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

Jump To Recipe Jump To Video

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!






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here


  1. Gorgeous as always. I really love the paper punch idea. The bottom and middle tier detail is beautiful!! Love it!

  2. @MsGF- Thank you! Thank goodness for wafer paper, it opens up so many options with gold & silver leaf!

    @Anniejoe- yay! We actually filmed a short little follow up video that I'll post on this page soon...a buttercream-frosted cake that we applied silver leaf to.

  3. Thank you, this is just what I needed. I was wondering how to put gold on a wedding cake and this lesson was perfect. Love the wafer paper flower, a great idea for the fragile gold leaf.

  4. Thank you all so much for your comments!

    @Dora--My best guess is that it would not work least, not when gold leaf is applied directly to whipped cream. I think it would be too difficult to neatly peel away the transfer sheets without moving the soft whipped cream right along with it. You may be able to use golf leaf decorative accents with wafer paper backing...but I would only apply these just before serving, as the moisture from the whipped cream may warp the wafer paper.

  5. Gorgeous and elegant without breaking the bank--- the decorators'is and the customers's. How much would you charge in your area per serving for a wedding cake like the one in the tutorial? How does this price compare to your regular fondant wedding cakes price per serving? I know it is Edible Gold Leaf, but any health conditions that people should not eat the gold that you know of?

    I would probably put the white piped border or the gold dragees as a border at bottom of top gold cake layer to finish it off. Personal preference.

    Without extra petals, the flower you made looks like a wafer paper ranunculus, which is very popular now too. Love the wafer paper flower and gold accents!

    You can buy gold shavings, which could be added to Dora's whipped cream right before serving.

    Love to show this cake to my brides. Gets me thinking about other designs....

    Thanks again Melissa.... I loved it!

  6. This is lovely. Can the gold leaf paper be used on a swiss meringue butter cream frosting, or a crusting butter cream, instead of fondant?

    Thank you