This taken from Bakels Slice Magazine Issue 18 2013

Written by Amelia Carbine —

  • With some of my own comments as well.

  • This article I which to bring attention to all my clients taken from a recent baking magazine I receive regularly – Important Information.

Most cake decorators are ecstatic when a client usually asks for sugar flowers. It is now a fairly rare occasion for most cake decorators. Most common is the client who says they plan to use fresh flowers provided by their florist.

As a cake decorator whom specially is sugar flowers, I tend to cringe when a bride says she wants to use fresh flowers, that’s not just because I think gum paste flowers are an art and so much better on a cake, but because there are serval things wrong with placing fresh flowers on a cake.

First and probably most important is that a lot of the most popular wedding flowers are toxic. They contain poisons that can seep from the flowers and into the cake. Symptoms of ingesting poisonous flowers and are not pleasant. They include pain in the mouth, upset stomach, diarrhoea, vomiting, and possibly even a trip to the hospital A& E dept.

  • Take Note: This is a true story I can tell you all personally—Told at an Australian cake conference I attended.

This did happen to all the guests attending a wedding in Australia except 2 guests whom did not eat the wedding cake—they all landed at the hospital when the bride thought she knew it all. Even her cake decorator whom I know personally and her florist told her. But still she did not listen to their advice. — Margaret

It can turn out to be bad news for any cake decorator if someone’s gets sick from the cake.



  • Anemone Hydrangea

  • Calla Lily Iris

  • Clematis Ivy

  • Daffodils Ranunculus

  • Delphinium Poppy

  • Frangipani Sweet Pea

  • Glorious Lily Wisteria

See the list above from previous page for a more complete list of poisonous flowers, you can find it on Wikipedia for more information.

Secondly, flowers are not grown with the intention of being eaten or placed on edible things. Therefore, growers are allowed to spray very strong pesticides on their flowers. So even if a specific flower is toxic, it still run the risk of making people sick due to pesticides.

There is of course an exception for organically grown flowers, but they are probably going to be hard to find, will be limited to non-toxic flowers, and will most likely be in the same price range as sugar flowers anyway.

Lastly, we work hard to keep a clean work environment to make our cake. We practice safe food handling and take pride in creating better than the average products.

Floral shops do not have the need or desire to wash every flower that comes through their doors. They don’t need to make sure every flower is dirt free or even bug free.

Jennifer Bratko owner of “Beyond Buttercream “ in San Francisco wrote a really great story about a florist who brought bug and dirt infested flowers to put on one of her cakes. This is not the way we want our customers to experience our works of our edible art.

  • I think it is time for a revolution where we as cake decorators refuse to allow fresh flowers to be placed on our cakes, unless they are certified organic and are non-toxic.

  • Let’s teach our brides and other customers that sugar flowers are superior. They are made to be food safe and they are a work of art.

  • And they are part of the wedding or event that will be talked about for years to come.


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