Decorating with Gold Leaf and Wafer Paper~Cake Decorating Video Tutorial

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Incorporating metallics into cake designs is a trend that I love, and one that I think is here to stay.  

As cake decorators, there are a few ways that we can bring metallics to our designs... from the more muted shimmer of luster dusts, to glittering disco-dusted accents, dragees, hand painted designs, and a new favorite of mine~ gold leaf.  

Though a bit on the pricey side, gold and silver leaf are great options for decorating because of their eye-catching metallic shine, & also because they are edible.  Hooray for edible options!


Elegant gold leaf and wafer paper designs ! Member Video. Online Cake Decorating Videos, Tutorials, and Recipes!


Table of Contents


(The tier sizes for my cake were 4 inch/6 inch/8 inch.  My tiers were covered with Liz Marek fondant)

Gold Leaf- (aff. link) *Make sure to purchase gold leaf that is on transfer sheets rather than loose.  You can find gold and silver leaf online...and you may be able to find less expensive vendors.

Wafer Paper~ I found mine here.

Paper Punch~ I used a Martha Stewart lace punch

Piping Gel

Vegetable Shortening


Small Paintbrushes

Sugar Pearls

Fondant with tylose or gum paste (for ruffle)

Cel Pad & Ball Tool (Used for creating fondant ruffle)

Bubble Tea Straws or your supports of choice for tiered cakes

Miscellaneous:  Scissors, paint brushes, cake board for each tier plus cake pedestal/cake base





We will be working more with gold and silver leaf in a follow up video tutorial where we explore the use of these on buttercream.

As we mentioned in the video, gold and silver leaf are pricey. For a 25 sheet pack of gold leaf (approx 3x3 inches) the cost is usually around $45-$50. Silver leaf is closer to $30 for a 25 sheet pack. This is why cakes often feature the gold or silver leaf as accents rather than covering an entire tier.

Beautiful borders can be made also by cutting strips of wafer paper that has been covered in gold & silver.

My favorite method for applying silver or gold leaf to buttercream is to chill the buttercream in the freezer for 5-10 minutes (or longer in the refrigerator)...just until the frosting is firm.

The firm icing makes the process simpler because the icing is less likely to be dented/nicked in the process, and the slight bit of moisture on the surface of the frosting helps with attaching the silver leaf. If you do not have the freezer or fridge space, I would lightly mist the crusted buttercream with water. Enjoy the video!




Part One:  

Learn to cover a tier with gold leaf, and how to transfer gold leaf to wafer paper.  This is a wonderfully versatile technique which enables us to cut our gold leaf decorations freehand, or with paper punches.  The options are endless!

Part Two:  

We decorate the cake with our gold lace accents, add a fondant ruffle and pearls, & top off our look with a lovely wafer paper rose.



Here is a follow-up video using Silver Leaf on Buttercream!






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  1. Hi Maria- It would be fine to use gold or silver leaf on a crusting buttercream... I haven't tried it with swiss meringue buttercream yet!

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  4. wow... this is so cool.. i absolutely love it.. dying to make it right now but i have to order the gold leaf.. thanks Malissa and BeBe.. u guys rock

  5. wow... this is so cool.. i absolutely love it.. dying to make it right now but i have to order the gold leaf.. thanks Malissa and BeBe.. You guys rock

  6. Hi Melissa. Thank you SO MUCH for this wonderful tutorial! I have a wedding cake coming up that I have to use Edible Gold Leaf on all four tiers, but only on the bottom 1/3 portion of each tier. I want to make it look very elegant/neat at the bottom of each tier WITHOUT any border. I'm concerned about transferring each tier to stack into a 4 Tier Wedding Cake. I wondered if AFTER I transfer each tier to stack, can I patch any areas of gold that come off the bottom while sliding my spatula or cake lifter out from under when I place it on the previous tier? I know some people just "lift" their tiers with their hands after they've been covered in fondant and do it without any dents but I'm afraid to try this. I don't think I could lift my large tiers like that. It must look very neat between where the white tier below sits and the gold leaf at the bottom of the next tier starts. Any suggestions? Thank you so much! Sherri

  7. Hi Slfdillard, Yes you should be able to just lightly rub snippets of gold leaf over any places that need patching. I know it will be beautiful! (You can do a little practice patching just for peace of mind on a little scrap piece of fondant). xo

  8. Hi Melissa and BeBe, I’m placing gold leaves on buttercream. On the inner layers, I’m going to have a cream cheese icing (cream cheese flavored on the outside under fondant). Can I put the gold leaf covered cake in the refrigerator? It looks so delicate, I’m wondering if the moisture will damage it. Thanks in advance.

  9. Hi Debbie- I've refrigerated gold leaf-decorated cakes with no problem. As always, if there is condensation, you can sit the cake in front of a fan to dry but I don't think it will be a problem. (You could also do a trial run with a tiny bit of gold leaf on a smear of buttercream if you are worried)!