Sparkle Dust -Make Your Cookies Sparkle

“Where there is a will there is a way!” Isn’t that a great quote by Pauline Kael? Todays post is the perfect example of that. A few years ago when Disco Dust was introduced we all loved it. It was a fast simple way to add sparkle to our baked goods. I am so guilty of using sprinkles of it on cookies but that won’t happen again. If you aren’t sure what I am talking about, click here to see a little info on the controversy over Disco Dust.

I am so happy that there are smart people out there who don’t give up. They don’t quit. They don’t let the word “can’t” stop them.  When they heard you can’t eat Disco Dust they didn’t crawl up in a ball in the corner and cry. No they didn’t. The decided to make a version of edible glitter (I call it Sparkle Dust) that you can eat. I am really not sure who invented this DIY edible version of Disco Dust but I am happy they did.

DIY Sparkle Dust via www.thebearfootbaker.comThe first time I saw this recipe was in a video over at Avalon Cakes. I was very curious so I decided to give it a try. It is not exactly like Disco Dust because it isn’t that as shiny as Disco Dust but it is shiny enough for me.

DIY Sparkle Dust- An Edible DIY Disco Dust Knock Off by thebearfootbaker.comThere are so many advantages to making your own Sparkle Dust. First of all, it is a lot cheaper than spending almost $5 for a very small container of Disco Dust. Secondly, it is made with only a few ingredients and it totally edible. And finally, you can customize any color you can think of! Isn’t that exciting!

Supplies for DIY Sparkle Dust:

1 Package of Gelatin -Not Jello! Use Unflavored Gelatin. It usually comes in a box with 4 individual packages
2 Tablespoons of water
Food gel color of your choice
Pearl Sheen Airbrush Color
Optional-White Food Gel Color
Small Bowl
Spoon or offset spatula
Mat to spread the mixture on
Coffee Grinder
Container to store the final product

The video at Avalon’s Cakes says to use 3 tablespoons of water but since I was going to use it on royal icing, I decided to reduce the amount and only use 2 tablespoons. A week later the cookie I made with the Sparkle Dust looks as good as it did when I first made it. So I think I will stick with the 2 tablespoons. You might like the recipe at Avalon’s Cakes better. Try them both and see what works best for you. Remember, “Where there is a will there is a way” so now you have a few choices to help you out.

Edible Sprinkle Dust that is safe to use on sugar cookies, cupcake and cakes

  • Begin by pouring the unflavored gelatin into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water and give it a quick stir.
  • Let it sit for a couple of minutes. You can see how it looks in the second photo.
  • Next, microwave it for 10 seconds.
  • Remove from the microwave and scrape off any foam that has formed on the surface. Out of all the batches I made, I only had to scrape the top once.
  • Add 3-5 drops of food gel color, 2-4 drops of Pearl Sheen for an airbrush system, and 1-2 drops of white food gel.
  • Mix it quickly. you can see in the picture how the Pearl Sheen makes it shine.
  • Once it is mixed, pour it onto a mat (more info below on what mats I use) and spread it out as evenly as you can on the mat. You need to work fast because it will start to gel and you need to leave it alone at that point.
  • Let it dry for about 4-6 hours or overnight to be safe. If you use the same mats that I use, you will hear the mat make a popping noise as it dries and they will curl up but that’s okay. Let it dry completely.

Mats-For this project, I used the same mats that I use to roll out my cookie dough. I get them at Wal-Mart and I seriously can’t make cookies without them. Click here to see what they are. They are flexible and perfect for a project like this.

Make Your Own DIY Sparkle Dust- An Edible DIY Disco Dust Knock Off by www.thebearfootbaker.comSee how it curls up and pulls away from the mat? I think it looks really cool kind of like hard sheets of fruit roll ups.

DIY Sparkle Dust for Cookies, Cake and Cupcakes

Edible Sparkle Dust- No more worries about Disco Dust being safe to eat. Make your own edible sparkle dust!

  • Once the sparkle sheets are dry, peel them away from the mat and cut them into strips. There may be broken pieces and that is alright.
  • Next, cut the strips into squares. Be careful, some little pieces may shoot and hit you in the eye. It didn’t happen to me but you never know.
  • Add the squares to the coffee grinder and pack it kind of tight and turn it on.
  • You may have to pulse it a few times or even pour it into a mesh strainer to remove the larger pieces. Place the larger pieces back into the coffee grinder and give it another pulse or two.
  • Place it into a container with a lid and use it when you want your goodies to sparkle!

DIY Sparkle Dust for Cookies, Cake and Cupcakes via

That’t it! You are done.

There is one thing I want you to keep in mind before or when you make this. It is not disco dust so it doesn’t shine as much as disco dust does. I wish it did shine more but it does shine enough to make me happy about using an edible glitter for my cookies.

Also, be sure to clean the machine good before adding another color. Can you see the orange flakes in the green sparkle dust? I thin it adds character.

DIY Sparkle Dust- An Edible DIY Disco Dust Knock Off with www.thebearfootbaker.comI think I am most excited about the different custom colors that can be made. Imagine a mint green or coral color or even purple for Halloween. The possibilities are endless because someone “had the will to find a way.”

Bear hugs,

Simple Sprinkle Dust that is Edible-Use on cakes, cookies and cupcakes