Choosing and Using Edible Gold Leaf Sheets

Some bakers and chefs include edible gold leaf sheets as a decorative feature in their recipes. To ensure that you are using those that are safe to eat, you should purchase them from shops that sell baking and cooking supplies. The addition of these delicate flicks of metal to food is not new and has been practiced in other countries in Europe and in Japan for years.

Choosing the Leaves

When looking for edible gold leaf sheets, you should use only the purest forms of gold, that is, only 22 to 24 carats is safe enough for eating. Those with any other carat rating are not pure gold and most likely contain other heavy metals. If you are not sure, only buy those that clearly state they are edible.


The types available are loose, also called flakes, or as sheets also referred to as patent, or in designs such as butterflies or shells. The sheet type tends to be thicker and needs to be sliced thinly to make them suitable for use.

Using Edible Gold Leaves

Since they dissolve easily when exposed to moisture, it is best to use a natural bristle brush, edge of a sharp knife or other suitable piece of equipment to place them on the surface of the food you are decorating. Using your hands will transfer moisture to the flakes or sheets. Due to their delicate nature, when using these decorations, care has to be taken that no slight wind, or even heavy breathing will cause them to blow away or even wrinkle and become unusable. Wearing cotton gloves is recommended to help keep them from coming in contact with your hands. Even after they have been transferred to the cake or candies, care needs to be taken so as not to accidentally scratch or remove them.

Is Eating Gold Dangerous?

Ingesting a tiny amount of gold has no negative health effect. Since gold is what is referred to as an inert metal, the body cannot digest it, so once eaten it will just pass through the digestive system.

These golden leaves or glitter adds an element of elegance to certain pastries and chocolates.

It is possible to buy edible gold leaf sheets and flakes from online baking suppliers such as .

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