Fresh Flower Cake Decorating | Lizzy McGinn | Skillshare

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Fresh Flower Cake Decorating

teacher avatar Lizzy McGinn, designer + florist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      01 :: Hello!


    • 2.

      02 :: Materials


    • 3.

      03 :: Safety Tips + Tricks


    • 4.

      04 :: Creating A Color Story


    • 5.

      05 :: Composition Practice


    • 6.

      06 :: Go For It!


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About This Class

It’s a fact. Everyone loves cake. BUT ... when you combine a delicious cake with beautiful flowers, you have truly created a next level dessert. Recently, show-stopping cakes have really stepped into the social media spotlight and fresh flower cakes are really leading the fancy cake parade. In this class, students will learn how to beautifully (and safely!) garnish a cake with fresh flowers. This Fresh Flower Cake Decorating class is perfect for lovers of flowers, cake and making people smile. All levels of floral expertise are welcome!

Key lessons include:

  • How to select and prepare flowers that will be used with food

  • Safety tips and tricks to abide by when working with flowers and food

  • Tips on creating a cohesive color story

  • Basic composition fundamentals of arranging florals on cake


* Robin's Egg Blue Cake baked by Knead to Make

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lizzy McGinn

designer + florist


Hi! I'm a designer + florist based in San Francisco, California. My little floral business, Saturday Flowers, has been creating arrangements for weddings, events and cakes since 2013. I hope you enjoy my class!

