Edible Glitter Recipe

Edible glitter is easy to make and can usually made with ingredients already in your bakery! Make a little or make a lot to add some sparkle to your edible treats. 
↓ Recipe Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 Tablespoons
black edible glitter

Edible glitter to be considered fully edible needs to be made from ingredients that are considered food by the FDA

This edible glitter recipe is sparkly, easily customizable and made from 100% edible ingredients.

how to make edible glitter

So what’s considered edible? Well if you gain nutrients from eating the product and it is FDA approved as food, then it’s considered edible.

If the product is labeled non-toxic, then it’s not edible and should be placed on food in a way that would make it easy to remove before consuming (like painted-on fondant that you can peel off or on toppers that can be easily removed)

Is it safe to eat edible glitter?

There are a lot of products out there that claim to be edible but are just non-toxic. What does non-toxic means? Well imagine you ate a crayon.

Can you eat it? Yes

Will it kill you? No.

Will it taste good? Probably not.

Is it edible? Technically not.

See, when something is considered non-toxic, it just means it will pass through your body without harming you but you also do not get any nutrients from it so therefore, it is not a food.

Make sense?

Ok let’s move on.

edible glitter recipe

Is disco dust edible?

Disco dust commonly refers to a product that is considered to be non-toxic but not edible. You know what else is non-toxic? Actual real glitter. The plastic stuff you buy at the craft store literally is the same thing as disco dust. Do you really want to eat plastic? I didn’t think so.

Just say no to disco dust unless you’re putting it on a part of the cake that can be easily removed and is very clearly not meant to be eaten.

Edible glitter ingredients

The great thing about making edible glitter is that it’s pretty dang easy. You probably already have all the ingredients you need for it in your shop (if you’re a cake decorator). You can also switch up your colors and dusts depending on what you have on hand, but I prefer to use TruColor metallics.


Because they are 100% natural mica-based pearlescent pigmented metallics with tons of shine. They also come in a variety of beautiful colors! They are made with real minerals that are safe to consume and I think that’s what gives them their extra shine power.

How do you make edible glitter?

For this tutorial, I am using the deep blue shine dust. My favorite color! It was actually an Elite gift for December because I wanted everyone to love it as much as I do, haha. So if you’re an Elite member, you’re in luck because you probably already have this dust!

If you don’t have it, you can order it from Amazon

The basics of this recipe comes from my sheet gelatin recipe which is basically turning powdered gelatin into a sheet that kind of resembles plastic.

  • Measure out 1/4 cup cold water into a shallow container
  • Sprinkle in 5 teaspoons of knox gelatin powder
  • Let gelatin absorb into the water for 5 minutes
  • Heat for 30 seconds, stir and and another 15 seconds until fully melted. Don’t overheat it.
  • Skim off the white foam with a spoon and discard
  • Just mix your melted gelatin with whatever metallics you would like. Don’t have any trucolor? I have also made this glitter by combining a touch of food color and some super pearl dusts from the sugar art 
  • Pour the gelatin over the plastic wrap and let dry out overnight
  • Break it up, put it in a food processor until it’s finely ground and voila! Edible metallic glitter

This dark blue edible glitter is perfect on our black textures wedding cake tutorial and adds that pop of sparkle that makes the sprinkles look extra moody and gorgeous!

black wedding cake

Gold edible glitter

Truly gold sparkly edible glitter is hard to come by. I’ve experimented with many different recipes and I think I have come up with the best solution while still keeping things edible.

  • Follow the same base recipe for making edible glitter
  • Mix 2 tsp of gold shine with 2 tsp of water and let hydrate
  • Add the gold mixture to your gelatin and spread onto your plastic wrap
  • Add 3 squares of real metallic gold leaf to the surface of the gelatin and let dry overnight

The addition of the gold leaf will add a little bit more shine and sparkle when the mixture is ground up. This DOES add some added expense. Remember, making something with real quality ingredients will also increase the cost.

gold edible glitter

How to make edible glitter without gum arabic

Some recipes for edible glitter can get pretty complicated and call for ingredients that are hard to find. I totally understand this and feel your pain. That’s why I have tried to make a recipe that is fairy easy to make and have included alternatives in case you can’t find exactly what I used.

