving the most vibrant color is to start with as concentrated of a base as possible. While you won’t be able to achieve colors quite as intense, the goal with DIY colorings is to make them as opaque as possible from the get-go for the best results.

4) Understand Powder Bases Versus Liquid Bases.

There are two ways to make DIY food colorings: powders and concentrated liquids. Powders are the easiest way to make DIY food colorings because they dissolve easily and are already somewhat concentrated, meaning they can lead to more intense color. You can purchase many fruits and vegetables in powdered form, or you can make your own by buying freeze-dried fruits and vegetables and pulverizing them to a fine powder in a food processor or spice grinder. Some ingredients—like cocoa, coffee, tea, and spices—are naturally in powdered form, and you can add these directly to a frosting. Depending on the ingredient, this can lead to slightly clumpy results, so you may want to dissolve them in a small amount of liquid (milk, water, etc.) beforehand.

The second way is to make a concentrated liquid. The liquid can be pure juice, a strained purée, or water-based: If you have a juicer, use it. It produces the purest liquid that you can reduce to the proper consistency. Pureés are also good, though they may contain some solids (you can always strain it), and a thicker final liquid. I made a purée for the blueberry-based coloring by bringing the blueberries to a simmer, puréeing with an immersion blender, then straining the purée. The water method isn’t the best, but it’s a great way to get color from certain ingredients that need to be infused (for the saffron coloring, I infused the saffron in warm water). Whatever method you use to make a liquid base, you always have to reduce it. When you reduce a liquid, water evaporates—this basically ensures you’re ending up with as concentrated a color as possible and getting rid of of excess water that could negatively affect the recipe you’re adding it to. I reduce liquids until I’ve reached about 1/4 cup.

5) Know That Heat Can Play A Role.

I usually use these natural food colorings in cold applications, to tint frostings, icings, and glazes. It should be noted that while many of these food colorings could successfully tint baked goods, like cookie dough or cake batter, heat can be an impeding factor, as many of these colors can change when exposed to heat, becoming duller or browner. It should also be noted that the food colorings themselves should be cooled completely before you add them to any recipe.

IMG_6887 2



– Elise

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s