Using flowers to decorate a cake brings a simple elegance to the cake’s presentation. Flowers as a cake decoration are used in many weddings – rightly so because of the suggestion of romance they offer. As is often done at weddings but can be done for any situation, you can co-ordinate the colours of the flowers on the cake with the colours used for other decorations.
Know what kind of flowers to use. Common flower choices for decorating cakes include daisies, pansies, roses, petunias, Easter and tiger lilies and orchids. Keep poisons off your cake. Certainly try to seek out flowers that have been organically grown so that no chemical or pesticide residue is transferred to your cake and is thus ingested. Even edible flower types should not be eaten if they have been sprayed with pesticides. Know which flowers are edible and which are inedible. Inedible flowers should not be used to garnish foods for safety reasons to avoid poisoning. Some edible flowers are chrysanthemum, fuchsia, gladiola, hibiscus, lavender, pansies, jasmine, lilac, dandelions, primrose, gardenia, marigold and violet. If inedible flowers are used, they will need to be removed from the cake prior to serving it. Select durable flowers to decorate your cake. Some flowers, though edible, may not be good choices for use as cake decorations because they are not durable enough to withstand the time out of water. No matter what flower you choose to use, you will want to add them to the cake as near to serving time as you can to offer the best quality and presentation.
Opt to use just the flowers' petals. Consider sprinkling just the flowers' petals over the cake.
Use the flowers as a garnish. When a slice of cake is served, finish the plating with a few expertly placed flowers.
Add a bit of glamor to your cake by using sugared flowers. To accomplish this look, paint the area of the flowers you wish to have sparkle with egg whites. Sprinkle clear or colored fine sugar or decorative sugar over the painted areas. Tap the flower lightly to remove any excess sugar on areas that were not painted. Apply the flowers to your cake.
Keep flowers on your cake fresh with flower holders. You can purchase stem holders in a bakery supply store or the cake decorating section at your local crafting store, or you can make your own. To make your own stem holders, cut a length of drinking straw 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) long. Bend the end of the straw upward and tape it against the tube. Add water to the tube, filling it about 3/4 the way. Insert the flower stem into the tube, and insert the tube into the cake at the location where you want the flower to be.
Decorate between cake tiers with fresh flowers. Make a small flower arrangement by placing a water-soaked foam flower form in a shallow bowl and arranging the flowers in the form. The size of the arrangement will be determined by the height of the space between the cake layers. When setting up the cake, the arrangements can be slid into place between the layers.