Dec 31


How to Apply Disco Dust

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Disco Dust– Also known as shimmer dust, glitter dust or sparkle dust.  It’s brilliant, it’s pretty and it’s messy!


***Before I go on, please note that I wrote this post over 3 years ago (at this point in time), in December 2010, and that there is more information available on disco dust now. It is no longer used on food products so please make sure if you use it for decorating, that the piece you use it with is for decoration  purpose only, and not for consumption! It is labelled as non-toxic, but is not edible.***

Tutorial on Using Disco Dust for Decoration

I’ve had many questions regarding how to apply disco dust.  It’s no wonder why.  😉  I do use it a lot.  By no means am I an expert, but I’ll share with you how I go about putting disco dust on my cookies.  I hope you find my suggestions helpful.


How to Apply Disco Dust on Cookies

1. Begin by cutting a small piece of parchment paper to work on.   Make a crease in it by folding the paper in half. Lay the paper flat again.

To give you an idea of the parchment size there’s a quarter in the photo, however how big you make it really just depends on the width of your cookies and your preference.

2. Put the cookie on the parchment paper and gently shake the disco dust from the container onto the desired area of the cookie.

The key is that the icing has to be wet; put the disco dust on right after you’ve piped the icing.

3. Shake off or dust off the excess disco dust when the icing has somewhat set or until it has completely dried (safer).  If you’re working in a humid environment though, gently shake them off right away.  The moisture in the air can make them stick.

Do this by gently lifting your cookie, holding it over the parchment and container, and tilt it so that the excess disco dust falls back into the container and on the paper.

4. Take a clean paintbrush only used for this purpose and dust off the excess.

I like using a flat, fairly short brush, which I have in 3 different sizes.  For small grooved areas use the smallest brush, for larger flat surfaces use the largest brush.

5. Remove the cookie and lift the edges of the paper together.

When the dust pools in the crease of the paper, pour the excess into another container.  My recycled disco dust is poured into a different marked container as it’s only used for decorative purposes.

Shaking the paper gently also helps the dust fall into the crease.

Some is lost, however, I found that it’s the best way to preserve most of the disco dust.


That’s it!


There is another way I’ve done it, but it’s no longer my preferred method.  I’ll share it with you anyways and you can try it if you like.


Second Method – How to Apply Disco Dust

1. Cut out a piece of parchment paper a bit larger than the cookie (at least two inches larger all around), and then cut a hole in the center, about the size of the area you want to cover with disco dust.

2. Flood the area you want sprinkled with disco dust with royal icing.

3. Hold the parchment about 1 cm above the cookie, with the hole over the area you want to cover.  Shake the dust gently onto the icing. The parchment catches the excess.

4. Take a clean paintbrush only used for this purpose and dust off the excess.


No matter how you do it, those little flecks of glitter can be quite messy, so expect to have them stuck all over you for a while.  😉

More information on disco dust:

* For smaller areas I dip a paintbrush only used for food, into the disco dust, and then lightly onto the icing.

* My favorite color to use actually looks white.  It’s called rainbow disco dust.  It seems to blend in nicely with the icing color underneath it.

***Again, please note that I wrote this post over 3 years ago (at this point in time), in December 2010, and that there is more information available on disco dust now. It is no longer used on food products so please make sure if you use it for decorating, that the piece you use it with is for decoration  purpose only, and not for consumption! It is labelled as non-toxic, but is not edible.***


Hope that helps!  If you have any ideas you’d like to share I’d love to hear from you below in the comment section.


p.s.  If you’d like to see how the snowman cookies were made, here’s the step by step:


How to Make Snowman Cookies

1. Make dough.  For a sugar cookie recipe see here.
2. Make and color icing.  For a royal icing recipe see here.

3. Pipe the body of the snowman.  I used my Kopykake Projector to help me trace the image (which is from scrapbooking paper by the way).  Let that dry for minimum 5 hours.

4. Pipe details on snowman such as face and buttons.  Let dry for a few hours.  (Since they’re only small bits of icing it doesn’t take long to dry).

5. Pipe the scarf of the snowman.  Add disco dust and shake off excess when the icing below has dried.

6. Put in bag with ribbon as desired.


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  1. December 31, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing, have a sparkley New Year 😉

  2. Angelina
    December 31, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Cute cookies! Thanks for the tutorial on how to put on disco dust! I’ve been wanting to use it for a while.
    Quick question – it’s non-toxic, but is it edible?

  3. December 31, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    It’s like lustre dust… it’s non-toxic and people eat it (I do, and let people know who are eating my cookies about it), and it’s fine; I just thought I should let you know that it’s not fda approved. Not to mean that that’s bad though… it’s a cake decorating thing. Not necessarily good for you, but food coloring or sugar good isn’t necessarily either (All in moderation is my view).

