Owing in part to television shows that feature cake decorating, home bakers have progressed beyond standard decor for their cakes and moved toward more elaborate and delicate ornamentation. Rice paper flowers and butterflies are among these more ornate decorations. Their semi-transparent qualities, plus the fact they contain far fewer calories than the older, standard flowers made of sugar and fat, make them especially attractive to younger bakers and cake buyers. Decorations made of rice paper or wafer paper, as it is sometimes known, can be edible.
Things You'll Need
- Sheets of wafer paper
- Paper craft flower and leaf punches
- Edible paint markers
- Edible water colors
- Water dish
- Art paintbrushes, clean or new
- Styrofoam egg carton
- Edible glitter
- Pearl or iridescent dust, edible
- Edible dragees
- Candy ornaments
- Foam egg carton
- Edible piping gel, clear and colors
Cut out flower and leaf shapes from wafer paper using scissors or paper flower punch utensils, such as those used for scrapbooking. Choose simple shapes. Vary the sizes of the flowers and leaves.
Paint or color the flower shapes and the leaves using marking pens with edible ink or edible watercolor paint. The paint allows more delicate variations of color than the markers, but the markers are useful to add details such as veins. Avoid wetting the wafer paper excessively because it may break or dissolve.
Shape the flowers and leaves with your fingers while they are still damp with paint, or moisten the shapes with a tiny amount of plain water from a small bowl to make them pliable. Careful! They're sticky when they are wet.
Place flowers inside foam egg cartons to help them retain a more natural cup shape while drying. Try layering one flower shape atop another as they dry; the natural stickiness of the wafer paper often eliminates the need for any other adhesive. Leaves may be dried flat or molded around a finger.
Dry the wafer paper pieces until they are no longer sticky. Add additional color or decor in the form of edible glitter or pearl dust at this time. Plan centers for flowers, if desired, made of edible dragees, candyor perhaps gum drop slices.
Assemble the flowers, layer by layer, on the cake using clear piping gel to adhere the flowers to the fondant or frosting on the cake. Leaves may be placed on the cake before or after the flowers as desired. Add centers to the flowers with piping gel and, if desired, continue to embellish with watercolor paint.
Tips & Warnings
- Assemble all your materials for making wafer paper flowers before you begin.
- Making elaborate rice paper flowers is a skilled art. Practice with simple shapes before attempting a fancy arrangement.
- Wafer paper flowers don't have to be dimensional. Try making flat flowers to adhere to toothpicks or straws. These can be inserted into the cake top, ornamented as desired, and removed before serving.
- Another simple idea is to leave the white wafer paper uncolored. Use the flowers and leaves to decorate a cake with chocolate frosting.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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