How to Color Coconut Flakes

I love the look and texture of large coconut flakes. When I was making my Honeydukes Inspired Pink Coconut Ice Cake,  I considered the possibility of coloring the large flakes, but I couldn’t find any information. Most online sources and cookbooks refer to shredded coconut and suggest placing it in a plastic bag with some food coloring and shaking the bag. This method has been around for a while since I remember doing this as a child at Easter time. It takes a quite a bit of shaking the bag to disperse the color and even then, the color is somewhat blotchy.

I tried this method with large coconut flakes and there were two problems. The first issue is that when you shake the bag, the coconut flakes tend to break, which ruins the the look of the large flakes as seen in the photo below left. The second issue is that you’re limited to bright colors. It’s nearly impossible to achieve a soft pastel with this method. I even tried adding some white gel food color to soften the color, and while it did lighten a bit, it wasn’t the soft color I was looking for.

How to Color Coconut Flakes                  How to Color Coconut Flakes

I thought about using an airbrush to tint the coconut, but most people don’t have access to an airbrush and I don’t even want to imagine trying to find the right shade of airbrush color. I decided to try edible petal dust, which is used to color sugar flowers. I was very pleased with the results!

To color coconut flakes, you will need:

Place coconut flakes in a large shallow dish. Place about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add a small amount of petal dust and whisk together with a small whisk. Add more petal dust until desired color is achieved. Sprinkle over coconut with a small sieve. Toss gently with gloved hands to distribute color evenly.