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Cake Blog

Real Flowers vs. Sugar Flowers

There are flowers in your hand, on the tables, on the corsages, along the aisle ... there's flowers everywhere at a wedding! And there's usually flowers on the wedding cake, too.

Cakes may have a full cascade of flowers trailing down a 5-tier showpiece, or a simple single bloom to bring life to a sleek, modern design. The majority of wedding cakes I have made have had flowers on them. And why not? There is nothing more beautiful and inspiring than nature!

The question is, however, do you go for fresh flowers, or sugar flowers?

Didn't even think you had an option? You're not alone.

Although I usually work with sugar flowers, there are times when a bride insists on fresh flowers. That is when I have to pull out my pros and cons list! Let's look closely at the fresh flowers on a cake, and see if they are a good idea:

- Fresh flowers look stunning

- Fresh flowers smell great

- Fresh flowers are affordable

- Fresh flowers make up for lack of skill in your cake maker (if they can't make sugar flowers)


-Fresh flowers feel a little sad after a few hours on a cake. Thirsty flowers wilt very quickly.

-Fresh flowers smell great, and the cake will capture that scent and flavor. Probably not a good thing.

-Fresh flowers come and go in seasons. If you want fresh peonies, you better make sure your wedding happens when they are in season!

-Fresh flowers are not particularly edible, and some are highly toxic. It only takes a little miscommunication or a tad lack of information for a toxic flower to end up on a piece of cake that someone is going to eat. Some bridal bouquet flowers are lethal if consumed!

Fresh flowers are very trendy for naked cakes, although I think the naked cake trend has run its course. People are finding out that these cakes dry out in five minutes! Oh, and fresh flowers on naked cakes = tainted cakes. Ladies (and gentlemen), beware of fresh flowers on naked cakes!

So what about sugar flowers?

These babies are handmade from scratch, one petal at a time, left to dry, then assembled, colored, and grouped in arrangements. They are not cheap, but they last forever. Let's look at the pros and cons of sugar flowers:

-Sugar flowers are edible, safe, and are made from the same stuff that the cake is made of (i.e. sugar).

-Sugar flowers last years in a vase, so you can save them as a keepsake.

-Sugar flowers don't have to be in season to end up on your cake. Whatever flowers you want, you may have, whatever the time of year.

-Sugar flowers hold their shape and color on the cake (no wilting).

-Sugar flowers, when made expertly, look stunning

And the cons:

-If they are badly made, they could look terrible, especially up-close, so check your cake designer's previous work!

-They are fragile, and must be handled with care.

-They are not very budget-friendly. A cascade along a four tier cake can cost you upward of £300 just for the flowers! (But a small arrangement could just add £75-£100, so don't panic).

So there you go, you decide which type of flower wins your cake! :)

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