How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (2022)

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In this post on how to decorate a cake with flowers, I am going to share with you the different ways you can safely place flowers on cakes, whether they are fresh flowers or flowers with gum paste wire, for 2 different reasons.

Firstly, for food safety reasons, that is, to ensure that the flower stems and gumpaste wires do not come into direct contact with the cake. Second, to optimally attach the flowers to the cake so that they remain secure on the cake.

How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (1)

Flowers make really beautiful cake decorations. And for years, cake decorators around the world have been using flowers to decorate their cakes. Flowers for cake decorating range from the more traditional flowers with edging (buttercream and royal icing flowers) to simple fresh flowers to stunning handmade icing flowers.

Different types of cakes decorating flowers

Of all these different types of flowers, tubular flowers are the safest in terms of food safety. That's because they're completely edible and can be attached to cakes without additional support. Also for gum paste or fondant flowers that are not wired. These are easy to attach to cakes with shortening or fondant glue. Also, there is nothing poisonous or inedible in them that requires additional legwork.

Which then leaves out fresh flowers and wire flowers. These flowers require additional prep work simply because they are not edible at all, or certain components within them are inedible. These should not come into contact with the cake. Some fresh flowers are edible. But some are not particularly the stems and therefore should not come into direct contact with the cakes. With wire flowers, the floral tape often used to wrap flower wires is not food safe. This should not come into direct contact with the cake.

The first section below discusses the options available for preparing fresh flowers. The next section is all about gum paste flowers.

How to Attach Fresh Stringy Flowers to Cakes

Decorate a cake with fresh flowers

Method 1 – Insert a wire into the flower stems and wrap them in cling film or aluminum foil.

  • This is especially useful for flowers with easily bent stems, such as daisies. For these flowers, I usually cut a piece of floral wire (usually 20 or 24 gauge) to match the length of my flower stem and carefully insert it into the flower stem. And then I wrap the entire stem up to the calyx in cling film or aluminum foil. After wrapping, the flower can be safely inserted into the cake.
  • You'll find that inserting a wire into fresh flowers, especially those with thin, soft stems, makes it easier to insert the flowers into cakes without breaking or bending the flower stems.
  • Another point to keep in mind is that leaving the stems a little longer will help the flowers adhere better to the cake, especially during shipping.
  • Wire is not required for flowers with sturdier stems, such as roses. This is because the stem does not bend when inserted into pies. All you have to do is wrap the stems well before inserting them into your cake.
How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (2)

Method 2: Useflower spikes

  • flower spikesthey are plastic sleeves made especially for storing flowers on cakes. These are cylindrical with the width of the bladder stems and about 3 to 4 inches in total length. One end of the cylinder has a closed pointed end. This is the end that will be tucked into the cake. The other end has an opening to insert flowers. The outer surface of the spikes is usually studded. This will help ensure the tips stay in place when used on cakes.
  • Using these flower stems eliminates the need to wrap the flower stems as there is no direct contact of the stems with the cake. The only problem is that you would have to group your flowers together to put them on a spike. This is because the spikes can be a bit too wide for a single flowering stem. Or if you're just piercing a flower, you'll need to line the inside of the dowel with tissue paper (or some other suitable material) to hold the flower firmly in place.
How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (3)

Real flower spikes to decorate cakes. These are from Wilton.

(Video) How I Decorate with Fresh Flowers on a Wedding Cake- Rosie's Dessert Spot

How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (4)

This diagram shows how flower spikes are used to hold flowers on cakes. The spikes can be used for both fresh and wired gum paste buds.

Method 3 – Use a Bubble Tea Straw or a Regular Drinking Straw

  • This is a cheaper option than using the previous floral tips. Instead of sticking the flower stems into the spikes, stick them into bubble tea straws. Bubble straws are good if you want to group the flowers together.
  • Or regular size straws are good if you want to put the flowers on the cake one at a time. I would recommend wrapping the stems in cling film or aluminum foil. This is because the sticks are still in contact with the cake (from the bottom opening of the straws).

Attach sugar wire flowers to the cake

Handling sugar flowers or gum paste flowers is quite similar to handling fresh flowers. The only difference is that since the wires are much thinner than bunches of fresh flowers, using regular straws and flower tips would require a lot more padding to hold them in place.

