August 19, 2017

Making edible metallic glitter – a recipe:

Is your glitter edible? I am a little concerned that many people are unknowingly adding non-toxic glitters to their cake and cupcakes, in the mistaken belief that they are edible. These glitters are often sold along side edible products but are intended for decoration purposes only – to be used on items that are removed not to be eaten!!
Edible products that add sparkle are available however it is much more fun and cost effective to make your own. You can also easily make your edible glitter in any colour you might choose.

Here’s how to create edible metallic glitter:

(edible coloured glitter/fairy dust will be covered in a separate post, shortly)

edible metallic glitter

Edible glitter made from Gum Arabic and edible lustre dust

You will need:

½ teaspoon Gum Arabic
½ teaspoon hot water
½ teaspoon edible metallic luster dust in colour of your choice  – I use the Squire Kitchen edible metallic dusts
Paintbrush – flat headed or pallet knife
Non-stick ovenproof  sheet or silicone mat
Oven preheated to 140°C
Sieve or tea strainer

Mix the Gum Arabic, water and food dust together in a small bowl, it should look like thick paint.
Pour onto the non-stick ovenproof sheet and spread the mix thinly using a paintbrush or pallet knife, you will find it separates into globules, this is perfectly normal.

1 baking gum arabic to make edible glitter
Bake for about 10mins or until the mix is thoroughly dry and starting to peel away from the sheet.

2 baked gum arabic to make edible glitter
Remove from the oven and cool, then rub through a sieve or tea strainer

4 sieving-the-metallic-gun-arabic-glitter
The glitter particle size you obtain depends on the mesh size used.

5 course-metallic-glitter-made-with-gum-arabic6 fine-metallic-glitter-made-with-gum-arabic
Store your edible glitter in a small air tight container ready for use.
To use, sprinkle glitter on your cake and cupcake as desired.

8 cupcake-sprinked-with-edible-gum-arabic-edible-glitter

I hope I’ve  inspired to have a go ……Gum Arabic and edible metallic dusts are available from our online shop if you don’t already have these ingredients in your cake decorating kit.

Do let us know how you get on.

Happy baking



  1. This is an AWESOME tutorial! I can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Hi Suzn,
    Hope you have fun experimenting. Let us know how you get on!
    Glittering times ahead!

  3. Wow thanks for the tutorial, so excited about trying it! :)

  4. Alison hanns says:

    I saw a similar thing to this on a cookery chatsite a couple of years ago but lost it.
    So, thanks for sharing. It is so easy to do….I use a large pyrex plate and paint the coloured ‘glue’ straight onto the plate in a thin layer but I watch it in the oven like a hawk as I had some turn a nasty brown! ;0(.

    Ive just made sum pretty pale pink to use on forty eight butterfly cupcakes for the weekend, it looks so pretty, I’m well pleased with the result, thanks. Another good thing about making your own glitter is that you can varybthe size of the flakes AND more importantly, you know for sure that its definitely edible.

    I love your website and shop. And Lindy’s cakes are an inspiration. I tried making your lovely Tiger a while ago. Mine looked more like Tony the Tiger from the Frosties advert, but then I am a beginner! Lol

  5. Rachel Filmer says:

    I’ve raised this issue with manufacturers and have been told that the current “non-toxic non-edible” glitters are identical to the glitters they used to call edible, but the names had to be changed due to an EU ruling. The reason for this appears to be that the glitters cannot be digested and therefore cannot be called edible.

    Whether this is accurate or not is difficult to know – I have certainly eaten many cupcakes sprinkled with non-toxic glitter without any problems. However, it’s definitely useful to know how to make glitter that’s definitely safe to eat.

    Just wondering if you could use a pestle and mortar to make really fine glitter?

  6. I have been using ‘non-toxic’ glitter on my cakes. Before I did, I checked with the store that sold it and the manufacturer and they said the only reason it is labelled ‘non-toxic’ and not ‘edible’ is because it is not digested but just “passes through” as it were, but that it is fine for use on cakes. I hope they didn’t lie to me!

    It’s nice to know that I can now make my own and know what’s going in it.

  7. Hi Rachel,
    You are correct the glitters being sold by the manufacturers are non edible.
    This is why Lindy has come up with the recipe above.
    The pestle and mortar would be great for making this edible glitter even finer.
    Best wishes,

  8. Gina Tuley says:

    Thank you SO MUCH…This is AWESOME!!!!

