Fresh Florals + Cakes
STORY & PHOTOS BY ANGEL SCHIFFER
As the daughter and granddaughter of florists incorporating fresh blooms into baked goods has always been a natural fit for me. I’m inspired by the work that the generations before me did and have found a way to embody my family’s legacy, or what my mom calls “the eye” into what we do at Bittersweet. If you’ve ever popped your head in the kitchen while visiting the bakery you’ve probably noticed the massive sign that reads “The Flower Pot” . No, you can’t find this at hobby lobby, it was hand-cut by my grandfather and hung over my grandmother’s floral shop that she and my mother worked side by side in from 1985-1995 here in Ellis county. While it seems easy enough to simply stick some roses in a cake, it’s a little trickier than that. Never fear, as I have compiled a list of tips and tricks so the next time you bake a cake and it needs a little, well, something… we’ve got you.
Choosing your florals:
Like toxic relationships, you’re going to want to avoid toxic florals. Granted, we are going to wrap them so that nothing seeps into your cake (we’ll teach you) and the toxicity levels and doses play a huge part, too… but if you’re just trying to make your cake look pretty let’s maybe stay away from the scary plants. Some are pretty obvious, hello poison hemlock. But some are not.. everyone’s favorite plant hydrangea for instance. Not to mention they wilt almost immediately out of water. A quick google search is a smart move when choosing florals for your cake.
Favorite Florals TO use:
fresh herbs or fruit blooms
Texture and variety:
Are you looking to create a playful garden design? It’s tough to achieve if all you have are large red roses. It doesn’t mean you can’t use red roses but think size and variation. Closed blooms, open blooms, filler florals, and our best friend – greenery. Sometimes a cake will have more of an impact if you use just a few of the heavy hitters – roses, a large dahlia – and fill in with greenery that allows you to create that whimsical movement you’re after.
Tip: Don’t get rid of the damaged bloom! Maybe it’s not your statement flower but you can still use it. Rip off the petals, use them as an accent. See what’s on the inside of the flower. Sometimes it’s exactly the funky piece you needed in your design.
Wrapping the stems:
It is smart to wrap your stems in floral tape to not only protect your cake from the plant if there’s any question on its toxicity but also to keep it from seeping any floral secretion, yum, into your delicious cake. You can find floral tape at any craft store. Simply wrap the tape around half the length of the stem, as this is about how much will be inserted into the cake usually.
Tip: Did you cut your stem too short? Add a toothpick into the base of the flower, wrap with floral tape and it will be good as new and add an extra layer of stability.
Placing the first flower:
Placing the first flower is the scariest part! I start with my statement flowers first as it helps you see the design and then fill in with the supporting characters: greenery, filler, fresh fruits. I make sure not to push the stems too far in, leaving plenty of room for dimension and interest. The last thing you want is a disproportionate cluster of too tight florals.
Remember to let the florals breathe and step back and check out your masterpiece from every angle.