This exquisite wildflower wedding cake tutorial by Juliet Sear is from her fabulous new book, Botanical Baking (© David & Charles Publishing. Published with permission).
Juliet has been one of the UK’s leading sugar artists for well over a decade and her book perfectly captures the growing trend in natural style baking and cake decorating.
It features so many unique and creative cake decorating projects using garden flowers and a variety of fruits, that are refreshingly quick and simple to re-create.
Take it back to nature and add a bohemian vibe to your cake decorating with this fascinating new book for cake enthusiasts and those looking for a new direction for their cake decorating.
According to Juliet: “This pretty wildflower wedding cake tutorial is so easy, as nature has done all the work! Adding gorgeous pressed flowers works really well on a flat iced cake, as they easily glue onto the surface. I’ve created a few edible butterflies to add some pretty drama – it looks like a real floral scene and would be perfect for a wedding.”
Serves 80–100 small portions
Prep time, approx 5 hours
Drying time, overnight
Wildflower Wedding Cake Tutorial – Edible Materials
- Four-tier vanilla sponge cake, filled, covered with ivory sugarpaste/fondant and stacked, with round tiers of 10cm (4in), 15cm (6in), 20cm (8in) and 25cm (10in) diameter
- 3.5kg (7lb 10oz) ivory sugarpaste/fondant to cover all four tiers
- 10g (1⁄4oz) royal icing, for sticking the butterfly wings and bodies
- 2 tbsp black royal icing
- Pressed flowers and leaves. I used violas, pansies, sweet cicely, flowering mint leaves, lavender, roses and bellis daisies
- (Cake Geek Note: Most flower shops and supermarkets sell flowers that have been treated with insecticides and fungicides and therefore aren’t edible. Make sure to source your flowers from an organic supplier unless they’re from your own garden and you can stand over them that they are edible. There is lots of information in Juliet’s book on the different types of flowers that are edible.)
- 10mm ivory ribbon
- Printed edible sheets of butterflies
- Green edible food dusts with melted cocoa butter or coconut oil, and/or green edible-ink pens
- Paintbrushes, selection of sizes
- Edible-ink pens, in a selection of colours (Rainbow Dust ones are really good)
- Edible glue and paintbrush
- Small sharp scissors
- Cocktail sticks (toothpicks)
- Turntable (optional)
- Piping bag
- Chopsticks or similar, for supporting the butterfly wings whilst they dry
Wildflower Wedding Cake Tutorial: How-To
First, make the butterflies by carefully cutting out the butterfly wings and removing the backing from the edible paper.
Use some royal icing, with soft peak consistency, and a small paintbrush to coat the back of each wing, place over a chopstick or similar to set dry. These take a few hours to dry, so you might want to do them the day before.
Use edible glue on the small pressed flowers to adhere them to the cake surface. Some larger, heavier blooms like the pressed roses, may require a dab of royal icing to help them stick. I like to start around the front and build up the pattern. I’ve done this in broken rings around the cake, so there are moving bands of different height flowers that look like they have grown out from the base of each cake tier.
Add the larger blooms, smoothing them with a soft paintbrush if necessary, then fill in any gaps with smaller ones.
To add the stems and greenery for the flowers, you can either use a small paintbrush and an edible paint made up using green edible food dusts and melted cocoa butter or coconut oil, or you can use edible-ink pens if you prefer. The painted version looks a little more realistic. I start by drawing with an edible-ink pen, then I go over with a brush and dust colours to enhance and add details. You can combine both methods by using pens for the very thin stems then more elaborately painted stems for the larger blooms.
To add the butterflies, pipe tiny bodies of black royal icing, with a stiff peak consistency, using a small round nozzle, no.2 size or snip a hole in your piping bag. Make the butterfly bodies by piping little beads in a row.
Add a blob of stiff white royal icing next to the piped butterfly body on each side to support and stick each butterfly wing.
Place the wings on the cake, pushing them into the body.
You might find you need a cocktail stick to support the wings while they dry, depending on the angle you wish them to sit at. The supports can be removed once the wings have set hard.
Leave the decoration to dry and then cover the joins by attaching lengths of thin ivory ribbon (or any colour you choose) to finish off the cake.