Summertime birthdays and weddings are perfect occasions to make a cake decorated with fresh flowers. You could pay a professional baker to make and decorate your cake, or do it yourself and save a ton of money. A homemade cake decorated with flowers fresh from your garden adds a personal touch to a wedding, birthday or other event. Flowers must be kept very fresh and placed on the cake just before serving.
Seek out organically grown flowers. Many cut flowers are heavily treated with pesticides and other chemicals are not safe to use on food. Use flowers cut from your own garden, or look in the produce section of some specialty grocery stores for fresh, organic edible flowers. Some florist may also carry or be willing to order organic flowers for you.
Decorate with edible flowers. Some flowers, like lily-of-the-valley, are poisonous, and should not be used to decorate cakes. Edible flowers include nasturtium, marigolds, daylilies (but not true lilies), lavender, roses and violets. Always research a flower very thoroughly to make sure that it is safe to eat before using it to decorate a cake.
Pick flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried but before the heat of the day has set in. Choose flowers that are undamaged and in peak bloom. Do not use flowers with fungus, disease or insect infestations. Cut the flower stems with scissors or pruners and immediately place them in a bowl or glass with ice water.
Store cut flowers in the refrigerator until just before use.
Dip flowers in ice-cold water with a pinch of salt to loosen any dirt or insects hiding in the crevices. Shake gently to dry them, or pat them with a paper towel.
Remove the reproductive parts of the flower (pistil, stamen and anthers) if you wish. The pollen may stain the frosting of the cake and the flavor of the pollen may be too overpowering.
Cut the flower stems short and carefully press them into the frosting of the cake immediately before serving. You could also use small plastic flower holders to keep the flowers fresher a little bit longer. Flower holders are found in cake-decorating supply stores.
Apply a fresh layer of frosting and sprinkle flower petals over it. Gently press the flower petals into the frosting with your fingers.