Wafer paper is one of my favourite mediums to work with. I started using it a few years ago now, and it’s one of those things in a busy cake designer’s life, that investing time into the upkeep of skills can be so tricky (especially in the summer months if you create and sell wedding cakes!). Work and life just get in the way. So I find that a lot of cake designers I speak to want to learn how to use wafer paper but don’t have the time to or have tried it got into a sticky situation (quite literally with the wafer paper!) and gave up because they couldn’t use it, didn’t like it or don’t have enough time to sit down and have a play.
So in this blog, I want to help show you that having wafer paper as part of your repertoire is a good thing to have and will help your business grow, give you more time back and also its a skill set that many don’t utilise, so it’s a medium that will make you stand out from the crowd, without trying to change your aesthetic or style like most trends do. You can use it your way, incorporating your style and create stunning results.
What is wafer paper?
Wafer paper has been around for centuries in the world of patisserie and baking. Something that was once an expensive item used in dessert. Only the upper class and aristocracy could afford it. Now it’s readily available and affordable to all. It’s actually cost-effective to use.
Made from potato starch, wheat flour and oil or also known as rice paper which uses rice flour popular in Asian countries. Both have their uses and strengths.
What are the advantages of using wafer paper?
1. It’s lightweight in terms of actual weight and appearance. So perfect for creating lots of decoration without compromising the cake it will be placed on. Unlike sugar flowers that can be weighty. Its ethereal appearance creates beautiful light and shadow and depth in a way that sugar paste can’t.
2. You can use it to add so many different textures to cakes, from ruffles to gilding or painted pieces, creating concrete surfaces or any kind of texture that needs depth or lightweight material.
3. You can colour wafer paper any colour and in so many different ways from using an edible printer, dusting, painting using edible paints and dust to gold and silver leaf. Also airbrushing.
4. You can use wafer paper to make lace, add glitter, metallic effects, ruffles, decoupage with prints and different colours, quilling and manipulate into shapes to create striking and beautiful results.
5. You can use just a pair of scissors to create shapes, and you can trace any shape with it too! or punches to create shapes.
6. You can use it to make flowers. An array of flowers. In fact, any flower can be re-created using wafer paper. With minimal tools too. Its all about knowing how to manipulate it and shape, once you have this, you can start creating so many beautiful flowers.
My poppy class running on the 18th of November will be a perfect way to learn these skills. If you have always wanted to know how to use wafer paper, this is the class for you. I will be sharing all my secrets on how I use it to make you fall in love with this medium and start creating beautiful flowers too.
7. Time. I find using wafer paper so time effective. You can create double the amount of flowers or decorations it would take to make using sugar paste. Its also so cost-effective so both of these are two big wins for wafer paper and cake businesses.
Wafer Paper Knowledge
Wafer paper comes in different thicknesses so depending on what you want to do with it depends on what thickness you use.
It has a rough side and a smooth side, and again I love this because it’s giving you more options on use in 1 piece. You may need a more textured side for your design or smooth. You choose which side to use.
Wafer paper is delicate, which is perfect for creating the most elegant and refined details, but this, in turn, makes it tricky to use if you don’t know-how.
Storing wafer paper flat and in a cool, dry place is essential. Heat and sunlight can distort wafer paper and moisture will dissolve it.
Using wafer paper, you will tend to use just water or piping gel to act as the glue. Its just knowing amounts to use for which project.
When it comes to wafer paper, it really is only your imagination stopping you. You can create and achieve so many things with it. It’s all about knowing how to use it in the first place. Just a little time and effort and having a play. The results are incredible.