With daisy and wildflower cupcakes trending on Pinterest, floral styling expert Kate Blott – marketing manager at Atlas Flowers – has shared her tips for bringing a little extra magic to home-baked goods through picturesque edible flowers. Whether for Valentine’s, Galentine’s, Mother’s Day or just a midweek treat, here are some of the flowers and foliage Kate recommends – and a variety of options for their use.
“Edible flowers can bring extra colour and flavour to cupcakes and other bakes.” Kate says. “You can sprinkle rose petals onto iced or cream-topped cakes and sponges, or use pansy flowers to add natural colour to your cupcakes. There’s a wide variety of edible petals, leaves, and flowers that you can use as decoration or as ingredients, and they transform an everyday bake into something truly beautiful and delicious.”
5 colourful classic cake toppers
- Cherry blossom (pale pink hues)
- Apple blossom (creamy whites and pastel pinks)
- Borage (deep, purple-tinged blues)
- Courgette flowers (orange-tipped, starry yellows)
- Dandelions (familiar sunshine yellow)
“Should you wish to add flowers to a finished cake or cupcake, cherry blossom, apple blossom, borage, courgette flowers and dandelions are always great choices. These can be used just as they are, or the petals carefully removed – even pressed if you wish to lay them flat against the icing.”
Thrifty bakers will be thrilled to know that borage and dandelions are some of the UK’s most prolific wildflowers. Borage, also known as starflower, contains gamma-linolenic acid and eating it is therefore said to be good for your skin!
“Dried flowers or petals can work as well as fresh blooms and offer a different aesthetic. It is possible to use inedible varieties for purely decorative purposes, as long as they are not toxic – many of our customers use items like palm spears and even pampas grass to decorate their amazing bakes.”
Baking florals in – choose your lavender carefully!
“Another way to incorporate flavoursome flowers is to add them to a cookie or cake batter. You may be well used to savoury herbs in scones or pastry, but have you tried lavender for your sweet bakes?
“Culinary uses for lavender range from flavoured sugar and syrups to taking either fresh or dried ‘grains’ to enhance doughs and batters. It’s worth remembering that certain lavenders have a more intense perfume than others, so if you don’t want your bakes to taste like soap, search out culinary lavender or ensure you stick to English lavender or ‘Lavandula angustifolia’. This variety is far more delicate than many others and can be used fresh or dried.
“Another thing to consider is that dried lavender will have a far more intense flavour than fresh, so use it sparingly! Experiment with whole grains, sugar infusions, syrups, or even grinding the grains to powder.”
Other colourful sugar infusions
It isn’t just lavender that Kate recommends for sugar infusions and syrups. With many new pins and searches on Pinterest focusing on purple floral cakes specifically, she notes a few top choices for bringing this shade into your baking outside of failsafe lavenders.
“Any edible petals that have a fragrance can be used to infuse the sugar that is used in your baking mix or icing. Hibiscus, geraniums, and violets can transfer a delicate flavour and some of their colour. Flowers or petals can also be candied – these sweet and delicately flavoured delights look beautiful as decorations!”