Sparkle Dust Stenciling Technique

stenciled drip cake with pink ganache drip brick background

A few days ago I mentioned how one tier of a wedding cake I made recently was decorated by painting gold luster dust over a stencil. I decided to try this technique again, but this time multiple luster dust colors. And this time, I brought pictures!

The luster dust set I used is one that my mother bought me for Christmas by a company called Oh! Sweet Art Corp. Here is my mini review. Pro: Lots of shimmery colors. Con: You can’t really paint with them.

It’s like when you purchase a glittery nail polish and find upon applying it that it’s pretty much translucent and only like four specks of glitter actually wind up on your fingernail. It’s like that. And yes, you want to throw things.

As a powder though, it’s very shimmery. Shimmy shimmy ya, ODB style.

As for the stencil, I got it at Walmart for like $1.50. There are usually tons to choose from at craft stores and they are very inexpensive. A lot of people mistakenly think they are limited to what is available in the baking section, but you’d be amazed at the ideas that you can come up with even just walking around the dollar store.

Oh baby I like it rawwww. 

Look what I did. Go away, ODB! I’m talking.

The first things you’ll need are a frosted and chilled cake, your stencil, and four or more pins or toothpicks to secure the stencil to the cake.

attaching the stencil

Next, you’ll want to choose your colors. I chose orange, blue, and pink. Given what I said above, I decided to just apply it as a powder to see what happens. Spoiler alert: It will look like a unicorn farted all over your work area. It is also pretty difficult to limit the powder to the area you are trying to color.

preparing sparkle dusts

Begin adding your color to the stencil. It helps if you have as many brushes as you have for colors, but if not just apply one color at a time. You can see here how the powder is refusing to obey my commands, just like ODB. No, ODB, I will not give you the mic and let you take it away.

filling in the stencil

Continue adding colors. Follow a pattern…or don’t! I tried to, then forgot I was doing that. But it’s all good. I left some sections blank, only partially filled others, etc. Just go for it. You just want to make sure to use a light touch so that you don’t damage your frosting.

adding more stencil colors

When you finish with a section, carefully unpin your stencil, rinse and dry it, then pin it to a new section of the cake. If you skip the rinsing and drying you’re just going to smudge your cake with leftover powder. I learned that the hard way. Also, I have found that when you re-pin the stencil it’s best to place it partly over a section you already completed so that you’re sure that you aligned it correctly. This is obviously not possible for some patterns, however.

There is a good chance that you’ll be able to feel your icing getting softer. If that’s the case, pop the whole cake, stencil and all, into the fridge for 5-10 minutes so that it firms up again. Just make sure that the shelf you put it on is secure, or else your cake might fall:

damage caused to cake

damage caused to cake 2

I was so mad. I’d used the upside down method to get a perfectly crisp top edge and then ruined it. My pattern was ruined too, but that’s actually a good thing because I can tell you how I fixed it! I had some remaining icing so I iced on top of everything I did, patched up the dents and cracks, then smoothed it all out again. The top looked like poo so I decided to just make it a drip cake and hide all that.

I had to start all over with my stenciling, but in the end it was worth it. It’s funny, I was a bit unhappy with how the dust had a mind of its own and flew everywhere. When I finished the stenciling I thought the overall look was a bit sloppy. But when I threw some ganache on top (90 g white chocolate, 30 g cream, 1 tsp veg oil, 1 drop fuchsia gel color) it really seemed to come together. Even the mistakes looked intentional.

pink ganache added

The last thing I did was add some flowers, sixlets, and shortbread cookies to the top. You can’t tell in the pictures but the powdered areas let off a beautiful shimmer, especially out in the sun.

flowers and dog shortbread added

So, in the name of ODB, chop that down and pass it all around.

What I learned:

  • It is important to keep your cake chilled during the stenciling process.
  • Wash your stencil between applications or you’re in for a bad time.
  • Powdered dusts are the ultimate gangsters. You can’t tell them how to behave.
  • If you do all this on top of parchment paper you may be able to save the dust that falls and make your own little rainbow mix.

Until next time, lovelies!

close up brick background dog cake

Leave a Reply