All Occasion Cakes

Flowers Meet Flour: How to Use Fresh Flowers in Cake Decorating

Flowers and cake decorating make fine friends. But the flowers don’t need to be fashioned from sugar. Fresh flowers can add a beautiful, vibrant quality to your cake decorating, whether it’s a fancy wedding cake or a fun birthday cake.

Fresh Flowers on a Cake

Is it really safe to use fresh flowers on cakes?

Yes, but do abide by these considerations:

Not all flowers are appropriate for cake decoration.

Some flowers are naturally toxic for consumption; others are harmful because of pesticide use. A good florist can advise on which flowers might be harmful. If you have specific flowers in mind that you’d like to use, do some research on the flower, including how it is professionally grown.

Generally, any flower that is sold as an edible garnish will is a good choice.

Flowers that are edible include, but are not limited to, roses, gardenia, pansies, violets, dandelions and violets. Here’s a full guide to types of edible flowers.

Remove the flowers before serving.

While the flowers don’t have to be edible, be sure to remove non-edible flowers and their foliage before serving the cake, as it would be very easy for a cake-hungry guest to accidentally consume a portion. If a flower is edible, you can serve the cake with the flowers; guests can choose how adventurous they will be with their eating. Be sure to let them know the flowers are edible.

Consider the durability of a flower on your cake.

For instance, a beautiful gardenia might not fare well if displayed in the hot sun for hours. More delicate flowers might wilt in the presence of a moist buttercream. Consider how the cake will be served, and try to choose flowers that will have staying properties.

Cover the flower stems for food safety.

If you’re concerned about meeting safety standards, there’s a special material that will take your worries away. Dip a flower step in Ingenious Edibles Safety Seal to coat it in a food-safe wax that’s totally OK to put into a cake. Here’s how to use it.

Safety Seal

Make Anything Food-Safe!

Ensure that everything on your cakes is food-safe with this revolutionary product. Shop Now

Ideas for using fresh flowers

Here are some inspiring examples of how you can use fresh flowers in your cake decorating.

Artfully arranged

Artfully Arranged Flowers

Fresh flowers can be used right on a cake, by placing a delicate arrangement on top of the cake, or with a thin divider to keep the petals from sinking into your creation. Be sure to thoroughly wash and dry the flowers before applying to the cake.

If you will be adding a more generous amount of flowers, you can look into flower holders for your cake decorating. Holders can hold the flowers and keep them from adding or wicking humidity to the cake. Hidden tubes of water to submerge the bottom of stems can also keep your flowers fresh and prevent the flowers from wilting or drying out while displayed on the cake.

Petal pusher

Flower Petal Confetti | Erin Gardner | Craftsy

You can reap the benefits of using fresh flowers with minimal fuss by choosing to use just the petals. Flower petals can add an air of romance or whimsy to a cake. Petals can also be used to complement more elaborate fresh flower decoration.

Candied flowers

Candied Flowers

Candied edible flowers, either homemade or store-bought, are a wonderful choice for floral garnish on cakes of all sorts, from wedding cakes to individual cupcakes.

You can purchase pre-made edible candied flowers at well-stocked cake decorating supply stores, or make your own edible flower garnish by brushing fresh or pressed flowers with egg whites or moistened meringue powder and finishing with confectioners’ or decorating sugar to create shelf stable cake decorations.

Creative cake dividers

Flower divider

Fresh flower wedding cake via Craftsy member Cakeland by Niv

If you prefer your cake and flowers to remain divided, consider employing fresh flowers as a creative cake divider. Containing the flowers between levels of cake is a striking way to display them while keeping the cake and flowers from touching too much. Plus, as an added benefit, the flowers can “hide” dividers, giving the cake a light, gravity-defying look.

Just an accent

White Cake With Fresh Flowers

Punctuating the borders of a cake can be an artful way to display your fresh flowers, yet makes the cake easy to serve with minimal fresh flower arrangements to remove. Accent flowers can be affixed to edges, or can be used to line the edges of a multi-tiered cake.

Safety Seal

Make Anything Food-Safe!

