How to Dye Shredded Coconut Using Food Coloring

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Bring color to plain white shredded coconut and turn it into a decorative element.
Bring color to plain white shredded coconut and turn it into a decorative element. (Image: Tammy McAllister/iStock/Getty Images)

Dyed, shredded coconut provides a convincing background for any number of decorations on a cake. Green coconut works well as grass, yellow coconut makes a whimsical duck and blue or green can be used to make cartoon characters. Food coloring is nontoxic, so it's safe to use on anything edible and flaked coconut is porous enough to easily absorb the colors.

Things You'll Need

  • Sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Gel food coloring
  • Waxed paper
  • Zip-top bag (optional)

Place 1/2 cup of sweetened, shredded coconut in a bowl.

Add 1 drop of gel food coloring to the bowl.

Mix the coconut with a spoon until the color is even throughout the coconut.

Add more food coloring and mix again until you're happy with the color intensity. If the color is too dark, add more sweetened, shredded coconut and mix again.

Pour the coconut onto waxed paper and allow it to dry before you use it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try mixing primary colors to get secondary colors by mixing the gel food coloring before you add it to the coconut.
  • You can use your hands to mix the coloring into the coconut, if you prefer.
  • Put the coconut and coloring into a zip-top bag and shake it well for a mess-free method of mixing.
  • Food coloring can stain skin and clothing.

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