If you keep up with our weekly Friday Faves picks, you’ll recognize the stunning wafer paper ranunculus flowers on this cake by Kara of Kara’s Couture Cakes (CC username KarasCoutureCakes). As soon as we saw these exquisite blossoms, we knew we had to learn the technique behind them– and share it with you! Below, Kara walks us through how to create lifelike wafer paper ranunculus flowers and explains some of the inspiration behind her technique.

I love the ranunculus. It’s like the mille-feuille of the botanical world, lush with impossibly delicate, silky petals. No matter how many different ways I’ve tried, I have never been content with the finished look of sugar paste for this beauty. Confectioner’s wafer lends the lightness, delicacy, and translucency that I find so essential to successfully imitate nature.



1.5-inch foam ball
2 sheets wafer paper
Bright green petal dust
Coated foam or gumpaste flower center affixed to an 18- or 20-gauge floral wire
Cutting mat
Craft circle punches (1 inch and 1.5 inch)
Craft knife
Deep green petal dust
Large angled soft brush
Ruler or straight edge
Small bowl of water
Small and narrow soft brush
Small scissors
Soft round-tipped brush
Violet (or your choice color) petal dust



1. Using the smaller circle punch, cut one circle as close to the corner of one sheet of wafer paper as possible.


2. Using the cut hole as a guide, line up your ruler or straight edge and cut a strip just larger than the hole. Use that strip as a guide to cut the remainder of the wafer sheet into equal strips.



3. Group 2-3 strips of wafer paper together. Turn your circle punch upside down, and punch holes down the length of the grouped strips of wafer paper. Having the punch upside down allows you to see that you have the paper properly centered in the cutting area and it reduces waste.

4. Repeat the process with the large craft circle punch and the second sheet of confectioner’s wafer paper.

5. The wafer circle now needs to be cut.


6. Cutting 2-3 circles at a time, cut from the edge straight towards the center, approximately ⅓ of the diameter inward (⅓ inch for the 1 inch round).


7. Dip your brush lightly into the water, only to dampen it slightly. Blot any excess water on the side or on a paper towel. Brush the water on the wafer just to the left of the cut. You shouldn’t see any visible moisture on the wafer; it doesn’t take much to create a sticky surface. Too much water will simply melt the wafer.


8. Fold the right side of the cut over top of the dampened left side and press gently together. You do not need to hold it or apply much pressure, it sticks almost instantly. This step should produce a slight cup to the wafer petal.

9. Repeat step 8 with all of the circles.


10. Paint a circle of water around the top third of the flower center. (You can use a bit more water in the following steps than you used in creating the cupped petals.)


11. Begin applying the small wafer petals in a circle, slightly overlapping each other, all meeting at the center top of the ball.


12. Use 4-5 petals to form your first and innermost layer.


13. Apply your second layer of petals about ⅛ inch lower than the first set of petals. Overlap these as well. Use approximately 5 petals to complete this layer. (Each following layer should be applied slightly farther down than the previous layer, just as you did here.)



14. Before you add subsequent layers, you’ll notice that there are some pointed areas from the cupping of the petals and where they may overlap. Tamp down the points with the side of your slightly wet brush. Don’t get too close to the tops of the petals, but also don’t be afraid of using water at this point. The center does much to absorb excess moisture as does the layered petals.

15. The petals don’t have to be flush to the center. A little irregularity will create more volume and visual interest.

16. Once you are content with the look and quantity of the first smaller petal layers, you can begin using the larger petals.


17. These petals will overhang the ball a bit at first. Paint water at the edges of the petal.


18. Use your fingers to arrange the look of the petal and to pull the petals down and closer for the first few layers of the larger sized petals. This will help the flower to still look a bit tight rather than opening up too abruptly. Allow the last few layers of large petals to open more.


19. Once you’ve finished applying all of your petals, use a wet brush to secure the bottom visible layers of petals to the center and create a flush surface.


20. You can leave your petals as applied like in this picture. They have crisp, clean edges and look very refined. Or…


21. …You can use a lightly wet brush and run it around the edges of the outer side of the edges of the petals, as in this picture. The wafer will curl to the side you applied the water and create a more worn, shabby chic look. I find this look to be more natural, but each look has their place in design.

Yes, you’ve just finished these flowers. And if you’re accustomed to working with sugarpaste you may move on to a different task, have a cup of coffee, or call it a day. We’re used to allowing the sugar to dry for at least 24 hours (in general) before we apply the finishing touches. No need with these wafer flowers! You can begin dusting right away! Just be sure your edges have dried if you applied water to curl them.


22. To dust them and add life, I used three shades of green petal dust: Holly, Moss Green, and Apple Green for the center.


23. First start with the Apple Green, applying your largest diameter coating of color with the small, soft, narrow brush.


24. Add the Moss Green and Holly to the center to gradually deepen the shading towards the center.


25. Using your large, soft, angled brush, load a very light amount of violet (or your chosen accent color) onto it, tapping the excess off.


26. Hold the brush at an angle to the petals and make short downward motions to gently apply the color to just the edges of the petals. I used a bit more color on the outermost petals.

27. The accent color is very, very gentle (and very difficult to reproduce on camera!) but it highlights the edges and gives the flower life and dimension.


This flower took 20 minutes, from punching the wafer paper to finishing dusting.


PreciousPeggy Says... 23 Oct 2013 , 7:52am

Wauw Beautiful!!! Thank you for the gorgeous tutorial. Love it!! x

PastelesAlma Says... 23 Oct 2013 , 8:20am

so beautiful. Thank you Kara for sharing this!!!!

