Edible Gold Powder Gives Frosting A Shimmering Finish

For the past few years, our social media feeds have been bedazzled with the trend of shiny, glistening baked goods, lattes, and cocktails adorned with sparkling edible glitter and shimmering finishes. Perhaps most impressively, there's been a surplus of cakes and cupcakes decorated with metallic or chrome-looking gold icing, which are just shiny enough to have us questioning how exactly the baker achieved an effect so brilliant.

While these regal tones of gold seem like they'd contain some secret only to be known by professional bakers, you'll be glad to know that they actually couldn't be any easier or attainable to achieve. All you need is some edible gold powder or luster — which is different from edible glitter in that it creates a shimmer instead of a chunky glitter — a strong alcohol like Everclear, and powdered sugar. The secret to making the gold powder turn into a decadent frosting is actually the use of alcohol — the higher the alcohol content, the quicker it evaporates and leaves the frosting with a mirror-like finish.

Edible gold powders and lusters can easily be found at your local craft store or from online retailers like Amazon. To create your frosting, start by combining about three-quarters of a cup of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of gold powder together into a bowl. Then, add a tablespoon of alcohol and stir the mixture. Slowly continue to add more alcohol until the consistency is to your liking.

Using shimmering gold frosting

Before whipping up an entire batch of gold frosting to ice an entire cake with, it's important to note that this tip works best when using it for accent purposes. If you're looking to make a whole cake gold or pipe gold frosting onto cupcakes, it's better to use an edible luster spray or paint the luster powder on after piping.

This particular technique using powdered sugar is ideal for piping words, drips, or designs onto cakes, cupcakes, and cookies — afterall, "happy birthday" written in edible gold is certainly an elevated look. In fact, you can even use royal icing with this method, which is an icing that dries hard. The only difference here is that you'll pipe a neutral shade of royal icing first, and then with your mixture of gold powder and alcohol, use a soft paintbrush to paint over top of the designs. Not only does the alcohol assist in the shimmer payoff, but its quick evaporation also ensures that the royal icing doesn't dissolve from the liquid.