Edible flower power is back in style for spring, and British Baker has rounded up examples of some of the most creative and ingenious ways bakers can use their Instagrammable floral masterpieces.
Edible flowers are trending with consumers and baking enthusiasts, helped in part by the floral trimmings and delicate flavours planned for the upcoming royal wedding cake.
Although full of photogenic charms, edible flowers are not an entirely visual pursuit. They can impart a unique range of flavours onto bakes – whether used as a topping, infused into the sponge or even mixed into frosting.
Before you devour a bouquet of pansies, however, make sure your chosen blooms are, firstly, not poisonous and, secondly, organic, as some shop-bought flowers are rendered toxic by pesticides. Lastly, ensure you are using the right part of the flower. Plenty can be eaten whole, while others benefit from the use of just one part.
Numerous specialist suppliers, and even retailers such as Sainsbury’s, sell edible flowers. Additionally, there are many ways to get creative with edible flower flavours, such as the addition of lavender oil, elderflower cordial, crystallised whole roses and more.
Inspirational fancies from creative bakers across the UK are plentiful: rose-glazed doughnuts, magnificent flower crown toppings, and marshmallows infused with violette liqueur are all hitting the racks this spring.
Here are some highlights from some of the most beautiful bakes that use edible flowers:
Rose Petal Doughnutsfrom Vicky’s Donuts
These floral bakes are drenched in rose-flavoured syrup and topped with pink petals. Inspired by North-American style raised doughnuts, Hackney bakery Vicky’s Donuts makes creative pastries, including letter-shaped doughnuts that write out celebration messages, striking ripple-effect toppings, maple syrup and bacon flavours. It also produces ‘Homers’ – sprinkle-topped doughnuts inspired by the Simpsons.
Crème de Violette Marshmallowsfrom Cloud Nine Marshmallows
"Mr Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets,” wrote Roald Dahl. This was the literary inspiration for Cloud Nine Marshmallows’ crème de violette creations. Infused with French violette liqueur, these floral marshmallows are each topped with a crystallised violet petal. The Cornwall-based treat merchant specialises in gourmet marshmallows, and combines a traditional French recipe with unusual flavours such as pistachio and hazelnut liquor.
Blue Swirl Flower Crown Cake from Ginger & Cacao
Adorned with a beautiful edible flower crown, this wedding cake from Ginger & Cacao is encased in a unique blue and white floral finish. Hiding beneath are three layers of dark chocolate genoese, black cherry and vanilla compote, and fluffy vanilla buttercream. Run by trained patisserie chef Jaime, the London-based bespoke patisserie makes celebration cakes, desserts and a host of other treats.
Fig, Chocolate, Banana and Flower CakefromHenrietta Inman
This creation comes courtesy of pastry chef and author Henrietta Inman, and is derived from a recipe in her recent book, The Natural Baker. Milled flax seeds mixed with water act as a gel that simultaneously binds and moisturises the cake. It is made up of dried figs, banana flesh and rich cocoa, which is imbued with warm spices such as cinnamon and cardamom. The cake is topped with pink geraniums, which complement the glistening brown cocoa cream topping.
Spring Flowers Cake Selection Box from Blackberry Cottage
A range that uses rice flour and ground almonds for unique characteristics, this cake gift box from Blackberry Cottage includes: a rose and courgette slice topped with rose and beetroot icing, a lavender and swede slice topped with lemon drizzle, a mint chocolate and aubergine torte, a violet and pumpkin slice with violet chocolate drizzle. and a mimosa with butternut squash and orange Icing. Based in Berkshire, Blackberry Cottage makes all-natural bakes packed with unique and healthy vegetables.
Pink Petal Wedding Cake fromBee’s Bakery
This beautiful vegan banana, pecan and chocolate chip cake is frosted with vegan buttercream and adorned with organic rose petals from a farm in Devon. It has been created by London-based Bee’s Bakery, whose designer take on jammy dodgers was featured in Stylist magazine.