The BEST Product for an Edible Metallic Finish

In 2016, the top wedding cake trend was all things METALLIC.

Brides wanted everything from towering cakes that were covered in solid gold to delicate cakes intricately detailed with edible metallic accents – and I was ALL OVER IT! I have always been a little *ahem* bling-y (to say the least) — so this trend was right up my alley!

Have you ever been asked to make a metallic cake? A cookie? Maybe even a macaron or donut?

Wedding Cake with edible gold leaf and hand-painted name
24 Karat Gold Leaf

I’m sure the answer is yes, and if you’re anything like me you did what you always do and researched your butt off until you found the crown jewel.

How in the world was I supposed to achieve a metallic finish on a cake

I tried a million different products in the process. That’s right — one MILLION!
Okay, maybe not a million, but there are a TON of products out there that claim to give you a brilliant metallic finish on any confection you can imagine. Some definitely didn’t disappoint, but others were comical to say the least.

I tried everything from highlighter dusts, gold and silver leaf, and everything in between.

Why would something so popular be so hard to find?

Blue Watercolor Wedding Cake with edible silver leaf and hand-painted ropes
Edible Silver Leaf with Highlighter Painted Ropes

The products that gave me the best results were gold and silver leaf, but they were SO expensive and time consuming to use. You also could only cover entire surface areas with them, so any small metallic painted details were out of the question.

Highlighter dusts in gold or silver were the obvious option at the time. When mixed with vodka to the proper consistency, the dusts gave the most beautiful metallic finish. These products that were labeled “Non Toxic” or “Food Safe“. This meant that I could totally use them on my cakes, but I would have to educate my client on the proper removal of every part that was painted before serving their cake.

What a PAIN!

Of course they were BEAUTIFUL, because it would be way too easy for me to just stumble upon a product that was truly edible and worked the way it was supposed to! The slew of other dusts or paints that claimed to be “metallic” were just gold in color, or had a tiny bit of shimmer, and almost always came out streaky.

Remember what I said about the whole “mind blowing” thing? It’s coming, trust me.

Birthday Cake with Metallic Gold Highlighter Drip and Chocolate Sail
Gold Highlighter Dust Mixed with Vodka

I had done it. I had mastered the correct painting consistency by mixing all of these different brands of dust with vodka, I was a pro in brands that manufactured metallic products in the US, and I was left right back where I started.

Well — almost back where I started, plus a few grey hairs — did I mention that these highlighter dusts that I speak so highly of are a royal pain in the butt?

  • For starters, they are a bit expensive. So penny-pinchers like me try to save their dust in little cups after the alcohol evaporates which leaves you with a poof of dust that goes EVERYWHERE the next time you try to use it.
  • The dusts also flake and dry out as you paint, which poses a huge problem when you are painting details on a white cake and gold FLAKES ALL OVER YOUR BEAUTIFUL WORK!!! (Not that I’ve ever had that happen or anything)
  • If you spill it, it’s almost as bad as dropping a gallon of vegetable oil on your floor because cleaning it up is literally the worst.
  • It will ruin all of your paint brushes. Every. Single. One.
  • And forget about using a paint palette that you may ever want to use again.
  • What’s that, you put it in your sink with all of your other dirty dishes?
    (I once saw a photo of a lady’s dishwasher after she put her highlighter cup on the top rack — literally every dish in her machine was stained gold and greasy for the rest of its being.)
  • But other than that (and the whole not really being edible thing) they were PERFECT!
  • I could go on but I’ll spare you the reading …
Rose Gold Wedding Cake with Wafer Paper and Gumpaste Floral Wreath
Gold & Silver Highlight Dust mixed to a custom shade.

And can we talk about Rose Gold for a second? This color became insanely popular because, let’s face it, it’s downright GORGEOUS! But finding a true Rose Gold was like finding a needle in a hay stack — and to find an edible one? — FORGET IT!

I was nearly about to give up and just use the devil highlighter dust forever. If I had to explain to my clients at literally every meeting and pickup why and how they needed to remove their beautiful metallic accents so be it. I gave it one last ditch effort and boy did Google provide!


I stumbled upon THIS blog post by Viva La Buttercream.

Buttercream Painted with Metallic Edible Art Paint by Sweet Sticks Australia
Photo Credit Viva La Buttercream

Kerrie — I know you don’t know me, but you changed my life in more ways than one. In this short blog post, Kerrie reviewed Metallic Edible Art Paints By Sweet Sticks, an Australian based product. In the time it took me to read the post, I was instantly sold.

THIS WAS IT, the search was OVER! I had found the illusive metallic food paint that was 100% EDIBLE!

Well, I thought the search was over…

I could not figure out how to get my hands on this PERFECT product. Since it was an Australian product, it was super hard to find in the United States. After what seemed like hours of searching, I finally had the crown jewel of metallics ordered and headed from the land down under to cajun country for some testing of my own.

Did it pass the test, you ask? Uh, DUH!

It was perfection in a bottle. One coat for an even finish, it dried rub free, AND it was TRULY METALLIC!

Ya’ll. My excitement level was through the roof. Probably way too high for the average caker, but I guess I’m not average.

Pure Gold Metallic Edible Art Paint by Sweet Sticks Australia
My absolute favorite Metallic color: Pure Gold

Being the normal person that I am, I reached out to Miranda over at Sweet Sticks shortly after trying the paint (shortly being like 5 minutes after it dried on my test fondant) to see how I could start selling her paint in the US because I needed to tell people about this game-changing product.

METALLIC ALL THE THINGS because this stuff is the real deal.

I started stocking the paint in August of 2017 and am now the US Representative for Sweet Sticks. I have all of their products available on my website, as well as Amazon, and my Etsy Shop.

When I attend big cake conventions like SoFlo and Show Me Sweets to teach my cake designs, I also have a Sweet Sticks booth to share how this paint can change your cake game (and cookie, and cakepop, and macaron, and candy apple, — you get the point).

Holy Broussard of Sweet Elizabeth at the SoFlo Cake and Candy Expo

So yeah, there’s my journey of the search for the PERFECT edible metallic.

*(Not that my being a huge Steve Irwin fan growing up has anything to do with this, but I still feel like it was destiny! One of these days I will make my bucket list trip to Australia … but that’s a topic for another day.)*

METALLIC ALL THE THINGS because this stuff is the real deal.

If you want to see others using the paint, be sure to follow me on Instagram and check out my story highlights for all of the reasons you need this paint in your life.

Metallic Edible Art Water Activated Paint Palette by Sweet Sticks Australia
Photo by Sweet Elizabeth

OH! And guess what, now they make a PALETTE that literally looks like it came straight out of Sephorabut it’s for cake.


So, here’s to you, Kerrie, and your awesome blog post!

Published by Sweet Elizabeth

Baker. Instructor. Mom. Artist. Entrepreneur.

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