Edible flowers for cakes
Some incredible cooks have combined their love of flowers you can eat, with baking skills to create some fabulous and beautifully unique cakes.
These delicious offerings have been decorated with fresh flowers, dried flowers, and more recently pressed flowers.
These are truly artworks, and I’m just awestruck by their beauty and artistry at using edible flowers for cakes.
A delightful and quick way of making your cake look a million dollars is to use fresh flowers for cake decoration.
Put a simple flower as a floral cake topper on a simple cupcake or make a sensational statement using edible flowers for wedding cakes.
Use edible flowers for cakes in different ways to create different effects.
To create a special and very effective cake decoration I have put edible flowers on cakes that I have bought. This makes them look much more appealing than just a “supermarket cake”!
What Flowers are safe for Cake Decorating
Here is a List of Edible Flowers for cakes, as a guide to show some of the edible flowers that are safe for you to use for cake decorating.
This is not an exhaustive list but there are many flowers here that you will be familiar with.
Using edible flower cake decorations is now popular as the edible flower trend has grown exponentially.
If you are wanting to buy edible flowers for cakes, only purchase edible flowers that are grown organically, and specifically for the plate. There are many edible flowers available commercially particularly on line. Beware of dried flower offerings from large producers or wholesalers who cannot verify the organic status.
Don’t be tempted to use supermarket flowers or flowers from mainstream florists as they normally stock blooms that have been grown with the use of pesticides and fungicides.
You can of course grow your own edible flowers, ensuring the organic integrity of the growing process.
Also bear in mind the flavor of flowers. For instance, you wouldn’t want the onion flavor of the pretty chive flower on a creamy, sweet-tasting gateau!
Best Flowers for Cake Decorating
Any flower that you know is edible, and has been organically grown will provide a stunning flower decoration for your cake. You can use fresh flowers, dried flowers, pressed flowers or crystallized flowers. You will, of course, need to do a taste test to make sure the flavor suits your creation!
Below is a list of my favorite edible flowers for cake decorating, but you can use any flowers that you know are edible and have been grown organically.
I’ve chosen these as they are easy to grow in the garden and have enchanting flower forms.
Most of them don’t have strong flavors so they can be enjoyed for their visual beauty. Some of these flowers are bulky and so may not be palatable to eat the whole thing.
They still make wonderful cake decorations, but if you’re concerned then just use the petals.
- Alyssum – fresh, pressed
- Begonias – fresh, crystallized, freeze-dried
- Borage – fresh, pressed, crystallized
- Cornflower – fresh, dried, freeze-dried
- Cosmos – fresh, pressed
- Crucifix orchids – fresh, pressed
- Larger orchids can be used as a focal point if desired
- Dianthus – fresh, dried, pressed
- Forget me nots – fresh, pressed
- Fuchsias – fresh, crystallized, freeze-dried
- Honeysuckle – fresh, pressed, freeze-dried
- Lilacs (pull off small florets) – fresh, crystallized
- Linaria (toadflax) – fresh, dried, pressed, crystallized
- Pansies and Violas – fresh, dried, pressed, freeze-dried, crystallized
- Primroses – fresh, dried, pressed
- Miniature roses – fresh, dried, freeze-dried, pressed
- Snapdragons – fresh, freeze-dried, crystallized
- Verbena – fresh, pressed
Fresh edible flowers for cakes
The technique of decorating cakes with fresh flowers used to be quite involved, with the taping of the flower stems to create a barrier.
We now know that so many of our common flowers are edible so there is no need to do this any more. The edible flowers can be placed directly onto the cake surface quite safely.
Many common garden flowers such as miniature roses, cosmos, impatiens, or the crucifix orchid look beautiful.
You may already have these readily available in your garden. Lilac, native violets and bedding begonias are other very common garden flowers that work beautifully.
It’s simply a case of just placing the flower where you want to! It’s beautifully easy and stunningly attractive to look at!
And amazingly quick and simple!
Ideas on how to use edible flowers for cakes
Ideas are limitless – you just need some flowers and some creativity
- Smaller flowers such as violas, miniature roses, pansies, forget me knots, or violets are very easy to arrange in attractive ways. Just place them on the icing or frosting where you want them to go. If there is no frosting, then stick them on the cake surface with a drop of jam or syrup.
- To achieve a confetti-style look, pull the petals off larger flowers and scatter them across the top of the cake.
- Use a mixture of fruits and flowers. Fresh fig pieces, raspberries, finger lime pulp, blueberries, and strawberries can all be nestled in to create your floral cake arrangement.
- Cupcakes might only require a single bloom. Try using daisies, crucifix orchids or pentas
- Make a flower wreath around the edge of the cake top. Place a couple of larger flowers such as cosmos, dahlias or chrysanthemums in intervals and fill in the gaps with smaller flowers such as elderflower, dianthus, and fuchsia.
- Use this same method for the full cover cake topping of edible flowers.
- Place a large statement flower as a cake topper. A couple of bright hibiscuses would look wonderful or a couple of orchids even.
