My friend is getting married soon (May 15) and she wants little cut outs of flowers on the sides of the layers of her cake. But I'm not totally sure how to attach them. Do they have to dry first? Or can I just stick them right on there. Or do I need some kind of adhesive? I'm totally clueless and feeling the time crunch... Help!
Is the cake finished in buttercream or fondant?
If it's fondant, you can just wet the back of the cutout and it will stick. I will use a glue made of 1 part meringue powder to 1 part water if it's something heavy that I think needs a stronger bond.
As to letting it dry first, Kerry Vincent has a rule, something like...wet to wet (meaning both surfaces are still fresh) will form the strongest bond no matter the glue. Then wet to dry (meaning you apply dry cutouts to fresh fondant or vice versa) will form a slightly weaker bond. Then dry to dry (meaning you're applying dry cutouts to dry fondant) will give you the weakest bond of all.
I'd say it depends on a few things. what is the cake covered in? Fondant, buttercreme, royal icing? Are the flowers you want to attach 3D, flat to the cake, large, small? If you're putting flat flowers onto fondnat or royal icing, that's the easiest, just a small amount of water on the back of the flower (just enough to damp it) and hold it a few seconds in place. This "melts" the sugar in the fondant which makes it stick like it's glued on. The same would work with 3D flowers, but not as easy as there's less area to stick, so I would use a little royal icing as glue or cheat like I do, get a small blob of fondant, dip it into water and take out. Once wet it'll start to melt, just mold it into a small blob and stick on the back of the flower which can then be attached to the cake. I've done this with sugarpaste butterflies on sugarpaste before. As for attaching something to buttercreme, if it's flat flowers they should just stick, but I have no idea how to keep them there, and if they're 3D I also have no idea.