Firstly, it is absolutely ok to have fresh/dried flowers on your cake which is great news as I love to make your cakes look beautiful with flowers and compliment your wedding style! It's just super important for everyone that the flowers are safe to be used on your cake and applied in a safe way.
The Food Standards Agency is bringing out new guidance for adding flowers to cakes soon.
It’s something that I have always taken into careful consideration when decorating cakes and had procedures in place to limit risk. But as it has been very much highlighted recently, I thought it would be helpful to give an overview of my process for adding flowers safely to cakes.
Hopefully this information will help couples with their decision on design and it may be useful for florists or other cake makers too.
Massive thanks to The Cake Makers Collective for sharing a really informative reel after they undertook extensive research on this subject. It's definitely worth a listen if you're a florist or cake maker too. https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyWleXvs_iz/
(NB: For Cake Makers and Florists this is my personal interpretation of information that I have gathered which I'm happy to share but I am not responsible for any decisions that you make in your own business.)
Here’s the cake flower process that I follow:
When we have a call/meeting to discuss your cake I will ask how you would like it to be decorated. If you would like to have flowers that's great, there are two options.
-Fresh/dried flowers provided by your florist.
-Fresh/dried edible flowers provided by me through a reputable UK supplier. Here are some to inspire you!
Edible Flowers are non-toxic plants, grown in a food safe way without chemicals, picked and stored carefully, provided by a reputable UK supplier making them safe for food contact. If you would like me to use edible flowers I'd love to help. We can discuss colours and varieties and I will order and supply them on the day of your wedding.
Flowers provided by Florists are often chosen by couples to match their floral design on the day and it's a beautiful option. Flowers can sometimes be classed as toxic, sprayed with pesticides/chemicals, and pose a risk of contamination on your cake. However, there are steps that I will take if you choose this option to make sure non toxic flowers are safely applied to your cake. It wouldn't be recommended for these non toxic flowers to be eaten but it would also not cause any serious harm if they were accidentally ingested. (obviously not recommended!)
On confirmation of your booking (using florists flowers) I will ask for the florist’s contact details.
When you have your consultation with your florist it’s important to mention that you would like cake flowers and that I will be in touch to discuss suitable varieties.
Nearer to the time of the wedding, (usually two weeks before) I will contact the florist to ask for a confirmed list of flowers that will be supplied for your cake. Ideally the source of the flowers should be supplied as well. I appreciate this may not always be feasible. Where possible flowers should also be grown without using chemicals.
I will then check the flower varieties to make sure they are not classed as toxic. If they are classed as toxic, I will let the florist know that I cannot use them on your cake.
So, it’s important that the florist does supply the non toxic flowers that they have listed.
I often bring along fresh rosemary or olive branch as an option for greenery as both are non toxic.
Happily, there are many flowers that can be used including roses, lisianthus, wax flower, dahlias, primula, orchids, and many more...
Even though the responsibility ultimately lies with me it really helps if the above process is followed through by the florist to avoid problems on the day of set up.
On the day of setting up your cake I ask that the florist leave the flowers loose in a jar of water on your cake table.
The flowers/foliage will again be checked for toxicity, any that are toxic will not be used.
Any flowers of poor quality will not be used to limit the risk of bacterial contamination.
Flowers will be washed to remove any foreign bodies/chemicals.
I will use a food safe wire and food safe tape to protect the stem from transferring any sap to the cake and each stem will be inserted into the cake using a food safe cake pick.
For the interest of cake makers I also complete a Cake Flower Hazard Analysis sheet with every cake so that the information is documented. (Templates can be found on the Cake Makers Collective Website. https://www.cakemakerscollective.com/collections/downloadable-resources)
And that’s how it works!
I know it seems a lot for putting flowers on cakes but it’s absolutely part of the service that I offer to make sure it’s an easy and straight forward process that is trouble free for you.
It gives you peace of mind that your cake has been decorated safely for you and your guests on the most wonderful day of your life.
Of course, we can get creative with other options for your cake design which means the flowers don't touch your cake or not use flowers at all, I'm always happy to discuss ideas...
I’m also always happy to answer questions from couples, venues, cake makers or florists so please do get in touch. I’m happy to chat all things wedding and cake!