Gold Tier!!

Decorating By CakeCanvas Updated 8 May 2016 , 10:35am by imaan

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CakeCanvas Posted 4 Jul 2015 , 10:04pm
post #1 of 15


I have an upcoming wedding cake to make and the lady whom the cake is for wants the top tier to be glittery gold. I understand that not all metallics are edible, but it was insisted that the top tier should be gold. How would you guys suggest I go about doing this? 

I was thinking about using the gold PME or AmeriColour spray. I had only tried the Wilton Spray once and because of the horrible results I never bothered with sprays. But the top tier of this cake is 10" and using dusts to paint on it wouldn't be ideal. 

Please help! 


14 replies
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Magic Mouthfuls Posted 5 Jul 2015 , 10:07pm
post #2 of 15

If your client is willing to pay for it, a great alternative is 24 carat gold leaf - its quick to apply, so your higher ingredient cost is somewhat offset against the lower labour cost.  But of course, top tier needs to be fondant.  Not sure if you are doing fondant or buttercream.

But with sprays, dusts, glitters, sequins etc just check if they have 24 carat gold in the mix and they will be edible.  Gold is a mineral, and we eat minerals every day.   But a simple check of the labelling should confirm whether its edible vs non-toxic - google the product you like the sound of and see what each supplier or the manufacturer lists as its edible vs decorative value.

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CakeCanvas Posted 5 Jul 2015 , 10:38pm
post #3 of 15

@Magic Mouthfuls Thank you for the advice! The cake I am making is fondant, but the client has already said they don't want to "splurge" on on the cake and I'm almost sure that they wouldn't be open to the idea of gold leaf. The wedding has 600 attendees, they have other sweets besides cake so the cake is moderately big. I've heard many times that the sprays alter the taste of the cake quite a lot. Would you have any suggestions for sprays?

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Magic Mouthfuls Posted 5 Jul 2015 , 11:23pm
post #4 of 15

i bought a PME or wilton silver spray once - it worked really well for about 1/2 the can then it went all blodgy and spattered everywhere = disaster.  I have since bought an airbrush but have yet to use it on an entire tier.  

If you decide to go with the can spray, then buy 3 cans so you can quickly swap to a fresh can when the nozzle starts to get splodgy .  And have some bottled metallic paint (ie alcohol & gold) or gold dust ready to go on the side to patch up or smooth out any spots.  It will take ages for a 10" so allow 1-2 hours + plenty of drying time.  

Dinkydoodle (UK brand) is another brand on the market besides PME & Wilton.  

As far as taste goes, I have only eaten it as small decorative details, rather than a whole slice, but the client I made a full tier of silver for, didn't mention the silver fondant tasting weird, she made more comments about the chocolate cake and ganache underneath (she ordered Australian chocolate mud cake with dark chocolate ganache - yet doesn't like chocolate - go figure!).  

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maybenot Posted 5 Jul 2015 , 11:28pm
post #5 of 15

There are lots of great edible alternatives available.

If you tint your fondant a brownish yellow and then spray it with ChefMaster, PME, or Wilton gold spray, you won't need to use as much and it will taste fine. Do several light coats, allowing it to dry in between.

You can paint the fondant with gold metallic airbrush food paint.  If you mix in some additional EDIBLE, FDA approved gold luster dust [from thesugarart,.com,,,] mixed with EverClear booze [or another clear high alcohol content liquor like gin or vodka (not rum--too much sugar)], it will take a few coats to get it streak free, but it will work well.

Here's info on some other options:

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CakeCanvas Posted 6 Jul 2015 , 6:43pm
post #6 of 15

@Magic Mouthfuls  Yeah clients are a handful sometimes! Thank you for your advice, I will definitely try a test cake before actually working on the order

@maybenot  Thank you as well for the wonderful idea, I don't know why I didn't think of tinting the fondant before hand! I won't be able to use alcohol for diluting the dust since the cake needs to be halal. I use clear lemon extract in replacement for that (:

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MacsMom Posted 6 Jul 2015 , 7:05pm
post #7 of 15

Duff's gold spray works great! No clogging like PME or Wilton. Dries fast, too.

