HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE
NATURALLY (IN RAINBOW COLOURS)
With coloured chocolate, you can make chocolate barks, dip strawberries or other fruits in chocolate, make a coloured chocolate gift or have a fun project with your kids!
Plus it’s an eye-catcher for the socials, right? Let me show you how to colour chocolate:
Plus, the best way is with this rainbow treat, that you can stick to your healthy diet, keep in shape, can eat your own SUPERFOOD CHOCOLATE, without any nasty food colours.
10 steps – How to colour chocolate in rainbow colours, naturally without food colour:
- Firstly, choose high-quality white chocolate.
- Cut them into small pieces.
- Place 2/3 of high-quality chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it in 20-30 second intervals on 50% heat, and reduce the interval length down to 10 seconds (depending on the amount of chocolate)
- Keep stirring thoroughly in between with a rubber spatula until the chocolate reaches 113-115°F.
- Now stop heating the chocolate. Take the bowl out of the microwave and while you keep stirring and the add the missing 1/3 of the chocolate to the mix.
- While the white chocolate cools down to 89°F or 86°F keep stirring (=tampering)
- Once it reaches the temperature and the temperating was successful, divide the chocolate e into smaller bowls.
- Add the powdered natural food dye, such as spirulina, matcha, butterfly pea powder, turmeric, dried lemon zest (powder) or charcoal and keep mixing each bowl.
- If the chocolate gets too thick you can add some drops of vegetable oil to each bowl.
- Finally, pour each coloured chocolate into a silicone mould, and let dry and harden at room temperature.
Omg, this chocolate colouring process has been so exciting,
and I can’t wait to share this with you guys!!
RELATED RAINBOW TREATS: 5 WAY CHOCOLATE-COVERED Mixed Nut Recipes (High Protein for kids)
RELATED RAINBOW TREATS: HOW TO MAKE The Easy Rainbow Smoothie (only 314 calories)
Recipe Video – Step By Step
food colouring vs
Natural food dyes
Artificial food dyes and their safety is these days highly controversial.
That’s one of the reasons, I rather use natural food dyes, like spirulina, lemon zest or turmeric to colour chocolate in this recipe.
But what are they exactly are artificial food dyes?
Food dyes are petroleum-derived substances, that give food their colour:
Is food dye harmful?
There is no conclusive evidence that food dyes are dangerous for most people.
The FDA and the EFSA, have decided, that the dyes are not classified as a health risk.
But studies have shown, that in some children,
artificial food dye could cause hyperactivity (insensitive children) and could cause allergies.
Also, it is been proven to be better for your health to avoid or eat less processed for in general, as the consumption of food dyes has increased over the years. While sometimes often product may contain not only one dye, and other preservatives.
On top of that, there is currently not enough evidence, that the dyes are connected to causing cancer, except the colour Red 3!
But, more research is needed still.
Did you know?
Artificial food colour is even being added to some smoked salmon, salad dressing or medications!
How to colour chocolate (in rainbow colours) – Recipe instructions
- 1 microwave or oven (to melt the chocolate on a stove)
Ingredients / Tools
- 1 bar white chocolate Any chocolate, that can be melted (or chocolate chips)
- ⅛-2 tsp natural chocolate dye (Like spirulina, turmeric or lemon, see the ingredient list)
Choosing the right chocolate
- Ideally high-quality chocolate. See more further down jump to "how to choose white chocolate".
Cut your chocolate
- If you have chosen a chocolate bar (instead of candy melts or chocolate chips), you need to cut it into even, small-sized pieces. I suggest using a big knife and chopping the chocolate on a wooden chopping board.
Melting chocolate 2 ways:
OPTION 1 – IN THE MICROWAVE:
- First, add 2/3 of your chocolate pieces, to a microwave-safe bowl.
- Continue by heating the microwave on 50% heat in 20-30-second intervals. Stir in between the chocolate (THOROUGHLY) until the chocolate is melted and becomes smooth. With each interval, you might want to reduce the length to 5-10 seconds in the end.TIP 1: If you only heat a very small amount of chocolate, then use smaller intervals. TIP 2: Don’t leave the chocolate in the microwave all the way, until it’s completely smooth. The chocolate will become smooth, by stirring, very thoroughly.
OPTION 2 – DOUBLE BOILER TECHNIQUE:
- Fill up a medium pot with about 3-4 CM (1 inch) of water to simmer, then turn the heat low. You only want to work with the steam, which will raise.
- Secondly, place a big, heatproof bowl (like a glass bowl), on top of the pot so it sits on it, and place 2/3 of your chocolate inside it.
