Add Dried Hibiscus To Frosting For A Natural Pink Hue

Hibiscus flower next to tea and petals
Hibiscus flower next to tea and petals - Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Whether you're a cupcake connoisseur or a muffin maven, all sweets lovers know there is no wrong way to enjoy desserts. That being said, some of believe that a creamy blanket of frosting makes any sort of pastry, confection, or cake instantly better. What's more, you may have an opinion on the best type of frosting, and whether it should merely taste good or also look beautiful.

Frosting is a whipped dessert topping typically made from cream, sugar, and sweet flavor enhancers like extracts or syrups. As delicious as it is, plain frosting is generally white to off-white in color, and lacks the visual pizzazz that some desserts deserve. Synthetic food coloring can kick up the visual appeal, but with the help of dried hibiscus flowers, you can make a frosting with a beautiful, naturally-derived pink hue.

Hibiscus -- a vivid tropical flower that happens to be edible -- is often used as an organic dye for fabrics, and can also stain your favorite sweets with a gorgeous rosy color, turning a plain dessert into a lively, colorful spectacle that adds style to a spread of sweet treats. Not only does adding dried hibiscus boost the visual flair of your favorite frosting recipe, but it also gives it a floral, fruity, and slightly tart flavor that is unique, but won't overpower your desserts -- functional beauty for the win.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Tips For Adding Hibiscus To Frosting

Dried hibiscus petals
Dried hibiscus petals - AB-7272/Shutterstock

You can purchase a pack of dried hibiscus from the supermarket, or even dehydrate petals grown in your own garden, but you may not know how to proceed from there. Try these few tips for perfectly integrating the flower into your frosting.

For starters, decide if you want flakes of flowers throughout your frosting, or a perfectly smooth spread with a more even color. If you want to experience noticeable pops of texture and flavor, simply grind dehydrated hibiscus petals down to your desired size, then use a spoon or stand mixer to mix them into your frosting. On the other hand, achieving a fully-blended frosting with an even pink color requires just a bit more work. You'll need to boil the hibiscus petals in hot water and strain out the solids to produce a pink liquid that can be added to your frosting recipe.

If you're sensitive to floral flavors or worried about distracting from your dessert, start by adding just a small amount of hibiscus to your frosting, and taste as you go. Taking it slow allows you to achieve a perfect balance of creamy richness and delicate, flowery sweetness.

Uses For Pink Hibiscus Frosting

Pink cake topped with flowers
Pink cake topped with flowers - YuGusyeva/Shutterstock

Although hibiscus-kissed frosting is tasty on its own, you'll need some ideas for putting it to use so that it lives up to its most glamorous potential. Spread the hibiscus frosting between layers of a classic vanilla or lemon cake to create a stunning floral-themed layer cake, whose familiar flavors are accented by garden-fresh aromas. Pro tip: Garnish with whole, clean hibiscus flowers for an extra touch of elegance.

Whether it's petit fours, scones, or miniature cakes, serving hibiscus frosting-topped pastries at a tea party will bolster the herbal notes of your favorite tea blend, while adding a lovely pop of pink to your assortment of sweets. Filling a buttery tart shell with a layer of hibiscus frosting and topping it with fresh, vibrant fruits culminates in a decadent, colorful dessert with complex flavors.

Finally, don't hesitate to try other natural dyes in your frostings, like matcha powder, beetroot powder, or dried turmeric. You'll have a robust tapestry of colors and flavors to pair with hibiscus. Whether you're dressing up a complex recipe or a simple, store-bought loaf cake that needs a little extra glitz and glam, how you use your pink frosting is only limited by your imagination.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.