Hey Sugar Squad! It's been a long time since my last blog post. I'm going to try and keep up with this Sugar Blog regularly. Today I'm here to give you some quick tips on how to incorporate fresh flowers into your cake designs.
Fresh flowers and cake decorating go together like peanut butter and jelly; they make a great pair. Sugar flowers although beautiful are very time consuming to make and a hard skill to acquire. Enter, fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are a quick way to add vibrant colors, beauty, and can fancy up any cake whether it's a simple birthday cake or an extravagant wedding cake! With all that being said there are some guidelines to consider if you are going to incorporate fresh flowers into your cake decorating.
Not all flowers are appropriate for cake decorating. Some flowers are naturally toxic, while other flowers are grown with harmful yucky pesticides. When using fresh flowers, make sure you are using organic grown flowers. Be sure to research the florist or vendor you are purchasing your flowers from to ensure that your flowers are organic. A good rule of thumb is to purchase flowers that are sold as an "edible flower garnish". Well, what if you can not find edible flowers in your area but you have a local organic florist in your area? Here is a list of flowers that are safe to eat: Acacia Blossoms African Violets Almond Blossoms Alyssum Apple Blossoms Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila) Baby’s Tears Bachelor Button petals Banana Blossoms Borage Substitutes: Nasturtiums, Violets, Rose Petals Boston Fern Bougainvillea Bromeliad Family California Poppy Camelia Carnation Chamomile Chive Flowers (Chive Blossoms) Christmas Cactus Chrysanthemums Clary Substitutes: Nasturtiums, Borage, Violets Dahlia Daisy Daylily Dianthus Dogwood Easter lily English Primroses Forget-Me-Nots Fuchsia Gardenia Geraniums – Scented Hawaiin Ti Plant Hibiscus Hollyhock Jamaica Sorrel (Jamaican Hibiscus) Jasmine Johnny Jump-Up Substitutes: Pansy, Violets Lavendar Lemon Blossoms Lilac Lily Buds Lily of the Nile Maidenhair Fern Marigolds Mimosa Blossoms Nasturtium Substitutes: Marigolds, Pansy Orange Blossom Pansy Peach Blossom Petunia Phlox Plum Blossoms Pussy Willow Roselle Roses Substitutes: Violets for crystalizing Snake Plant SnapDragon Squash blossoms Tiger Lily Velvet Plant – Purple Viola Violet Substitutes: Nasturtium, Borage, Pansy Zinnia
So now that you have your flowers picked out, there's a few more things to consider. How durable is your flower? If your cake is going to be outside in the hot sun for a couple of hours then that beautiful gardenia your just purchased might not survive. Those gorgeous delicate you just purchased are probably going to wilt if placed directly into buttercream. The point, of this is be sure to research how certain flowers have a longer staying power in certain conditions. Another point to always remember is, if you are going to use fresh flowers on your cakes remember to ALWAYS cover your stems. Two reasons on why you need to cover your stems: 1) It will ensure that your flowers are food safe. Although all of the flowers above are edible and safe for human consumption, someone is going to be hard headed and purchase non organic flowers. By covering the steam you will ensure that nothing harmful will leak into your cake. 2) Even if you purchase organic flowers, if you do not cover your stems then you run the risk of your cake being bitter. Some flowers naturally have a bitter taste and that taste can leak into your cake if you stick the stems straight into the cake. The best way to cover your steams is to use floral tape or Ingenious Edibles Safety Seal (it creates a food safe wax seal). You can also use plastic wrap, just make sure you wrap tightly. My main way of using flowers is cutting off the steams and using the flower bulbs tucked in a mound of buttercream, that way only that portion of buttercream will become bitter, if I use a bitter flower that day. And for those ones that still want to use non edible flowers on your cakes please remember to tell your clients to remove them before consuming their cake. Also do not stick those non edible flowers directly into your cake, you do not want to get anyone sick.