Method 1 – Use Popsicle Sticks

  • I often use plastic popsicle sticks when inserting wire flowers into cakes. Lollipop sticks are great in that they can hold thin wires. I find these to be the most convenient for wire flowers. And because toothpicks are thin, attaching a flower to a toothpick won't fill the cake with straws.
  • While lollipop sticks work well with thicker wire, they are still a bit too wide for very thin wire (28 gauge and up). For these wires (which I usually use for filler flowers) I would normally use the flower tape to fatten up the stems or gather some of the flowers onto a lollipop stick.
  • If you find the floral wires too flimsy for lollipop sticks, there is another trick you can use to hold them on the sticks without the added padding of floral tape. Bend your floral wire at several points along the length of the wire, and then use your hands to straighten it out again. This results in the cable being straight but with little bends here and there.
  • Stick this wire onto a lollipop stick and you'll find that the little curves really help to hold the floral wire firmly in the holes of the lollipop stick. This may not work for very thin wires, so you'll need to mix and match the above methods accordingly.
How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (5)

This floral wire was too thin for the lollipop stick, so I bent it every few increments and then straightened it, resulting in a slightly crooked wire.

How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (6)

Twisted wire stays securely in place once inserted into the lollipop stick compared to a completely straight wire..

How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (7)
How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (8)
  • Pouring the flower with the wire onto a lollipop stick will help ensure that the wire doesn't come in direct contact with the cake.

Method 2: wrapping aluminum foil with transparent film

  • This method is similar to the one I suggested for fresh flowers in the previous section. If you don't want to use the straws or popsicle sticks you can wrap the gumpaste flower wires in cling film or foil before inserting into the cake and you can do this for each individual flower or group a few as one
How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (9)

Wrapping floral wire or flower stems in cling film before inserting them into a cake is another way to decorate a cake with flowers.


How to Decorate a Cake with Flowers - A Guide to Fresh and Fine Flowers (10)

And these are pretty much the techniques I know of for attaching fresh, braided flowers to pastels.

I hope this exchange has been helpful. If you have other methods that you know of or use, please share them in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading :)

More recipes for you to enjoy

  • Gum Paste Poppies Tutorial
  • How to dye gum paste flowers
  • easy fondant flower tutorial
  • Gum paste hydrangeas to decorate cakes

reader interactions


  1. Stephanke6

    I use the straw method, but I melt the bottom of the straw to seal it before gluing it into the cake. Bubble straws for large or group stems.


    • Priya

      (Video) The Easiest Way To Add Fresh Flowers To A Cake (Food Safe) | CHELSWEETS

      It's a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Chong

    Thanks for your wonderful ideas. I recently covered my floral wire with cling film, but I was scared someone might eat the cling film if I left it on the cake after removing the flower and leaving the cling film on. I will definitely try the other suggestions as well.


  3. Kalpana Kathriarachchi

    Thanks for the info. It is quite useful for beginners.

    (Video) Add Fresh Flowers to Buttercream Cake | 2 Easy and Food-Safe Methods!


  4. Jade

    Thanks for the useful information.
    I found aluminum floral wire at my local craft store, it is not covered with tape. Since we use aluminum in the kitchen, would this be food safe?


    • priya maha

      Hi Jade, I would still wrap the cord as it was intended for florists and not grocery stores.


      (Video) Safely Decorating Cakes With Fresh Flowers Facebook Live Demo

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How do you decorate a cake with fresh flowers? ›

Place stems in water vials and insert vials into the cake. Dip stems (or florist wire) into a food safe wax and insert into the cake. Tape flower stems and insert them into straws. Cut straw down to an appropriate length and push straws into the cake.

How do you decorate a cake with little flowers? ›

It's super simple, just a little time consuming. Take a small piece of plastic wrap and wrap it around the whole stem up to the base of the flower. Now you can stick it into your cake, and your cake will still be safe to eat.