- Then, heat the bowl for about 45-60 seconds on medium heat. (This depends on the amount of chocolate)
Check the temperature (tempering chocolate)
- If you have bought chocolate, that needs to be tempered (like compound chocolate), then you want to check the temperature in between.That's to ensure the melted chocolate, never goes beyond a certain temperature of 113-115°F. I didn't temper my chocolate the first time, and it still turned out okay, but it can leave white spots (bloom). If you want a shiny chocolate surface, then you want to temper your chocolate (learn more on how to temper chocolate).Otherwise, skip this part about the temperature, and simply stir the last seconds, until the chocolate is smooth.
- Then take the bowl, off the stove, or out of the microwave ensure to wait, until the temperature drops. This can take around 15 minutes.
- Or place it on top of an ice bath, to speed up to process.
- Keep stirring the chocolate.
- When the temperature reaches, 89°F or 86°F (32°C to 30°C depending on the chocolate), add the missing 1/3 of the chocolate to the bowl and keep stirring until smooth. TIP 1: You can get a chocolate thermometer for accurate results, which is key. TIP 2: Test if the chocolate has been tempered correctly, by spreading a little bit onto a plate. If it's drying within 3 minutes and becomes a smooth shiny surface, it was successful.
Transfer the melted chocolate into bowls:
- Now it’s time for the FUN part: Prepare small little bowls, and fill them with the melted chocolate. Use as many bowls, how many colours you want to dye the chocolate in.
Add your food colouring, into each bowl.
Mix the colour and chocolate
- Now mix it well until a homogeneous colour appears. Mix slowly, though.
Pour the mix into silicone moulds
- Simply, pour each colour into your favourite mould.There are plenty of silicon moulds to choose from online. Either heart, start or mermaid shape forms, or typical chocolate blocks.
- Then wipe over the mould with the edge of a bigger spatula (or blunt knife) the excess chocolate off. This ensures, that later the bottom of the chocolate is flat.
- Another way of spreading the chocolate is to try not to overfill the chocolate and mainly pour it into the centre of the mould. (easier way, but the end of the chocolate won't be as flat) Then push the chocolate with a spatula (or rubber sticks) to the corners and edges.
Let it harden & store it right
- Depending on the chocolate you used, you can usually let the chocolate dry and harden at room temperature. If you haven't tempered the chocolate properly, it may take around 30-45 minutes, until you can push out the chocolate. If you place the moulds inside the fridge to speed up the process, ensure to place a wooden chopping board or baking tray underneath, to the moulds sit 100% horizontal in the fridge, and won't dry unevenly.TIP: Some chocolatiers even suggest it's key to keep the chocolate cool, harden, and crystallise for a certain amount of time, to avoid chocolate bloom. They say, no to keep it too long, but not too short inside the fridge (14-18° degrees Celsius), until about when the chocolate pops out of the mould by itself, uns turned. For smaller items that are roughly 30 minutes.
- Chocolate, that is not tempered usually needs to be stored in a fridge, because it doesn't hold up well. In general, you should be avoiding placing chocolate in a fridge, to let it set though (more details on how to store chocolate).
- If you used Compound Chocolate, then you don't need to temper it. You won't have any problem setting with it, as it's made of cacao powder and oil, which is easier to work with. But it won't be as shiny, as couverture chocolate. It's great for chocolate moulds for example though and it's more resistant in warmer conditions, which is a great bonus.
Ingredients on how to colour chocolate
I never weigh the grams of the melted chocolate; how much I need per square. I just added a little bit more into a bowl, than I needed because when you start pouring it into the silicone mould some of the chocolate will be left behind in the bowl.
Always melt a little bit MORE chocolate than you need. And especially buy more chocolate, than you need.
Start by adding a little bit of colour (powder) to the melted chocolate first, because it might be stronger than you think. You can gradually add always more.
If your chocolate starts to harden, keep stirring it and a little oil.
10 ingredients (colour shades).
1. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE YELLOW?
Light yellow speckled chocolate: White chocolate + dried lemon zest (powder).
“Pastel Yellow” = Lemon Zest turned to powder Ratio:
Per piece: powder of 1 lemon (bit less)
This is the chocolate dye that took the most preparation.
But believe me: It was also super delicious. 🙂
Unfortunately, I used the lemon zest of nearly 1 lemon to colour in just 1 square of chocolate. To colour in a whole chocolate bar, you would need about 12 to 13 times the amount.
Maybe 9-10 lemons would be enough because I burned some of the mine lemon zest. ????
