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Can you get gold food colouring?

Gold food coloring is a specialty food coloring product used to give foods and beverages a shining, golden hue. Unlike regular food dyes, edible gold coloring contains real gold, allowing it to create a true metallic finish when used in icings, candy, drinks, and more. But is it safe? And where can you buy it?

What is Gold Food Coloring?

Gold food coloring is made from edible gold, usually gold dust or gold powder. The gold is suspended in a carrier base of glycerin, water, or sometimes oil. This allows the gold particles to dissolve and evenly distribute throughout the food or liquid it is added to.

The gold used in edible gold coloring is either 24K (pure) or 23K (95.8% pure) gold that is certified safe for human consumption. It is non-toxic and inert, meaning it will not react with other ingredients or change the flavor of foods. The gold passes through the body undigested.

When added to foods and drinks, the tiny gold particles reflect light and create a glistening gold shimmer. The more gold coloring added, the more intense the gold hue will be. It can produce metallic effects ranging from a subtle glow to a bold, glamorous gold.

Uses of Gold Food Coloring

Here are some of the most common uses of edible gold coloring:

  • Cakes – Gold icing, gold drip cakes, gold cake pops
  • Candy – Gold chocolate, gold hard candies, gold candy melts
  • Cookies – Gold royal icing, gold sandwich cookies
  • Drinks – Gold cocktails, mocktails, lemonade, coffee
  • Ice cream – Gold sprinkles, gold swirl, gold cone dip
  • Pastries – Gold macarons, eclairs, cream puffs
  • Desserts – Gold panna cotta, mousses, custards

Gold food coloring can accent almost any treat or drink. It is popular for glamorous occasions like New Year’s Eve, award shows, weddings, birthdays, and holidays. It can also make everyday desserts and drinks more fun and fancy.

Is Gold Food Coloring Safe to Eat?

Edible gold is considered safe for consumption by the FDA. Since it is inert, the gold passes through the body without being absorbed. It will not affect nutrition or cause allergic reactions.

However, there are a few precautions to keep in mind when using edible gold:

  • Use food-grade gold – Make sure any gold coloring states it is food-safe or edible gold. Other types of gold may contain impurities and toxins.
  • Avoid flakes/chunks – Finely micro ground gold dust blends smoothly into food. Flakes or chunks could pose a choking risk if accidentally swallowed.
  • Don’t exceed 1g per day – Up to 1 gram of gold per day is considered safe for adults. More may risk gold accumulating in the body over time.
  • Keep out of reach of children – Gold coloring should be handled as an adult decoration. Accidental ingestion by children could be dangerous.

As long as food-grade, micro fine gold powder is used responsibly by adults, edible gold coloring is approved for culinary use.

Where to Buy Gold Food Coloring

Gold food coloring can be found at the following sources:


  • Amazon – Wide selection of gold dust and gold gel products
  • Wilton – Gold food coloring gel
  • CK Products – Disco Dust edible gold powder
  • Sweetfields – 23k gold culinary dust
  • Fancy Flours – Gold food coloring powder
  • Decorators Choice – Gold food shimmer powder

Online offers the widest range of gold food coloring options. Products can be compared by purity, price, reviews, grain size, and quantity.

Specialty Cooking Stores

  • Sur La Table
  • Williams-Sonoma
  • Chef’s Toys
  • La Cuisine

High-end kitchen and baking stores may carry gold dust or gel in smaller quantities for single use.

Cake Decorating Stores

  • Michael’s
  • Joann Fabrics
  • Cake Craft
  • Sugarcraft

Gold food coloring aimed at cake artists and candy makers can sometimes be found alongside regular food dyes.

Gourmet Spice Shops

  • Penzeys Spices
  • The Spice House
  • Savory Spice Shop

Specialty spice retailers may stock edible gold coloring options labeled as dusts or powders.

How to Use Gold Food Coloring

Using gold food coloring is easy. Follow these tips for best results:

  • Stir in well – Thoroughly blend powder or gel into any liquid or moist mixture to evenly distribute the gold.
  • Start with less – It’s easier to add more gold than remove excess. Start with a small amount and slowly increase to the desired intensity.
  • Avoid high heat – Add gold coloring after cooking, as high temperatures can negatively affect the gleam. Stir in once food has cooled.
  • Store tightly sealed – Keep unused edible gold powder or gel sealed to prevent moisture exposure. This maintains the metallic sheen.
  • Use food-safe paintbrush – For decorating with gold gel, use a new brush to avoid contamination.

With the right techniques, gold food coloring can create stunning edible works of art. Have fun bringing a gilded touch to your next dessert or cocktail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gold leaf the same as gold food coloring?

No, gold leaf and edible gold coloring are different products:

  • Gold leaf is thin sheets of real gold that can be placed on food.
  • Gold coloring is gold powder or gel meant to be mixed into food and drinks.

While edible, gold leaf provides decoration versus adding color throughout a dish like gold dust or gel.

Does gold food coloring taste like anything?

Gold food coloring does not have any discernible flavor. The gold is inert, so it does not affect the taste, smell, or texture of a dish. The only contribution is the visual effect.

Is gold food coloring expensive?

Edible gold is a specialty ingredient, so it is more costly than regular food dyes. Expect to pay:

  • $15 – $25 for a small 3g vial of gel
  • $25 – $40 for 10g of gold dust

A little goes a long way due to the intense gleam of real edible gold. Despite the high price per ounce, only a fraction of a teaspoon is needed in most recipes.

Can you eat real gold?

Yes, you can safely eat real gold in purified food-grade forms like:

  • Gold dust
  • Gold powder
  • Gold flakes
  • Liquid gold
  • Gold leaf

When highly refined to at least 23K, real gold can be approved for culinary use. It should always specify “edible gold” or “food-grade gold”.

Does gold food coloring change the texture of food?

Gold food coloring is micro fine gold dust or gel, so it will not affect the texture or consistency of foods or drinks when added. The gold blends in smoothly and invisibly.

Creative Uses of Gold Food Coloring

Looking to make your desserts and drinks shine? Here are some creative ways to use edible gold coloring:

Dazzling Drinks

  • Metallic gold rim on margarita glasses
  • Gold sugar rim on Moscow Mule mugs
  • Gold chocolate martini with dusted rim
  • Gilded lemonade with gold leaf ice cubes
  • Ombre gold ombré latte art on coffee

Opulent Desserts

  • Gold drip cake with gold drip technique
  • Gold leaf petits fours with hand-painted gold accents
  • Gold velvet cake with metallic gold piping
  • Gold leaf chocolate truffles
  • Gold dusted cream puffs with gold cream filling

Dazzling Candy

  • Solid gold lollipops
  • Gold-sprinkled chocolate bark
  • Metallic gold cake pops
  • Gold candy melts for dipping fruit, pretzels, and cookies
  • Gold sanding sugar for rim of candy apples

With edible gold powder and gel, you can brighten up anything you craft in the kitchen. Bring some Midas touch inspiration to your next party or event.


Gold food coloring opens up an entire world of gilded possibilities for decorating dazzling desserts and drinks. While a specialty product, food-grade edible gold powder and gel offer a safe way to add luxury and elegance to all kinds of recipes and beverages.

Just remember to source real food-safe gold, use a delicate touch to stir in, and store properly between uses. With the right techniques, you can craft eye-catching treats that are as fun to make as they are to eat and drink.

So don’t be afraid to add a little gleam with edible gold coloring. A touch of glittering gold can lend a sense of celebration and style to everyday sweets as well as special occasion indulgences. Dress up your next bake day or cocktail hour with this fun specialty ingredient.