The life of a cake decorator is not always easy. There have been many cakes where I have had to pull the icing off and start over. The gold cake trend was by far the most challenging trend to date. I mastered a couple gold cake after many failed attempts. If you are looking at making a gold cake, I recommend a bit of research and trial and error. I practiced a couple different techniques on flat fondant pieces before trying it on the cake. Below are a couple different techniques I tried during the creation of both cake.
1) Edible Confetti Quinn - Edible Confetti is a great sugar candy to decorate with. Fun & creative cakes can be made by adding edible
confetti to the outside of a cake. You can buy edible confetti at any bulk store (Bulk Barn in Saskatoon). One of my trials included a yellow and orange piece of fondant rolled out. After wetting the fondant pieces, I layered the edible confetti on top trying to cover every spot of fondant. This gave me a base for a textured confetti gold cake. I did not use this method on the textured gold cake which I will explain why below.
2) Wilton sprinkles - The second textured method was using the Wilton Gold Sprinkles. Same as the edible confetti, I started with a yellow and orange piece of fondant. I made the fondant wet and began layering the sprinkles on the cake. These do not cover as completely as the confetti but they did add a texture to the cake. This gave the base layer for the textured gold cake which you see in the picture above. This method was the most successful which I will explain why below.
3) Wilton Pearl Dust vs Luster Dust - These were two products I used to cover the fondant, confetti and sprinkles in gold. Both of these powders can be used two different ways.
The first is in a vodka mixture. This turns the powder into a liquid. This is a great technique for a base layer or on a smooth fondant cake. I used this technique on the 90th Birthday Sunset cake above. I used gold luster dust mixed with vodka
to paint the sunset cake. The red part of the sunset was made with red Pearl Dust mixed with vodka. I blended the mixtures until I got the desired look.
The second is pure powdered Luster Dust. I recommend the Luster Dust over the Pearl Dust due to the higher coverage it gives. The Pearl Dust is weak in comparison to the Luster Dust. The Pearl Dust can be bought at Michaels and I bought the Luster Dust from Pfeil & Holing (www.cakedeco.com Super Gold).
4) Adding the Luster Dust on the Confetti vs. Sprinkles - This is where the challenges started arising. For the textured gold cake, I started with a vodka gold Luster Dust mixture. Once the wet layer was on, I added the powdered Luster Dust layer. Above, I stated that I tried this on a yellow and orange piece of fondant. The two different colors produced different gold looks. The yellow created a vibrant gold where the orange was a bit more of a copper color. If you are using a copper or bronze gold, I recommend using orange fondant as a base. In this case, the yellow fondant created the bright gold I was looking for.
The confetti quinn was the challenge. Because they are colored (red, blue, green, etc.), the gold did not cover the dark pieces well. You could still be the confetti color through the gold no matter how many layers of the gold Luster Dust were added. The texture was very nice looking so I recommend using the quinn only if you can find it in yellow or white.
The sprinkles were the texture of choice. Because they were gold already, the gold Luster Dust added a shine to the sprinkles while covering the yellow fondant equally. Once the layers were added and the cake dried, the sprinkles and dust did not move and kept the cake shinning.
There are other options which I did not try and have heard mixed feelings about:
5) Non-edible or edible sequins - Another option is to use sequins. You can buy gold edible sequins but you will not want to pay the high price. They are through the roof expensive. The other alternative is to use regular non-edible sequins. If you are going to use this option, I recommend using it on a cake that is not edible. Now that isn't fun which is why I did not use this technique. A cake is meant to be eaten. The cake on the right is an example of a sequins covered cake.
6) Gold Airbrush- This is quite popular but also costly to get yourself set up with an airbrushing kit. Airbrushed cakes can be covered quite nicely so this is an option to cover sprinkles or confetti quinn. Once again, if you use this
technique on a textured cake, I recommend finding a white or yellow confetti quinn to ensure full coverage.
7) Gold Leaf Paper - Gold Leaf Paper is also a choice for flat fondant cakes. This cannot be used on textured cakes. This technique is very challenging and can be costly. The paper is very brittle and can easily rip. This paper can give an uneven paper technique like the picture on the left. This paper is very shiny and vibrant as well.
If you have tried a gold cake, I would love to hear your experiences with the technique of your choice. The gold cakes are beautiful and a great challenge to try if you haven't yet.
Happy Caking everyone!