Gold Leaf Wedding Cake

When my cousin came over for her wedding cake consultation we spent most of the time talking about what she wanted for her cupcakes!  Once we got the the small cake for the bride and groom to cut it was easy.  Sticking with the metallic theme she was looking at gold and silver painted cakes, then I showed her a silver leafed cake and she fell in love!  We decided to go with GOLD and I LOVE how it turned out!


We added lace to match her dress and offset it with a super large flower!  It turned out SO lovely, I can’t wait to try it again.


Start with a fondant covered cake…  Now we want to make it tacky.  I considered spray painting the whole thing with spirits (clear vanilla or vodka) but in the end I decided to use my travel steamer (best steamer EVER).  I usually use it to make a cake shiny (like the lego blocks cake and the 13th birthday cake)when it’s all finished, but it does that by getting it barely damp.  if you leave it it will dry a bit and end up slightly tacky, perfect!


The first one I tried to grab the edible gold leaf foil out of the booklet and place it on the cake… FAIL, do NOT do this.  it crinkled all up, stuck to my fingers, etc…  It just sticks to itself like static cling, it’s worse than plastic wrap!


Instead leave the leaf in the booklet.  Carefully open it up to the first gold leaf.  I say carefully because the thin leaf is easily destroyed, it doesn’t take much of a breeze for it to fold and crinkle.  So CAREFULLY open up the booklet, first hold the bottom of the leaf against the bottom of the cake and SLOWLY roll up the booklet softly pressing the leaf to the cake.


Here you can see how I hold it against the bottom (as well as the messed up first leaf).  Once the leaf is stuck on pull the booklet away (careful not to flip the pages and ruin the rest of the sheets) and use a soft brush (this is one of my CAKE ONLY brushes) and softly run it over the sheet, making sure it is all stuck down.


Now for the second layer…  This is also a bit tricky, once the leaf is on it’s still delicate.  you can see where my knuckle touched the bottom layer and pulled small pieces away… grrrr  So hold the bottom of the leaf to the top of the last layer and roll up the page- trying not to touch any of the finished leafing.  Mine was taller than the cake itself so I folded it over to start covering the top!


The top was actually the trickiest part, cause I couldn’t flip the booklet upside down so I had to jiggle the booklet sliding part of the leaf off.  Once it stuck to the cake I SLOWLY pulled the booklet away letting the leaf come to rest on the fondant., brush it down… once I was done I want back through carefully covered up gaps, holes and mistakes!


TA-DA!  do you love it?  I love it!  How amazing would this look on a full 3 or 4 tier wedding cake????  I used 24 of the 25 sheets the booklet came with to cover this 8 inch cake.  It took me about 20 mins to cover the whole thing, so it’s a pretty fast way to go once you get your groove.  BUT expensive.


Then the finishing details!  The lace and flower!  It was actually supposed to be a different flower, but the florist apparently didn’t understand the SCALE we wanted the flower.  the one he left was this puny 2 inch bud… so I raided the centerpieces to get this big fluffy hydrangea instead!  The cake was a lovely centerpiece for all the cupcakes and most important the bride was happy with it!

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Ashlee has been cake decorating for 9 year, and blogging for 7+. She has 5 children ages 3-13 that she enjoys throwing parties for. She loves to bake, cook, crochet, knit, do home improvement, graphic design, photography and writing.
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  1. DJG says

    Hi! I came across your cake when I was looking up info on gold leaf on a cake. Gorgeous photos and cake. I just wanted to mention, though , in case you get a request for one in the future — hydrangeas are a toxic flower and should never come into contact with food. Which stinks because it’s my favorite flower, actually. :-( Also on a practical side, apart from the toxicity part, hydrangeas are very thirsty, and they will tend to wilt very quickly when they are out of water. So for both reasons, I just make sugar hydrangeas for my cakes. :)

    • says

      yes, i know. which is why I used a cake pick for the flower (with water in it to keep it alive long enough), and why I had the bride and groom cut the other side for their cake cutting. The only reason they wanted a cake to go with the cupcakes was for their cutting. we took it to the family “after party” and ate it oursleves, so I was able to cut that section that the petals touched out to be safe.

  2. Crystal says

    I was just wondering, where did you buy your gold leaf? I found some websites but I am not sure which site if safe to buy it from.

  3. Catia says

    Hi, you are amazing. I have 7 children and am a self taught baker. I happened upon your cake as I am making my sons wedding cake this month followed by my own vow renewal the next day! I chose silver leaf for my cake. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to tell me the dimensions of your cake and ribbon size. I only bought on booklet with 25 sheets as you mentioned and want to make sure I have enough. How tall is your cake? Many thanks and keep doing what you love, wish I had the courage to venture out as you have!!
    Catia Castro

    • says

      Mine was just an 8 inch cake for the bride and groom to cut. it was 6 inches tall and the ribbon was about 1 1/2 inches. I bought a booklet of 25 and used 24 sheets, and it BARELY covered it, so no mistakes! Good luck and have fun!