Plus, you can even freeze the whole lemons, and make amazing thick lemon smoothies and ice cream out of the lemon leftovers. So, it’s worth it.
Step by step instructions:
Heat the lemon zest (5 ways how to make lemon zest).
You can either heat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes (on low heat) or place it onto a baking tray and dry it in an oven for about 10-20 minutes on low flame.
My favourite option on how to dry lemon zest is to air dry it on a baking sheet (spread out) for several days.
It’s the safest option if you don’t want to burn it ???? (like I did)
Then you grind it, to a powder-like texture.
You can use a mortar (or backside of a spoon, or even a tamper) to press out the flavour and aromas of the zest. Or with dried lemon zest more likely to make a powder of it.
Warm yellow and orange chocolate: White chocolate + turmeric (+ red chilli peppers (optional)).
The more turmeric you add, the warmer and darker the yellow and colour becomes of the chocolate. Don’t add too much, as otherwise, you’ll taste the turmeric, and I don’t think it’s the nicest flavour ????
But you can also add some lemon zest powder to it, if you want a super-strong lemon tone, and overpower the turmeric flavour.
“Warm Spicy Yellow” = Turmeric Powder + Red Chili Peppers Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/4 tsp of turmeric + a dash of red chilli peppers.
“Warm Yellow” = Turmeric Powder Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/4 tsp
“Sunshine Yellow” = Turmeric Powder Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/8 tsp (or a bit more)
Brighter yellow: White chocolate + Bee Pollen (pressed to a “mousse”).
“Light Yellow” = Bee Pollen “Powder” Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp
Press the bee pollen, as much as possible. Using a mortar, end of a tamper (from a blender) or using the flat side of a big spoon).
First, when you add it to the melted white chocolate looks like it’s not colouring the chocolate at all.
Be patient. Keep stirring and possibly add more. Because when you mesh the pollen into a mousse, it kind of expands, and you think you added a LOT of it. While in reality, you didn’t.
2. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE GREEN?
Green chocolate: White chocolate + matcha (green tea powder).
“Darker Matcha” Ratio:
Per piece approx. 1/4 tsp of matcha powder.
“Lighter Matcha” Ratio:
Per piece approx. 1/8 tsp (or less)
If you add too much matcha, it becomes too bitter. But that’s a personal preference. White chocolate can be often quite sweet, so adding matcha can be great in levelling this out!
3. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE BLUE?
Blue chocolate: white chocolate + blue spirulina powder.
It is one of my favourites as always: I am a huge spirulina fan, because of its health benefits and its gorgeous blue and turquoise blue tones!!!
You might have seen some of my smoothies like the Tropical Spirulina Smoothie Bowl with Mango! Yum!
Plus, you seriously need a dash or sprinkle, of colour to colour in a square of chocolate. So even if you want to colour a chocolate bar bright blue, you don’t need much.
Start with a little bit, and add more if wanted.
Light “Turquoise Spirulina” Ratio:
Per piece: just a sprinkle/dash of blue spirulina powder.
Light “Sky Blue” Blue Spirulina Ratio:
Per piece: a bit more than a dash (2 dashes :D) of blue spirulina powder.
Pure “Royal Blue Spirulina Ratio:
Per piece approx. 0.5-1 tsp (or less) of spirulina + a few drops of vegetable oil, to make the chocolate thinner. Otherwise, it’s super thick and just powder you are working with.
4. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE MAGENTA / PINK?
Magenta Pink (+Pastel) chocolate: white chocolate + pink pitaya (dragon fruit) powder
“Light Pastel Pink” Ratio:
Per piece: less than 1/8 of a tsp of pink pitaya (dragon fruit powder).
“Bright Magenta Pink” Dragon Fruit Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/4 of a tsp of pink pitaya (dragon fruit powder).
5. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE LILAC/ROSE?
Lilac/pastel rose chocolate: white chocolate + wild blueberry powder.
“Pastel Rose” Blueberry powder Ratio:
Per piece: 1/8 of tsp (or less) of wild blueberry powder.
Light “Light Lilac” Blue Blueberry Powder Ratio:
Per piece: 1/2 tsp (or less) of wild blueberry powder.
6. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE PURPLE/LILAC?
Purple/Lilac chocolate: white chocolate + blue spirulina and wild blueberry powder or Pink Pitaya (Dragon Fruit Powder)
You can mix and match as many colours together as possible. This was just a test to see what colours the chocolate is turning into, by using similar colour tones, such as blueberry powder or a brighter pitaya powder. Not always you can see a big difference.