Which fresh flowers can be used to decorate cakes? ›

List of Edible Flowers for Cakes
  • Hibiscus.
  • Pansies.
  • Lilac.
  • Lavender.
  • Rose.
  • Calendula.
  • Dahlia.
  • Violas.
28 Apr 2021

How do you keep real flowers fresh on a cake? ›

You could just stick the flower stems directly into the cake, but that won't keep your blooms or cake the freshest they can be. Instead, insert them into individual flower holders (those little tubes available at florist shops), or use a product like Ingenious Edibles Safety Seal to coat stems in a food-safe wax.

When should fresh flowers be put on a cake? ›

Flowers need water to prevent them from wilting. If they're added to cake more than a day before an event, they can really lose their luster. I like to add fresh flowers to cakes the same day they will be enjoyed. While this answer makes life a bit more challenging, you have to trust me on this one.

How do you make a flower cake? ›

To create these types of flowers, simply hold the piping bag with tip straight up above the surface of the cake, squeeze the piping bag until the buttercream creates a flower, then release the pressure on the piping bag before pulling it up and away.

Can you use any fresh flowers on a cake? ›

Flowers that are not edible but are safe for cake decorating: Freesia, gerbera, strawflowers, lisianthus, camellia, African violets and viburnums. Flowers to avoid: Lily of the valley, daffodils, hydrangea, poinsettia, calla lilies, foxgloves, azaleas and rhododendrons.

How do you make fresh flowers last? ›

Expert Tips for Long-Lasting Bouquets
  1. No foliage in the water. When you put your flowers into a vase, there should be no foliage below the water line. ...
  2. Use a squeaky-clean vase. Wash your vase with soapy water and rinse it well. ...
  3. Make clean cuts. ...
  4. Condition the flowers. ...
  5. Keep them cool. ...
  6. Refresh the water. ...
  7. Edit as needed.

How do you keep one flower fresh? ›

Heat will hasten your flowers' demise, so place arrangements in cool spots, away from heating ducts and vents. You can also keep flowers fresh by avoiding direct sunlight. As we said, bacteria are the enemy, so wash out the vase and refill it at least every three days, Schleiter advises.

How do you make flowers stay fresh longer? ›

Fresh, clean water will keep your cut flowers alive longer. Remove the flowers from the vase every two or three days, rinse the vase out, and fill it with fresh water. If you have dying foliage, be sure to remove it. Placing your arrangement in the fridge overnight will also help extend your flower's life.

How do you make a rose on top of a cake? ›

To pipe roses on cake:

Place parchment strips down on preferred cake stand and transfer cake on top. Fill pastry bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip and hold it perpendicular to the cake. To pipe rose, gently squeeze bag and move in a circular motion starting from the center and moving outward.

How do you decorate a cake with a spoon? ›

Drag the backside of your spoon across the surface of the cake, moving the spoon back and forth as you go to create a zig-zag pattern in a uniform line. You can mix this one up by making narrower or wider zig-zags, or by using a larger or smaller spoon to make differently-sized lanes.

Can you put fresh flowers on a birthday cake? ›

Clean, Snip, Top

After carefully washing the blooms, snip away most of the stem and remove any small insects with a toothpick. Although completely non-toxic, edible flowers with a woody, hardy stem can technically be placed into the cake.

Can I put flowers directly on a cake? ›

In short the answer is yes, it is safe to use fresh flowers on your wedding cake, so long as you follow these simple guidelines: Fresh flowers should be used strictly for decoration purposes. Most commercially grown flowers are treated with pesticides or fertilisers and so are not fit for consumption.

Do you wash flowers before putting on cake? ›

Once you've ensured your flowers are safe to use and pesticide-free, make sure to clean them thoroughly before decorating your cake. After carefully washing the blooms, snip away most of the stem and remove any small insects with a toothpick.

What flowers should you not put on a cake? ›

Flowers To Avoid: Lily Of The Valley, Daffodil, Poinsettia, Azaleas, Calla Lily, Hyacinth, Oleander, Wisteria, Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Mistletoe, Holly, Sweet Pea.

Which side of cake goes down first? ›

First things first: it's important to know that the top of the cake is actually the bottom of the cake, i.e. the bottom that was touching the bottom of the cake pan while it was baking. The top is the bottom.


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