Flowers are decorations that can be used not only for interior decoration, but also for cakes. Some inflorescences are edible, and it is them that modern confectioners use to decorate mainly wedding cakes.
Both candied fresh inflorescences and barely picked unprocessed flowers can be used. The tradition of decorating cakes with flowers dates back to England in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was then that the traditional wedding buns were transformed by a French confectioner into a cream cake, which began to be decorated with live buds.
What kind of fresh flowers are used to decorate wedding cakes?
The decoration became very popular and is still used today for large celebrations. Wedding cakes and cupcakes with fresh flowers are considered elite and original confectionery products.
Not all inflorescences are edible, given this, confectioners use only flowers from a special list of plants. It is presented below:
- Chamomile. The delicate petals of this plant are candied and added to the surface of chocolate or cream cakes.
- Rose. The most aesthetic inflorescence is the symbol of the wedding cake. It is stuck in the top of the confectionery, sometimes make entire figurative compositions of roses.
- Flowers of orange and apple trees. The petals and even the inflorescences of these plants are considered the most delicious and are most often candied.
- Nasturtium. These flowers have a bitter taste, so use them exclusively for decoration.
- Thyme. The plant has a strange flavor that will not appeal to everyone. But the aroma will please everyone. Therefore, thyme is placed on the edges of the construction in the form of small bunches.
- Orchid. There is nothing more beautiful than an arrow of delicate orchid, crowning a wedding cake without mastic.
- Tiger lily. This is the royal flower. Lilies should decorate the cake if you want to emphasize the status of the event. Lilies are good in a candied form, as one of the few not on the “one-tooth” and easily acquire a sweetish flavor.
At the same time, some flowers, despite their external beauty, are strictly forbidden for use. They either emit an unappetizing odor or contain poisons that can enter the cake even if the inflorescences are removed before cutting. They should not be used:
- lily of the valley;
- common lilies;
Bulbous and wild plants are mostly forbidden. They accumulate toxins from the environment.
Each type of flower decorates the confectionery in its own way. Below are the most popular ways to decorate with roses, sunflowers and other plants.
Roses are more convenient and easier to decorate the cake “scattered”, that is, without much systematicity. To do this, you need to use large buds, contrasting the surface of the product. They must necessarily be fresh, without external defects.
The red rose is a symbol of love. That is why the most popular type of decoration is to cover the surface with red roses with swans. If the cake is small in surface, its top is completely filled with buds. If it is large, however, you can make a spiral edging, which will rise from tier to tier.
Chamomile is a simple flower, which is associated with lightness, innocence, summer and nature. Therefore, it should be used on light cakes, but darker shades than the petals, otherwise the decoration will merge with the base. It is best to use daisy petals separately from the yellow core.
It is not edible, besides, a full-fledged flower looks out of place on a birthday cake. Much better look petals: they are large, oblong and similar to the bride’s dress. Petals with a sugar coating figuratively or evenly lay out the lower tiers of the cake, decorating it with brighter inflorescences on top.
The blue color looks original and attracts the attention of guests, if it turns out on the cake. It is rarely found in nature, but is pronounced in cornflowers. If these meadow flowers could not be found, you can use food dyes and recolor the originally white petals of a rose or daisy.
Blue flowers are not used as the main decoration because blue is the color of sadness. But it can and should be used as a bright contrasting element, set in the middle of red roses or white orchids.
Orchids are very specific flowers, whose inflorescences are arranged on a long thin stem without petals. It would seem that this is a disadvantage, because it is not recommended to use plant stems for edible “confectionery”.
However, orchids do not have to be eaten, after all; it is better to just put them on top of a small cake to make it look as if they carelessly encircle several tiers. Of course, they won’t voluntarily adjust to the shape of the cake, so at several points the stems need to be attached to the surface of the cake.
Sunflowers can be not only large, but also the size of a child’s palm. It’s up to the pastry chef or the customer to decide what size to choose.
The important thing is that both are used on the lower large tiers as a whole, or if you want to create a bit of a rustic mood, inserted in the top.
Peonies have the advantage of having large, succulent looking petals. They can be terry, curled or plain and plain. Pastel-colored peonies look great on wedding cakes. Small, not yet opened buds are used for general compositions with other flowers.
