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_SweetsugarbelleLustre 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 DustI’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 2Sometimes 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 DustBecause 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 IcingWhen 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 2I 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 3Oh 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, co consider this the neat version.

Using lustre dustThe 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 make a huge goof, eat it, put it on the bottom of the pile, or cover it with a flower or something.

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 eat 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.

Join The Discussion



  1. 51
    Roula Lainas says:

    I love the tips and tricks, and honesty :). You are the best!



  2. 52

    I really love all of yours secrets and tips, all of them are very usefull for me. I am new in this art of cookie decoration!!

  3. 53
    Seth says:

    Are you able to use this to color icing? If not, do you have any suggestions on how to make silver icing happen?

  4. 54
    Kristin Bertucci says:

    Do you taste the alcohol when you mix the dust with it?

  5. 55
    Amy Watkins says:

    Hi, thanks for the great post. I was wondering if you can use these dusts to paint on to buttercream icing that’s been refrigerated so it is set hard? I’m making a gold cake for a friend’s birthday and I’ve only ever made buttercream cakes.

    • 55.1
      Ginger says:

      My solution for butter cream is Wilton icing coloring spray. About $3-$4 a can, tales one to cover a 6-8″ round cake. But it turns out awesome! Spray on once you have finished icing the cake :) hope this helps!

  6. 56
    JOanne DePalma says:

    Is there a way to make metallic royal icing to pipe directly rather than pain it on afterward?

  7. 57
    Roberta Diane says:

    I love the cookie cutter, where can I find one?

  8. 58
    Sabrina says:

    Awesome article, I really like how you show us each different type of gold and silver. Very helpful, thanks a lot!


    P.S.: Nobody would have noticed if you hadn’t pointed out your little mishaps. ;)

  9. 59
    tiffa says:

    loveeeee this all

  10. 60
    Shri Vidya says:

    The tuitions for making flowers out of royal icing is excellent. Thank you soo much. Can these flowers be used to decorate cakes?


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