Hi all. I wonder if anyone can help...
I am making a wedding cake & the bride wants to match the flowers on the cake to hers. She is having peonies & sweetpeas.
I have googled & both say they are poisonous. I have seen loads of cakes using peonies (no sweetpeas yet).
Obviously you cant push stems into cake. I guess you could use flower spikes? However, does it effect the cake (Fondant covered) if they lay on it.
We would rather use fresh than silk so any help gratefully accepted.
We have used fresh flowers(peonies and sweetpeas included) on hundreds of wedding cakes for many years, and have had absolutely no problem. The people cutting the cake usually know to remove all of the flower, debris and stems before cutting it, but you could , make sure you go over that with them when you deliver the cake. I would think a person would have to actually eat the flower to get sick.
If you are concerned with actually pushing the stems into the cake, you could cut the stems really short, and use some royal icing to hold the flowers in place. This will work for small clusters, not large clusters of flowers.
The White Flower Cake Shoppe
Thank you so much Marianne.
I thought I must be missing something as I always see fresh flowers on cakes everywhere!
Much appreciate your help. My mind is at rest.
At the risk of backlash and not meaning to stir any pots or upset anyone-this post is not meant to single anyone out or offend anybody but I feel that this needs to be addressed.
I am surprised any state or country allows the use of any flower listed as poisonous. Poisons/toxics can leech into frostings, onto hands, onto serving utensils, plates and contaminate other foods and items accidentally. A small child may pick one of these flowers off of the cake.
Under no circumstances regardless of handling procedures or warnings given to customers or venues, should any flower deemed poisonous be used in the vicinity of food. I think you risk huge liability issues doing so. I would think this issue would be covered in any food safety courses that licensed businesses are required by law, to take. But I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't.
No flower that wasn't organically grown, should come into direct contact with any food item. You must have a barrier between flowers and cakes, just inserting them into straws or spikes is not enough. You need a barrier such as plastic or parchment etc. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are dangerous. Organically grown flowers should still be rinsed.
Poisonous/toxic flowers should not be used.
Thank you for your input. I shall research the flower choices further
If you are using flowers in cakes you ABSOLUTELY must use some food-safe barrier between the stem and the sponge, poisonous or not. I try to also have a layer of greaseproof paper on the cake to act as a barrier if the design allows for it.
I will personally not put flowers deemed poisenous on a cake but I have seen many people do it and the attitude of most people (bakers and florists) is 'well it's not like people are eating it etcetc'. This may well be true, and the risk is probably negligable, but as far as I'm concerned it is not justification for exposing your customers to danger. I mean, would you did your sugar flowers in arsnic and put them on a cake?? Sounds extreme but that is basically what you are doing!!
As far as organic is concerned, I am personally more sceptical on this one. After asking 5 florists in my area, none of them actually knew of 'how' their flowers were produced which makes life more difficult! Secondly, something classed as 'organic' is still produced with pesticides...they are just 'approved' pesticides.
There are plenty of beautiful edible flowers out there...so why chance it? Just found this link with a brief search:
Nanny_Cakes, after I posted I did a few Google searches on sweetpeas and peonies and there seems to be mixed reviews regarding toxicity and whether these flowers are toxic to humans or strictly animals. I would think you would have a state or national poison control agency perhaps the FDA can help - that could give you a definitive answer. But there does appear to be some risk associated with both.
this one is even good enough to tell you the symptoms if you eat them...!!
Snowbunny23, 13 years ago I could not find one florist in my area who knew how his or her flowers were grown and today, nothing has changed. I have grown my own flowers and vines for a few summer weddings, over the last few years. For family and friends. Organically and with all natural pesticides and fertilizers. By all natural pesticides I mean things like baking soda or soap. It is much more work which is likely why it isn't done very much. And still you cannot completely control your environment unless you have a greenhouse.
Whoops sorry, that should be Snowflakebunny23, not Snowbunny23.
Unless they are organically grown, they are probably covered in pesticides. And where have the stems been sitting? What's in that water? I wouldn't use poisonous flowers at all and probably not any fresh ones. If you don't want to make gumpaste ones, you can buy those.
Thanks everyone. All points concidered and appreciated.
For fresh flowers you can cut a drinking straw and place the stem of the flower in it. I would melt a little candle wax to seal the end that goes into the cake. I used saran wrap cut to the size of where the flower sits on the cake. I poked the base of the straw through the center so the saran wrap would be under the flower and off of the cake.
Arrrgh.......melt candy melts or chocolate to seal the end that goes into the cake...there went that brain/keyboard connection!
Thanks to everyone for all your advice. Much appreciated