You could spend hours crafting floral arrangements from icing and sugar paste, or you could simply deck out a cake in decadent flowers to create a naturally gorgeous look. Most of the best cake decorators use fresh flowers on everything from simple birthday cakes to elegant wedding and celebration confections. However, before you call up the florist to order two-dozen freshly clipped red roses for your current cake project, you should know that there are some things to know when combining flowers and an edible product. Here are the simple rules you should know if you intend to use fresh flowers on a cake.
Make sure you research any flower you plan to use on a cake.
Flowers and blooms may be lovely on a cake, but if you plan to put real flowers on a cake, make sure you know if the flower is safe before you do. Some flowers do contain toxic components that shouldn't be anywhere near something a bunch of people are going to eat. For example, belladonna (also referred to as deadly nightshade) has foliage that is incredibly toxic because it contains tropane alkaloids. Do your research before you attempt to use flowers on a cake.
Buy flowers only from a chemical-free florist.
It is not a good idea to just stop in at any flower shop and pick up flowers for a cake without knowing how they have been cared for by the florist. Any flowers you are planning to use should be free of toxic chemicals completely. Some florists use chemical sprays to keep their flowers bug-free or even fresher for longer periods. Look for a florist that does not use chemicals or shop only for flowers that are advertised by the florist as safe to use as edible garnish.
Wash your flowers before you use them on a cake.
Any flowers that you are going to be placing directly on a cake should be appropriately cleaned before doing so. Cleaning the flowers will help to ensure there are no small pests hanging out inside or even loose tidbits of pollen or leaves. Using water that is cool but not cold, dip flower blooms and stems in and give them a gentle shake. Most blooms will hold up just fine during cleaning. Allow the flowers to air dry slightly before using them for decorations as any remaining moisture could cause damage to the frosting decor.