  9. elizabeth mitchener says:

    Have been asked to do a birthday cake with glitter icing. Would I be able to knead some of the above edible glitter into sugarpaste then use as normal? If not any suggestions would be very welcome!

  10. Hi Elizabeth

    That sounds like a good way of making glitter sugarpaste. I hope it works out well!



  11. thanks for the recipe! cant wait to try it out and know that it is definately edible thanks again! ps to elizabeth thats a good idea! mut remember to try that one day ^_^

  12. There is a lot of confusion over the issue of “edible” glitters in the UK now. Interesting comment from Vincent Greenwood, Scientific Officer, FSA made in February of this year:

    “there are edible glitters on the market. Some are starch based, and others are made of mica with titanium dioxide. Both are safe to eat when compliant with food additives legislation.

    The term non-toxic in relation to glitter is legally meaningless. We are aware that a number of companies have changed the description of products from ‘edible’ to ‘non-toxic’, while still implying that they are safe to eat and will simply pass through the body undigested. As these materials haven’t been scientifically tested for their safety following consumption that claim should not be made.

    We would suggest that anyone looking to buy edible glitter check the ingredients. If it is starch-based or made of mica with titanium dioxide, it is considered edible. You should ignore any claims as it being ‘non-toxic’.”

  13. Hi,

    I was just wondering if using Tylo Powder would have the same effect as Gum Arabic? Am definitely going to try this!!



  14. Hello Charlotte,
    Tylo Powder wouldn’t have the same effect. We use Tylo (CMC) in sugarpaste to create modelling paste.

  15. Hi,

    Really nice DIY…totally in love with this post but the Gum Arabic is edible? do you have any particular place to buy it?


  16. Hello Camila,
    Yes, gum arabic is edible and you should be able to buy it at your local supermarket or cake decorating shop.

  17. Stacy Lynn says:

    Hi Lindy! Have you done the post on edible coloured glitter/fairy dust yet? I am looking for it and cannot find it! I would like very much to make it.

  18. Hi Stacy, Sorry but Lindy has been so busy writing her new book on colours that she hasn’t had time yet to do the post on glitter/fairy dust. With the NEC show coming up in early November she will be busy preparing for that as well. It is “all hands on deck” at the moment!

  19. hi
    thanks for the very informative and helpful tutorial. plz can u help. how can i make gold edible paste to do scroll work on cakes, it has to be metallic gold. tried mixing gold lustre dust with royal icing but it just becomes a dull yellow icing.

  20. Hi Chantal
    Try using autumn leaf Sugarflair paste colour with royal icing. Pipe that onto your cake and then paint with our edible gold paint or with lustre dust mixed with confectioner’s glaze.
    Hope this helps.

  21. Hiya,
    Was wondering which lustre dust you used here?
    It looks like it made a lovely warm gold from the photos. Otherwise which would you recommend for a gold that is not too yellow but not too orange?
    I was also wondering if you can use the SK sparkles and do the same?

  22. Hi Natanya
    We think that Lindy used Antique Gold on the blog post, but it is quite orangey. Light Gold is a lovely colour, not too yellow not too orange! We havn’t tried using SK Sparkles to make edible dust but think that they would be fab!

  23. HI everyone….

    I am needing blue and silver edible glitter for my daughters baby shower. Has anyone made silver …Do you have any pointers and suggestions to get the best sparkle possible?

    Thank you so much. On to our 3rd grandson.


  24. Thank you so much this info is awesome, we had to share it on our Facebook page!

  25. Hi Rebecca

    We don’t sell edible glitter unfortunately. Have you tried our “Sparkles” dust? It is not silver but more of a see through sparkle effect.

    Sorry we can’t help you further.

  26. vanessa says:

    has the post on the glitter/dust yet been posted its been over a year now… i would like to see that one as well

  27. Hello Vanessa,
    Unfortunately Lindy has not had the time to create this post yet.
    We hope you enjoy all of our other blog posts.

  28. Minette says:

    Hi, can the gum arabic in this recipe be substituted with CMC (tylose powder). Thanks….

  29. Hello Minette,
    The CMC is used for making modelling paste and wouldn’t work for edible glitter.