Gelatin powder is carried in pretty much every grocery store all over the world in the baking section.

If you can’t use gelatin for health or religious reasons, you might try experiments with agar agar which is made from seaweed.

What is sparkling sugar?

In this day and age pinterest can be super helpful but you know what else it has? Tons of mis-information and crappy tutorials that basically lie to you. For years now, there has been this image of straight up non-edible glitter on this website boasting an easy edible glitter recipe. You know what it is? Granulated sugar with food color in it. This is sometimes referred to as sparkling sugar or sugar crystals and MAY have a bit of a shine but is far, far from glitter. Don’t fall for this edible glitter tutorial fail.

edible glitter recipe

Where to buy edible glitter?

So maybe you’re like me and sometimes you just do not want to make one more thing, you just wanna know where to buy it and be done with it!

Well you’re in luck, there are a few FDA-approved, edible glitters out there. A quick google will bring up some searches but here are some links for your benefit.

where to buy edible glitter

This Flash Dust from Never Forgotten Designs is by far the most popular and sparkly edible glitter that is FDA-approved that is on the market right now. I’ve used it on many different things and the benefit is not only that it’s super sparkly but it’s a very very fine powder so you can’t taste it in your mouth and a little bit goes a long way! Read more about this very unique edible glitter on the NFD blog

Watch my video on how to make edible glitter. Sub out the colors and metallics to customize them to anything you like!


Kitchen tools to make the edible glitter recipe

Spice Grinder  This is pretty much a must for getting that superfine glitter texture. You can use a blender or a food processor but it’s almost impossible to get the really small pieces.

Metallic or pearl dust from Michaels, TruColor or thesugarart

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
black edible glitter

Edible Glitter Recipe

Edible glitter is easy to make and can usually made with ingredients already in your bakery! Make a little or make a lot to add some sparkle to your edible treats. 
5 from 18 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
dry overnight: 23 hrs 20 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2 Tablespoons
Calories: 33kcal


Edible Glitter Ingredients

  • 2 oz (57 g) cool water
  • 15 grams (5 tsp) knox powdered gelatin
  • 1 tsp (1 tsp) metallic dust (such as pearl dust from michaels or www.thesugarart.com)


Edible Glitter Instructions

  • Pour water into a shallow dish. sprinkle gelatin evenly over the water and let it absorb for 5 minutes
  • Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir and microwave for another 5 seconds if needed to melt fully. You can tell it's melted when you can't see any grains of gelatin anymore.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes and bubbles will rise to the surface and create a white foam. Skim this foam off the surface with a spoon and discard
  • Add metallic dust to the melted gelatin and stir
  • Pour gelatin onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and use a pastry brush to smooth it out and holes that develop. As the gelatin cools it will be easier to smooth. Don't worry if it's not perfect, we're going to grind it up anyway
  • Let the gelatin dry overnight. It might start peeling up on it's own or you may have to peel it up from the plastic to release it. 
  • Break it up or cut it into pieces. 
  • Place into a spice grinder or coffee grinder or even a food processor until it is very fine.
  • Can use on anything edible!
    edible glitter recipe


Calories: 33kcal (2%) | Protein: 8g (16%) | Sodium: 21mg (1%) | Calcium: 6mg (1%) | Iron: 0.1mg (1%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

The great thing about making edible glitter is that it's pretty dang easy. You probably already have all the ingredients you need for it in your shop (if you're a cake decorator).

48 comments on “Edible Glitter Recipe

  1. I am very new at this cake making/decorating and this tutorial was very helpful.
    Thank you.

  2. This looks so awesome! I am a tea cake only shop and it would take me a while to I’m use all of that.I was wondering about the shelf life of this glitter recipe. How do you store leftovers?

  3. 5 stars
    Does this work if I wanted to make White.. or will the colour of the gelatin make it more of a yellowy white? Thank You xx

  4. Could you add sugar/simple syrup to give it some taste?

    1. No you can’t add simple syrup to the glitter, it would inhibit drying and make it a sticky mess. If you want your glitter to have a flavor you can add extracts to the mixture like you would to frosting or a cake recipe.

