Delicate, lacey bouquets of baby’s breath (gypsophila) is a key floral trends for bridal bouquets and it works surprisingly well for both summer and winter weddings.
However, the questions we get asked the most about baby’s breath wedding cakes are:
- Is baby’s breath edible? NO
- Is baby’s breath toxic? YES
- Is gypsophila poisonous? YES
- Is baby’s breath safe to put on a cake? Yes, IF DONE SAFELY
If baby’s breath is accidentally eaten it can cause minor stomach upset. Baby’s breath can also be a skin irritant for some people.
So how can you put baby’s breath on a cake then? You can if you do so responsibly by ensuring it doesn’t touch anything edible.
But it’s a cake – it’s all edible! The work-around is using a disc of clear acetate or cellophane to act as a barrier between the flowers and the cake.
For an extra layer of safety, you could also spray the baby’s breath with edible glaze spray to form another barrier between the baby’s breath and the cake.
How To Put Baby’s Breath on Cake Safely
The other issue with baby’s breath is that it can turn brown after a few hours out of water. (Because the stems are so delicate they don’t hold much water.) The work around is to use one of those little florist’s tubes or vials, then fill this with water and insert your stems.
If you can’t get hold of these or they are too chunky for the amount of stems you want to insert in the cake, you can make your own slimmer one with a plastic drinking straw. Cut the straw in half then bend over one end about an inch and tape it in place with floristry tape. You may need to trim it to size a little more at this point. Then you can fill the straw with water (not too much) insert it carefully in the cake, then add the stems.
Because some people can be allergic to latex (contained in the floristry tape), you will either:
- need to dip the straw in melted white chocolate and let it set as a barrier before inserting it into the cake
- or wrap the stem carefully with sarin wrap/cling film to cover the floristry tape, again as a barrier
If you are using one of the larger florist’s vials/stem holders for let’s say a large central arrangement, because it’s bulkier this needs to be worked into the planning stage of your cake as follows:
- Once you have crumb-coated the cake, take your washed and cleaned flower tube and insert it into the center of the cake or wherever you plan to have your flower arrangement. This will cause your filling to bulge out slightly but at least this is fixable at this stage.
- Remove the flower tube. If the location of the flower tube is offset or somewhere other than the center of the cake, then you will need to flag this on the cake board underneath so when you come back to re-insert it after the final coat of frosting/fondant, you will know where the hole is!
- Then do you final coat of frosting or fondant
- Before placing the baby’s breath flower tube on the cake, you need to first cut out a hole in your cellophane disc to allow the flower tube to pass through.
- Next fill your flower tube 2/3 full with water, place the lid back on and insert your baby’s breath.
- Locate the hole in the center of the cake and punch through the fondant.
- Lay your disc of cellophane over the hole, then insert the flower tube of baby’s breath.
The other alternative is to use artificial baby’s breath or gypsophilia on your cake.
Or if you really want fresh flowers for your cake, little white jasmine flowers and foliage are a safe alternative. See what it looks like on a cake in our Croquembouche Wedding Cake recipe here.
So now we’ve answered the question – can you use baby’s breath on a cake – we have lots of inspiration and ideas this week on how to incorporate baby’s breath into your wedding cake designs to complement your bride’s wedding bouquet.
Simple all-white or ivory designs work best with the delicate blooms of baby’s breath, with a very pretty example above left by The Flour Girl with a simple polka dot pattern and elegant piped detail adorning the top tier.
Consumed by Cake have designed a smart, sophisticated wedding cake with gypsophila above right with textured icing creating a vertical lined effect, softened with vintage lace and a single sugar flower.
Parkland Cakes have incorporated an intricate texture in their baby’s breath design below left, but at the same time sticking to an all-white palette to lend simplicity and uniformity to the overall design concept (image by Kathleen Meelia Photography via Style Me Pretty).
To the right, we have a classical, romantic rose wedding cake by Jelly Cake UK nestled in a bed of baby’s breath for a beautiful wedding cake display.
A wild and textured pomander of baby’s breath adds an original touch to the beautiful vintage cake below by Dragonfly Cakes (left) and on the right, a hand-tied bouquet of baby’s breath with lace trim resting across the tiers adds a beautiful, feminine touch to this wedding cake design (image via Juxtapost).
Do bear in mind when using baby’s breath in cake decorating that because it is quite a delicate flower, it tends to wilt faster when out of water than a larger, more robust flower such as a rose. Therefore, make sure you use wet oasis for your displays or if you are just using sprays of baby’s breath (out of water) that they are arranged just before the cake goes on display.
Two super ethereal baby’s breath wedding cakes feature below. Swiss dot piping complements the baby’s breath floral motif perfectly in the pretty wedding cake below left via Exquisite Weddings Magazine, with a light and airy wedding cake design below right with textured lined buttercream frosting (image by Half Orange Photography via Style Me Pretty).
Ivory dahlia interspersed with foliage and lacey sprays of baby’s breath create a bright and fresh floral adornment for this beautiful wedding cake below by Sweet Love Cake Couture, with simple ruffle banding on the bottom tier.
A bed of baby’s breath under a wedding cake or little sprays tucked around the base add a fabulous bridal touch to a wedding cake design with two pretty examples below (image by Alexandra Tremaine Photography left and via Pinterest right).
A simple garland of baby’s breath and a single pink dahlia bloom are all it takes to add vintage beauty to this simple cake by Miss Shell’s Cakes, Australia.
A glass cake stand works perfectly with this simple baby’s breath adorned cake below left (image by Nancy Neil Photography via Style Me Pretty) and on the right, pretty sprays resting on each tier creates a beautiful wedding cake silhouette (image by McCartneys Photography).
Peony buds and rustic style banners combine beautifully with sprays of baby’s breath in this pretty design below left (image via Corinthians Flowers via Utterly Engaged) and an example of a simple but elegant baby’s breath inspired wedding tablescape features below right (image via Wedding Pins).
A perfect example below of how stems of baby’s breath can be used to enhance a wedding cake table display so simply, below (image by Nathan Westerfield Photography).
A display of wedding cupcakes given a beautiful lacy texture with sprigs of baby’s breath peeping through the cupcake cases (image by Pete Barnes Photography via English Wedding).
Finally, a beautiful beaded effect wedding cake by Janet Mohapi-Banks as the centrepiece of a glamorous vintage display accessorised with lacy bouquets of baby’s breath (image by Segerius-Bruce Photography).