Wedding Cake With Fresh Flowers: 10 Important Things To Know

We love flowers here at Wedding Pioneer.

We’ve always admired the artistry in floral design because we can’t even doodle a stick flower, let alone create a huge beautiful bouquet. But, unfortunately, not every pollinating flower loves us back!

huge wedding cake with fresh flowers
Photo by Jess Living Photo

Today, we’re getting into the various pros and cons of choosing a wedding cake with fresh flowers. It’s an incredibly romantic look, and when done correctly, your cake will look and taste terrific!

There are some important considerations to bear in mind when using natural florals as wedding cake decor, so we’ve put together ten essential things you need to know and ten great ideas to make your wedding cake match your dreams.

We’re excited about this, so let’s get going!

Make Sure Your Wedding Cake Flowers Are Edible

I know, duh, right? Thankfully, there are many websites to review to learn what kinds of flowers you can use in cooking, baking, or decorating.

We found a great source of info just by searching for an “edible flower chart,” and it’s such an extensive list that it made our heads spin.

Keep reading because our ten great ideas will cover this more!

For Wedding Flowers in General, Think Sticky First

It’s the pollen in plants and flowers that people are allergic to, and the great news is there are plenty of lower pollen flowers available for your wedding planning.

When it comes to your bouquet, think sticky if you’re going with real flowers. The pollen generally stays put within the petals with a sticky pollen flower, meaning little to nothing goes airborne to make people sneeze, get itchy eyes, or cough.

But Not All Sticky Flowers Are Edible

Here’s where it gets a bit sticky (pardon the pun!).

Some low allergy or hypoallergenic flowers are inedible because they’re either questionable or dangerous to ingest. So for safety’s sake, let’s discuss two gorgeous and popular wedding “sticky” flowers that should probably stay in your wedding bouquet and go nowhere near your cake.

Pause Before Putting Peonies on Your Cake

We sigh with admiration and relief when we see a bridal bouquet with peonies.

Peonies are among the species of truly hypoallergenic flowers. As a result, they’re hugely popular in wedding bouquets, coming in second on lists of the most coveted wedding flower, just behind the romantic rose.

But that doesn’t mean you should eat a peony anytime soon!

Although some websites say it’s okay for people to consume a small number of peony petals as “seasonal flavoring,” most reputable websites state that peonies are poisonous to animals and can cause intestinal issues or skin rashes in people.

For that reason, we err on the side of caution and suggest peonies stay off your cake!

Halt Before You Put Hydrangeas on Your Cake

For a good reason, hydrangeas also earned a spot in the top ten list of most coveted flowers for wedding bouquets.

The versatile hydrangea includes multi-colored varieties called antique hydrangeas, which last longer than the classic white hydrangea.

All hydrangeas have sticky pollen, and that means allergy-prone folks can rejoice! But hydrangea flowers and leaves also contain glycoside amygdalin, and that’s a reason for caution.

Glycoside amygdalin makes this flower poisonous to animals and unsafe for anyone in large quantities. That’s enough for us to suggest your wedding cake is a “hydrangea-free zone!”

Best Fresh Flowers for a Wedding Cake

beautiful bride holding a bouquet
Photo by Elissa Deline Photography

Okay, on to the good stuff!

We’ve looked into three other equally gorgeous and popular wedding flowers that are sticky and edible. Check this out!

Cook and Bake with Carnations 

We love any flower with a nickname. So let’s celebrate carns!

Most florists (and brides-in-the-know) call the humble carnation a carn. These are affordable, versatile, and durable flowers with multiple petals and a low pollen count.

Unlike many flashier flowers, the reliable carn is pretty much available year-round. And those cute carns might even outlast you on your wedding day—they can make it all day away from a water source.

As far as a fresh flower for your wedding cake, the carnation is also a baker’s dream! The petals on a carn taste pretty sweet, and they’re often used in candy or as a cake decoration. Some mini-carns like the dianthus even have a nutmeg aroma. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

You Really Can Eat a Romantic Rose

You can’t beat the timeless rose for romance; it’s been the most popular bridal choice for as long as we’ve been around.

Low-scent varieties of the lush and beautiful rose are the most hypoallergenic because the pollen with the petals is too large to go airborne!

Here’s a cool thing we discovered in researching the rose as a fresh flower for wedding cakes: there are many flavors in the different varieties—some roses taste like apples or strawberries, and mints or spices! The darker the petal, the tastier the rose is a general rule of thumb.

Not to mention there is a wonderful selection of colors to choose from, typical deep red roses would suit a winter wonderland wedding cake perfectly, and peach and pink roses would look beautiful placed amongst seasonal spring and summer fruits on top of a naked wedding cake. 

You can find rose garnishes in salads, ice creams, and desserts, including wedding cakes. Roses are also a gorgeous flavor in jellies, spreads, syrups, and aromatic butter.

Serve up Some Sunflowers

While we assumed that the gorgeous and cheerful sunflower is hypoallergenic, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that varieties are grown for specific use as indoor flower bouquets!

Sunflower season is generally summer and fall, but you can find sunflowers at any time of the year. Some chefs steam unopened sunflower buds because they apparently taste like artichokes.

However, if you’re not a rabid artichoke fan, sunflower petals work well as cake decor, although their taste profile is bittersweet.

