Decorating Cakes with Fresh Flowers

Decorating Cakes with Fresh FlowersDecorating cakes with fresh flowers is really on-trend and the best thing is, it doesn’t have to be complicated or fiddly. Here’s an example using polystyrene blocks between tiers that’s surprisingly straightforward but the result looks really sophisticated and intricate (don’t worry, it’ll be our little secret!).

Just a word of caution however, please bear in mind that not all flowers are safe for use with food, if you’re decorating cakes with fresh flowers we have included a selection that are safe to use at the bottom of this page. You also need to make sure any flowers you use have been organically grown as pesticides and fertilizers contain all sorts of nasties that you don’t want anywhere near your cake. Always remember to remove the flowers before cutting and serving the cake. It is also good practice to remove the stamen and other pollen-bearing parts of the flower, to avoid complications with allergy sufferers.

For decorating cakes with fresh flowers using this technique you will need:

  • Three, under and top iced cake tiers, each mounted on a larger iced and ribboned cake board
  • Two, 5cm (2in) thick polystyrene blocks, each 2.5cm (1in) smaller than the cake tier it will support
  • 12 plastic dowels
  • Pencil
  • Small hacksaw/serrated knife
  • Scriber needle


Decorating cakes with fresh flowers

1. Place the largest polystyrene block in the centre of the bottom cake tier and score round it using the scriber needle.

2. Insert a dowel in the centre of the cake and mark it to show the height of the cake. Remove the dowel and, using the hacksaw or knife, cut it about 1mm (1/16in) above the marked line.

3. Cut a further six dowels to the exact same size using the cut dowel as a measure. It is very important to ensure that all the dowels are the same size.

4. Push a dowel down into the centre of the cake and insert another six in a circle around it, inside the scored line.

Decorating cakes with fresh flowers

5. Spread a little royal icing in the centre of the cake and stick the correct size polystyrene block on top.

Decorating cakes with fresh flowers

6. To prepare the fresh roses for blocking, take small lengths of thick florists wire and insert one in the end of each rose head.

Decorating cakes with fresh flowers

7. Carefully push the prepared roses into the polystyrene block.

8. Attach the next tier and polystyrene block in the same way,  following steps one to seven.

9. Spread more royal icing over the polystyrene block and attach the top tier.

Decorating cakes with fresh flowers

Top 20 safe flowers for decorating a cake

  1. Alyssum
  2. Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila)
  3. Bachelor Button petals
  4. Carnation
  5. Chamomile
  6. Daisy
  7. Dahlia
  8. English Primrose
  9. Forget-Me-Not
  10. Fuchsia
  11. Geranium
  12. Hibiscus
  13. Jasmine
  14. Lavender
  15. Marigolds
  16. Nasturtium
  17. Pansy
  18. Roses
  19. Viola/Violets
  20. Zinnia

This technique was excerpted from Sweet & Simple Party Cakes, by May Clee-Cadman. See our other top picks in cake decorating books now!

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