Using gold foil for cake decorations is a terrific way to add elegance, class, and glam to your dessert. It may seem strange and possibly even dangerous, but adding gold leaf to edibles is actually a fun and completely safe way to jazz up a cake and other baked goods.

Interested in learning more? Stick around. We’re breaking down all you need to know about edible gold leaf sheets and how to use them on your next cake. Let’s get started. 

Table of Contents

Is Gold Foil on Cake Edible?

You’ll be happy to know that edible gold loose leaf sheets are totally edible. This is, of course, assuming that the gold is indeed labeled as edible. Edible gold paper comes in a variety of formats, with some coming as refined 24 karat gold and others as a bit less pure. Some edible gold leaf types even come as imitation leaves. 

It is important to note that while edible gold leaf can be consumed, your leaf should be marked as edible gold before you consider eating it. Most edible gold will be made of real gold, and if it isn’t, it will be marked as an imitation edible gold leaf. 

Either way, you should refrain from eating gold leaf found in craft stores that aren’t specifically marked as edible. Otherwise, you may end up consuming alloys and compounds that aren’t necessarily intended for human consumption. 

gold foil for cake

Edible Gold Foil for Cake Decorating

As mentioned before, using gold foil leaves for cake decoration is a great way to add a bit of art and glitz to your dessert without needing to spend a ton of money. Though not necessarily cheap, gold leaf sheets may surprise you in terms of price. Applying high quality gold leaf may cost you more than a tube of sprinkles, but for special occasions, you’ll likely find gilding your cupcakes, cakes, and pastry as food decoration worth it.

How Do You Apply Gold Foil to a Cake?

Using gold foil paper for cake is relatively straightforward, but there are definitely a few things you’ll need to know before getting started. Below, we’ve given very specific details about how you can achieve beautifully decorated cakes using gold leaf sheets for a sophisticated feeling without needing to spend top dollar to do it. 

Gold Foil Paper for Cake

First things first, and that’s to remember to double check that the gold leaf you are using is edible. Edible gold leaf for cakes can be purchased online or in select stores. 

In addition to edible gold leaf for cakes, you’ll also need something to apply the gold leaf with. You may find it helpful to have a pair of tweezers on hand, along with a small paintbrush or makeup brush, and cotton gloves. Although these supplies are optional, you’ll certainly find them helpful as gold leaf is delicate and can easily blow away or wrinkle. It is, for this reason, we recommend you avoid touching your gold leaf with bare hands and that you use the tools we’ve described here instead.

To apply the gold leaf, try the following:

  1. Using a steamer or small paintbrush, apply a thin layer of water to the surface of the area of the cake to be gilded. The thin layer of moisture allows the gold leaf to stick in a better way. 
  2. Put on cotton gloves to protect your gold leaf from the oil on your hands and fingers. 
  3. Using your tools (paintbrush, makeup brush, or tweezers) carefully pick up your gold leaf and apply it to the area of your cake where you first applied the water.
  4. Continue to lay your genuine (or imitation) gold leaf this way until complete. If this is your first time using gold leaf as cake decoration, consider looking up a decoration idea for inspiration prior to handling your gold sheets. This will prevent waste.
  5. Use another small makeup or paintbrush to clear away any excess edible gold left behind. Use these scraps to sprinkle over drinks, cupcakes, or other edibles as a sparkling addition.

Why Is Gold Leaf So Cheap?

If by now you’ve looked into the price of buying gold leaf square sheets, you’ve likely wondered why the pricing is much cheaper than you may have expected. The reason? The gold used to cover the surface of your cakes is pounded so thin that it is only a fraction of the gold bar used to make it. Other factors contributing to its price include its purity, as other metals are sometimes combined with gold to make it cost less. 

Remember that gold leaf is an extremely thin layer of gold, and therefore, this purchase won’t cost you as much as a piece of solid gold jewelry would. Still, if you buy gold leaf in large amounts, you may find it to cost more than you expected. 

Why Is Gold Foil So Expensive?

Although gold leaf may seem cheaper at first blush, the truth is that if you buy a lot of it, the cost will certainly add up. Moreover, you shouldn’t expect to buy a bottle of gold flakes for the same amount of money you’d buy a bottle of rainbow sprinkles. Still, because the edible gold flakes are often made of genuine gold, you can expect your investment to be well-worth it, especially if you are using the gold foil for cakes commemorating a special occasion. 

Gold Foil For Cake Decorating: Inexpensive and Simple!

All in all, you can use gold leaf sheets for a variety of purposes, including cake decorating! When using gold leaf for cooking purposes, make sure the gold leaf is labeled as being edible before use. Additionally, make sure the leaf is attached to the cake by a thin layer of water as this helps it adhere better. 

Use gold sheets over chocolate cakes, delicious vanilla cupcakes, chocolates, and so many other food types for a hint of luxury. 


Why is gold leaf edible?

Edible gold leaf is often pure gold. Gold is “biologically inert” meaning that it doesn’t react with the biological tissues it comes in contact with. In other words, eating pure gold in the form of edible gold leaf isn’t likely to harm you.

Where can I buy edible gold leaf for cakes?

Edible gold leaf is usually found in stock online. There are also specialty shops that sell gold leaf, however, you should ensure that the gold leaf you’re purchasing is indeed edible, and not the type used for small projects in craft stores. 

Can gold leaf be used for baking? 

Yes, use edible gold leaf for baking virtually anything. So, go ahead. Get creative! 

Get 10% OFF on your first order

Sign up to our newsletter and get 10% discount on your first order. Check your inbox for the discount code and use it at checkout!

*Terms and conditions apply

You have Successfully Subscribed!