How to Make Papel Picado Tortilla Snowflakes

An edible version of the popular Mexican folk art, papel picado.

crunchy snowflakes made out of tortillas and sprinkles which resemble papel picado
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Papel Picado Tortilla Snowflakes
Servings: 8 snowflakes
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
Keyword Mexican desserts,, papel picado, tortilla snowflakes

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