demo of woman adding sugar flowers to a wedding cake
demo of woman adding sugar flowers to a wedding cake

How to Create a Sugar Flower Cascade

Decorating Cakes

Reading Time — 4 minutes

Today’s Topic: Sugar Flower Cascades!

One of the more popular cake designs is a flowing sugar flower cascade adorning a tall wedding cake. It’s romantic, elegant, botanical, timeless.

But it’s not the easiest design, especially if you’re new to styling with sugar flowers!

Even if you’re not ordering Sugar Flowers from me, these tips will help you figure out in advance how many flowers you’ll need for your cascade of flowers.

Sugar Flowers and fresh flowers may look similar, but they don’t behave the same way on a cake. Fresh flowers are “squishier,” so you’ll need to use more flowers than you would with Sugar Flowers.

The first thing to consider is the shape of the cascade.

Cascade Shapes:

  • Circling the cake in flowers 360º
  • A straight line going diagonally from the top of the cake to the bottom
  • A snaking cascade along the front
  • A cascade that only drapes down the middle tiers

Other questions to ask:

Do you want the top of the cake fully covered or do you want to leave room for a cake topper?

Going for a maximalist look? You’ll need plenty of flowers to achieve that filled-to-the-brim effect, but we have plenty in stock!

But if you’re going for a minimalist look, you won’t need quite as many, and you can space them out a little bit more.

I like to do graduated sizes of flowers for the cascades: the biggest flowers go at the bottom, with some small-to-medium sizes to fill in the gaps. And the smallest flowers at the top with maybe a mid-sized flower or two to break up any monotony.

And for a cascade, I almost always recommend adding leaves to make things look more natural! And since they are smaller, they can be tucked into little gaps easily.

And adding leaves definitely makes things look more natural. For an organic look, I’ll wire the leaves together to create a stem or branch. For a more traditional or understated look, I’ll insert individual leaves into the cake.

Pro tip: if you don’t want to use sugar leaves, you can use edible leaves, like mint or rosemary, instead. This can help save money (depending on the season) while still keeping your decor food-safe. And if you grow your own organic herbs, then it’s even cheaper.

Blog Opt in Banner Thin → CORRECT dimensions

How many flowers will I need for my Sugar Flower Cascade?

How big is the cake as a whole? This is what will determine the final size of your Sugar Flower Cascade.

For example, let’s look at a four tier cake with 6” 8” 10” and 12” layers, each one is between 4” and 5” high.

  • The 6” is the smallest so I’d do a max of 3 small flowers on the side of the cakeThe 8” and 10” will have a mix of small and medium so I’ll aim for 4-5 for each tier.
  • And the 12” is the largest, and I want to finish things off with a nice big bundle at the bottom, so I’d start with 5-6 medium or large flowers and then fill it in with another 4 or 5 smaller flowers. So that’s around 20+ for a nice full cascade.
  • If I really want to create a big statement, I’ll add more flowers to the top of the 6” cake, probably 3 or 4 small to medium flowers just on the edge of the cake.

Want a more Minimalist cascade?

For a 3 or 4 tier cake, a cascade with around 8 or 9 flowers is perfect, especially if you don’t go too small. Here’s an example with my Classic Cascade Bundle.

Oh, and the easiest way to figure it out? Buy a bundle that’s already designed for you! It takes out any guesswork of how many flowers you’ll need 🙂

But for the Sugar Flower DIY-ers out there, I don’t want to leave you without any resources! Here are some examples of a Sugar Flower cascade or two that I’ve made in the past, and a brief description of how many & what size flowers you’ll need:

Example Cascades:

Diagonal cascade across the middle tiers.

Two large flowers, 2 medium flowers, and 5 small flowers with assorted leaves and berries for filler.

Sugar Flower cascade with peonies, roses, dahlias, and greenery in blush and burgundy colors

A full cascade diagonally across 2-tier cake.

This could also be stretched across three tiers. the thanksgiving cake here

One large flower, 4 medium flowers, 2 small flowers, and assorted leaves and berries and filler flowers (like rose buds)

Sugar Flower Cascade with One large flower, 4 medium flowers, 2 small flowers, and assorted leaves and berries and  rose buds

Minimalist three tier diagonal cascade.

4 medium flowers, 1 small flower, assorted leaves and berries show cake with gold blackberries and burgundy dahlias

Sugar Flower Cascade including 4 medium flowers like roses and dahlias, 1 small flower, assorted leaves and berries on a three tier buttercream cake

Maximalist cascade on three tier cake

3 large flowers, 2 medium flowers, 3 small flowers, assorted leaves buds and berries (show cake with dusty pink peony and eucalyptus)

Sugar Flower Cascade including 3 large flowers, 2 medium flowers, 3 small flowers, assorted leaves buds and berries on a 3 tier cake. Includes dusty pink peonies, anemones, pink ranunculus, and ivory dahlias.

I’m also working on a video version of this blog post! It’s taking me a little bit of time to edit out all the boring parts, but I’ll be sending that video out to all my e-mail subscribers as soon as it’s available. If you’d like to be updated when the video is released, you can sign up for my newsletter here:


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