How to Apply Edible Gold Leaf

Cake with gold leaf
Susanne Blavarg / Getty Images

Gather Your Ingredients

Sheet of gold leaf next to paint brush and xacto knife
The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

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. Begin by gathering your ingredients. 

Materials You Will Need

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.

Cut off a Piece of Gold Leaf

Cutting gold leaf with xacto knife
The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

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.

Pick up the Piece of Gold Leaf

Picking up a piece of gold leaf
The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

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.

Apply the Gold Leaf to the Surface

How to use gold leaf
The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

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.

Brush the Gold Leaf Smooth

Brush gold leaf
The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

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 candy to cover it completely.

Your Gold Leaf Is Now Finished

Gold Leaf on truffles
The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

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.