Ombre Hard Boiled Eggs




About: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.

Disclaimer: if you have a problem with food dyes, this post isn't for you. 

The eggs in the pictures are PEELED hard boiled eggs, pretty cool right? I essentially color them the same way as the ones in the shell. I've done it before in this 'ible this time using an ombre effect that would make any spring or Easter table look beautiful. 

They're simple to make and would be a fun project for kids. It's easy to get any colors you like using different amounts of food color.

Once you're done admiring them you can use them any other way you'd use hard boiled eggs. I served them like my other 'ible making pretty Deviled eggs which I make for dinner frequently (and if my father is nearby there are always some that never see the dinner table). I think the pink and blue ones would look great at a baby shower. I chose yellow and green for Easter, you could do red and dark green at Christmas, etc. etc. 

The ombre eggs make a gorgeous egg salad, and taste just fine with a little salt and pepper, if you love plain hard-boiled eggs. 

There's no reason you can't make the same eggs with the shells on if you prefer. 

I think I most enjoyed this project because the pretty pastels make me think spring is finally here. Hopefully these ombre eggs can brighten your spring table too, enjoy! 


Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You'll need:

For dyeing: 
3 glasses or cups PER COLOR, each holding 1-1 1/2 cups of water (I used plastic cups) 
plastic spoons
plastic bottle caps from water bottles, or other bottles with caps, that can hold the eggs upright
newspaper- to contain any spills
paper towels and wax paper- to dry and hold the eggs
Optional, disposable gloves ensure your fingers don't get dyed

For the eggs:
Amount of eggs you desire 
White vinegar 
Food coloring (I used liquid) 

Step 2: Prepare Eggs

You can use your preferred method of hard-boiling eggs, here's mine:

Yup, here's my pressure cooker again! I'm not exaggerating when I say my $100 pressure cooker was worth every cent for the sole task of the ability to peel hard boiled eggs easily. If that's all I ever used it for, it would still be money well spent (though read many of my other instructables to find it makes great food too). My family likes hard boiled eggs for many uses and with shaky hands I've almost cried peeling eggs before. We buy farm fresh eggs and we all know by now the fresher the egg, the harder to peel, so I'd ruined many an egg with my increasingly useless hands (though my two dogs, the benefactors of the ugly eggs, didn't mind at all). Pressure cooking makes peeling even the freshest egg a breeze!

I originally learned about pressure cooking eggs from Michael Ruhlman who learned them from Laura Pazzaglia, her original post is, CRACKED! Soft, Medium and Hard "Boiled" eggs in the pressure cooker by Laura Pazzaglia

She has her own instructions, but I learned in my machine this is what works best for me: 1 cup of water in the base, set the eggs on a steaming rack above water, cook 4 minutes on low pressure, followed by a 4 minute natural release--Voila! Perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs. (If your eggs happen to be smaller than large sized, as sometimes I buy Pullet eggs, I'll cook 3 minutes on low, with a 3 minute natural release.) Soak them in ice water for 5 minutes, drain, then refrigerate up to 5 days, or peel and use as we're about to do here. Peel under running water, crack the top of the egg at the widest end, then rejoice as smooth egg after smooth egg becomes unpeeled. Transfer to a paper towel to dry.

Step 3: Prepare the Cups

Let me start by saying there are different methods on the internet to do this, I came up with a method that ended up being easiest for me. I chose to use 3 cups PER color so I could do multiple eggs at once, since water, vinegar, and liquid food color are relatively cheap, I didn't mind splitting them between 3 cups.

One optional method is to use 1 cup and one color, start with 1/3 of the egg in the dark colored water, after you reach desired shade, add water to the cup so the egg is 2/3 submerged, this dilutes the water color, giving a lighter covering, finally add more water to cover the egg giving the bottom 1/3 of the egg the lightest color. A cool idea, though you can only do one egg at a time.

Another optional method I tried for a hot minute, before realizing my hands are entirely too shaky, was to use one color and lift the egg higher every couple minutes to get darker coloring the longer the egg sits in the water. There was no way I was going to get the ombre effect with my hands unable to hold the egg at a consistent height. Again, you can only do up to two eggs at a time, having two steady hands.

Enter my method: For each color I used 3 cups. To get a base light color, I used 1 cup of hot water, mixed with 1 tsp. white vinegar, then I added drops of liquid color until I reached the color I wanted. The blue and pink only took 3 drops of their Neon colors to get light blue and light pink, the green and yellow took 6 drops. Use the plastic spoon and mix well.

The second cup held a plastic cap to hold the egg upright, 10 Tbsp. hot water (it helps if you put an egg inside to measure, sit it on the plastic cap and pour the water to cover 2/3 of the egg, leaving 1/3 uncovered, depending on the size of your eggs, the water amount may differ). I used 1 tsp. white vinegar, and more liquid food coloring to get a darker shade. The blue and pink used 6 drops each, the green and yellow, 12 drops. Use a plastic spoon and mix well.

For the darkest bottom 1/3 of the egg, I, again, put a plastic cap in the cup, and using an egg to measure, I filled each cup with 6 Tbsp. hot water, only 1/2 tsp. white vinegar, and 9 drops each blue and pink colors, 15 drops each green and yellow colors. Use a plastic spoon and mix well. 

Step 4: Ombre the Eggs and Use As Desired

Start by coloring the whole egg until the lightest shade you desire is reached, this can take 2-4 minutes, all depending on the color you want to achieve.

Transfer the egg to the plastic cap in the second cup (you might have to adjust the egg on the cap so the egg stands straight, it helps to dunk the egg first onto the cap so the cap sticks to it, and has liquid inside it, then slide the cap to the bottom of the egg and stand it in the cup), where it's 2/3 submerged in color. Again, wait 2-4 minutes until 2/3 of the egg is a shade or two darker than the lightest shade.

Transfer to the plastic cap in the third cup, where it will only be 1/3 submerged, and finish coloring the egg 2-4 minutes until the bottom 1/3 is a shade or two darker than the middle layer. 

Your eggs should look pretty cool by now, transfer them to a paper towel to dry off, then wax paper to air dry while dying the rest of the eggs. You can do as few, or as many, colors as you like. 

After everyone has admired your ombre eggs, you can use them as you choose; refrigerate and enjoy plain with some salt and pepper, make a pretty egg salad, or even prettier Deviled eggs. Happy Easter! 

Unpeeled hard-boiled eggs can be refrigerated up to two days. 



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    18 Discussions


    4 years ago

    so cute;i love that!

    Oo beautiful. Can you imagine these at an Easter buffet and or an Easter celebration at church where people bring baskets of Easter food to get blessed?

    Now that would be a show stopper. :)

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I love these! Did you use the neon dye you have pictured? I really like the results! Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Some confusion with the wording. You say the pics are of UNPEELED eggs, but they are in fact peeled and free of their shells. It may be cultural semantics but was confusing before the pics loaded up. Otherwise Good write up, and nice eggs.

    1 reply