Crystalising Roses…

I must have been enjoying myself immensely at the first garden party committee meeting a couple of months ago.  We had decided on the theme; it was being held the Monday after the happy union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle,

“Royal Wedding!” we decided unanimously, “dresses and hats, embossed invitations, champagne, linen and silver.”

“I make a delicious Italian Wedding Cake,” popped out of my mouth unbidden and was met by sighs of,

“Ooh, would you make one for the party?


“Sounds heavenly and very royal.”

Although the rest of the menu ideas bandied about that evening were modified the closer we got to the event, my bold declaration stood unchanged.  

I found myself to be the official baker.

“I’m no professional,” I reminded them a month later, but it will taste really good.”

“We can plate it with strawberries,

“Sprinkle it with coconut,

“Decorate it with edible flowers,”

and so the suggestions came flying in.

I made the cakes a week ahead of time,

“Just in case they fail and I can order one from Costco,” I said to Hubs.

“I have no doubt they will be as perfect as usual,” Hubs re-assured me.

They did and I popped them in the freezer.

I started looking for edible flowers and as I began trawling the internet I came across crystallized pansy petals that stole my heart away.

There were no pansies to be had and I toyed with the idea of nicking some from the neighbors..

Instead I visited a few nurseries and found petunias, buttercups and hydrangeas, none of them edible, all of them pretty; but not wanting to poison my friends and fellow gardeners I decided on small tea roses that were coming to an end in one club member’s garden.

Hubs and I went a-gathering and came home with a few of the best looking sprigs from a rapidly drooping rambler.


and we joined forces to dip and dust with sugar more than 60 small roses and set them on parchment paper to dry and harden.


Once crystallized I was able to put them in a plastic container and store them safely in my fridge.

Sunday came around and I began to fret about the icing.

However, this late in the game I had no plan B to fall back on, Costco was not going to stay open late or drop everything to make me a cake or two in less than 24 hours

I was committed.

“What if it doesn’t turn out?”

Hubs hugged me.

“What if I get the consistency all wrong and it ends up sliding off the cake?”

He kissed me.

“I know I’ve been making this cake several times a year for 30 years….but what if?”

“No more ‘what ifs’,” Hubs said, “your cake will be beautiful.”

While I washed the cake stands, made the cream cheese deliciousness and assembled the cakes Hubs took on the responsibility of designing and positioning the lovely pink roses into a heart shape to lie gracefully in the centre of each cake.


I finished it off with hugs around the top and bottom and ta-da!!


They rested quietly in our refrigerators until the following morning when they took pride of place with a backdrop of white roses and hydrangeas from another friend who had hosted her daughter’s wedding reception that weekend.


For ease of service we cut the cake and served it with strawberries and cream,


Such a sweet ending to a lovely afternoon.

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