ButRCream Says... 23 Oct 2013 , 9:01am

I've been anxiously waiting for this tutorial! Thank you SO very much for sharing in such detail, Kara! :)

KarasCoutureCakes Says... 23 Oct 2013 , 6:38pm

You are all very welcome! It was my pleasure :)

FromScratchSF Says... 23 Oct 2013 , 7:19pm

I am so steeling this - I've been eyeballing this flower since you first posted it on your FB page, I am over the moon you posted it for FREE here! You rock!

AmeliesKItchen Says... 24 Oct 2013 , 1:27am

Oh my goodness, this is amazing, I've just started experimenting with wafer paper and can't wait to try this, thank you for your generosity in sharing!

sweethouse Says... 24 Oct 2013 , 5:34am

Great tutorial. Defo something I will keep for reference - thanks so much Jillibins

mfeagan Says... 24 Oct 2013 , 6:14am

I hope my cake supply store sells wafer paper! I want to make this for my daughter's first birthday cake!! :)

Thank you for the tutorial!

JWinslow Says... 24 Oct 2013 , 7:06am

Been waiting for this tutorial - easy, nicely done. Thank you, Kara

mamacakes3 Says... 25 Oct 2013 , 2:26pm

Thank you for the tutorial. Loved the photos. I can't wait to find wafer paper :)

CakeChemistry Says... 26 Oct 2013 , 1:04am

Can't wait to try!

Tammy Iacomella Says... 26 Oct 2013 , 8:58pm

Thank you, I also can't wait to try this technique.

neelixjacob Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 7:58am

Appreciate your sharing this technique, once I find where I can buy wafer paper I will certainly have a go at these.

Nonna18 Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 2:21pm

I am not sure what, wafer paper, is? Is it rice paper? Is it hard, does not break when you cut out circles? And another question is how long will these flowers last and where to keep them? Thanks a lot for the respond. Have a great day! Nonna

KarasCoutureCakes Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 2:49pm

You are all so welcome :) I'm humbled by your sweet and kind responses!

KarasCoutureCakes Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 2:52pm

Hi Nonna!

It depends on the maker, but most are edible rice paper. Some are made instead with potato. It's firm, not hard and it cuts beautifully if you use a sharp blade. I have kept them out in the open (on a styro cake dummy) for months without any change in composition. Of course, since they are susceptible to moisture you need to gauge you environment and adjust accordingly.

Enjoy making them!


KarasCoutureCakes Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 2:54pm

You can find it on Amazon or at Country Kitchen Sweet Art. Either place you should be able to buy it for about $17.00 for a 100 sheet pack of 8" x 11". Some one Amazon are very high in price and those are not what I used. I get mine through Country Kitchen. :)

KarasCoutureCakes Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 2:54pm

You can find it on Amazon or at Country Kitchen Sweet Art. Either place you should be able to buy it for about $17.00 for a 100 sheet pack of 8" x 11". Some one Amazon are very high in price and those are not what I used. I get mine through Country Kitchen. :)

KarasCoutureCakes Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 2:55pm

If they don't.... You can find it on Amazon or at Country Kitchen Sweet Art. Either place you should be able to buy it for about $17.00 for a 100 sheet pack of 8" x 11". Some one Amazon are very high in price and those are not what I used. I get mine through Country Kitchen. :)

TheSweetChalet Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 7:53pm

Beautiful Flowers! Thanks you for sharing Your talent! Cheers...

Nonna18 Says... 27 Oct 2013 , 10:33pm

Thank you so much for the quick respond! Nonna

tfelix Says... 8 Feb 2014 , 9:32am

Thanks Kara for sharing. This is generous of you. I have a question - does wafer paper come in color? if not, can we color them? how? Appreciate your response. Your creations are purely amazing and beautiful by the way. :-)

splendirifficcakes Says... 13 Feb 2014 , 9:51am

I too would like to know about colered wafer paper. I know they can be dusted/highlighted with the edible dust but colored wafer paper would be great for reds/ black etc. Your flowers are flawless always love seeking your works of art.

redgbee Says... 28 Feb 2014 , 5:15pm

my 40th birthday is 3days from now and i made them! it was awesome. i enjoyed the experience of making them with my husband. he was cutting the papers and we shared putting them together. (i know no one will give me a birthday cake) super thank you for the tutorial. With kind regards -Regina

Zanobia Says... 2 Mar 2014 , 4:44am

WOW Awesome, can't wait to try it, tell me is wafer paper the same as rice paper. Thanks so much 4 sharing.

joabra83 Says... 6 Mar 2014 , 2:54pm

Thank you so much for the tutorial!!!!! ♥

Does anybody know were to find rice paper in Twin cities MN?

jewelsweb Says... 8 Mar 2014 , 4:53am

Thank you for your wonderful tutorial Kara. I saw several times in the posts stating that wafer and rice paper are the same. We have rice paper here but it is more like plastic and definitely not pliable in the slightest. I am situated in Australia.

Biliana Says... 8 Jul 2014 , 9:51pm

This is a must try for me thank you so much for sharing xxoo

faithfulsteps Says... 30 Nov 2014 , 7:41pm


This is beautiful! How did you affix the wire to the foam ball? And is the foam ball covered in fondant or can it just be used without covering with anything? Thank you for this lovely tutorial!

Jazz2U Says... 25 Aug 2015 , 5:14pm

How beautiful & easy!  Thank you!!!

Login To Leave A Comment