How to Make Gold Icing…and Silver Too!

Lustre dust…sparkly magic powder with the power to give plain royal icing a beautiful metallic sheen.

Metallic Gold Icing_Sweetsugarbelle

Lustre dust comes in tiny little pods like these.  At over three dollars for just two grams, it might seem a bit pricey…but trust me a little bit goes a long way.

Gold Lustre Dust

I’ve tried about every goldish color of lustre dust on the market and after experimenting with all of them, I am particularly fond of Golden Bronze, Super Gold, Old Gold, and my all-time fave, Aztec gold .

To apply simply mix a small amount of powder with Everclear, vodka, or alcohol-based flavoring and paint on with a brush.  Use a smaller brush for more delicate work and a wider brush to cover larger areas.

Metallic Gold Icing 2

Sometimes it takes more than one coat to get the best coverage.Using Lustre Dust2If you’re still not getting the desired effect, try changing the color of the base icing..  Here are the colors above swatched on a white and yellow base.  In my experience, using colored icing under less intense shades seems to give them a little boost.  Darker shades provide pretty good coverage no matter what’s underneath.

Left to right: Golden Bronze, Aztec Gold, Super Gold, Old Gold

Gold Royal IcingI have a few favorite silver shades also.  Nu silver is a bright, true silver.  Silver foliage has a greenish tint and moonstone is almost a pewtery hue.

Silver Lustre Dust

Because I love y’all, I swatched the silver colors too.  The top example is on a white base, while the bottom is on gray.

Silver Icing

When I use lustre dust I work out of tiny dishes like these.

Gold Icing Color

Because it’s too expensive to waste I simply leave it out until all of the alcohol has evaporated.  When it is dry it looks like this.

Gold Icing Color 2

I keep it in a box with the rest of my colors until I am ready to use it again.  I’m sure there’s probably a better way, but if I wasn’t a little disorganized I wouldn’t be me.  The point is, you can paint out of the same pot indefinitely.  Just add more liquid.

Gold Icing Color 3

Oh yes, and for those of you wondering how I paint so perfectly, here’s my secret.  I DON’T!  At the risk of embarrassing myself I pointed out every single boo boo I could see.  Since I knew I was going to show off my sloppiness, I was especially careful.  If I make a huge goof I eat it, put it on the bottom of the pile, or cover it with a flower or something.

Using lustre dust

The moral of the story?  We’re always much more critical of our own work.  Chances are your “huge mistake” probably won’t be noticed by anyone else.

If you plan on covering a large surface area it is probably best to use an airbrush or color mist spray.  You can read about that and more HERE.

If you want to learn more about lustre dust check out these helpful links:

If you’d like to buy lustre dust Country Kitchen Sweet Art and Global Sugar Art both have  great selections.  They also carry lustre spray which I mentioned before HERE.

*Keep in mind that although these dusts are non-toxic, they are for decorative use only and should not be considered a food product.  In other words, they probably wont kill you, but it’s probably not smart to drink a pod of lustre dust.  Opinions on the matter vary.  My advice is to use at your discretion.  If baking for the public, check with your client before decorating just to be sure.  You might also try FDA approved platinum dusts.  The colors are limited, but they can often be used in place of lustre dust to achieve the same effect.

*Alcohol based products are the best way to apply lustre dust.  Even flavoring extracts have alcohol in them.  If this is not an option for you, I suggest bypassing wet application altogether.  Water does not work.

I hope this inspires you to make your cookies shine!

Join The Discussion


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  1. 41
    Amanda says:

    Great idas!!! thank you!! What shape are these cookies? Love it, and can’t find a cookie cutter like that.

  2. 42
    Asmita says:

    I love these cookies. I wanted to know what is the consistency you have used to write on the cookie and what is the font, please. Simply love it!

  3. 43
    Amie says:

    I want to know how you get the lids off these things!! I have a box of these pesky bottles and cant ever get the tops off to use them!

  4. 44
    diana munoz says:

    Thank you for sharing! Your cookies do always look Perfect! It’s good to know you too get some oops! ;)
    Love your work.

  5. 45
    Cathy Osgood says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! My daughter is getting married this summer & wants me to make her cookies!…I need ALL the help I can get! You are generous & I am very grateful!

  6. 46
    Sarah says:

    Thanks for this blog post! Quick question…can I try for the same effect using Wilton pearl dust??

    • 46.1
      Chris says:

      Unfortunately this lustre is non-toxic, meaning it is not edible but it won’t poison you! It’s like giving a child a crayon to chew on. Yuk.

      There are plenty of other lustres that are edible. Try Rainbow dusts.

  7. 47
    sue ellen says:

    a lil’ vodka on a q-tip takes all those little mistakes away. and it stays shiny

  8. 48
    Payal says:

    Looks really very nice

  9. 49
    Ashley says:

    Thank you for another informative post. I got a few pots of lustre dust for a birthday present last year and have had no idea how to use them. Now I’ll have to give them a proper try :)


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