White Wafer Paper Butterfly Tutorial
If you have ever searched for inspiration for a rosette cake, chances are you have come across plenty of gorgeous rosette cakes decorated with beautiful, delicate butterflies. And if you look closely, you'll notice many of these butterflies are actually made out of feathers! The feathers offer a light delicate appearance that you just can't get from heavy fondant. So how could you go about making a butterfly yourself without sacrificing the beauty that only the feathers seem to give? Well, I'm going to show you! And, unlike feather butterflies, they'll be edible! :)
For this butterfly tutorial, we'll just be using a simple easy two-wing template. For a more elegant butterfly, use a 4-wing template (where the top two large wings will be separate from the bottom two smaller wings) to give the butterfly a more 3D effect (template coming soon!).
To begin, print out a butterfly template of your choice in the size needed for your project. For this tutorial I've included a free downloadable copy of the one I'm using in this tutorial. Please feel free to use this template to create butterflies for personal cakes or even cakes you're selling. Just please do not share this template or use it as your own on another website. :) To download the template, click the button below...
Next, place a sheet of wafer paper over the template and trace around the outside edge of the butterfly with an Xacto knife to cut out the butterfly wings.
After the butterfly's wings have been cut out, it's time to paint the designs on the wings. And I have a really cool trick to share with you... I've always heard that it's best to use melted cocoa butter and petal dust as paint on wafer paper (water and other thin liquids will cause wafer paper to dissolve or curl), but the cocoa butter always gave my "paint" a yellowish tint. For this project, my butterfly's paint needed to be pure white! So I got an idea! I read the ingredients list on the label of my bottle of Wilton's White-White icing color, and noticed the only liquid in it was glycerin! And so I painted Wilton's White-White directly onto my wafer paper, and it worked perfectly!! It didn't dissolve it or cause it to curl! Whoo hoo!! I am just so excited about this discovery!! :)
Anyway, back to the tutorial :) . Keeping your butterfly's wings lined up on the template, use a small paintbrush to paint Wilton's white-white on the wing designs on the template. Be careful to not touch the painted areas or they may smear.
To give your butterfly a little sparkle (and to help keep the "paint" from smearing), sprinkle the painted areas with snow white Disco Dust. Shake off excess glitter.
To give the butterfly antennae, use flower stamens and twist onto the end of a florist wire to hold them steady. Lay the wire over where the butterfly's body will be to eye up how long the body will need to be.
Next, bend the wire to the size needed for the butterfly's body. Where the wire pinches together will be the space that will hold the wafer paper wings - be sure this spot is tightly pinched together.
Slide the wafer paper wings into the pinched area of the wire. If desired, wings can be lightly pinched upward near the center (where the wire is) to give them a little lift to keep them from looking too flat.
Stick the wire that is under the butterfly into a Styrofoam block to hold the butterfly steady. Using a little white fondant that has a little Tylose powder mixed in, roll a small fondant "snake" and lay it over the center wire. This will be the butterfly's body. Do not use any liquids to attach the fondant... after it has been pressed onto the wire it should stick by itself. Be sure to tuck some of the fondant underneath the butterfly to cover the wire that pinches the wings.
And that's how you make this cute edible butterfly decoration!
Attaching the butterfly to your cake:
For buttercream cakes, trim a standard drinking straw to a length that is slightly longer than the wire that is underneath your butterfly. Insert the straw into the cake where you'd like your butterfly to sit - the straw will protect any cake that will be eaten from the wire. Insert the wire down into the straw - ensure the butterfly's wings don't come into contact with the buttercream or they may begin to dissolve or wilt. For added support, I like to fold the wire in half. This helps keep the butterfly from spinning around.
For fondant cakes, feel free to use the method described above, or the butterfly can be "glued" to the cake using melted chocolate. To glue the butterfly to a fondant cake, first trim away the wire underneath the butterfly. Melt down chocolate (I like to use Wilton's candy melts - preferably white) and add a bit of chocolate directly to the underside of the butterfly (or where the butterfly will sit on the cake), and immediately press and hold the butterfly to the cake until chocolate has hardened and butterfly holds up on its own.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! God bless!!