Wafer-Paper Garland by Aimee Ford

We are so thrilled to have Aimee share her signature wafer style with this beginner-friendly garland cake. Perfect for those who prefer minimalist cake designs or first-timers at wafer work, this chic single tier will wow anytime. We first published this in holiday colors in our November/December 2019 issue (buy here for the full tutorial, https://americancakedecorating.com/product/american-cake-decorating-digital-november-december-2019/), but we wanted to share this gorgeous red, white, and blue version with you too.

Components

Equipment:

Dresden tool
Frying pan
Floral wire: 24 and 26 gauge
Wire cutters
Posy picks

Edibles:

Ganached cake: 7 inches by 8 inches (18cm by 20cm) tall
Fondant: white (sugarpaste)
6 sheets of wafer paper
100ml water
Gel colors: red and green
Edible glue
Royal icing

Cover Your Cake

  1. Cover the premade ganached cake with white fondant. I used a 7-inch-round, 8-inch-deep (18-cm-round, 20-cm-deep) covered cake, however, you could panel the cake if you are not confident covering a deep cake.
  1. Using both the thin and thick ends of a Dresden tool, score upward and downward in fairly straight lines, repeatedly overlapping the lines to give a ruched fabric texture effect.

Make the Wafer-Paper Garland

  1. Cut A4 wafer paper into 12 pieces by cutting into 4 strips down the length and then each strip into equal thirds across the width. Do this on 6 sheets of paper, so that there are 72 individual “squares.” Cut each square into a wide petal shape; you can layer them up and cut through up to 6 at a time with sharp scissors.
  1. Place the pan over a medium-high heat. Using around 100ml of water, quickly sweep a petal through the water and straight into the frying pan and repeat until the pan is full. Be careful to not have the petals touching. Fry the petals until they are completely dry. Repeat the process so that you have 24 petals of each color.
  1. To create the colored petals, simply color the water using the gel colors. The water should be colored a much deeper shade than the end color, though you can use wafer-paper offcuts to check that you have the desired shade.
  1. Changing the heat in the pan can give different effects: a lower heat and the petals will stay flat, a higher heat and they will catch and burn slightly in places to give a different effect.
  1. Once all the petals are fried, they should be left overnight to dry out completely, then they will need to be wired. Use 24- or 26-gauge floral wire cut into 4 equal lengths using wire cutters. Brush a little edible glue onto a corner of the petal, give it a few seconds to absorb, and then bend the petal back onto itself and press to seal the end of the wire. Some petals may snap but don’t worry, just use the broken part to glue the wire to the petal. Repeat until all petals are wired then leave to dry for 24 hours.
  1. Once the petals are wired, bunch together in small posies of 6, 2 of each color, and tape tightly together using floral tape. Now tape the posies onto each other spacing them roughly 1cm apart until there are 6 posies taped together tightly into a short garland. Repeat to form a second garland the same way. Bend the wire end of the garlands round into a right angle.
  1. Add a flower pick into the cake roughly 1 inch from the top, pipe a small amount of royal icing into the pick, and place the long end of one of the garlands into the flower pick so that it drapes down. Repeat with the second garland but direct it the opposite side.

Aimee Ford

Aimee Ford created Butterfingers in 2012 when her hobby grew into her passion and profession. Aimee specializes in bespoke luxury cakes showcasing her natural artistic flair across many different mediums. Aimee has won multiple international gold and silver awards, plus scooped Best in Class at both Salon Culinaire International and Northern Ireland Sugar Expo. She is gaining recognition across the cake world and has recently been featured in a number of publications.

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