Which flowers should I decorate my cake with?
This summer, I have had the joy of decorating my bespoke cake orders with FOUR different types of flowers. This has meant I have been able to see the pro's and con's of each flower choice, and along the way I have found some great new suppliers to work with.
I thought it might be handy to share this knowledge with you! And then when you are deciding on which type of flowers to choose...this guide should help!
So read on to find out more...
1. Fresh roses
Fresh roses and fresh flowers are often the most obvious choice for people. They come in a wide range of colours and are easily inserted into the cake using a flower pick - so the actual stem is not sitting in your freshly baked cake!
A great choice for a naked or rustic style cake, and they also complement fresh berry decoration too.
However, they do not last very long and can sometimes wilt if it is very hot.
2. Fresh edible flowers
When working as a chef in a restaurant I got to use edible flowers to decorate some desserts and starters too. They always looked eye-poppingly pleasing and I loved the fact they were edible!
I knew I was decorating a trio of wedding cakes for a summer wedding at Runa Farm and my only design requirements from the bride and groom was 'colourful'. So I thought why not source some edible flowers.
The company I sourced my flowers from was Nurtured in Norfolk. They specialise in fresh and dried edible flowers, micro herbs and plants. Their delivery was second to none - to deliver such a delicate package and for them to arrive literally as fresh as a daisy was brilliant!
Not sure what a flower tastes like!? To be honest, they do not have a highly overpowering taste…lavender and rose certainly do but generally the flavours of most will not overpower your cake. And if you don't want to eat them...you can just take them off the cake after admiring what they look like! And if you do eat them... they add some welcome nutrients to all that sugary cake!
The smaller edible flowers do tend to wilt in the heat and so must be placed on the cake relatively last minute. But kept cool they stay looking gorgeous.
They happily stick to the buttercream and so no flower picks are required.
3. Forever flowers
Artificial flowers; also known as forever flowers are looking so real now it is amazing! Plus, even some that don’t look real can add a wow factor to a cake.
I was lucky enough to come across a fab business specialising in forever flowers on Instagram. Hauticulture have an online shop and their physical shop is based at The Secret Garden in Seaton Deleval; which is a feast for the eyes to wander in and see their gorgeous displays. They design bouquets for all occasions, interiors and exteriors for workplaces and homes and also offer wreath making workshops...to name a few things they are involved in.
In terms of cake arrangements; they can design an arrangement with any type of flower and they will create it so that it fits perfectly on the cake.
I love how these arrangements can be kept forever, they really are a lovely keepsake.
As they are artificial - there are no worries about the weather making them wilt and they are easily attached with some very fine flower wire to the cake.
4. Sugar flowers
Handcrafted sugar flowers are a popular choice for cake decoration, but particularly cakes with a traditional feel. They are the type of flower that take the longest to create - I make them myself all by hand. Using a fine sugar paste each flower is individually made and then coloured with an edible dust. I use dust as I think it gives the flowers a softer looking finish rather than making the flowers with icing that has already been coloured. The dust also allows me to create lighter and darker shades within the same flower.
My sugar flowers and foliage style, I would say is a more abstract style rather than a perfect replica of a flower.
They can be attached directly to the cake and stick well to the buttercream. The roses are not edible, as they have a polyester inside to create the bud shape. All other flowers are edible; but because they are made with an icing that sets very hard it is usually best to take them off before enjoying your cake.
5. Can't decide...why not have a mixture!
Some cakes just need it all...and why not!
I very much hope this article has helped with any flower cake conundrums you may have.
Please do get in touch if you would like more information and I will be happy to help.