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As a wedding florist I am often asked to add fresh flowers to wedding cakes. Honestly, this was an extremely nerve wracking task for me at first. I was worried about putting fresh flowers into something that people would be eating and also about poking flowers into a beautiful, and not to mention really really expensive, wedding cake. The fact that I am writing a post to share my experience on this topic is a big deal because it is something I shied so far away from in the past!
I have come up with a couple of methods that make me feel much more confident when placing fresh flowers on cakes.
I will start by saying that when I, as a florist and not a chef, add flowers to cakes the intention is never that they will be consumed, they are purely decorative. However, I still like to use flowers that I know to be safe as they will be placed very close to the cake. Carnations, mums, roses and spray roses are good choices for flowers that are readily available and non-toxic. In the summer there are more locally available proper edible flowers like pansies, lilac, and lavender. Ranunculus, peonies, and eucalyptus, while beautiful flowers, are not ones that I would recommend placing on a cake (even when just decorative) as parts of them can cause stomach upset.
This is my favourite trick when decorating a cake. Herbs make beautiful greenery accents on a cake and there are many varieties to give you different looks. Thyme has a delicate feel, rosemary is a bit more stiff and has a very pretty colour, and bay leaves look almost just like a rose leaf when placed beside the flowers on the cake. I will always use herbs over cultivated greens just to be safe.
I have read many other posts on the topic of adding fresh flowers to cakes and many suggest taping the stems or even inserting them into straws to place into the cake. I did this a few times but I prefer this toothpick method I came up with because it leaves a much smaller hole in the cake and makes it so that no part of your flower has to go into your cake. To use a toothpick, simply cut the stem off of your flower right at the base of the bloom and insert a toothpick where the stem was. Carefully stick the toothpick into the cake so that the base of the flower is not touching. The flower is securely in place on the cake! Watch the video below to see this action in greater detail.
Adding flowers, herbs, and fruit is a great way to make a grocery store cake look really special. For weddings I am typically decorating beautiful designer cakes but for this blog post I was simply working with a cake from the grocery store (that I iced myself…hence the uneven icing!). I hope this can inspire you to jazz up a cake the next time you are celebrating with cake!
Below is some inspiration for adding fresh flowers to cakes with 3 unique designs.
Keep things light and simple by using just one variety of delicate flower. I loved how the muscari looks like they’re growing from the base of the cake and came up and off the cake at the top which further adds to the ‘growing’ feel. Watch the video below to see how I used toothpicks to secure the muscari to the side of the cake.
This design had a focal spray at the base of the cake. Roses and spray roses are a great flowers for a design like this. Use greenery to make the flowers look more natural and use the buds of the spray roses to add more interesting shapes and textures. All flowers here were attached using the toothpick method as well.
This full and lush design gives the feel of a growing garden all around the base of the cake and would be so beautiful on a larger tiered cake. A mix of flowers and lots of herbs as greenery made this an interesting design.
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