The Best Edible Metallic Food Colors

The Best Edible Metallic Food Colors

In case you haven’t noticed, metallics are huge.. like GODZILLA huge! Gold and silver is everywhere in cake trends and I forsee it only getting bigger before it gets smaller. This brings up a really important topic. How are people getting these gold colors so bright and are they edible, as in actually food grade?

I’ve put together a pretty simple review on some of the top metallic food colors on the market right now and have taken the guesswork out for you. That’s my job, making things easy for you, my lovely followers. ((GROUP HUG!))

I’ve gathered colors that are from the US as well as the UK and AU. So the color you end up using might have to be special ordered so think ahead when you need a metallic. Don’t leave it to the last minute. The great thing is metallics go a REALLY long way so you can order a few containers and it should last you quite a while. You can also ask your cake friends if they need any metallics so you can put in a bulk order and split the shipping.

Here is the video on the metallic food color review. All the links to the colors are below the video. Enjoy and please share so we can spread the word on EDIBLE, SAFE, BEAUTIFUL metallic food colors for our cakes.


Albert Uster Gold – NON-EDIBLE/NON-TOXIC Highlighter (should be used only for display or pieces that will not be consumed)

Rainbow Dust Powders - Edible/FDA Approved

#4 choice – Colorants Roxy & Rich Hybrid Powders – Edible/FDA Approved

#3 choice – Sugarflair Powder (UK ) – Edible/FDA Approved

Sugarflair Powder (USA ) - Edible/FDA Approved

#2 choice – Rainbow Dust Metallic Food Color (UK)  – Edible/FDA Approved

Rainbow Dust Metallic Food Color (USA)  – Edible/FDA Approved

#1 choice – Rolkem Super Metallic – Edible/FDA Approved *update* Rolkom is FDA approved in Australia and awaiting US FDA approval

Here is some more information about the types of dusts on the market right now.

Edible luster dust
Mix of food grade mica-Titanium Dioxide and aluminium flakes.
Advantage is low cost edible. The disadvantage is that you cannot reach dark color.
The darker the color, the dust will shimmer less. Best for dusting and adding a light shimmer
Edible Hybrid luster dust
Food grade mica-Titanium Dioxide with a soluble food grade coating. ¸
Advantage is highest shimmering effect, Dark colors possible. High coverage when used as a paint with lemon extract.
Disadvantage is more expensive to make. (rolkem supers – Colorants Roxy & Rich)
Non-toxic luster dust
Made with non food grade mica. (albert uster, CK highlighters)
How to use metallic dusts for the best coverage and painting
Make sure you only add a few drops of vodka or lemon extract to create a smooth paste, about the consistency of acrylic paint for best results. If you add too much liquid, you will get streaks and not so great coverage. The dusts will want to settle at the bottom of the container. While painting, tilt your container so the liquid is away from the dust at the bottom and use that to paint with.
  • Gene Slates

    Just found your post and am realaly interested in the results but for some reason when I clicked on the video it came up as “private”. Is there another way to watch the video?

  • JC

    Hi Liz, have you tried other Rolkem super colors beside gold? What did you think of them? Thanks.

  • Tessa Pinner

    Thank you so much for this list, Elizabeth. So helpful – I can’t tell you how relieved I am to find this list of examples so I don’t have to purchase every one of these items to know how they look. I really love the look of the Rolkem, but have no way to gauge how much I’ll need to mostly cover a 3-tier wedding cake. How many would you recommend ordering?

  • Mma Playtime

    Hello Gabriel caballero

    Maybe i can help you? With sparkling wine

    As i am distributor

    You can call me directly


    Marcus’ Korsel

  • Gabriel Caballero

    I am in the process of importing a sparkling wine. The manufacturer lists Gold Edible flakes E-175 in the list of ingredients. So far, everything that I have read from the FDA website is that this is not an approved colorant in the U.S. The manufacturer which is in Germany has on his website the it is FDA approved and that it has an Import Number which I have no way of getting. Any help on this area? This product is also known as Edible Gold Leaf, flake or dust.

  • Richard

    Just one comment. Rolkem (South Africa), Rainbow and Sugarflair (UK) do not meet FDA standards. Iron oxide is not legal for a food color by the FDA. They are labeled for the UK and South African market. Those countries allow E172 (Iron Oxide) as food coloring. They would have to be labeled non-edible if imported in USA. Regulation is different from one country to an other. If you see E172 on the label, it is not FDA approved.

    • AnotherProudIndian

      Can you pls quote source from where you say E172 is not approved for food in USA. Pls check fda website. E172 is listed as Color Additives Approved for Use in Human Food. In fact it is also listed as a Color additives exempt from batch certification. See the link below

      • Richard

        If you read carefully FDA 73.200, the iron oxide as a restriction. It is not for food coloring but limited to sausage casings and pet food.

        (c) Uses and restrictions. (1) Synthetic iron oxide may be safely used for the coloring of sausage casings intended for human consumption in an amount not exceeding 0.10 percent by weight of the finished food.

        (2) Synthetic iron oxide may be safely used for the coloring of dog and cat foods in an amount not exceeding 0.25 percent by weight of the finished food.

        • Alice

          Actually if you research carefully you will find that the law was updated in April of 2015. Furthermore, I don’t even know if this would apply, seeing as rolkem super gold and deep gold contain E175 not E172. Just saying.

          • szcakes

            Can you point me in the direction of the list of colorings used in this gold? I’d like to research myself and be sure it’s FDA approved which I’m not convinced of yet. Thanks!

          • Rae Bause

            All of the Rolkem metallics use either E174 [silver] or E175 [gold] as an ingredient. Neither is approved for use in the US by the FDA. The Rolkem Lumos also use various non-FDA approved ingredients.
            You can cross check E numbers [which are not an accepted method of labeling ingredients in the US] here:

            The Rolkem colors are NOT “FDA approved in Australia and awaiting US FDA approval”. The Australian agency is the FSANZ. The FDA is a US agency and has no sway in Australia, South Africa, or the EU. For the FDA to allow legal import of these products into the US, there would need to be significant adjustments to the formulas–and then they would likely look very different.

            I have been in contact with the FDA about these colors. In addition to the use of ingredients that are not approved for use in/on food in the US, the labeling on the colors is not FDA compliant. Use of unapproved food additives–and that is what these colors are when they are applied to food in a way that they can’t be removed before they are consumed–is subject to an enforcement action by the FDA.

            These colors, if used in the US, should be used the same way all non-toxic dusts should be used–on decorations that will be removed and not eaten.


            The excuse that if these colors are approved for human consumption elsewhere in the world, it makes them “fine” to be eaten in the US is patently incorrect. There is product liability to be considered–strongly–when making/selling food in any country. Food safety agencies have the final say in what is acceptable–not the decorator or the client.

  • Missy JoJo

    4:13 you say Rolkem is from Australia but I think you’ll find it’s a South African company

  • Gladys Orozco

    This is Awesome! thank you! with so many opinions out there on edible and non edible and FDA approved and so on this was very clear. Now I will for sure try them out!

  • Baiba Muzikante

    Hi, Elizabeth! Thank you for sharing, it was wery helpfull. I would like to buy the Rolkem colours, but can you suggest any place in Europe, UK where it is possible to buy?! Google shows only the Australia and NewZeland. And at your link its already sould out :)

  • Trudi

    Thank you for this, with all the discussions on edible and non-edible at the moment this is fantasic