Wafer paper flowers offer an alternative to gumpaste flowers. They have a light and airy quality to them which makes for a beautiful cake design.
I learned a new technique from Lisa Berczel at the ICES Convention this summer, molding wafer paper flowers. The tools needed are pictured here. Plastic tweezers or silicone tipped tweezers are necessary for handling the wet wafer paper. Make a pattern for the petal shape that will fit into the mold, taking into account there will be some shrinking of the shape once it gets wet. Cut wafer paper petals using the pattern. Dip the petal into water by holding it with the tweezers. Lay the petal onto the mold and brush gently into place with a damp brush.
Leaves are made the same way. Brush the wafer paper onto the veiner to achieve the impression you want.
Craft punches can also be used to make flowers out of wafer paper. These punches were purchased at Michael's and Archiver's.
Flowers can be shaped by laying on a former and brushing lightly with water to take on a curved shape. The single layer flower is fragile and does not need to be dipped in water.
Plastic formers of any type may be used, but make sure they do not have a hole at the bottom or the wafer paper will also get a hole.
The fastest way to dry the wafer paper is under a heat lamp. I found my sugar box worked great for this. Leaves and single layer flowers dry in about 15 minutes. Multi-petal flowers take at least 30 minutes to dry. It is easy to see when they are no longer wet and ready for the next step.
Make centers for the flowers with gumpaste or a 50/50 mix. I mixed yellow and green together to get a more natural looking center.
Airbrushing is the best way to color the flowers. Hold the flowers with tweezers so they don't blow away! Add the color in layers and take care not to add to much because the moisture can distort the flower shape.
Attach the centers to the flowers using piping gel. Allow to dry and then attach to the cake with more piping gel, holding in place to set.
Play around with the layout of your design before attaching to the cake.