Frills, ruffles, rosettes, feathers, quilling and of course flowers can all be made from wafer paper with very few ingredients or tools. Purely decorative, wafer paper has little to no flavour and it simply dissolves when eaten.
It is very delicate and can help you create the most elegant and dainty cake decorations. But, this delicacy comes at a cost! If you've ever worked with wafter paper, you will know that it is notoriously difficult to craft with. Cue our top tips for working with wafer paper!
What is wafer paper?
Sometimes referred to as rice paper, this cake decorating ingredient is an edible form of paper that is normally made from either rice or potato flour. You can generally buy it in large packs of several sheets, although you can buy individual sheets as well. You can also purchase wafter paper that has already been shaped.
But, if you're a Cake Decoration & Sugarcraft reader, the chances are you want to be doing that part yourself!
Top tip 1: buying wafer paper
As when purchasing any cake decorating edibles and equipment, inspect your product before you purchase! Check they are smooth and unblemished and, if buying multiple sheets, check that they are uniform in colour. A slight colour difference can make the world of difference! Bear in mind that wafer paper has a smooth side and a rough side.
Top tip 2: storing wafer paper
Store them flat in a cool place. Room temperature is fine but no warmer. Keep the paper away from heat and sunlight, as these can both distort the paper and make it even harder to use.
Top tip 3: working with wafer paper
For maximum beauty and creativity we recommend you have the following to hand when working with wafer paper:
|Edible glue||Cutting board||Steamer|
|Fabriliquid||Circular cutting tool/scalpel||Airbrush|
|Lustre & petal powders||Scissors|
|Alcohol or extract||Florist wires|
|Alcohol based airbrush colours|
Each of these extra elements are there to help enhance your wafer paper shaping skills and give you the chance to create a whole host of shapes and designs in different colours and sizes.
Top tip 4: colouring wafer paper
While you can purchase pre-coloured wafer paper, you may prefer to colour sheets yourself. If you want to create a unique colouring to your decorations, perhaps achieve some elegant shading or simply want to challenge yourself, then you're going to want to pay attention to this!
We recommend mixing food dusts with oil to colour wafer paper without it disintegrating. Be sparing with the oil, however, as you will only need a little and make sure it is a fairly flavourless oil, such as sunflower oil.
If you own an airbrush, you can really go to town when colouring wafer paper. Simply mix whichever colours you like and lightly spray your sheet (or sheets) of wafer paper. Layer lightly for the best finish and layer with a topcoat of lustre for depth. Don't worry if the paper crinkles slightly, this will simply enhance the realistic look of the paper, especially if you're creating flowers.
Top tip 5: embellishing wafer paper
Once you're happy with the colour of your wafer paper, you can always add some embellishments. Especially if you're looking at adding petal details or if you're a bit of an artist, you can add all sorts of details using edible pens! You can mix petal dusts and paste colours with alcohol for an edible paint or with melted cocoa butter (paint on and blot excess with kitchen roll). You can add small details or doodle designs with edible pens as well.
Top tip 6: using templates with wafer paper
Whether you're looking to make petals, feathers, ruffles or anything else with wafer paper, you will often need a template. Draw your template out as a mirror image. This is very important to ensure your wafer paper shape is the correct way round when finished. Next, trace your mirror image template onto the ROUGH side of the wafer paper, either using edible food pens or coloured paste and a paint brush.
Apply a thin coat of clear piping gel using an offset spatula, then smooth using the spatula in one stroke.Then cut out and shape as you please!
Feel free to use our wafer paper fairytale castle templates to get started!
Top tip 7: shaping wafer paper
You can cut petals and form them with Fabriliquid or the lightest brush with water or steam to stick and hold the shape. Always dust the centre of flowers radiating outwards with petal or lustre dusts for a realistic finish. If you're wanting softer edges to your wafer paper shapes, we recommend brushing the tip of the petal with a very small amount of water and allow it to fold and curl slightly before attaching it to make the flower. You can also form petals over rounded shapes for a truly lifelike shape.
If you're more of a freehand artist, feel free to simply use scissors to cut out your shapes! This can be really effective when creating realistic petals: Check out Zoe Burmester's super chic large wafer paper flowers to see more!
Top tip 8: printing designs
If you're lucky enough to own an edible printer (one that prints edible paper, not one that you can eat of course!) then you can print out your own designs onto wafer paper. This can be incredibly effective, such as with this stunning oriental fan design.
You can print literally anything you want onto wafer paper, so you could have a lot of fun printing embarrassing photos of friends to plaster on their cake!
If, like most of us you don't own an edible printer, most cake decorating companies are happy to do the printing for you.
When it comes to working with wafer paper on cakes, just use your imagination! You never know what you might be inspired to create...
If you found this useful, why not check out our cake decorating paste guide to help you navigate the complicated world of sugarpaste!