Let them eat cake with flowers on top

Posted on: 6th February, 2017

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: Ruby Harte

Ruby Harte (a.k.a Mags Riordan) has been a professional florist for over 12 years. Ruby runs a family owned nursery, Bumble Bee Farm in Castledonovan, Drimoleague and is deeply concerned about the protection and cultivation of nature and its habitats.

With the provenance of our food becoming a real issue I’m being asked more and more about using flowers on cakes especially wedding cakes. So with that in mind, I’m going to share a few tips with you this month with regard to choosing suitable flowers, including a few precautions, substitutions for popular flowers and a list of toxic ones to definitely avoid.

‘What is safe and what isn’t’ – the Internet is a wonderful resource but it also contains a myriad of misinformation and images of toxic flowers adorning cakes.

Peonies, for instance, I think we would all agree are one of the most beautiful flowers, but not for cakes. The only peony that is edible is the tree peony and even at that it has a very low edible rating, but there are many stunning ‘peony style edible roses’ which have a much longer flowering season and are a safe option provided they are grown using organic principles.

The style of cake could reflect your choice of flowers. For instance, if you are having a rustic naked cake, which are a type becoming increasingly popular, then earthy flowers like calendula, cornflower, viola, dianthus and some dahlia varieties work. Decorate either using the whole flowers and/or as petal confetti scattered over the cake. A very elegant cake cries out for romantic roses, sophisticated dahlias and freesias and a vintage style cake lends itself to roses, the frothiness of alchemilla, stock and phlox.

Unfortunately no commercially-grown flower from a high-street florist is suitable, these all contain chemicals and preservatives prohibited in food production. It is a different industry producing a product for visual use only. If you are using these flowers, then you can take some precautions by insuring there is no direct contact with the cake, which will help prevent any of the toxins leaching into the cake.

My advice is to source your flowers from a certified, registered food producer. Then you can be assured they are compliant with all the necessary regulations and that your flowers are indeed a safe food product.

Here is a list of some beautiful flowers that we grow here at Bumblebee Flower Farm which are suitable for wedding cakes: Roses, Phlox Paniculate, Alchemilla Mollis, Malva, Dianthus, Feverfew, Gypsophlia, Camelia Japonica, Dahlia, Mattiola, Amaranthus, Gladioli, Tulip and Antirrhinum.

Those suitable for crystallising are Viola, Primrose, some Dianthus, rose petals, and individual flowers of Phlox.

Rustic flowers include Calendula, Cornflowers, Nasturtiums, Marigold, and Zinnias

Herbs are also beautiful used fresh dried or crystallised.

Some flowers that should be avoided and not put anywhere near food, no matter how they have been grown, include Aconite (monkshood) Delphinium Larkspur and Ranunculus – these are all in the same family ranunculaceae – all Euphorbia’s including Poinsettia, Azalea’s and Rhododendron, Anthurium, Foxglove, Lily of the Valley and Calla Lily.

You are spending a lot of money on your wedding cake so make sure you finish it off with high quality produce that is certified safe.

Whatever you choose we hope you have a wonderful day filled with treasured memories.

Above: Cake by Aly’s Adventures in Bakerland, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Latest News Articles:

Clonakilty Fairtrade Fortnight celebrates 15 years
€44 million to improve Cork roads
Clonakilty Access Group AGM hears of many frustrations and challenges for people with disabilities in the town
Schull student scoops top invention award at BT Young Scientist
Schull Garda Station wins ‘Leading Light in Road Safety’ award from Road Safety Authority
Go quackers at the 2018 West Cork Bird Race
Bandon in danger of losing its youth café
Local professionals invited to Anam Cara information pack launch
Bandon Transport and Public Realm Enhancement Plan shortlisted for Irish Planning Awards
Christmas on the beat

Join us on Facebook

Did you know..... ... See MoreSee Less

Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1jc2tlH75Q
... See MoreSee Less

16th February, 2018  ·  

Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
... See MoreSee Less

15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
Tickets can be purchased either on the club's facebook page or through eventbrite.

www.eventbrite.ie/e/bandon-toastmasters-presents-ignite-your-potential-tickets-41871052445?aff=es2
... See MoreSee Less

13th February, 2018  ·  

Get your togs on in aid of Bantry lifeboat..... ... See MoreSee Less

8th February, 2018  ·  

Jump to:

Top