Everything You Need to Know About Edible Gold Leaf

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What is an edible gold leaf - A comprehensive guide

gold leaf

Edible gold leaf is a gold product that is used to garnish food items. It is made of pure gold or sometimes a mixture of gold and silver. As its name suggests, it is edible as gold is categorized as ‘biologically inert’ which means it passes through the human digestive tract without being absorbed.

So it is not harmful to human beings. The edible gold lead is mostly used for garnishing the dessert, candy making, adding in cocktails. Sometimes it is used for garnishing meat too. It comes in flakes and sheets. If the edible gold lead is made with pure gold, it can be one of the priciest foods.

However, the dessert and other meals decorate with flakes and sheets are relatively not expensive. So consider buying high-quality gold lead made with real gold rather than buying inexpensive versions that contain impurities.

What is an Edible Gold Leaf?

edible gold leaves

Gold leaf is used to decorate meals, dessert and meat. It is one of those things that are expensive, and you hear about occasionally. So you can say that whatever food item gold leaf is gracing is going to be too much expensive.

It will definitely leave you scratching your head, and you think is it gold or metal?

This topping food is real gold, but it is very thin (sometimes, only 1 micron) that makes it insanely expensive. However, it is considered a luxury topping food item.

It is slightly crunchy when you eat a sheet of gold leaf. And, you might need some water to get it down. Don’t expect to have a metallic flavour when you eat it because it will not dissolve in your mouth.

Uses of Edible Gold leaf:

Edible gold leaf comes in handy when you want to bring some luxury and glamorous touch to your dish. The gold leaf flakes add the gold glimmer to the dessert topping such as cupcakes and candies.

They are also used to add floating gold flecks to cocktails and alcoholic drinks. The edible gold leaf that is used for dessert garnishing is mostly come in sheet leaf format or in pre-fab flakes. Its sheets are sold in transfer leaf and loose-leaf. The sheet leaf is ideal for cake or other large projects that require numerous coverages.

The transfer leaf is best to tear when you need to cover the large surface entirely with gold. However, loose leaf is preferred when decorating small pieces like truffles and candies.

However, it is traditionally used to decorate desserts, but it has also made its way to the fast-food menus and other savoury food items. Some restaurants have gold-flaked chicken wings and hamburger with a gold leaf bun in their menus.

Where to buy Edible Gold Leaf

Edible gold leaf is available at supermarkets and speciality online. You can also find gold leaf/ gold flakes or gold sheets in certain art supply store, cake and candy decorating stores.

Art supply store carries gold sheets because they are used in different art and craft projects. But make sure that when you buy them from the art supply store or any other non-cooking source, they should be edible-quality gold leaf.

It is also important to select that edible gold leaf which is made with pure gold- means it should contain around 22 to 24 carats. It is a greater gold purity than gold jewellery. The gold leaf, which has a smaller carat value, is made with more impurities. It is also less safe to eat.

The square gold leaf sheets come in different sizes from 1 1/2 inches to 5 1/2 inches. They are sold in booklets that contain around 10 to 100 pages. The gold flakes are packaged in containers that look like jar containers. They are ranges from 100mg to 1g in weight.

gold leaf book

Substitute For Edible Gold Leaves

What is gold leaf edible’s substitute? The most cost-effective alternative to gold leaf is the imitation gold leaf. It is made with brass alloy with a mixture of copper and zinc. This mixture has been controlled to create tones that imitate pure gold leaf. It is known as Schlag metal, composition metal or Dutch meal.


Edible gold leaf UK is very delicate and need extra care to handle it. The booklets of sheets should be store in an airtight jar in a dry and cool place. Keep it away from a damp and warm place. The gold flakes should also be stored in dry and cool conditions. The best thing about is that it can last indefinitely.


As mentioned above, gold leaf is sold with the ‘edible’ label and has around 22 to 24 carats. It is harmless for humans. The gold leaf has no fat or calories. In fact, it has no nutrition value.

gold leaf uses

What is edible gold leaf made of?

Want to know that what is edible gold leaf made of? It is made with pure gold (between 22 and 24k) or a mix of edible metals like silver. It is a unique way to garnish chocolates, desserts, cocktails and main courses.

You want to attract more people to try out your food then it can be a great choice to decorate your food with it. As it is made of 24k gold- means you are guaranteed to get that elegant and shiny look on your desserts and other food items. Moreover, it is non-toxic and suitable for consumption.

Is edible gold leaf real gold?

Through gold beating, gold has been hammered into sheets. The edible gold leaf contains 91.7% pure gold. It also comes with impurities like silver. There is 50% pure gold in silver-coloured white gold sheets.

Can you eat edible gold leaf?

Yes, you can eat edible gold leaf because it is harmless for the human body. So, there is no danger in eating a gold leaf. The best thing about gold is that it is inert metal means it passes through your intestine. Edible gold will pass out of your body after one day without causing any harm to your body.

Is edible gold leaf good for you?

It is a treat for your eyes which is safe to consume. However, it has no health benefits or nutritional value.

Is edible gold leaf expensive?

Yes, it is expensive because it is real gold and incredibly thin. It is only a luxury item that is used to garnish the food. A pack of five edible gold leaf sheets sells for £18 that is just 3×3 inches in size

edible gold leaf
Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!