Hey, Sheen Queen! Here's How to Add Metallic Shimmer to Your Cake Designs

Hello, shimmery bliss! Adding drama to your cakes and cookies is easy if you know how to add metallic tones to royal icing. The magic trick: luster dust.

Let me show you how to get your golden gleam on.

What You Need


1. Pipe the Design

Fit a piping bag with any tip you like and pipe your royal-icing design. Set aside until the royal icing has completely hardened, which can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight.

2. Make Luster Paint

Pour some gold luster dust into a small bowl. Add alcohol or extract a drop at a time, combining until you get the consistency you want.

3. Layer on the Gold

Paint the royal icing with luster paint. Let dry before adding another layer. Add as many layers as you like to create a deeper finish or even another hue.

Shimmer Tips

Go Beyond White Icing

Tinting royal icing gives you way more color choices. Brushing gold luster paint onto brown royal icing creates an antique gold hue; do the same with pink royal icing and you'll make rose gold. Want to switch to silver? Use gray or black royal icing.

Be Patient

Royal icing has to harden completely before you brush on the metallic color; otherwise, your decorations can crack or get smushed. So plan ahead and start the project a day or two in advance. Depending on how humid it is outside (or in), you may need more time than you think for the royal icing and luster paint to dry.

Remember Water is Your Enemy

Even the tiniest amount of moisture can crush your cake-decorating dreams. Clear grain alcohol and extracts like vanilla or lemon evaporate quickly, leaving just the color behind.

Use the Right Brush

Small lines or beaded borders need a fine-tipped paintbrush to cover them well. For larger areas, like a cookie surface or cake rosettes, use a brush with a stiff, flat edge.

Get the Right Consistency

Use an eye dropper or bottle with a tiny opening to add liquid to the luster dust, stirring the mixture after each drop with the tip of the paintbrush until you get the texture you want. A thinner paint gives you a more shimmery finish while thicker paint (as in ketchup-thick) looks more matte.

Buff Out Streaks

If streaks appear while you paint, wait until things dry, then buff with a dry brush and a small amount of luster dust. Just dip the brush into the luster dust and swirl it around the surface to soften the streaks and amp up the shimmer.

That gleaming royal icing will make everything it touches look a little more majestic. So have fun and gleam on!

February 14, 2019
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Hey, Sheen Queen! Here's How to Add Metallic Shimmer to Your Cake Designs