  5. Can I use a fan or dehydrator to speed up the drying time?

  6. How much would you recommend for food coloring? The same amount of metallic dust?

  7. Could you add jello for Flavour or would that change the consistency ?

  8. I havent tried this but the fact that we can make this at home is INCREDIBLE!!!!! cannot thankyou enough for sharing this!!! ??

  9. Does this work if I wanted to make Silver.. Could you suggest how I could go about it. Thank You xx

      1. Hello, would this glitter recipe work in drinks since it’s mineral based, or would it dissolve? Thx!

      2. It would dissolve. You should check out the flash dust from Never Forgotten Designs. They have really fine edible glitter made for going in drinks

      3. Help I tried this and even though I thought I was working quickly as soon as I poured it on my plastic wrap it hardened into a gelatinous mass before I could get it spread thinly. Did it have anything to do with the fact that I put my plastic wrap on my cold granite countertop? What are some tips to help me the next time I try it

  10. 5 stars
    Just made this and it was super simple. Turned out great for a unicorn cake. Thanks Liz. ?

  11. Hey Liz! I’m looking all over for the deep blue TruColor metallic dust and I can’t find it. Seems like they don’t sell it on amazon. The only one i could find was Blue Shine TruColor Metallic Natural Food Paint on copper gifts.com. Is this the same thing?

  12. If I wanted to toss some sugar pearls with glitter dust to make them sparkle, how would I make the dust stick? Do I need to spray the sugar pearls with anything to get the dust to stick? Any recommendations? Thanks!

  13. 5 stars
    Hi liz. Thanks for this recipe can’t wait to try . Can I put it on a fondant cake? Spread some edible glue on the cake before applying ? Or is this only work on a cold buttercream cake ? Thanks

  14. Hi, may I know could this be used on whipped cream? will it melt or softened or even smudged after a few hours or overnight?
    Thank you for the tutorial!! love it!

  15. BRILLIANT!! (pun intended)
    Thanks so very much for sharing this – genius. Did you ever do a cost comparison to those tiny pots of edible glitter?

    1. I have, one pot of pearl makes like 20 times the amount that is in one of those tiny pots BUT the texture is not as fine and not quite as sparkly so there is give and take 🙂

  16. Hi liz, can this recipe be used to put it on whipped cream or does it melt with moisture?

  17. Hi sugar geek show I made this edible glitter and used it on a 21st birthday cake. I was lucky enough to get to try it, but I really didn’t like it at all. It was hard and sharp-ish and not really edible. I was wondering if mine came out wrong or if maybe I say it’s for decoration only and to remove before eating, so maybe use only on buttercream as it can be cut off rather than fondant which it wont scrape off and i dont like wasting fondant. It did look amazing though! Thank you 🙂

    1. It could be that your glitter was too thick and not ground down fine enough. It really does melt in your mouth when it is small enough <3 Im glad you liked the recipe 😀

  18. I used metallic food coloring. Is that the same thing? And how much should I use?
    When I added it to my gelatin and stirred it just clumped up and would not spread. It is in the process of drying now so I don’t know how the end product will turn out. But I do want to know, since I am seeing dust as an ingredient, if I used the correct item to achieve the metallic color? Does the gelatin have to be really warn in order to combine the metallic food coloring to it?

  19. I want to try this for my daughter’s golden birthday cake! The recipe make 2 TBSP. How much do you think would be needed to cover a 10 in 3 layer round cake?

  20. Hello. I would like to make silver. How do you make the dust into a liquid to pour it into the gelatin. I’ve never used dust this will be my first time.

  21. I have been trying for 15 minutes to get mine to grind down. Have tried a spice grinder and a food processor but the chunks won’t break up. Help?!

  22. 5 stars
    Hi Liz! I would like to try out your recipe for edible glitter. I am a hobby baker. Before buying anything new, I gauge as to how much I can make use of it in my other bakes. I use fondusts for coloring in my bakes. I came across Chefmaster Metallic Pearl white colour. Can I add that along with my fondust colours to make the glitter?

  23. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe successfully.
    I leave my oven light on as it helps with drying time 👌🏻
    Wish I could post the pic
    thank you so much Liz
    You the best 🌹

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