Pressed edible flowers for cakes
Cakes decorated with pressed flowers must be my absolute favorite! I’m seeing more and more of these cakes and I just love them!
Your cake takes on the essence of a meadow or a garden when the sides are decorated with pressed flowers. The pressed flowers can “grow” up the sides as if they are clambering up a garden wall. So much creativity. Add in the leaves and stalks and just press them on. Endless fun!
Blushing Cook has got to be my absolute favorite baking company. They have taken the use of pressed flowers to decorate their cakes to another level!
One of their signature products is the most beautiful brownies that are covered in pressed flowers. I have ordered and had these delivered to friends in the UK – and they were mesmerized by the sight and flavor of such beautiful brownies. The photo below is of the box of wonderful floral chocolate goodies that they received.
- chocolate slabs, chocolate bark
- shortbread cookies
- iced biscuits
- homemade fudge
- homemade truffles
How to Press Edible Flowers ready for use on Cakes
Pressing flowers is an old method of preserving flowers and one that is seeing a resurgence in popularity. They’re great for cake decorating as the flowers don’t wilt, curl or fall off.
You can use a flower press if you have one, or press flowers between absorbent paper and under the weight of a few books. This method though, takes a long time (weeks) and doesn’t always have the desired effect.
I have pressed flowers in the microwave mostly. This has been amazingly successful for me and so quick! I have used so many different flowers from the garden and added foliage and leaves. It’s much better than waiting weeks for your flowers to dry beneath a pile of books, and then finding that some of them have discolored or have creased somehow – or that they are just not that beautiful when they are pressed!
Just a quick tip – the absorbent kitchen paper you use must not be embossed or otherwise your flowers will come out potentially with an embossed texture.
You will get to know which flowers are more suited to this form of drying. The flatter the flower, the quicker it will dry. Flowers that are bulkier such as miniature roses, will need longer. White flowers tend to become discoloured, so the brighter the flower the more vibrant it’s likely to come out. Do some trials using different temperatures and different times and you will be fascinated by your results. It is SO easy! And quick! You will be delighted!
Where to Buy Pressed Flowers for Cakes
As with any trend, more and more suppliers step up to serve the market. Organic flower growers are doing the same and branching out to supply pressed flowers for cake decoration.
My favorite supplier in Australia is Pretty Produce. They will press flowers to suit your order, so you can choose what palette you’d like, as well as the mix of blooms, stems and leaves. You can order online, both Australian and international orders are accepted.
Dried edible flowers for cakes
There are many dried flowers and petals on the market. Be very aware of large wholesalers who sell dried flowers on line. There is no guarantee that these are organically grown and many will contain preservative chemicals.
Freeze dried flowers are: “Dried edible flowers that look as beautiful on your cake, as they do in the garden”!
Freeze drying perfectly maintains the colour and form of the flower and is a great way of decorating with flowers that will last.
These flowers are amazing as they don’t look like they’re dried! Not only do they last well on the cake but they also keep well in the pantry until you need to use them.
The freeze-drying process maintains the integrity of the flower, where the colour and form looks very close to the fresh product.
You look as though you have fresh flowers on your cake but they’re actually dried!
Flowers dried in a dehydrator can also be used, although these tend to look dried, so don’t have quite the same appeal as those that are freeze dried.
Dried flowers will lose their color brightness and will tend to shrivel at the edges.
Having said that, they can still look delightful.
Where to buy dried edible flowers for cakes
You can buy a range of freeze dried flowers from Bloomish Co by Simply Rose Petals.
They supply all types of flowers from mini roses, and begonias, to “flowerfetti” in a variety of colours.
They sell online and will ship both nationally and internationally. If the pots of dried flowers are kept in dark and dry conditions they will keep for up to 2 years.
A wonderful thing to have in any baker’s cupboard!
Other Australian organic flower growers also supply dried flowers which are usually dried in a dehydrator. Most of them also sell online and will ship.
Here is a list of some of the reputable organic edible flower growers in Australia
Crystallized Edible Flowers for Cakes
Using crystallized flowers for your cake decoration is another way of using edible flowers for cakes. This is a really easy way of preserving the fresh flower so that it lasts a bit longer.
All you need is an egg white and fine castor sugar (not icing sugar as it’s too fine).
- Lay out a layer of parched paper or wax paper, you will put your finished flowers on this to dry
- Whisk up the egg white until light but not foamy
- Place a layer of sugar on a plate or shallow tray
- Gently wipe the flowers with the egg white (you can use your fingers or a small brush) until the flower is coated on all sides.
- Make sure the petals are all covered with a thin coating of egg white. If the coating is too thick this will result in too much sugar attaching itself and the flowers won’t look so dainty and appealing. If you find that the coating is too thick, just gently stroke the excess egg white off with your fingers
- Lay the coated flower onto the bed of sugar and gently sprinkle with a dusting of sugar so that the whole flower has a coating of sugar
- Place the flowers on the parchment or wax paper to dry and place them in a cool dry place. This will take around 24 hours depending on the thickness of the egg white and sugar coating.
Now all you have to do is arrange them beautifully on the top of your cake!