Ensure that everything on your cakes is food-safe with this revolutionary product. Shop Now

15 Comments

toms shoes

hi
That’s a good post.Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Elena

Hi,

How do you fully cover a dummy cake with fresh flowers as a part of a multi tier cake?
Thank you

Reply
We will cook

Fantastic guide for someone who is just staring out using fresh flowers on cakes.
Thank you

Reply
Melissa

Looking closely at most flowers, not to be gross, but most have some teeny tiny bug amongst the petals. How to avoid this? I wouldn’t want guest grossed out or obtain parasite

Reply
Tee

Hi !!
That was a very valuable read! Since its warm weather at my end, I would like to know if I can arrange fresh flowers on a cake and place the cake in the refrigerator until it’s served? Will the flowers remain fresh? It would be a matter of storing the decorated cake in refrigerator for about 8 to 10 hours at the most.

Awaiting a quick response.

Thanks and Regards 🙂

Reply
Lira

This article is very misleading and irresponsible. I’m surprised it hasn’t been properly vetted.
You imply that by using fresh flowers in cakes that they’re food safe.
Fresh flowers are not food safe – as a living organism they are never food safe – and should never be applied directly to a cake.
Aside from the very real issue of the presence of insects and their residue, commercially bought flowers are routinely subjected to chemical treatments which would contaminate the cake and put those eating it at risk. Any professional cake decorator would not risk their reputation (or insurance) by utilising fresh flowers *in* a cake.

Reply
Jamie

You may have a point on the presence of pesticides, although I doubt this would cause poisoning. But I believe you are not correct on your insect statement. First off, if you have a pesticide, you don’t have insects. Second, insects don’t make you sick. Check out the FDA’s tolerance for insect parts in the food you eat regularly. Hate to break it to you, but you eat bug parts daily. Also, many cultures around the world would make the claim that insects are healthy and tasty.

Reply
Viv

As a professional cake decorator, I agree entirely with you Lira. Only a flower pick or something like a closed plastic straw to insert flowers into and separate them from the cake should be used. Never ever use floral tape and insert this in the cake. The dye will leach out when it touches the moist surface. Craftsy, you must do your homework! Fresh flowers should never be directly inserted into a cake.

Reply
Angelina

Lira and Viv – no where does this article mention inserting flowers ‘in’ a cake?! It merely comments on using flowers ‘in cake decorating’ on the whole. Perhaps you should both read the article again.
We regularly use real flowers on our wedding cakes as they are more affordable for clients who do not wish to spend money on hours of sculpted sugar – and whilst this is a highly skilled art form, the majority of sugar flowers can also be argued as ‘hazards’ if using wires and small inedible parts when constructing them.
In over 20 years of using fresh flowers on wedding cakes, we have never encountered any problems – and always exercise with caution.
Flower stems can be washed and treated accordingly making the perfectly safe to place ON cakes.
There seems to be a lot of articles online aimed to scare people and deter them from using fresh flowers on cakes – in which case perhaps alcohol should be banned from weddings due to risk of liver damage!
Bottom line – use a reputable and qualified florist who is able to advise on suitable flowers, and one would assume that common sense would prevent anyone from inserting ‘dirty’ seeping flower stems ‘covered in insects’ directly into a cake!

Reply
Nattalia Paterson

I was thinking of using orchids on my cake but I’m not sure about their durability. Do I have to place them on the same day or can they be placed the night before if the cake is going to be left in the fridge? My wedding reception is at 4pm. Thank you!

Reply
Leah

There are quite a few poisonous flowers (and leaves). Perhaps you could post a link just to be on the safe side.

Reply
Megan

This was super helpful! I’m making a cake for a bridal shower and was playing with the idea of fresh flowers. This was exactly what I needed. Thank you!

Reply
Amos Goh

Thanks for one marvelous posting! I enjoyed reading it, you are a great Writer. Keep up the wonderful works on. I’ve added you to my blogroll as well.

Reply
Irene Mason

Where would I find the replies to these posts?
Some of my questions too regarding fresh flowers on cake.
So much conflicting information with this so not sure what the right way is.
cheers

Reply

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