When you want a wedding cake with hydrangeas on it, the best option is to use gumpaste because real hydrangeas are toxic and wilt really quickly!
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These cakes use gumpaste hydrangeas that won’t wilt in the heat like real ones will, don’t need a lot of water to stay nice-looking, and are food-safe.
Should you use real hydrangeas on cakes?
Real hydrangeas shouldn’t touch food because they’re toxic, and they’re also usually covered in pesticides and dirt from being handled so much in transit.
Gumpaste is a good alternative, and they won’t wilt on the cake or poison your wedding guests!
Fresh flowers are difficult for cake decorators a lot of the time because we’re reliant on the florist to have the right flowers available for us at the reception site to decorate the cake.
If we’re there before the florist is, the flowers might not be there yet, so we won’t know if they’re going to look good or not.
Especially with hydrangeas, which need a LOT of water to stay fresh-looking, it can be tricky to time things.
The cake can look gorgeous when I’m done decorating it an hour before the reception starts, but by the time the cake cutting photos are taken the flowers are probably going to be wilted and sad-looking.
I once delivered a cake that was supposed to have fresh hydrangeas ready for me, and the ones that the florist had left were sitting in a bucket of shallow, dirty water.
They were totally saggy and wilted, and guess what…They weren’t going to look any better after sitting on the cake for a while.
Even if I put them in the little water tubes that you can use on flower stems, they would suck that up in no time.
That was the cake when I said “no more fresh hydrangeas” and stuck to gumpaste from that time on!
Hydrangea wedding cake ideas.
This wedding cake with blue gumpaste hydrangeas had a piped buttercream lace pattern on it.
The hydrangeas were dusted with different shades of blue petal dust to give the clusters on the cake tiers some variety.
For an article with grey and silver wedding cakes, click here.
This buttercream ruffle cake had a red focus flower and white gumpaste hydrangeas on top and on one of the tiers.
To see wedding cakes with other types of gumpaste flowers, click here.
Most of the wedding cakes that I made were buttercream because brides in my area didn’t want fondant. This was one of the chocolate buttercream versions.
It had modeling chocolate ribbons on each tier and an assortment of colorful gumpaste flowers including poppies and hydrangeas.
I made all of the flowers that I used on my wedding cakes, and I put this tutorial together to teach how I did them: Gumpaste hydrangeas tutorial.
The green gumpaste hydrangeas were scattered here and there on the tiers in small groups.
These were wired, but you can make them without wires and add some different shades of petal dust for variety:
One of the most popular color combinations that I had requests for was blue and white, and this cake had unwired gumpaste hydrangeas and a white gumpaste peony topper.
These wired gumpaste hydrangeas were dried upside down so that the petals would fall into the center and make it easier to bunch them up together.
They can be wired into bunches that way and placed on the cake tiers to form balls like a real hydrangea flower.
This cake had white fondant draping and bunches of wired gumpaste hydrangeas that were dusted with purple petal dust.
This was a variation on the draping design, but with white hydrangeas.
Another view of the fondant draping and white gumpaste hydrangeas.
Adding some green hydrangea leaves is a good way to finish off these designs and will also make the bunches of flowers a little more realistic.
This cake had a grey fondant lace wrap at the base of the tiers and yellow gumpaste hydrangeas with a gumpaste bird’s nest topper.
To attach the bird on the side of the tier to the cake, make it on a skewer so that you can stick the skewer into the cake and secure it that way.
This cake had seven tiers, 4-6-8-10-12-14 and 16″ diameters.
Three tiers were taller than the others, and it had gumpaste hydrangeas in clusters all over it. Each tier had fondant pearls in different patterns and at the base.
The bottom tier had a little gold heart on it, per the bride’s request.
This cake had fondant ruffles with a combination of green and purple hydrangeas.
This five-tiered buttercream cake had alternating designs of piped lace and plain icing.
The gumpaste flowers matched the bride’s bouquet, including roses, hydrangeas and dusty miller.
This 5-tiered buttercream cake had a cascade of gumpaste hydrangeas and peonies on it.
This was one of my all-tie favorite cakes because it was so pretty.
And the gumpaste hydrangeas didn’t wilt during the reception like real ones would have!
This tan cake had white piping designs and blue gumpaste hydrangeas and leaves.