Spectacular large buds are attached to ribbons, set “staircase” on several tiers. Peonies are edible and can be candied. Large petals perfectly fill the surface of the cake. If you fill them with transparent gelatin, you get a great coating in the style of Japanese desserts with “inlays”.
Some other flowers are used mainly to decorate the dish rather than the product itself. Thyme sprigs are placed around the crust or in small quantities on its lower tiers. Fruiting flowers one piece at a time are poked into the top next to the marzipan decorations or berries.
Tiger lilies are one of the most elite ways to decorate. These lilies decorate small, up to 10 cm in diameter, tops, symbolizing the crown on the head of an aristocratic person.
How to decorate a wedding cake with fresh flowers: 5 tips
When decorating cakes with flowers, in particular hydrangeas or calla lilies, you should remember that live plants are used, which may soon wilt. To eliminate cake spoilage due to wilting inflorescences, you need to follow a few simple tips.
Professional pastry chefs always follow these rules:
- Decorate the cake no earlier than two hours before serving. Otherwise, the petals will wilt and make the dessert either unpalatable or ugly.
- It is necessary to choose contrasting colors to the biscuit and its coating. For dark biscuits, light flowers, and vice versa.
- To keep the cake beautiful after the flowers are removed, it is better to use special flat plates for the buds. They are stuck on a thin, short stem.
- Flowers that can be placed in the plates are completely separated from the stem, trying to remove the core (cut off the stamens and pistils). Inflorescences, which can not be placed in special containers, are set on the stalk. It should be cut to 1,5-2 cm.
- To prolong the “life” of flowers, you can install them in special containers with water or foam rubber, soaked in water sponge.
Here you can read about how to properly handle fresh flowers before decorating the dessert:
You can not eat and use for decoration of petals, stem and even more so the roots.
7 ways to decorate a wedding cake with flowers
Wedding cakes are decorated according to some canons of pastry art. The master can also show his imagination or follow the advice of the customer, but mostly 7 typical ways of decoration are used.
They vary in difficulty of execution and appearance. You can decorate the cake in the following ways:
- between the tiers;
- scattered with petals;
- in layers of small buds;
- candied flowers and petals.
The most “delicious” version is the candied flowers.
They can not be removed and safely eaten. However, other ways of decorating a wedding dessert with a delicious filling, are not inferior to the sugar petals in beauty.
Applicable on a tiered cake. The inflorescences are stacked from the center of the top to the edges. From there they go down to the next tier in a spiral. Fasten the florets on short skewers.
Several small flowers of different shades can be combined into a single composition on the side of the cake.
They fill the entire surface between adjacent tiers like a wall.
Chaos is also an art. Unevenly arranged flowers will emphasize a friendly and simple atmosphere. Chaotically arranged petals look better than whole flowers.
Petals arranged in a scatter pattern look very much like those that are arranged chaotically. But in fact, there is a difference: with the scattered technique, the surface is usually covered relatively evenly.
Decorate only the top of the dessert
If the cake is light, with an even white or cream coating, it already looks elegant. He does not need a lot of additional details. For these types of confectionery, only the top tier decoration is used.
Roses, lilies or orchids bouquets are set a little away from the middle or evenly cover the entire top tier.
Layer the cake with layers of small buds
Small buds laid evenly over the biscuit of a wedding cake, the recipe for which can be found here, look just as spectacular as petals.
Using single-colored small flowers, you can cover several tiers with them all together. It is optimal to alternate such levels and tiers with other decorations.
Sugared fresh flowers in wedding cake design
The last, yet most popular way to decorate a cake is to use candied inflorescences and petals. Pastry chefs love this method of decoration because it doesn’t cause any additional hassle.
Flowers like these:
- Can be eaten without fear of upset stomach;
- They have a pleasant, sugary taste;
- do not need to be removed from the surface before cutting;
- Persistent and will not wilt.
Usually the sugar florets are dotty on the surface. They can be spread on the cake earlier than fresh flowers: even 24 hours in advance. But then it will be necessary to place the cake in the refrigerator.
Wedding cakes with flowers are used by many media personalities. Kate Middleton and Prince William’s elegant white cake was decorated with a bouquet of various small flowers on top and at the base. Roses were stacked several times between the tiers. Princess Diana and Prince Charles had a similar cake design, only they opted for more colorful (red, white) inflorescences. Queen Elizabeth even ordered entire layers of roses for her wedding cake, and more than 100 buds were installed as a result.