White moth orchid petals for sugar flowers against a peach replica surface
White moth orchid petals for sugar flowers against a peach replica surface

Are Sugar Flowers Edible?

Sugar Flower FAQs

Reading Time — 4 minutes

I’ve been selling Sugar Flowers online since 2015, which in the year 2022, makes me feel….. kinda old, tbh. With almost 5,000 sales on Etsy and over 900 5-star reviews, I’ve had many opportunities to chat with customers and help them figure out which Sugar Flowers they need for their cakes.

I’m also always happy to answer questions and since this question is so popular, I thought I might as well write up a quick blog post (and video!) on the subject.

Today’s question has many variations but pretty much one main answer.

That question— Are Sugar Flowers edible?— sometimes lands in my inbox as…

Can you eat Sugar Flowers?

Can you eat gumpaste flowers?

Can you eat sugar roses?

Can you eat sugar paste flowers?

Or even, “how do you make edible sugar flowers for cakes?” Which I think is a *bit* of a misnomer.

Today I’m setting the record straight!

Sugar Flowers by kelsie cakes studio
this is the face of someone who is about to set the record straight

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means, I get a small commission if you purchase through this link. However I make it a point to only share tools and resources I truly love and use. 

Are Sugar Flowers edible?

Short answer: no.

We’ll get to the long answer in just a moment.


Prefer to watch it? Here’s the YouTube version

edible Large

How long do sugared flowers last?

This question makes me smile because that “-ed” at the end of sugar really changes the whole context.

Sugared Flowers are edible: they’re flowers like rose petals and pansies that can be dipped in sugar and then used to garnish desserts. I’ve only worked with these edible flowers a couple of times, so alas, I am not the expert to ask this question!

When I last worked in a retail bakery, we would garnish the desserts just before serving or delivering, to keep the garnishes looking as fresh and beautiful as possible. Things like raspberries can start getting too juicy, meringue can separate, whipped cream can deflate, and sugared flowers can wilt.

Though I don’t have an exact time frame, I’d say you’ve got a couple of hours before your beautiful display starts looking a little withered.

pin to pinterest: edible sugared flowers? featuring a violet covered in crystallized sugar

Are they food safe?

If by “they” you mean Sugar Flowers or gumpaste flowers, the answer is— yes.

Food safe is definitely a different thing than edible. It’s like how cupcake wrappers are food safe. Please don’t eat cupcake wrappers.

What are Sugar Flowers made from?

I make my Sugar Flowers from scratch, meaning I get out my KitchenAid mixer and whip up a gumpaste recipe. Though I can’t speak for commercially available gumpaste, here’s what my Sugar Flowers are made from:

6 ingredients: powdered sugar, egg whites, tylose, vegetable shortening, corn starch, and food coloring.

If you consider only those ingredients, you might be thinking, “are Sugar Flowers edible if their ingredients are?!” But there’s more to the story, my friend!

The inedible parts of Sugar Flowers: things like floral tape, floral wire, artificial stamens, and sometimes even a little styrofoam ball in the center of the flower to keep it from getting too heavy.

white moth orchid petals gumpaste

Do Sugar Flowers taste good?

No. They kind of taste like eating eggshells.

Could they taste good? Yes, if we added a flavoring to the gumpaste recipe. But I don’t flavor my gumpaste because I create my Sugar Flowers to be saved as keepsakes.

How to make edible Sugar Flowers?

sugar flowers kelsie cakes 23 edited

Look if you really wanted to make Sugar Flowers that were edible, my suggestion would be to start with fondant, add some tylose powder to make it dry harder, and don’t use any wire/floral tape/artificial stamens. It’s not the easiest, but it is possible.

My goal with writing this blog post was to answer my # 1 asked question: are Sugar Flowers edible? I hope after reading (or watching), you’ve got a better understanding of why I tell all my customers to remove their flowers before serving the cake.

If you’ve only got more questions after reading, I’m always happy to nerd out with you and chat all things Sugar Flowers. You can head to my Contact page to reach out. Talk soon!


Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means, I get a small commission if you purchase through this link. However I make it a point to only share tools and resources I truly love and use. 


how to store sugar flowers graphic link for download

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