  4. December 31, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for showing different ways to apply this! Before I read this, the method I used was dipping a paint brush into the disco dust and then tapping my finger on the brush to shake it off onto the cookie. Your way is MUCH better!


  5. December 31, 2009 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Your cookies are ALWAYS so cute! I love these snowmen!!! Happy New Year!

  6. December 31, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    WONDERFUL!! I love tips. Love love love tips. You do the BEST tips!!! I am slightly obsessed with your blog. 🙂


  7. January 1, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    ok these are WAY cute!!! I’m adding them to my “maybe you should try” file for next year!


  8. January 1, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    You are always so sweet and helpful. Thank you!

  9. January 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes, your cookies are little works of art! You icing is always perfect. Not too thick or not too runny! I think the snowmen are my favorite because of the sparkle! Keep up your beautiful creative work.

    Happy New Year

  10. January 1, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    It’s been so long since I have read your blog, it almost makes me sad… I have been so busy with Christmas and working like a mad woman that I forgot to come here!
    Just saw your Christmas cookies and fell in love with all of them. I also envy those beautiful christmas ribbons you have… 😉
    Your work is perfect as usual!

  11. linda
    January 2, 2010 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    hi marion…i just “found” you…lucky for me!
    wow! i am truly amazed @ your talents & creativity.
    i am learning the art of cookie decorating & your tutorials are great.
    i’ve bookmarked sweetopia & look forward to your inspirational sugar art posts!
    joyous & healthy 2010!

  12. linda
    January 2, 2010 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    so sorry i spelled you name incorrectly…happy new year marian!

  13. January 2, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I absolutely LOVE Disco Dust!!! I have these Salt and Pepper shakers made by Coleman (made to take camping) that are great for Disco DUst! The holes are small enough for the Dust to go through, but not too big that it goes everywhere. One container holds 2 different colors and each section will hold one jar of dust. I like your method as well when you want a more concentrated look. Love your blog! Lots of great tips!

  14. January 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I want to know where to get Disco Dust in Canada… anyone know where? I’m located in Toronto, Ontario…

  15. January 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much! I can’t wait to use it…a MUST for 2010! 🙂

  16. January 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I love your blog and the use of disco dust on your cookies. The sparkle makes the snowmen look so cheerful 🙂

  17. Rebekah
    January 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Stunning Snowmen!! I Love them. I think the way you create a stunning picture on a simple circle cut out is so neat. I’ve never thought of that. I was wondering how you “flood” the snowmen. You pipe the outline with a Wilton #2 tip and then how do you fill it in? Thanks!

  18. January 8, 2010 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    Thanks Rebekah!

    Right after I’ve finished piping the outline, I use the exact same icing and tip and fill it in.

    To fill in I just zig zag left to right until the whole shape is done. I have to work quickly so that the icing melds nicely together before it starts to set.

    I have a detailed tutorial here and my top 10 decorating tips here if you’re interested.

    Hope that helps!

  19. kristen
    January 8, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    i ♡ disco dust!! Thanks for the tutorial, I’m not quite so scared of it now. You are a cookie genius by the way!!

  20. January 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    those cookies are very cute!

  21. January 9, 2010 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all the sweet comments everyone!

  22. January 9, 2010 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I love your perfect icing works! You have amazing hands. And Thank you for sharing your beautiful art pieces.

  23. January 9, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I just ordered some disco dust for Valentine’s Day cookies!!
    Thanks for the tutorial, I can’t wait to use it!!

  24. January 14, 2010 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    BEA-U-TI-FUL! I can’t get the disco dust locally. Do you mail order yours?

  25. January 14, 2010 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Thanks for dropping by!
    babskitchen, I do order it online and have it mailed to me.

  26. January 16, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just found your blog and it is FAB!! I live just North of Toronto so I recognize some of your references!! I LOVE baking and I’m very excited about your blog 🙂

  27. January 19, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I’ve just found your blog and it’s amazing. Loved your cokkies, your tutorials and tips. I’ve made a post about your creations on my blog. Keep up the good work!

  28. January 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    this blog is a dream 🙂 I love everything you post, and th every best thing it doesnt end

    I will spend so many hours and days here to read your lovely ideas…thanks for sharing 🙂

    elif from Turkey

  29. January 19, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    gorgeous cookies!!
    thimbleanna steered me here.
    can’t wait to come back!

  30. January 22, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Marian! Thank you for sharing this tip on how to put back the excess dust! I would have never thought of that.

    Also, thanks for sharing the FDA approved dust.

    Thanks Marian, love your gorgeous cookies!

