I’m sure those of you who grocery-shop at New World remember their cool Little Garden initiative with the cute seed pots? Well, it’s back, and I’m so happy to have been asked to create some content for it. The new range of seeds is really exciting, and includes fruit, vegetables and edible flowers I’ve never attempted growing before…(which, honestly, isn’t particularly surprising seeing as I do not have a green thumb at all!) However, over the coming weeks, I am going to attempt to grow courgettes, beetroot, nasturtiums, pansies, purple tansy, sweet pea and thyme in my Ponsonby garden. If successful (fingers crossed) I’ll come up with a cake recipe using the above plants and share with you all.
While I’m waiting for these little seed babies to grow, I thought I’d share with you some tips on how to decorate cakes with edible flowers. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to do it, but to achieve The Caker aesthetic, there are a few simple guidelines to follow!
If doing a floral arrangement in the centre of a cake, I like to place my first flower slightly off centre and work outwards, usually with the larger flowers first, then filling the gaps with the smaller ones. I tend to stick to odd numbers, so that the arrangement isn't too symmetrical. Having three or more colours of flowers helps to keep the arrangement varied and not overly uniform. You can also use sprigs of herbs like thyme or rosemary amongst the arrangement to lend height and add an extra whimsical, wild effect, which I love.
As an alternative to a central arrangement, you can place flowers sporadically over the whole surface of the cake, or in a border around the rim - like in the image. I’ve also used some freeze dried strawberries, blackberries and pistachios to add some extra colour and texture. When it comes to minicakes and babycakes, usually just one or two small flowers gently pressed into the icing does the trick.
Edible flowers tend to wilt quickly when on a cake, so it’s best to decorate not too far in advance, and refrigerating the decorated cake will help to keep the flowers looking perky and fresh :)
Happy decorating! Thanks to New World for partnering up with me. The New World Little Garden promotion is now on in stores - every $40 you spend gets you one Little Garden kit which contains a biodegradable pot, a soil tablet, seeds and a seed label.
And just 'cause I can, here are some other examples of cakes we've decorated with (non-edible) flowers. Hope they inspire you to get creative with your floral adornments!