How to use flowers to decorate cakes


Using flowers to decorate cakes is popular, elegant and looks stunning, however have you ever worried about poisoning someone with fresh flowers? This blog will help you safely decorate your cakes with a wide variety of beautiful blooms.


Is it safe to decorate a cake with fresh flowers?

Flowers are a great way to add colour and impact to a cake. I often use fresh flowers on my buttercream and semi naked wedding cakes.

Most of the time I arrive at the venue to be greeted by a selection of flowers and foliage provided by the couples wedding florist. I can’t control what flowers are chosen or how they have been grown but I can make sure that I protect the cake when decorating.

I wrap the stems in plastic floral tape and double protect them with posy picks.



However, it is important to remember that not all flowers are edible or safe to use on cakes. Some flowers are highly toxic and can cause serious harm. Here are few important categories:

· Edible – safe to eat

· Non-edible –not fit for eating – the body will not digest them properly

· Toxic –poisonous and will be very harmful if eaten

· Non-toxic –not poisonous, but be wary as this does not mean that it is safe to eat


Which flowers are toxic?

Here’s a list of a few flowers that you should never use on your cakes:

Bluebells

Foxglove

Oleander

Daffodils

Poppies

Hydrangea

Lily-of-the-Valley

Clematis

Rhododendron

Edible flowers for cakes

When I’m making a cake where the flowers will actually be eaten, I buy the flowers online from Nurtured in Norfolk who have a huge range of fresh, dried and pressed edible flowers.



I also grow some of my own edible flowers such as calendula, violas and borage. Since these are grown in my own garden and I don’t use pesticides, I am in full control of how safe they are to be consumed.



If you’d like to have a go at making a petal covered cake like these, Here’s a list of a few flowers that would be safe for you to use:


Rose

Calendula

Dahlia

Hibiscus

Pansies

Violas

Borage

Lilac

Lavender

Dianthus

Cornflowers

Carnation

Chives

Amaranth

Nasturtium

Fuchsia

Bellis Daisy

Alyssum

Snap Dragon

Marigold

Primula


It’s worth noting that in some cases it is just the petals that are edible. In that case, you’ll need to make sure you remove the stamens and the stem of the petal from the flower. However, if you are using the flowers just for decoration and they won’t be eaten, you don’t have to worry about this.


This is the same for non-toxic flowers, too. Non-toxic flowers may or may not be edible and can be unpleasant to eat. In this instance, the flowers should be removed before the cake is eaten.


Foliage and Greenery

Foliage and greenery is a great way to decorate your cakes and can add a natural look. As with some flowers, a lot of greenery, whilst non-toxic, should be removed before consumption as they can be tough and unpleasant to eat.

The best and easiest greenery to use are herbs as these are fully edible.


Some safe greenery to use on your cakes:


Thyme

Sage

Rosemary

Mint

Lemon Balm

Fennel Fronds

Chervil

Oregano

Olive leaves

Oregano









Eucalyptus is not safe to eat and should be taken off before the cake is eaten. Stems should be protected with plastic florist tape and posy picks.



Summary

If you’re not sure if your flowers or greenery are edible / non-toxic, don’t use them! Better to be safe than sorry. If in doubt, opt for edible flowers from a reputable supplier or use a variety of completely edible herbs.


If you’d like to learn how to create a whole host of beautiful cakes like those included here, including how to press, prepare and decorate with edible flowers, take a look at my Essential Cake Foundations Course.



4 views0 comments