An enjoyable Adult Ed class last week. It was listed under “hobby” classes as “Fresh Flower Birthday Cake.” The announcement said “Learn to make a beautiful birthday cake with fresh flowers.” As the class was held in the dining room/kitchen at a local high school, a few people came with aprons ready to bake a cake. With the letters CFD (Certified Floral Designer) after the instructor’s name, this would definitely not be a cake that needed baking. This would be a gluten, dairy, sugar and calorie-free cake. “No flour, all flowers,” said one of the students describing the cake we’d be making.
Choose flat flowers with sturdy stems
In place of frosting, we “iced” our fresh flower birthday cakes with mums and carnations. You could also use other relatively flat flowers with sturdy stems such as small sunflowers and daisies. Choosing flowers and colors to match the person and the occasion is part of the fun.
Great tips from Leisa Cook, our instructor and founder of the Montana School of Floral Design
- Keep your flowers in a container of lukewarm water.
- Always use clean utensils.
- Place the oasis (wet floral foam) in a container on top of the water. Allow it to soak up the water at its own speed. This will take 2-3 minutes. If you force it into the water, air pockets can develop which would keep the flowers from absorbing water.
- Cut the flower stems at a sharp angle. Not only is there greater surface area to absorb water, but you’ll also have a sharp point to more easily enter the floral foam.
- Every flower has a pretty face. Find it then face it forward.
- Use wired flower picks, wrapping the wire around the bottom of each candle, to add them to your cake.
- When using more fragile garden flowers, first soak their stems in hot water for 1 hour. Then store the stems in cool water.
Share photos of your Fresh Flower Birthday Cake
Colorful and long-lasting flower cakes make great gifts and centerpieces not only for birthdays, but also for Valentine’s Day, showers, weddings and holidays throughout the year.
I’d love to see a picture of your fresh flower cake. Send it to me by email Janice@EverydayHealthyEverydayDelicious.com. I’ll post it for everyone to enjoy.
History of the Fresh Flower Birthday Cake
Until last week’s class, I had neither seen nor heard of a fresh flower cake. Here’s the story and history behind these creative cakes.
“No flour, all flowers”
Thank you Leisa Cook for teaching me how to make this cake.
Play with different flowers and colors and garnishes. Mums, carnations, daisies, sunflowers and roses are easy to work with, have sturdy stems and come in a wide variety of colors. BTW, the bright green mums on the cake are called “kermits” after the frog of the same name.
4-5 dozen individual flowers, depending upon their size
1 brick of floral foam for fresh flowers
Candles, wired flower picks, ribbons, beads, glitter, etc. for decorating
- Place the floral foam in a container of water. Let it absorb water at its own rate without forcing it. Remove the foam once it’s completely saturated with water. If you see any dry spots, return the foam to the water for another minute or so.
- Cut the foam in half and place it in a dish or container that will hold water.
- Use a sharp knife to round and smooth the corners and top edges of the foam.
- Cut your flowers at a very sharp angle with 2-3 inch stems.
- Place a row of flowers around the bottom edge of the foam—with their pretty face facing outward. Use care to maintain a round shape for your cake and an even row of flowers.
- Now place a second row of flowers above and between the first row of flowers maintaining a round shape for your cake.
- Depending on the depth of your floral foam and the size of your flowers, you may have room for a third row of flowers around the side of your cake. A third row gives a pleasing height to the cake. Note: we only had room for two rows.
- Begin “icing” the top of the cake. Keep your flowers on the top of the cake flat.
- Add candles attached to wired flower picks.
- Garnish with bows and beads and squirrelly things and glittery hearts, etc.
- By daily adding water to the container holding the fresh flower birthday cake, the flowers will stay fresh for a week or more.