  31. January 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Oh wow! Oh Wow! Oh WOW! Those cookies are so gorgeous!!! I love them! Thanks for the tutorial… I can’t wait to try it out!!!!

  32. January 25, 2010 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Your cookies are absolutely gorgeous ! I love the little snowmen and the luster dust you put on it ! Thank you so mush for your tutorials, you’re amazing !

  33. January 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t been to the site in a few weeks…so I missed these. As usual, they are just gorgeous. Such time and patience go into your cookies – you inspire me!

  34. February 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian, I am getting ready to break out my disco dust. after you have applied it and the cookie has dried, why do u pour it into a separate container and not the original container??? Thank u!!!

  35. February 12, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Yes I do. Also make sure you pick out any crumbs that may fall into the container.
    Happy decorating Danielle… I’d love to see pics!

  36. March 3, 2010 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    I found your blog by googling ‘disco dust’ since I just bought some today. I love your blog! I have been decorating cookies for 25 years and I can still learn something new every day. Your tutorials and presentations of your ideas are really wonderful. Kudos to you!! 🙂

  37. Tiffany
    April 16, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I love your blog! I have two questions if you don’t mind.

    I was just wondering, how do you make your black icing?

    Also, I use Wilton’s gel paste, but I find after a year it starts to get hard and unusable and I still have heaps left! Is americolor the same? Or does it last longer.

    Thank you so much!

  38. April 16, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Tiffany, I use black Americolor gel – it goes a long way (although you still need to use a lot), and doesn’t seem to get hard over time like the Wilton gel, although I usually use my colors up before they have time to get old! I’d love to hear from someone else about that!

    The Americolor gel comes in a squeeze bottle which isn’t huge so it doesn’t last forever either. It’s more of a liquidy gel than paste too, so the consistency is different.

    Americolor seems to be a bit more intense than Wilton and seems to bleed less. I do like it better…
    Hope that helps!

  39. Tiffany
    April 16, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    @ Marian:

    Thank you so much! Keep up the awesome work! I have learned so much from you blog. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  40. Joy
    April 20, 2010 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Where can I find the colorful disco dust in the US? Houston – more specifically.

  41. April 20, 2010 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Joy, I’m not familiar with local bakery supply stores in Houston so can’t help in that department, but if you want to order it off Amazon from the States, click on my affiliate link… The first word in this post – Disco Dust.

  42. Linh
    April 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    These cookies look so amazing!!! I LOVE your work! Which icing recipe did you used for these cookies?

  43. Judes
    November 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello, very nice cookies… where do you buy the disco dust? (Toronto area i hope)…

    Keep up the good work!! 😀

    • marian
      November 19, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      I’ve bought most of mine on line, but if you’re in the Toronto area, the Bonnie Gordon Schools sells it!
      Happy baking!

  44. Kalee
    December 28, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Did I understand you to say you used a #2 tip to outline the snowman, and also to fill it in?
    Also, how long do you wait in between outlining and filling?
    When I am flooding, I generally have to do a lot of ‘dragging’ with a toothpick to get the area covered. Your flooding looks fairly puffy-is this because you fill all areas with the tip and don’t have to drag?
    One more question! How does disco dust differ from lustre dust?
    Thanks so much!

  45. marian
    December 29, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    @ Kalee:
    Yes, I do. I have a video on how I do it here:

    That will show you how long I wait in between outlining and filling in for this type of cookie.

    Disco dust looks like sparkles and lustre dust is more of shimmer powder. You need to mix it with a clear extract, like almond for example, or with vodka, in order to ‘paint’ it on your dry icing.

    Hope that helps!

  46. Annie
    July 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    The sugarcraft website sells disco dust but it says “use for non edible decorations”….do you think this is just a precaution because it isn’t FDA approved?

    • marian
      July 29, 2011 at 2:50 am | Permalink

      I think so.
      Sunflower Sugar Art is making the effort to get it FDA approved, so as soon as I have their information, I’ll do a post on it.

  47. September 17, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Great post. You are my hero!!!

    Question – Can you brush clear vanilla over dried frosting and then apply disco dust? Also, would the clear vanilla technique be your recommendation for sugaring or wet icing?

  48. September 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    @ Brenda: You could brush a very light coating of vanilla extract on there, and then apply disco dust, but any thin liquid can easily create indents/holes/craters in royal icing. If you had to, clear corn syrup works without damaging the RI, but it’s sticky.
    I definitely recommend putting disco dust on when the icing is wet.

  49. September 17, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I love me some disco dust! Did you know that disco dust also works great for painted items, of the non- edible variety? True story. I use it often because it’s so much finer than glitter. I apply it by dipping a dry paint brush into the jar and then tapping the paintbrush over my item to apply. Works like a charm!

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