The Do’s and Don’t of Using Luster Dust Over Buttercream

The Do’s and Don’t of Using Luster Dust Over Buttercream

Last Updated on February 6, 2022 by Cinthia

Today we are going to talk about how to use luster dust on buttercream. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies. My favorite part is decorating. There are so many options to choose from and so many ways to unleash my creativity. Colors, shapes, add ons… You name it, I have tried it! One of the things I think makes decorations really special is sparkles. I love using edible glitter but sometimes you need a subtler effect. For example, for a wedding cake or some champagne and strawberry cupcakes. 

I mean, making fondant shine is an old trick. But buttercream?! It’s more delicate and maybe you did not think about it before. There are some things to bear in mind and some do’s and don’ts. Let’s get into it!

What is Luster Dust?
The Do’s and Don’t of Using Lus...
The Do’s and Don’t of Using Luster Dust Over Buttercream

Luster dust is a very fine powder that you can buy in any craft store. It is made of shimmering particles and comes in an array of different colors. It is non-toxic, tasteless and can be used to decorate basically anything!

My personal favorite is gold luster dust. It looks so amazing on top of white buttercream!

What is Luster Dust?

How To Use Luster Dust

Do Not Mix Luster Dust Directly Into Buttercream!

Unlike with fondant, mixing luster dust into your buttercream will only mean you are wasting it. Kneading it into fondant is like creating sparkly layers until all is covered, as you do with food coloring, but buttercream works differently.

To use luster dust on buttercream you need to think about it as a coating. It will give a sheen and make it look magical, but you will not be able to make the whole buttercream shiny. By mixing it in, it will get lost in the cream.

Do Not Sprinkle Luster Dust Over Your Buttercream!

Another absolute don’t about using luster duster to make buttercream look prettier is to sprinkle it. As we said in the last heading, you need to think about luster dust as a coating, but it is too thin to sprinkle it on top.

Think about what glitter or sprinkles look like. Compared to luster dust they are chunky and noticeable in a glance. Luster dust is more delicate and finely milled, so it needs to be used as such. 

How To Use Luster Dust

If you do sprinkle it on top of, say, your cupcakes, you will notice that you cannot distribute it evenly. You will end up with splotchy patches of luster dust that will never give you full coverage. 

It will be hard to coat the sides and to control the actual fall of dust. Essentially you will be left with a mess! This is a method we definitely do not recommend.

Try Brushing Your Luster Dust On Top Of Your Buttercream Instead

In order to achieve the best result by using luster duster, we definitely think that using the right brush will give the prettiest result. There are, however, some things to bear in mind with this method.

First of all, you should use fluffy brushes. The best ones, we think, are makeup brushes that you can get at any drugstore or beauty store. 

You should look for fluffy brushes that will lay the color evenly without creating any harsh lines or splotches that are hard to blend afterward.

Try Brushing Your Luster Dust On Top Of Your Buttercream Instead

A blush brush or big powder brush would be the perfect choice to cover large areas. A fluffy eye blending brush would be best to lay the duster over creases or small details or in case you need to be more precise.

Stay clear of densely packed brushes or very small, precise brushes. These are not your friends in creating even layers.

Make sure you buy brushes especially to use with food-grade products. Do not use an old brush from your makeup collection, as you may contaminate the food. 

Not only should it be new, but you should also clean it beforehand, to get rid of any factory residue that could end up stuck to your cream.

Do Not Sprinkle Luster Dust Over Your Buttercream!

Try and avoid brushes that are made with animal products. Not only are they more expensive, but they could also provide a source of contamination for food. Choose only synthetic bristle brushes.

The right method to do this is not to use the luster dust straight from the pot. To achieve an even sparkle, the best way is to pour some of the powder into a small container and swirl your brush around.

Afterward, you need to tap the excess into the container. Then gently distribute the product with swiping motions. This way you will avoid unnecessary blotches and spots that are not as pretty.

Other Ways to Apply Luster Dust

You Can Also Paint It On

To paint it on, you will need to put a tablespoon of luster dust on a small container and add in a few drops of vodka until it has the consistency of paint. If you think it out, the color will also be more see-through, but it is your choice!

Other Ways to Apply Luster Dust

For this, you will want a regular paddle brush from the craft store. Make sure it is food safe!

Use your brush to distribute the paint over your cake as if you were doing it over a canvas. It dries fast, so make sure to not leave any streaks behind!

You Can Airbrush It On

This option is for pros only! You will need an airbrush to achieve it, but the effect is so worth it! It is absolutely the best. An airbrush will set you back a few dollars, but it is personally my favorite way to apply shimmer or color on top of any decoration.

You Can Airbrush It On

Recommended Products

So, what do you think? Are you going to try shiny buttercream frosted cupcakes next? Or maybe a metallic cake? It is your choice! Maybe a shiny rainbow cake? Or some sparkly pond with flowers!

Using our tips you will have absolutely no problems then next time you choose to use luster dust with buttercream. You will be an absolute pro! Post a picture below so that we can see your beautiful creations!


Can you mix luster dust in icing?

Yes, add a tablespoon of luster dust to the icing. Then, blend well to distribute the luster dust evenly. Make sure to mix it properly till you have attained the desired result. Likewise, whip the luster dust into royal icing or knead the dust into fondant.

Additionally, use luster dust to add shimmer to icing. With that, ensure all surfaces are dry before applying the luster dust. 

Can you use luster dust on chocolate?

Of course, you can, especially if you have store-bought or homemade chocolates. With that, apply the luster dust on the chocolates you are making from scratch. Likewise, use the luster dust to certain parts of the chocolate or cover the whole chocolate with luster dust. 

Moreover, apply the luster dust to the chocolates using even and long strokes. Make sure to use controlled and slow strokes to paint the luster dust onto the chocolate. Also, begin at the top of every chocolate and brush down.  

Additionally, ensure no moisture on your brush since it will ruin its soft appearance. 

Can you mix the luster dust with vanilla extract?

Yes, mix the luster dust with one to two drops of vanilla extract in a small bowl first since luster dust does not directly combine with icing. Make sure to mix well. Then paint the mixture onto the icing on baked goods like pastries and cakes. 

Additionally, luster dust is perfect for putting shiny color to cupcakes, petit fours, and cookies created with royal icing, fondant, and other frostings that dry firm to the touch. Ensure to dip a small pastry brush into a luster dust solution and paint on designs. 

How do you mix luster dust without alcohol?

Alcohol evaporates instantly, so that is the main reason why it is the ideal option when painting on royal icing. For this reason, there is not much time for the liquid to dissolve the icing. Using alcohol is the best option since it produces a shiny and smooth icing surface. 

Likewise, mix the luster dust with lemon juice since it can closely resemble the shiny texture-out of all alcohol-free options like imitation vanilla. In addition to that, the lemon juice dries the quickest. As a result, it did not need much time to soak into the icing’s surface. 

Moreover, to achieve a vivid color and an even application, mix the alcohol with lemon extract. 

Can you use luster dust dry?

Sure, you can use luster dry. Dry luster dust is ideal when making pink cheeks in your baked good’s decorations. It is commonly brushed into fondant, molded candies, and gum paste with a dry brush. 

Slowly shake the luster dust on a paper towel or plate before working into the brush without clumping. Make sure to utilize an artist’s brush to apply to iced or plain cookies that have dried overnight. 

In addition to that, adding dry luster dust allow you to see the color of the original cookie. However, it adds a metallic and pure shimmer.

Read more about How To Add Pearl Dust In Drinks

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