Assuming you have been patient enough to read through all the dos and don’ts on using fresh flowers on wedding cakes with regard to toxicity etc then this section should just give additional advice on the best use of specific types of edible leaves. If not it is here.
Edible leaves work best when pressed into buttercream as with the stunning cake from Bee’s Bakery shown below. In order to show them off to their very best then they really need to be added to the cake on the day of the wedding. As with all fresh produce they will dry out a little if you expose the cake to the sun for a long time or have the cake sitting in a really draughty place but having said that, with a fresh buttercream cake, you are not going to want your cake to sit out for that long anyway. I think food hygiene regulations advise for no more than 4 hours but I’m not an expert in this area.
Mixed Leaves – Maddocks Farm Organics has been growing award winning edible leaves for more than 13 years now. Our mixed edible leaves for wedding cakes combine a selection of organically grown leaves, herbs and wild foragings. You can choose from a selection of mixed edible leaves; clover shaped (these are all citrus flavoured); fern shaped (depending on the season some of these will have a very sweet or mild aniseed flavour or be slightly citrus); even pink hues. We can even just do you a fresh herb selection. The leaf selection can be bought here.
Sweet Cicely – Is a stunning fern which adds another dimension to your wedding cake. It is extremely sweet with a very mild aniseed taste. It is very delicate so won’t hold ‘hanging down’ over the edge of a cake for very long as it will flop but if popped flat on the top of a cake or even cupcake will behave extremely well. Here it was added in the hanging position at the last minute on this stunning cake by Emily Harmston Cakes but heed the warning above.
Rosemary and Lavender Sprigs are tough characters and great at holding up on cakes in hot conditions for hours. They also add a lovely fragrance. Rosemary sprigs are also fabulous in cocktails. Lavender flowers are superb for this job as well and can be bought here. Rosemary is available from March to November and Lavender from April to October.
Basil Sprigs look and smell great – particularly when they start to flower. We use a small leafed variety of basil as it is more delicate, holds much better than regular basil and looks wonderful. They are only available from July to September. Here on another lovely cheese cake from Emily Harmston Cakes.
Other styles of wedding cake.
Edible leaves can be adhered to traditional Royal Icing if it is gently damped first or by using liquid icing but it is a little more tricky and there is the danger that, on a very hot day, the leaves dry out a bit. Alternatively use more robust leaves such as Rosemary or Lavender.
Naked wedding cakes are hugely popular and the same advice is relevant. A combination of edible flowers, fruit and edible leaves looks completely stunning. Mint tips in particular are lovely with these lovely fresh cakes and at Maddocks Farm Organics we have 6 different varitity of mint but again, remember that Naked Cakes are supposed to look artless, natural and completely fresh. They take very little time to decorate so are best assembled in situ and for the fruit, flowers and leaves to be scattered over them as late as possible.
Wedding Cheese Cakes
Wedding Cheese Cakes are increasingly in popularity either as an addition to, or an alternative to traditional wedding cakes. The very nature of their contents means that they can takes leaves or edible flowers that are much stronger in flavour. Spicy nasturtiums, alliums as well as fresh herbs etc all look fabulous and taste great with a cheese cake. The cake below was constructed with our fresh edible flowers and leaves by Piglet Cottage. It uses a combination of more robust flowers and leaves such as rosemary, alliums, dianthus and roses with the later addition of some more delicate elderflowers. The result is stunning and show the benefit of working with a caterer who knows their produce well.
The personal touch
Do also consider using edible flowers, leaves and fruit out of your own garden for a lovely personal touch. Remember to ensure that the species and variety are definitely edible; that they have not been sprayed with anything; and that they away from where pets have been. Just ensure when you grow your own that you grow them organically.
I hope this helps. If you’d like any more advice on using fresh flowers or leaves on Wedding Cakes then please do email Jan at maddocksfarmorganics.co.uk