At least that shows,
that you can use different ingredients, to achieve a similar result.
“Warm Pastel Lilac” = Blue Spirulina and Blueberry Powder Ratio:
Per piece a dash of both ingredients
“Cold Pastel Lilac” = Blue Spirulina and Pitaya Powder Ratio:
Per piece a dash of both ingredients (touch more blue Spirulina)
“Lilac-Purple” = Blue Spirulina and Pitaya Powder Ratio:
Per piece: 1/4 of each ingredient (or a bit more)
7. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE RED (light)?
Red (speckled) chocolate: white chocolate + freeze-dried raspberries pieces (or ideally powder) and optional red chilli pepper
You can buy free dried raspberries either as a powder or as little pieces. It’s a great topping for yoghurts, even salats (YUMMY!), healthy fruit smoothies chocolate smoothies and dessert toppings.
They are 100% fruits, just freeze-dried, without added sweeteners. So super healthy, and super tasty.
That’s why I love adding the, also to chocolate, because they add a fruity taste.
If you don’t have powder or want to add a structured look, then use the freeze-dried pieces, that I used.
- Cut them on a chopping board (don’t use your favourite knife), together with the red chilli peppers (optional) into tiny pieces. TO be able to colour and dye the chocolate better.
- Then you can add them to the melted chocolate.
If you want to turn a lot into a finer structure, you could also blend them. But I wouldn’t blend chilli peppers, as I think they could scratch your blender from inside.
“Red Speckled” Ratio:
Per piece: less than a 1/4 of a tsp of Freeze-Dried Raspberry powder: + vegetable oil to make the chocolate thinner, and a sprinkle of red chilli pepper.
8. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE RED-PINK?
Red-Pink white chocolate + Freeze-dried Strawberry powder (+partly pitaya)
A flavour explosion, guys! I licked the melted chocolate off the spatula! ????
“Peachy Beige” = Strawberry Powder Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/4 tsp (or a bit more) of strawberry powder.
“Soft Red = Strawberry Powder Ratio:
Per piece: about 1 tsp (or a bit more) of strawberry powder.
“Peachy Beige” = Strawberry Powder Ratio:
Per piece: about 2 tsp of each strawberry powder (+ a little oil).
“Magenta Red” = Strawberry Powder and Pitaya Powder Ratio:
Per piece: about 1/2 of pitaya powder and 2 tsp of Strawberry Powder + oil.
8. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE GREY?
Grey chocolate: white chocolate + blue matcha (butterfly tea powder)
Have you ever used butterfly pea powder?
While I was expecting to turn the chocolate blue (as it does, when adding it to fluids, like teas, water or even smoothies).
But instead, the powder turned it silver (and even sparkly ????).
Mape it’s because the ratio was too high? Would anyone know?
It’s very high in antioxidants, it may promote even weight loss, stabilises blood sugar, and is good for skin and hair health.
“Blue Matcha – Butterfly Pea Powder” Ratio:
Per piece approx. 1/4 tsp of butterfly pea powder.
10. HOW TO COLOUR CHOCOLATE BLACK?
Black chocolate: white chocolate + activated charcoal (powder)
Black Activated Charcoal Ratio:
Per piece approx. 1/8 tsp of activated charcoal (or less)
There are plenty of other possibilities for you on how to colour white chocolate, or possibly even try to colour dark chocolate or a mix of dark and white chocolate together in one mould?
- cinnamon (turn white chocolate brown)
- crushed/ powdered black sesame seeds (turns white chocolate grey chocolate- look at this great post)
- crushed/ powdered yellow sesame seeds (add sweetness to chocolate bars)
- other freeze-dried fruit powders
- & other herbs, spices and powders
Please let me know in the comments, if you have experimented with other flavours, or thought of other ideas, of how to dye chocolate?
Is this recipe vegan?
White chocolate is naturally not vegan. Because it is made with cacao butter, sugar and milk products. But nowadays you can also buy vegan white chocolate, that does not contain dairy products, so you can make your vegan-friendly recipe. ????
Regular white chocolate is not vegan. It’s typically made of cacao butter, sugar, and milk products.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Most white chocolate is gluten-free, so are the other ingredients, in this recipe.
Is this recipe dairy-free?
Yes, it is if you buy white chocolate, that is without dairy. As mentioned there are chocolates that you can buy (mainly online) that are vegan friendly, and made without dairy.
Otherwise, you can also get candy melts (not chocolate), which is a substitute for chocolate, and is great to melt.
