Petal Perfect: How to Use Fresh Flowers on a Cake


If you’re considering using flowers as cake decorations but think it might require professional-level skill, think again. Fresh blooms can be way easier than fiddling with the sugar-based variety — and they’ll definitely earn you lots of hearts on Instagram. But before you start trimming stems or snacking on petal scraps, a few considerations.

Do a safety check

This part’s no joke: Some flowers are naturally toxic if consumed, and others are harmful because of pesticide use — so you might not want them cozied up to the frosting.

When in doubt, talk to a good florist about your options. Edible blooms include roses, gardenia, pansies, violets, and dandelions, among others. Here’s a full guide to types of edible flowers . (If you love the look and they pass the safety test, go ahead and deck your cake with flowers that aren’t technically “edible.” Just whisk them away before serving.)

Account for the conditions

Think about when and where this cake will be served, and choose your flowers to match. No matter how gorgeous those lilacs are, they’re not going to hold up long on a warm day. Hearty mums, however, are easy to keep looking good.

Deal with the stems

You can just stick the flower stems directly into the cake, but it that won’t keep your blooms or cake the freshest they can be. Instead, consider inserting them into individual flower holders (those little tubes available at florist shops) before pushing them into the cake. Or use a product like Ingenious Edibles Safety Seal that coats stems in food-safe wax.

With those three points in mind, let’s move on to the fun stuff...decorating!

Four ways to sweeten up your cakes with flowers

Here are some easy-yet-dramatic ideas to get you going.

Wreath-y does it arranged

Whether you do a simple circle around the edge of the cake or a broader ring, a crown-like topping of flowers is simple but luxurious-looking.

Petal pusher

You’ll find just a few colorful blossoms go a long way when deconstructed and scattered to create a modern, romantic look. Plus, it’s totally foolproof: Simply toss gently pressed petals all over your cake.

Candy crush

Assuming you’re using edible flowers, consider turning them into candied edible flowers. It’s so easy: simply brush the petals with beaten egg whites or moistened meringue powder and sprinkle with confectioner’s or decorating sugar. (Or purchase them pre-made at a cake decorating supply store.)

Cake corsage

This one’s effortless — sort of how tucking a flower behind your ear makes you instantly look glam. Affix one (or maybe even a well-balanced trio) of flowers to the edge of a cake. When it’s time to serve, you can quickly remove them — or leave in place and see which lucky guest gets the special slice!

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Petal Perfect: How to Use Fresh Flowers on a Cake