Doesn’t gold look stunning on wedding cakes? It actually is 24k gold dust mixed with lemon extract and the directly painted on the piping and the large gum paste rose. The reason lemon extract is used is because it’s high in alcohol (as much as 83% alcohol) that evaporates off the cake when painted on. If mixed with a water based fluid it would literally melt into the sugar based fondant and be sticky. Yes lemon extract (clear not colored) can be very pricey and most decorators use vodka as a cheaper replacement which works well but doesn’t evaporate as quickly I find. Food grade gold is meant as a highlighter – so don’t be painting the entire cake gold just places that need that extra richness. There are cheaper gold luster dusts out there you can use or even mix into instead of all real gold but I don’t find it gives off the same look as real gold. Happy Caking!