They are fine for anyone who’s lactose-intolerant.
How To Choose White Chocolate, That Melts Well?
The best chocolate that melts well is chocolate high fat and cacao butter content.
That’s why dark chocolate melts very well. Dark, high-quality chocolate with 70% or more content of cacao solids, is good chocolate to choose from. Because it’s not too sweet and has a rich chocolate flavour.
But dark chocolate is great if you want to add colour, as it’s too dark.
While dark chocolate contains a minimum of 35% of cocoa butter and no milk solids. So that’s why it’s harder to melt, but not impossible.
It just burns faster! Watch out!
Size & uniform.
Small chocolate drops are easier to melt because they are uniform and small in size. Yay!
Meaning, they don’t be in danger of burning easily, which is often a problem when it comes to melting white chocolate.
But they should be high quality, for example, chocolate from Ghirardelli.
Candy melts VS chocolate drops.
Ensure either way, that no additives or flavou
You can also use candy melts (which is not chocolate) or chocolate drops, which is already in small and even pieces.
Which makes it easier when it comes to melting the chocolate.
Candy melts are being often used to substitute for chocolate because they are easy to melt, and used for decorating cakes and more.
They are made from sugar, milk solids, oil, flavourings and dyes.
That’s why they don’t taste as good as chocolate, or chocolate drops (which do contain cacao).
they are also not as healthy, which is the main reason, I am avoiding them in my recipes.
(but no judgement – shortcuts are necessary sometimes, right?!)
If you want to choose a high-quality (white) chocolate, that melts well you could opt-in in for
It’s a great choice for melting because it doesn’t burn as easily and its texture is smoother.
On top of that, it contains a higher amount of cacao butter and even contains chocolate liquor (like dark and milk chocolate does).
The chocolate must contain a minimum of 35% cocoa solids and 31% cocoa butter, to be called couverture chocolate.
BUT couverture chocolate doesn’t hold up well in warmer climates, compared to compound chocolate.
Temper Your Chocolate
As mentioned, some types of chocolate need to be tempered when you want to meet them, especially high-quality couverture chocolate.
Other types, that are easier for melting, like compound chocolate won’t need to be tempered.
The reason is to avoid chocolate bloom from happening. It is when you see white/ grey particles and spots on top of the chocolate.
How to avoid chocolate bloom.
Yes, the chocolate bloom is the thing when the surface is not even smooth but gets these grey spots or marks.
There are 2 types of chocolate bloom, which is a structure change you can see on the chocolate.
You are speaking of a sugar bloom when the crystals have formed by the action of moisture on the sugar.
If this ever happens to you, you can melt the chocolate again, pour it into moulds, and let it cool at room temperature. The chocolate is still safe to eat, but might just look different.
WHY IS CHOCOLATE BLOOM HAPPENING?
Chocolate bloom can happen when you haven’t tempered the chocolate (fat bloom), or the chocolate has been in contact with humidity (sugar bloom), through storing the chocolate in humidity conditions.
How to store chocolate
- Always store your chocolate in a dark, dry place.
- Keep humidity away from chocolate.
- Keep smells away from chocolate (herbs, cheese: like from a fridge)
- The ideal temperature would be 20 degrees Celcius (in a box, sealed box ideally)
Storing the chocolate is key, to not get chocolate blooming again, those grey crystallising structures on top of the chocolate, we’ve talked about.
Because you don’t want it to be too warm, or humid, it might become mouldy or collect condensation.
It might be too humid in the fridge and cause also the chocolate bloom from appearing (the grey dots and filter).
Airtight containers or sealable bags are also good. Or aluminium or opaque paper, because they help to keep out light and humidity.
Can chocolate expire?
The higher the cacao percentage, the longer the shelf life, usually.
If you keep it refrigerated or frozen, you can extend it, but ideally should be only placed there if you live in a hot country. Opened white chocolates are good around 4 months.
Milk chocolate is good unopened around 1 year.
While dark chocolate should last around 2 years, unopened.
How long does handmade chocolate last?
(For best flavour)
You can extend it if you store it in the right conditions. And it also depends on what other ingredients are added to the chocolates.
However, post powders dyes don’t expire before the chocolate, unless you add toppings.
Always check if it smells weird or mould appears.
Colouring chocolate questions:
Comments & Feedback
Did you love this rainbow recipe and the way how to colour chocolate in SO, SO many dazzling shades??
Which colours look the most impressive and have you tried? 🙂 Hope it inspired you to try it yourself 🙂
Let me know any questions, that would be amazing 🙂 All the best,