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Take the Cake, Grow your own cake decorations and try this easy candied flower technique

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Roses are red. Violets are blue. And sprinkling sugar on their petals can make them sweet as well, creating an elegant, delectable treat. Roses and violets are just two of the varieties of flowers that can be eaten, but not all blooms are suitable for consumption.

Susan Peters, a chef and writer, has important tips about choosing flowers you can eat. "There are many kinds of edible flowers, but not all work well for sugaring. Rose petals, pansies, violets, cymbidiums and lilacs are the most frequent choices for confectioners."

Peters recommends taking the time to make the candied flowers instead of purchasing them. She says commercially-made blossoms often look more like blobs of sugar than the beautiful flowers they are.

Making crystallized flowers, also known as candied or sugared flowers, is a great way to preserve the bounty of a flower garden. They will last up to a year and add beauty and interest to everyday desserts, giving them a personal and inspired touch. The treats also make delightful hostess gifts or look stunning on a celebration cake.

One note of caution for those planning to try their hand at creating edible flowers, make certain the flowers used are organic and were not grown around areas treated with pesticides. It is important to ensure they are from a safe source and not picked from plants growing on the side of the road, as plants absorb pollutants and can be toxic even if they

are edible.

Organic flower grower Carol Shreve of Moose Horn Meadows Floral ( in Barnum sells organic edible flowers for those with not-so-green thumbs or those looking for a special touch for a wedding cake.

Red velvet cake is all the rage these days. A red velvet "cuppie" from

How Sweet It Is Cakes in Duluth is the perfect way to showcase

crystallized edible flowers.

Red Velvet Cuppies

Recipe by Eileen Brown, owner of How Sweet It is Cakes

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

Yields 12 cupcakes


2 Tbsp cocoa powder (Guittard is recommended)

2½ C regular all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1½ C granulated sugar

1½ C canola oil

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp red food coloring gel

1 tsp pure vanilla (clear variety)

+ ½ vanilla bean scraped

1 C buttermilk

1½ tsp baking soda

2 tsp white vinegar


Mix cocoa powder, flour and salt in bowl with whisk, set aside. In a

separate bowl, mix sugar, oil and eggs, add red food coloring gel,

clear vanilla and scraped vanilla bean. Add buttermilk to wet mixture,

mix into dry mixture. Mix together soda and vinegar in separate small

bowl, then add to cake mixture. Pour into prepared pan or cupcake

holders and bake at 350 until spaghetti noodle inserted in center

comes out clean. Cool to room temperature before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields frosting for 12 cupcakes


8 oz cream cheese

1 Tbsp 1% or skim milk

1 tsp clear vanilla

4 C powdered sugar


Mix cream cheese, milk and vanilla, blend well. Add powdered sugar. Blend until smooth and frost cupcakes. Keep refrigerated until ready to


Make your own crystallized flowers

For food safety reasons, using meringue powder instead of the traditional beaten fresh egg whites is recommended. Meringue powder can be found wherever Wilton baking supply products are sold. Superfine sugar, also called baker's sugar, can be made using granulated sugar by processing it in a food processor until extremely fine.


2 tsp meringue powder

2 Tbsp water

15-20 edible flowers of your choice

1¼ C Superfine sugar

In a small bowl, mix the meringue powder with water. With a small

paintbrush, paint all the sides of the flowers, coating completely.

Sprinkle the sugar on the flower on both sides and place on a

parchment lined baking sheet. Let dry for two days.

Arlene Coco of Duluth is a food blogger and owns Prairie Kitchen

Specialty foods. For more recipes and cooking tips visit her blog at