  4. Kristin says

    You did an amazing job and great tutorial. One question, do you think it would work as well on buttercream?

    • says

      no, no no NO. The grease from the buttercream would totally NOT work with the goldleaf. it would dissolve, discolor, shrink, etc… it would be very bad.

      • Jacki says

        Hi there! I’m a few months behind but wanted to mention that I’ve put silver and gold leaf on buttercream cakes, completely covered and it worked out fine. Very successful results.

        • says

          that’s interesting! I would have expected the oils in the buttercream to eat away at the foil, it’s so sensitive to that, you can’t even touch it without it breaking down. Good to know, thanks for sharing!

        • Esther Rabb says

          Hello: I am getting ready to do a 4 tier wedding cake with gold leaf and was interested in just doing buttercream w/o the fondant. Any additional advice, you said you gold leaf did not turn. Was you icing homemade with butter, mine is. Please advise. Esther

  5. Katina says

    Hi I love your cake I’m hoping you can help me out here. I’m doing a cake in January 2014, but I want to practice first. The cake will be 6×6 or 7×6 do you think that one booklet will be enough to cover the entire cake? Do you think practice is necessary if you have never worked with gold leaf?


    • says

      this one was an 8 inch cake about 5 inches tall. and I used an entire package of 24 sheets on this cake, with half a sheet extra and only one mistake. If you haven’t worked with regular gold leaf before you might want to practice first, the side is super easy, cause you don’t have to touch the sheet. The top was a bit trickier cause you want to slide it off without touching it or ripping it. maybe even if you just try one on the top of a practise cake to see how it goes, I totally messed up my first sheet, but after that it went perfect. One package would be enough for the smaller cake with a few sheets left to maybe practise with a bit.

      • Jackie says

        Would it be possible to insert a long fondu or kabob stick in the middle of the cake to use as a stabilizer, then remove with final gold leaf covering the hole?

        • says

          I’m not sure why you’d need to add a kabob stick? you cake should be stable with the ganache and fondant, if it’s wobbly you’ll have trouble with the gold leaf as the cake wiggles. that said, yes, if you make a hole you can cover it with the last gold leaf, BUT since it won’t have anything to stick with you’ll probably still have a hole in the end.

  6. Sian says

    Hi, I really love your cake and am hoping to do the same for my wedding cake later this year! Two quick questions: what size gold leaf sheets did you use and how far in advance can you decorate the cake? I want to give myself plenty of time for mistakes!

    • says

      they only come in one size that I’ve seen, 3 3/8 x 3 3/8. once you frost the cake with ganache and add the fondant it will actually stay good for a few days (as long as you don’t have a filling or frosting that needs to be refrigerated – you don’t want to refrigerate a cake once you’ve put fondant on). You can always practice with the silver leaf too, it’s cheaper than the gold.

  7. says

    Thank you so much for the information, I was searching everywhere for some decent info to complete a special cake for a customer – drove me bonkers! Will let you know how I go with silver leaf instead. Much in your gratitude – Monica xx

    • says

      I used the same technique with a silver cake back in December and it worked the same way (but cheaper) I hope your cake turned out great!

    • says

      I’m not sure, I NEVER refrigerate cake, EVER. (or any bread) it dries it out and the last thing I want is to serve dry cake. Once I put on the ganache and fondant there just isn’t any reason to refrigerate (or freeze, freezing is okay, NEVER refrigerate) a cake. Personally I wouldn’t risk it (and don’t freeze once you add fondant or when it thaws it will condensed on the outside and be ruined).

  8. Em says

    Hey, i am making a cake for my girlfriends birthday, she wanted a silver glitter cake so i was planning on covering the fondant in silver leaf, then covering that in silver sugar crystals, but was wondering if i painted over the leaf with extract to stick the crystals would it peel the leaf off? :) Thanks

    • says

      painting over the silver leaf WILL degrade it and scratch some, not all, of it off. But you couldn’t just use vodka/alcohol cause the silver leaf won’t get tacky the way the fondant does with alcohol. So I’m assuming you’d be using something like piping gel to get the crystals to adhere, and if your covering it that thick you wouldn’t need to start with the silver leaf. You probably wouldn’t need anything, but if you really wanted something underneath you could just start with grey, or air brush it silver for much cheaper and cover over the top. Does that make sense? or help?

  9. Christine says

    hi. Great tutorial! I noticed on Amazon that there are many different types of edible gold leaf for sale with different price ranges. Is there one in particular that works well for you? I don’t want to buy the cheap one only to end up with a cheap product that looks bad but I also don’t want to buy the expensive one if I can get away with using a cheaper version.

  10. says


    How far in advance can you add gold leaf to a cake to store in the fridge? I am not covering the whole cake in gold leaf… Just around the top corners.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

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