How to Make Edible Rice Paper Butterfly Decorations

Rice, or wafer paper, is an edible, thin, translucent paper which can be used to decorate food. Making it into butterfly shapes is an attractive way to personalize cakes, candy or cookies and create unique homemade gifts. You can design your own template or use an image of a butterfly you like. While Martha Stewart suggests using marzipan and piping gel to finish the design, you can also color your paper using food coloring and edible ink.

Things You'll Need

  • Blank wafer or rice paper
  • Edible marker pens
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Edible gel (optional)
  • Edible glitter (optional)
  • Marzipan (optional)
  • Paper
  • Small scissors or knife.


    • 1

      Draw a butterfly on a piece of paper, copy a picture from a book or magazine, or print a design from the internet.

    • 2

      Place the rice paper over your design, and trace it using edible marker. Turn over the paper and trace the design again on the other side. Leave the butterfly shape to dry; this can take up to 24 hours, so allow plenty of time.

    • 3

      You can use food coloring or edible markers to decorate your butterfly shape, painting a design onto each wing. For a more elaborate decoration, cover the shape with edible gel and sprinkle with glitter, shaking off any excess. If you're making a large number of butterflies, another option is using your printer to print the rice paper with edible ink.

    • 4

      Once it's dry, carefully cut out your design using a small knife.

    • 5

      Create the butterfly's body, drawing it using a black edible marker or painting it using gel. Alternatively, Martha Stewart suggests making the body out of marzipan; add food coloring to it, then take off a small amount and roll it into a thin cylinder shape, roughly 1 to 1 and one-half inches long. Use a knife to cut a small slit along the length of the cylinder; cut another slit on the opposite side. Separate the paper wings, and push them gently into the slits on either side of the body, pinching the marzipan to keep them in place.

    • 6

      If desired, use a little water or fondant icing to attach your butterfly decorations to a cake or cookie. If you make the butterflies in advance, store them in an airtight container and keep away from moisture. Don't put them in the freezer or fridge, as the cold temperatures and moist air can damage them. Use them within two weeks.

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  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

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