Cake flowers offer a great budget-friendly solution to accent your wedding cake, without adding hundreds to your bakery total for expensive pastry decor. These arrangements are low cost to make, and result in a high-end look without a high-end price tag.
Fillers – I used a few different types, but Baby’s Breath is commonly used.
Step 1: Dye Your Sola Flowers
Begin by dyeing the sola flowers that you will be using for your cake arrangement. The amount you will need will depend on what size cake and look you are going with. Generally, I like to do an arrangement for each layer. Select colors that compliment your event color scheme. My centerpieces are colorful with dark purples, dark reds, yellow, and orange, so I decided to match these centerpieces to my cake flowers. I cover the process of dyeing sola flowers in one of my earlier posts, so if you need help with this step, the tutorial can be found here.
Step 2: Stem Your Sola Flowers
The processing of stemming cake flowers will be a bit different than the process you would normally use when you stem sola flowers. I recommend using bamboo sticks instead of the normal floral wire stems. I use bamboo, because I am not sure what dye may be on the floral wire stems you would usually buy for wood flowers, or if they are food safe. It is best to use bamboo sticks, so you know no chemicals will contaminate the cake. I have seen some tutorials in which toothpicks are used. I do not recommend using toothpicks because they are too short, and too weak. They are not durable, and it is very easy from them to break off and splinter. No one wants small splinters of wood in their cake!
Start by dabbing a bit of hot glue on the back of the wood flower. Then, center your aluminum foildisc and gently press down around the edges. The glue will be extremely hot, so I recommend pressing down around the edges of the circle instead of in the middle. The aluminum foil disc will serve as a barrier between your dyed sola flower and your cake. Latex paints use mostly water as a solvent, which make them a much less toxic alternative to oil-based paints. Even though latex paint is generally safe, and should not bleed, it is good to have the aluminum foil barrier just in case. While the glue is still hot, stick in your bamboo stick. The stick should pierce through the aluminum foil easily, and insert into the center back of your wood flower.
Step 3: Assemble Your Arrangement Pieces and Add Fillers
Once the hot glue has cooled and dried, you can begin adding fillers and greenery. As you assemble the arrangement, tape each piece added to your wood flower arrangement to hold in place. I use a basic vinyl tape for this instead of floral tape. This is because I wanted to use a tape that would only be sticky on one side. Keep your vinyl tape as close to the wood flower as possible. Keeping the tape close to the wood flower will avoid any dye or stickiness that is on the tape from getting into your cake.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
After your fillers and greenery have been taped and secured to your floral in the way that you want, snip the stems of your filler and greenery very short. If they are too long, they may stab into the cake, and we really only want the bamboo stick to be inserted into the cake.
Lastly, you will snip your bamboo stick down to the length that you want. Always snip at an angle. They do not need to be super long, just around 3″ to 5″. The direction that you will be cutting your stick will depend on how you want the arrangement to be inserted into the cake. If the arrangement is going on top, you will leave the vertical stem. If your arrangement will be inserted from the side, you will leave the side facing stem and snip the rest off. We want to avoid poking a lot of holes into the cake, so try to only leave 1 bamboo stick that will be inserted.
Step 5: Place Pieces on the Cake
Our wedding is not until later this year, so I will update this post when I have finished pictures. Your bakery or pastry chef will most likely complete this step, especially if you’re having the cake done professionally for a large event or wedding. If you are doing this yourself, you would just insert the bamboo sticks into the cake however you would like the finished design to look. Some pastry chefs will want you to leave the wood flowers as loose stems, so that they can do the decorating, and others will be okay with you creating the arrangements. I recommend checking with your bakery beforehand to ensure they will be able to use the stems you are making.