How to Attach Fresh Flowers to Cakes

Cake Decorating Floristry Upskilling

Adding fresh flowers to cakes is an easy and modern way to turn any cake into a masterpiece. It’s also less time consuming than the laborious hours making and drying sugar flowers. For wedding cakes it’s also a great way to tie in the flowers used in the bride's bouquet and table settings, creating simple or even elaborate arrangements. 

Selecting that perfect flower to compliment your cake can be a lot of fun. Combining different varieties of flowers and textures is important to create depth and add interest to your arrangements. When deciding on your flower types it is important to ensure the flowers are safe to be placed on your cake. Ask your local florist whether the flowers are organic and pesticide free and know ahead of time what flower varieties are food safe. 

We have shared a list of flowers below that are safe to arrange to your cake (and even edible, in some cases) and those to avoid altogether.

Flowers to Avoid on cakes: Iris, Calla Lily, Hydrangea, Poinsettia, Wisteria, Ranunculus, Sweetpea, Gloriosa Lily, Delphinium, Azalea, Hyacinth, Frangipani, Digitalis, Anthurium, Lily of the valley (see the complete list) 

Flowers that are safe to use on cakes: Carnations, Pansies, Chamomile, Dandelion, Viola Tricolour Lavender, Lilac, Sunflower, Rosemary, Rose, Violet, Snapdragon, Passionflower, Geranium, English Marigold, Chinese Hibiscus (see the complete list)

Now that you have selected your safe and pesticide free flowers it’s time to prepare them to be safely used and inserted into your next cake project. The flower wiring method we use is not only food safe, but will preserve the life of your flowers and provide a secure and stable arrangement. 

What you will need:

  • Your fresh flowers (pesticide free and safe to use)
  • Floristry wire (18 gauge)
  • Floristry or pruning scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Paper Parafilm Floral Tape

1. Wash and remove unwanted foliage and petals

Using cold water and slightly rubbing at the petals of your flowers clean away any unwanted dirt or bugs that may be present. Grab a clean towel and rest your flowers upside down to drain any excess water from the petals. Once dried remove unwanted leaves and any bruised or torn petals.

2. Trim and wire the flower

Using your floristry scissors you are going to cut your stem to approx 6cm in length. We keep this amount of stem in tack so the flower still has enough water to drink, keeping it alive for a longer period of time. You are then going to cut a 10cm piece of floristry wire (18 gauge) and insert it 4cm into the stem of the flower

For smaller flowers and stems where you cannot insert the wire you can simple hold the wire along the stem and simply tape them together using your floristry tape.

3.Taping the flower

Once your wire has been inserted into your flower stem you are going to use your floristry tape to create a barrier between the stem and the cake you wish to insert it into. Parafilm florist tape is preferred as it’s waterproof and non-toxic. 

Start at the top part of the stem and work yourself down to the wire section. You will need to stretch the tape whilst wrapping around your stem to activate the sticky agent. Wrap a few more times where the open stem meets the wire to ensure there is no leakage, and then cut and secure any stray edges to the tape.

4. Arranging the flowers to your cake

Now that the tape has created a seal between the stem and cake it’s time to get decorating. We like to start with a little foliage first and build up with your selected flowers. You can then bulk out the arrangement with a little more foliage. This is completely up to your creativity!

When using roses we love using the floristry technique called ‘Reflex’. This is where you gently peel back the petals of a flower to create a more fuller whimsical looking bloom. Starting at the base of the flower gently pop the petals inside out. Slightly aged and room temperature flowers are easier to work with as the petals are softer and more flexible.

5.Storage

We always suggest wiring flowers to cakes as close to the event date as possible. Each flower variety will have it’s specific lifespan once cut so it’s best to ask your florist for the varieties that have longevity. A great way to extend the freshness of your flowers once wired to your cake is to very lightly spray them with water and keep the cake boxed in the fridge. The moisture in the air will keep those flowers looking fresh. It is very important however not to over water the flowers as this may drip onto your cake affecting the design.

Do you have a flower arranging technique that you just love and want to share? Or perhaps you just want to learn a little more? Comment below with your questions and or advice. We would love to hear from you all and answer any questions you may have.


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