How to Apply Edible Gold Leaf

Cake with gold leaf
Susanne Blavarg / Getty Images
  • 01 of 06

    Gather Your Ingredients

    How to Use Gold Leaf
    (c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

    Edible gold leaf adds a beautiful, classy touch to truffles, chocolates, and other candies. This tutorial will show you how to apply sheets of gold leaf to your candies to create elegant edible art! For 1-page printable instructions, please see this Edible Gold Leaf instruction page.

    Begin by gathering your ingredients. You will need:

    • Sheet of edible gold leaf, 22-24 carats (for more information, see: What Is Gold Leaf?)
    • Sharp paring knife or razor
    • Clean, dry paintbrush
    • Candies to decorate with gold...MORE leaf

    The most important thing to know about working with gold leaf is that it is extremely delicate. The sheets are paper-thin and will wrinkle, tear, or blow away at the slightest touch or gust of air. Avoid touching the gold leaf with your hands, because it will stick to your fingers and become unusable. If possible, wear cotton gloves when working with gold leaf to prevent accidentally touching it and getting it on your hands. Use a very sharp knife and a soft, dry paintbrush to apply the gold leaf, and take care not to breathe heavily onto the leaf, as it will easily blow away or wrinkle up.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Cut Off A Piece of Gold Leaf

    How to Use Gold Leaf
    (c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

    To apply gold leaf as a decoration on candies or chocolates, cut away the desired portion of gold leaf with your paring knife or a sharp razor. You can use the brush to anchor the leaf down in an opposite corner, so that the cutting motion does not tear the entire leaf.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Pick Up the Piece of Gold Leaf

    How to Use Gold Leaf photo
    (c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

    Pick up the piece of gold leaf using the tip of the knife or razor. Gold leaf easily attaches to almost any surface, so it shouldn't be difficult to get it to stick to the tip of your blade. Carefully transfer it over the surface you want to decorate.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Apply the Gold Leaf to the Surface

    How to Use Gold Leaf
    (c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

    Lay the gold leaf on the candy's surface, and use the brush to push it down and get it to attach to the candy and detach from the blade.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Brush the Gold Leaf Smooth

    How to Use Gold Leaf
    (c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

    Use the brush to gently pat down the leaf and press it onto the candy so that it is in a smooth, even layer. This same technique can be used to attach multiple pieces of gold leaf to the same candy, or you can lift up an entire sheet of gold leaf and smooth it into the surface of a candy to cover it completely.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Your Gold Leaf is Now Finished

    Gold Leaf on Truffles photo
    (c) 2012 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to, Inc.

    Your candies are now decorated with edible gold leaf! Handle the candy with care, as the gold leaf is still delicate and can be rubbed or scratched off the surface. To make the candies pictured here, see this recipe for Champagne Truffles.