Follow my flower adventures here: Instagram | @saturday_flowers

See full profile

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1. 01 :: Hello!: Hello. My name is Lizzie McGuinn, and I'm a florist and designer based in San Francisco. I have a small floral design company called Saturday Flowers, where I focus on creating seasonal, textural and wild arrangements for weddings, events for gifts on the self top florist and came to a floral design about three years ago when I was hoping to learn a new skill. In the beginning, I would visit the San Francisco flower market every Saturday and then come home and practice with my purchases. I picked up a lot of tips and tricks in the beginning by looking through floral design books by stocking florists that I really admired on instagram and honestly through a lot of trial and error. Eventually, with a lot of practice, some good luck and through the power of social media, Saturday flowers was born. I really love for a project of any shape and size. However, I absolutely love any time that I'm able to collaborate with my dear friend Kathy, the cake maker extraordinary behind need to make together. We combine her beautiful cakes with my floral designs into fresh flower cakes that can range anywhere from simple and sweet to elaborate and lush. Today I'm going to show you how to beautifully unsafely. Decorate a cake with fresh flowers that you'll be able to give us a gift to a friend or loved one. Fresh flowers are really great way to dress up any simple cake canvas and create a really beautiful and impressive gift, even though we'll be creating something that's almost too beautiful to eat. We really need to keep in mind that at some point your friend or loved one is going toe one to slice into that cake and take a big bite. We'll walk through a number of safety tips and tricks that will allow you to create something that's beautiful and also safe to eat. Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy my class. 2. 02 :: Materials: For this project, you'll need to find the following materials a cake store bought or home baked totally up to you. Since this cake will be a gift, think about what flavor the recipient loves most. The size and already established decoration scheme is up to you today. All the using a small eight inch cake was simple icing baked by Kathy from me to make flowers and greenery. I like to create texture through color and shape, and future videos will talk through how to pick the safest flowers to use when working with food, as well as how to create a pleasing arrangement through color and shape When selecting your flowers. It's good to think about what's in season where you live, because in season flowers air, always the prettiest and freshest. I bought my flowers at the San Francisco Flower Market, but you can find beautiful flowers at your local grocery store, farmer's market or flower shop, floral picks, straws, aluminum foil or plastic wrap. These items will allow you to decorate the cake with flowers without actually sticking the stems of the flowers directly into the cake. Certainly something we don't want to dio floral picks are pointed tubes that could be filled with water and inserted into the cake to keep the flowers hydrated and away from interacting with that delicious dessert. Floral picks can be easily purchased on Amazon or it a local floral supply store or bake shop. If you cannot get your hands on floral picks, no worries common kitchen items like straws, aluminum foil and plastic wrap. Our great food safe alternative. Floral snips or scissors to trim the flower stems. And finally, a sketch of your final cake concept. Let's take some time to get inspired and envision our final product truthfully. Some of the time. I just go for it with an idea of the N project in mind and just feel my way through the process until it looks right to my eye. However, nine times out of 10 off, I rely on collecting and creating inspiration board on Pinterest and sketching out my ideas . So let's get to sketching and I'll meet you back here to create a beautiful fresh flower cake. Enjoy 3. 03 :: Safety Tips + Tricks: even though we're creating something beautiful, it's important to remember that we're working with a delicious treat that is meant to be eaten. With this in mind, it's key to take precautions when selecting, preparing and using your flowers. We wouldn't want to be use a flower that could be potentially toxic or dirty or full of bugs, and we certainly don't want to stick the stems of the flowers directly into the cake. Not only does this pain incredibly sad picture for the cake recipient, but inserting the stems of the flowers directly into the cake could alter the flavour. Cut flower stems often leach a bit of a flower goo, so when that interacts with the cake, the flavor definitely is altered, and it could potentially make the cake recipient ill to start. It's best to get informed on which flowers air okay to use. It's not all flowers air appropriate for cake decoration. Some flowers, air naturally toxic for consumption and some flowers may have been sprayed with a pesticide . A quick Google search could mean the difference between using a beautiful, safe and pesticide free flower versus a beautiful but toxic flower. Many popular flowers, air toxic and should never be used for food decoration purposes. For example, hydrangea, foxglove lily of the valley. Daffodils, eucalyptus, an Icelandic poppies are toxic and should not be incorporated into your fresh flower cake. It's also important to know how the flowers you plan to use were grown. It's always best to buy organic pesticide free flowers. You also want to consider the shed ability of the flower. If you shake it around, two pieces of it fly all over the place. So things like baby's breath, which shed quite a bit, might not be the best choice because those little pieces that fall off the flower could get stuck in the icing and then eaten by the cake recipient fragrances. Another thing to keep in mind. We don't want to use anything that's too strong, because we don't want a mix sent with the flavor of the cake. So after all, these don't see here are a couple of dues using edible flowers, even if no one plans to eat them is always a really solid move. Roses, lavender, geranium mirror, gold's violets and carnations, our food safe and always very lovely. Consider mixing fruit or herbs into your arrangement. It's a nice, unexpected move. Rosemary and mint make a fantastic and fragrant greenery accent and Berries are always a welcome splash of color. It's not a requirement that flowers be edible when used in cake decorating, but it's important to exercise precaution when mixing food with flowers. Even if we select the most food, say flowers around the stems of the flowers should never interact with the caykur icing. To create a barrier between the kick in the stems, we'll be using floral picks, straws, tin foil and plastic graft to cover the stems. Before inserting the flowers into the cake, you'll need to clean and prepare your flowers before adding them to your cake. Rinse and dry stems in any blooms that may come into direct contact with any part of the cake. Most flowers will need to be processed. What I mean by that is that thorns leaves and any excess of stumbling must be trimmed or cut away. I like to have all my flowers prepped and organized by color and type before I begin working really helps me visualize how will work together. So once all of your flowers air prepared, it's time to start decorating 4. 