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How to Use Dusting Sugar, Petal Dust and Lustre Dust in Cake Decorating

Updated on June 26, 2011

Adding Colour with Petal Dust and Lustre Dust

Petal dust and lustre dust and dusting sugar are an easy way to add colour to cakes or cake decorations when you want to either vary the intensity of the colour or just add touches here and there.

Petal dust and lustre dust vary in that petal dust tends to be matt in colour whereas lustre dust will have a sheen to it which adds a slight shine when used. Before buying any sort of dusting power check to see whether it is edible or not as not all of them are. This isn't a problem for use on non edible cake decorations such as wired flowers, but if your decorations are an integral part of your cake you want to be sure they are safe to eat.

The best way to apply dusts and lustre dusts is with a thin paint brush, and in very small amounts as the colours can be very intense and if you make a mistake, hard to remove. They can also be added to water or alcohol to make food colourings ~ alcohol is better to use as it dries much faster (the alcohol will evaporate as the food paint dries)

Petal Dusts Available Online

Petal Dust

The most common use for petal dust is for adding tints to sugar flowers. Natural flowers are rarely one single block colour all the way through.

There are both subtle and striking variations that are impossible to achieve through icing alone, for example the streak of pink down the centre of a star gazer lily petal, or the transition of orange to red in an oriental poppy.

When using petal dusts it is best to start with a very thin paint brush and work with small amounts of dust, a little goes a long way but really can make the difference between a flower looking real or not.

Same Shoe Cake Toppers, Top with Lustre Dust, Bottom Without

Lustre Dusts and Sprays

Lustre dusts are one of my most favourite cake decorating tools. They can lift a cake from being ordinary to spectacular with a mere brush stroke.

Use a luster dust that matches the colour of your icing to add a slight sheen to your cakes such as using a pearl colour on icing snowflakes which gives them a slight shimmer ~ beautiful at Christmas time. Or use a metallic colour dust for highlighting 'metal' parts on a novelty cake.

Lustres are also available in spray form which is great if you want cover either a whole cake or a larger decoration. If you want to add a bit of sparkle to a coloured object then using a pearl lustre is the answer as it gives the sheen without covering too much of the colour as can be seen in the photos which are of the same pair of shoe cake toppers, before and after lustre spray has been added.

One of the other best uses I have found for pearl lustre spray is to overcome the age old cake decorating problem of making silver sugar paste. Simply mix up some light grey icing to the tone you want and spray with pearl lustre ~ the results are a perfect sliver sugar paste.

The gold lustre spray is also excellent for colouring both sugar paste, gum paste or anything else you want to spray.



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