Make Sure Fresh Flowers Get Pampered for Your Wedding Cake

You’ve probably heard the term bridezilla. Well, we think the heat needs to be taken off the bride because the flowers in her bouquet or on her cake can behave like way bigger divas than she’ll ever be!

Whether you’re picking fresh flowers out of your family’s garden for wedding decorations or desserts, or you’ve got a florist selected, you need to make sure those blooming petals get pampered or risk everything wilting on your wedding day.

For instance, the only time you can roughhouse with a rose is when getting the petals off the stem. This involves grabbing the stem with one hand (wear gardening gloves to avoid the thorns!) and, with your other hand, yanking all the petals off the stem (that sounds better than a stress ball to us!).

This action should forcefully remove those little white tips from the petals, and that’s important because the white tips are notoriously bitter on a rose. All handpicked rose petals must get rinsed carefully under running water to flush off pests or dirt.

After you (or your florist) have picked flower petals, it’s often a race against time. For wilting rose petals, fill a small bowl with icy water and put the petals in the bowl for a couple of minutes. Then, hopefully, the petals will perk right up!

The Problem With Pesticides and Fresh Flowers for Wedding Cakes

Pesticides aren’t a secret. They’re used in many food crops to kill off damaging pests that can ruin a harvest.

Unfortunately, we’re learning more about the health risks of pesticide use, and floral pesticides are an even bigger problem because growers may use non-food-safe chemicals.

That puts the onus on you if you’re picking flowers from your family garden, or your florist, who may have to guarantee that they’re not purchasing wholesale flowers for your elegant wedding cake from unknown growers who may be using harmful pesticides.

So, just be aware, and make sure to have that conversation, mainly if you’re using a florist to design your bouquet and provide edible flowers for your cake.

We’ve found some great fresh flower ideas to incorporate into your wedding cake with these ten tips in mind, so now it’s time for the most fun part of all…

Grow Edible Flowers for Your Wedding Cake

This great idea blew our minds when we saw it. You need plant pots, sunlight, water, and love to grow your own fragrant, flavor-filled edible flowers for your wedding cake, salads, and desserts.

This seed packet provides enough mix to produce tasty blooms like cornflower, dianthus, English daisies, lavender hyssop, pansies, and lemon mints. In addition, these seeds are US-grown, open-pollinated, and completely free of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

What a fun activity to watch these florals grow and then include in your wedding cake decorating!

Organic Dried Rose Petals Are Exceptionally Easy to Use

While freshly picked rose petals require attention and tender care, dried rose petals give your wedding cake a delicious flavor and aroma, and they’re entirely safe because they’re organic too!

Most dried flowers will not cause an allergic reaction because the pollen is no longer alive in the bud. So if you’re keen on using florals, we suggest dried organic flowers that offer a beautiful look and aroma with no worries attached.

You Can’t Tell Gumpaste Apart From the Real Thing

Cakes with flowers make a genuine statement, but it can be far less stressful on your wedding day to choose real flowers that won’t let you down, like beautiful and durable carns, for instance.

You can also easily mix real and paste or sugar flower gum paste!

We can imagine a stunning magnolia sugar flower topping your wedding cake surrounded by real roses, carnations, or other colorful edible flowers for a breathtaking combination.

People Favor Faux for a Reason

If your wedding color scheme is aqua blue in the summer or gray in the winter, you can get faux flowers to match your realistic color scheme and that will look gorgeous all day, night, and years afterward!

This economical three-piece floral foam set is wedding day ready, and you have a rainbow of colors to choose from for a dream wedding cake.

Very Delicious Looking Violas

If you’re challenged with space and time before your wedding, you can order clamshells full of violas for your wedding cake decor.

Violas look fantastic on cakes, and you can even float them in cocktails during your pre-dinner reception for added beauty and elegance.

Each sheet has approximately 50 cute and colorful flowers. Your edible floral order can be customized with the grower if you’d like specific colors!

Say It with Silk on Your Wedding Cake

The thing with a handcrafted silk floral cake topper is, that we can’t think of one bad thing to say about it!

We also love the choices you get here with colors and arrangement (a topper, side decor, or both). If your cake is handmade by a loved one, this ready-to-go silk floral topper will make their decorating task much easier.

Layer Your Wedding Cake Tiers with Rose Jelly

Take your chocolate wedding cake up a notch with homemade organic rose petal jam layers between your cake tiers!

The look, smell, and taste will be remembered forever when you include candied cherries and dried organic rose petals in your cake decorating.

Grow Some Sun for Your Wedding Cake With Fresh Flowers

If there’s space in your garden, these edible, organic striped sunflowers will taste best when they’re picked fresh.

The harvest on this plant is from mid-August to September, and there are detailed growing instructions, so you’ll know what to expect. But, of course, the seeds are a great snack too!

Love This Edible Flower Lollipop

Here’s a fantastic alternative dessert idea: beautiful, breathtaking lollipops with real edible organic flowers, including daisies and violas!

These handmade creations look like art, and the image is clear and crisp because the fresh flowers aren’t flattened or pressed. A gorgeous gift for your guests!

A Wedding Cake with Real Glazed Hibiscus Flowers

Finally, best for last: edible, organic Hibiscus picked fresh and cleansed before being marinated with sugar, just waiting to be the topper on your wedding cake!

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