Sparkling stars are one style of edible glitter.
There are a variety of tools in the cake decorator’s arsenal, from cake coverings such as buttercreams and fondant to specialized decorating elements, including gum paste and pulled sugar. Many of these require sophisticated skills, but glitter can be applied successfully by any baker with an eye for color. Add this to my Recipe Box.
About Edible Glitter
Edible glitter is a food-safe product manufactured primarily from gum arabic, a common ingredient in industrial food production. Gum arabic or another gelling agent is prepared with a suitable food coloring and occasionally sweeteners of flavorings, and set into a thin, shiny film. This film can be cut into shapes for specific applications or seasonal markets, or processed into flakes of any desired size from 1/50 to 1/4 inch. The end result is a shiny powder that can add sparkling color to any cake.
Using Edible Glitter
Edible glitter can be used in many ways to decorate a cake. Small quantities of glitter can be scattered over a cake’s icing decorations, lending them eye-catching highlights. Various colors of glitter can be combined into pictures, or used to create decorative accents in every color of the rainbow. Glitter can also provide an area of contrasting color near written messages or other accents. Skilled practitioners can use glitter to decorate the sides of a cake, leaving the top free for more sophisticated work.
Using Glitter Shapes
Aside from the production of colored flakes in various sizes, sheets of glitter can also be cut into tiny shapes such as stars or hearts. These can be especially effective when placed as a random element throughout a design, lending an unobtrusive accent to the other decorations. Stars can be used for Christmas, New Years or July 4th, while hearts are appropriate for weddings, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Shapes are appropriate as well for individual desserts or cupcakes.
Other related products can be used in conjunction with edible glitter to achieve spectacular results. Petal dust, for example, is a dry powder that can be painted onto dried buttercream or fondant coverings to create pictures or realistic flower petals. Luster dust is similar, but with a cool metallic sheen. These varying layers of matte and gleaming finish permit talented designers to create very striking and artistic imagery on a cake, when combined with glitter.