04 :: Creating A Color Story: in this video, we're going to focus on flower, color and shape. There's a wide world of flowers out there, and knowing which to buy and which will look best together can be kind of tricky When shopping for flowers first. Always remember the safety tips be discussed in our last video. While flowers don't necessarily need to be edible to be used on food, we should, of course, steer away from those better, decidedly toxic, even with the best intentions or a slew of experience shopping for flowers. Sometimes it can be very easy to get overwhelmed by the thought of creating a cohesive color palette. I like to shop within a color family. For example, those class I focused on a muted blush and yellow color story. The large flower that I purchased had a warm blush and yellow tone to it. All of the other flowers I purchased walk the same color line and tone, so in the end I had a nice, cohesive look. If you feel overwhelmed by pairing colors, there's absolutely nothing wrong and everything right with buying several different flowers in this name or similar color scheme. Personally, I think is a really sophisticated look. That's where texture really comes into play. The next thing I pay attention to when flower shopping is the shape of the bloom, it typically like to pick something large and fluffy as my main flowers, and then something more refined as my second dairy or detail flowers. Considering the size of your cake and overall vision can influence the shapes that you go. If are you thinking of creating something wild and romantic and organic, or you leaning towards something more structured, for example, combining multiple sizes of really roughly flowers is a great way to create texture and an overall romantic and sweet look. I typically purchase a main focal or statement flower 1 to 2 varieties of secondary flowers and greens. For today's class, I purchased cafe only. Dahlias is my main fluffy focal flower blush carnations as my fluffy secondary flower, white blush and yellow spray roses as my more structured accent flower dahlia buds as my bits and pieces and then Dusty Miller as my green. So when shopping for flowers, keep the following in mind. What is The recipients favor color. Keep that color scheme in mind, and then finally, texture and shape. And remember, purchasing multiple flower types in a single color way is a really easy way to create a beautiful, successful and textural arrangement. Have fun. 5. 05 :: Composition Practice: There are three easy compositions that you could explore for your fresh flower cake, the half moon, the center and the cascade. Beyonce Sketching out Your Cake concept A great way to practice is to take a circular surface and arrange your flowers on top of it to really get a handle on what type of composition you're going for here. I'm using a kickstand, but any circular piece of paper or a overturn plate would do the trick. First, select a grouping of flowers to experiment with. If you have any flowers that look a little bit tired, they will be great material to practice with because we're just going to snip off the stems at the base of the bloom, Practice away and take photos of your favorite composition so that you can easily recreate it later. Half move. This arrangement is low, is symmetrical and hugs the edge of the cake. It's my very favorite, really eye catching. It typically begin this type of composition by placing my focal flower on the cake first and then working out around it. Secondary and accent flowers go on. Next, I finish off the arrangement by tucking greens under the blooms and then adding in any bits and pieces to add some movement or added interest to the arrangement center. This is a little floral arrangement. Place directly in the middle of the cake. Since it is truly the central focal point of the cake, I tend to keep this type of arrangement a little more minimal. Maybe all use one large focal flower and some greens and one little accent flower cascade this type of arrangement as a touch of drama to the cake. Flowers are placed at the very edge of the cake. In a small cluster, greens or bits and pieces are arranged to drape over the edge of the cake. You can take the cascade a step further by extending the arrangement down the side of the cake. So go ahead and experiment and have fun. And remember, once you come to a composition that you really love, take a photo so that you can easily recreate it later. 6. 06 :: Go For It!: it's time to go for it and add flowers to the cake. For smaller, round cakes. I tend to keep things asymmetrical and use the half moon composition we discussed in the earlier video. If it's a birthday cake, you're making the half moon composition leaves room for those all important birthday candles, begin with your focal flower. Typically, I use 123 focal flowers, working in odd numbers as great as that's easier on the eye. Trim the stems to about 2 to 3 inches in length. If you're using a flower pick, you can use the tube to measure how long the stems need to be again. If reusing floral picks, pop the rubber top off the flower, pick and fill it up with water. Replace the cap. Stick the stem of a flower into the rubber stopper. At this point, if you're not using a floral pick and you're using tinfoil plastic wrap or a straw, take some time to cover or wrap the stems of your flowers. All right, now it's time to get that flower into the cake. It's a little bit nerve wracking, sticking the first flower into the cake because it is a bit of a permanent move, but trust me, you'll be fine. Pick the starting point on the cake and just go for it, though when you're inserting your flower or floral pick into the cake, be sure to aim towards the middle. Aiming towards the middle of the cake, especially if you're working near the edge, ensures that the floral pick or stems don't make their way through the side of the cake. It's not gonna look very nice once you have your focal flower securely in place. It's time to add in your secondary flowers and your accent flowers. Typically, I snuggle the secondary flowers right up next to the focal flower, and then I'll add accent flores in to fill in any holes. Once I have my three types of flowers in place, I'll step back and take a look at my cake. Are there any holes? If there are, you can fill those holes in with more accent flowers for any bits and pieces you like to use to add movement or interest your arrangement. Finally, I add the greenery to the base of the design typically will took the greens under any of the flowers so they stick out just a little bit in framing their arrangement. It's okay for them to rest on the cake. You're not pushing them in there just lightly resting. Step back again and take one more look at your creation. How are you feeling? Fill in any holes one more time Sometimes to create heightened dimension will use the maze of stems as a platform to rest smaller blooms such as the small yellow and white roses that you see here. Finally, when you think you're all finished, step back one more time and take a look at your masterpiece. Are there any holes? Are you happy with it? If you're not, you can arrange until you're happy. Really Take your time here and keep your friend in mind who you're creating this cake with really arranged for them. Have fun