Being only an amateur cake maker myself (and no expert), I love to make celebration cakes for family and friends: These include Wedding Anniversaries / Birthdays / Engagements / and the big Coming of Age etc. I usually make sugar paste flowers (if the cake dictates) but they can be hard work and very time consuming so adding fresh flowers to a cake is a elegant and modern way to decorate it and elevate the visual impact to a new level. If I am asked to place flowers on a wedding cake this is how I would go about it:
Types Of Flowers
Always use edible flowers (think safety first). Avoid any that are toxic as you need to consider the flowers coming into contact with the icing and cake. After choosing the flowers google them first just to check they are edible before using.
Roses last well on a cake and are edible.
Do You Need To Wrap Stems?
Yes... If the flowers are going to be put into the cake then wrap the stems in floral tape ensuring where the stem has been cut is wrapped too as flower stems can leach into the cake layers. . Floral tape usually comes in shades of green. Cut approx 15cm and stretch it: This ensures the tape will stick to itself while wrapping. Cut flowers to desired length usually between 25 and 75mm. I find one large and two small flowers or filler flowers / foliage work well. Start at the top of the stem and work all the way down, you can add more if you run out halfway. Placing them in posy picks before putting them in the cake will ensure good food hygiene. Small groups of flowers can be put together with foliage before taping as long as they fit in the posy picks. If you don't have posy picks then a a plastic straw can also work.
Using florist tape also helps to keep the moisture in keeping flowers fresher a little bit longer. Using posy picks allows you to place flowers at an angle say at the side of a cake.
Another method for inserting slightly thinner stemmed flowers is to use a safety seal wax. Which is a food safe beeswax that you melt in the microwave, then dip your stems in all the way up to create a wax seal. You normally do a couple of coats and then you let it cool down to harden and insert straight into the cake.
Yet another way to place flowers on the top of a cake is to use a cake board silver side down. Just place some icing on the cake first and smooth out. Place the board on top and pipe the board around the edges with icing to conceal it. Then heap the board with icing and place your flowers into it (you will not have to wrap them or use flower picks) starting at the outside working in. More icing may be needed in the middle for a domed effect. Use filler flowers such as gypsophila to fill in any gaps between.. The cake board does not have to fit right over the entire top of the cake just where you wish your flowers to be.
When the cake needs to be cut just use a spatular to work all around the cake board and lift the whole display off the cake keeping the cake intact.
Adding fresh flowers should be done just before the event. Leave yourself a good hour to do this.
Tip: Avoid touching the top of the flowers as they can bruise easily.
Basic Naked mini Wedding Cake I love the tiny wedding cakes. Because I didn't have any small baking tins I just made up a basic sponge recipe in a 20cm baking tin and once cooled cut 3 rounds out with a pastry cutter and put the base on a small cake board then sandwiched the layers together with apricot jam and butter cream. Then I secured a small disk of cake board on top with icing and piped all around to conceal the edges. I piled icing in the middle and placed miniature roses on top. Now complete, I moved the cake to a stand dabbing icing on it to hold the cake firmly in place. They can make nice favours for wedding guests especially when used with the cupcake stands with the high dome. Mine tasted great! PS. I made a trifle with the spare leftover sponge... YUM!