Candied Flowers — Part 2


07 Jul Candied Flowers — Part 2


Ten days left to my sister’s garden wedding and I’m beginning to panic. My mom and I are making the wedding cake, and planned on decorating it with blooms from our gardens. But none of the flowers are paying any attention to their carefully co-ordinated schedules. In an ill-advised burst of speed, the rambling rose has galloped through its bloom phase like a Kentucky Derby contender. At this rate there will be no perky Dorothy Perkins hovering overhead as my sister and her groom greet guests. Sure, the long-lived lavender is fine, but the ephemeral lilies? Not so much. And while the hollyhocks look just dandy right now, will they  be able to stand guard along the wedding path come the Big Day? I guess we’ll find out.

So yesterday, I decided to preserve as much prettiness as I could — regardless of whether or not the flowers are fit for consumption. Having recently written an article on how to candy flowers, I was up to the challenge. But as I ventured beyond the edible flower limitation, I learned that some flowers candy better than others.

Be warned. Candy Failure will ensure should you try to preserve the following. They are either too flimsy (first 4 flowers listed), too deeply fluted, or have petals that are too thick (lilies). Try sugaring these and you’ll end up tossing out what were once perfectly lovely flowers — as well as half a morning of your time. I will not show you pictures of these candy calamities. The internet hosts enough ugliness as it is. However, trust me when I say, avoid candying:

  • campanula
  • coriposis
  • evening primrose
  • spiderwort
  • day lily
  • tiger lily

On the upside, many flowers did survive the egg white and sugar bath.


Keeping this CYA caveat in mind, don’t eat the daisies (or clematis). Play it safe and just enjoy the eye candy with:

  • single or semi-double rose
  • single clematis
  • old fashioned hollyhock
  • single marigold
  • lavender (in bud, not in bloom)
  • native geranium
  • single begonia

Even though the hot humid weather slowed down the drying process considerably, I was  pleasantly impressed with the results.


Until this morning.

When a certain ginger tabby walked by with a sprig of lavender adhered to his hind end. This stalk won’t be making it onto the wedding cake.

Other than, “Lock the cats out of the kitchen,” got any cake decorating advice?

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No Comments
  • Tara
    Posted at 13:45h, 07 July Reply

    So lovely! Can’t wait to see pictures of the cake!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:03h, 08 July Reply

      @Tara, fingers crossed it will turn out the way I envision it. My sister wants a very simple cake – no fancy piping or swirls. She wants flowers and plain icing, so if the flowers don’t turn out… well, I just won’t think about that.

  • The Diva on a Diet
    Posted at 15:01h, 07 July Reply

    They’re gorgeous, Charmian! While I’m sorry for those that didn’t turn out and the morning of your time … I really enjoyed reading about your efforts and the pics are so great!

    As for decorating advice: bring extra supplies of everything to the wedding site: pastry bags filled with icing, if you’re going that route; extra flowers; extra icing, extra everything because if short distances of travel and impact a cake. Better safe than sorry.

    Can’t wait to see pictures of the cake! And I’m laughing without about the cats in the kitchen. Don’t I know it!
    .-= The Diva on a Diet´s last blog ..Xagave Nectar Cookbook Give-Away =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:05h, 08 July Reply

      @The Diva on a Diet, I will keep the cats out of the room when we decorate — or do the work in my mom’s cat-free kitchen. Thanks for the advice on the extra supplies. The distance the cake will travel is no more than 100 feet but Murphy likes to drop by now and again, so I won’t take any chances.

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 17:17h, 07 July Reply

    10 days!?!? I’m in panic mode too.

  • Cheryl
    Posted at 00:19h, 08 July Reply

    Ooooh, so fancy! I have never candied flowers, but I’d say you’re doing a bang-up job and should be very proud.

    I stink at cake decorating. The best I’ve ever done is melted chocolate, poured it into a cone, squeezed out some chocolaty writing on a silpat, then transferred it, once hardened, to a frosted cake. That’s my only party trick. Seriously.
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog ..Iconoclast =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:09h, 08 July Reply

      @Cheryl, writing with melted chocolate? Sounds wonderful! I can see it being very useful for birthdays and other celebrations.

      Oddly, this is one occasion where my sister is saying no to chocolate. But there will be plenty of other parties soon enough! Thanks for the super tip!

  • Jacqui
    Posted at 05:47h, 08 July Reply

    Just beautiful.
    Can’t wait to hear more. Love me a good wedding 😉

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:10h, 08 July Reply

      @Jacqui, thanks. I love me a good wedding, too. Can’t wait to see it all come together. I’ve seen the dress, the shoes, the hair… I’m so excited you’d think I was the bride :-)

  • Doreen Pendgracs
    Posted at 10:40h, 08 July Reply

    Wow, Charmian! I admire your courage in taking on this albeit pleasant task. Very fine and detailed process. But wow! The results are astounding! I hope your sister will appreciate your efforts and that the wedding is as beautifully flawless as your candied flowers.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 10:23h, 15 July Reply

    Such a beautiful and simple technique – can’t wait to try it!!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:41h, 15 July Reply

      Hope they turn out. This horrid humidity lately would make candying tricky. The flowers I candied in April have stored beautifully, but the ones I made last week? They didn’t fare so well in the humid weather.

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