Have you heard of disco dust? I've never used it myself but I see it often around the net.
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! That's 10 tons of plastic right there. I mean, that cupcake is dipped straight into a pile of it. Yuch! Disco Dust should be used sparingly on items that won't be eaten only.
Hopefully that was just done for pictures and no one actually ate that.
For an alternative to some of the glitters out there which can sometimes be called edible but are really just non-toxic (meaning that although not what we would call edible they will just pass through your system) you could use sanding sugar which would give you a sparkly look but is safer to eat.
I'm not actually a fan of sanding sugar, I don't like the crunchiness, but it would give you a sparkly alternative. Perhaps if you ground it down a bit it could give the sparkle without too much crunch - not sure, never tried it, just thinking out loud.
You can get some totally natural edible glitters - just do a bit of a Google search for them. You may have to buy them online but they are out there.
this is called edible glitter :)
you can get it from most cake shops
it is edible, but im not sure if it the healthiest thing
hope this helped!
ANot to mention whoever eats that will have tons of glitter coming out their other in the next day....never eating something with that stuff on it . It's meant for decoration on things that are edible but not eaten like fondant. I wouldn't want to give people a bunch of plastic to eat. I know a cupcake shop around here who has surrounded her business on using disco dust on all her stuff....not good and the customers have no idea.
Edible glitter cannot give that effect. You will get some glittering effect but NOT the example showed.
As was mentioned it most likely is disco dust OR crystle/sanding sugar. Either of the latter will give the cupcakes an unpleasent crunchyness.