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maybenot Posted 6 Jul 2015 , 9:26pm
post #8 of 15

I've personally had terrible luck with Duff's sprays.  I've had more than one full can malfunction and be unable to spray--not the nozzle, but some other portion of the mechanism.  I won't risk them anymore. 

CakeCanvas,  ALL extracts contain alcohol, including any vanilla extract that you use in the cake mix.  As a matter of fact, most lemon extracts contain more alcohol than many brands of vodka or gin. 

The sprays contain ethyl alcohol, as well.

The alcohol evaporates, imparts no flavor, and is not left on the cake [it's used as a carrying medium], but if trying to avoid alcohol is the goal, then extracts and sprays don't fit the bill. 

You can make a paint using vegetable oil.  It doesn't really dry, so the tier can't be handled after it's painted.  You can also dry dust the tier [that would be my last resort].

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Magic Mouthfuls Posted 6 Jul 2015 , 11:06pm
post #9 of 15

@maybenot is correct - the essences & extracts contain alcohol.  In fact in Australia, the supermarket check-out staff are briefed to deny the sale of more than 1 bottle of essence/extract to anyone under the age of 18, as it is known to be a cheap & hidden form of alcohol.

So, if you need to avoid all alcohol for halal reasons, then I guess you are back to 'crisco & dusts', or '24 carat gold leaf with piping gel'.

Wilton's gold star sprinkles might be safe, or some edible image icing sheet makers also make a metallic gold sheet (which you would have to buy lots of and join together in some clever way to make it look nice).

All the best!

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Lynne3 Posted 7 Jul 2015 , 7:58pm
post #10 of 15

If the only gold tier is the top, you can make a really glittery cake with a dummie tier.  Bride usually cuts the second tier.  If she needs extra cake, just charge her for a toer you leave in the kitchen to be served.  Then you can use gold glitter and make it really pop! 

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mmhassa2 Posted 8 Jul 2015 , 4:12pm
post #11 of 15 used pastel colored sequin from Bulk Barn and then used my airbrush to paint it can easily do gold :)

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CakeCanvas Posted 9 Jul 2015 , 1:43am
post #12 of 15

@Magic Mouthfuls  & @maybenot  Thanks for the reminder! I do understand that all extracts have alcohol content and that evaporation does occur as well. I've explained that to the customer as well and both they and I feel more comfortable using the extract.

@Lynne3  Yeah I had suggested that as well but she isn't willing to pay for a fake tier because she finds no point in it since she cant eat it, that you regardless! 

@mmhassa2  Thanks! you cake is lovely, and I just end up doing that! 

Thank you everyone! This has been incredible helpful! I really appreciate all your advice! 

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imaan Posted 7 May 2016 , 11:10pm
post #13 of 15


I was just wondering what you ended up doing with the gold tier as I have the same problem and cannot use alcohol. 

My client wants a 12" gold bottom layer and wants lace on top of the gold.

Any feedback would be great


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CakeCanvas Posted 7 May 2016 , 11:25pm
post #14 of 15

Hi @imaan ‍ 

I ended up buying the AmeriColour spray because the other PME bottles or Duff sprays didn't have enough coverage for the colour of the sprinkles. 

I've done gold lace before I usually spray it, or get the powder and lightly paint it using clear lemon extract. 

Hope that helps! 

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imaan Posted 8 May 2016 , 10:35am
post #15 of 15

Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately in Australia the Americolor spray is hard to find and i need it for next week. 

I won't be able to use the clear lemon extract as it has alcohol.

I might just colour the fondant an ivory and use gold lustre dust with a brush and hope for the best.

Thanks again. 

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