How to Make Papel Picado Tortilla Snowflakes


crunchy snowflakes made out of tortillas and sprinkles which resemble papel picado
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Papel Picado Tortilla Snowflakes
Servings: 8 snowflakes
Author: Jackie Alpers
Cost: 5.00


  • 1 fine pointed scissors
Papel picado means “perforated paper,” and it’s a popular folk-art craft in Tucson and Mexico. This crunchy, sweet and sparkly edible version will brighten any winter holiday table. This is probably the only time I will recommend using those super-soft, fluffy, white, supermarket tortillas. Use fine-pointed scissors and the softest, freshest tortillas you can find so that they fold easily without cracking. Serve these as a dessert or appetizer, either alone or with crème fraiche for dipping.


  • 8 6-inch extra-fluffy flour tortillas
  • Olive oil spray or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons colored sanding sugar such as turquoise blue
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles such as white jimmies, snowflake quins, or multicolored nonpareils
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt flakes such as Maldon
  • ½ cup crème fraiche for serving (optional)


  • Position your oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone sheet liner.
  • Fold each tortilla in half, then in half again, and then in half a third time to make a roughly triangular shape. Using fine-pointed scissors, cut away small triangles or semicircles from the tortilla layers. Cut off a small piece from the tip, too, if you want a hole in the very center. Carefully unfold the tortillas—they will resemble large snowflakes—place them flat on the baking sheets, and spray or brush with olive oil.
    8 6-inch extra-fluffy flour tortillas, Olive oil spray or 2 tablespoons olive oil
    prep photo illustrating how to make tortilla snowflakes
  • Decorate the “snowflakes” to your liking with sanding sugar, sprinkles, and coarse salt. Bake until slightly golden around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Serve with crème fraiche.
    2 tablespoons colored sanding sugar, 2 tablespoons sprinkles, 1 tablespoon coarse salt flakes, ½ cup crème fraiche
Course cooking crafts, Dessert
Cuisine Taste of Tucson: Sonoran Style Recipes
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