Early spring is peak edible flower season, so even if you wouldn’t pop a pansy in your mouth on a bet, this collection of edible flower recipes will inspire you to freshen up your tired meal plans, guaranteed!
It’s not all about wedding showers and tea parties ~ there are lots of ways to include edible blossoms in your everyday meals. I love the idea of snipping a few flowers from the garden to turn a plain salad into a celebration of spring, but you can buy containers of edible flowers in the produce section of lots of markets now, too, so nothing should stop you from getting in on this fun trend.
COMMON VARIETIES OF EDIBLE FLOWERS
Pansies are one of the prettiest and most widely available edible flowers. Pansies start to bloom in early spring and continue right through the summer. They have have a mild, slightly sweet and grassy flavor. These stunning (and easy!) pansy topped cookies are one of my favorite edible flower recipes.
You can use whole edible flowers or just the petals to make a spectacular spring salad! Nasturtiums, marigold, and geranium come in gorgeous colors that play beautifully with fresh greens in this most basic of edible flower recipes.
The Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), are commonly used for their edible flowers. The flowers can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, such as in teas, syrups, or as a flavoring in desserts. This elegant floral cocktail is a must make if you’ve got a honeysuckle vine anywhere nearby!
VANILLA BEAN CHAMOMILE CAKE ~ Butter & Brioche
Part flower arrangement, part cake, this dessert does double duty for a spring fling.
DIY FLORAL TEA 3 WAYS ~ Yang’s Nourishing Kitchen
Dried flowers have been used for centuries in teas ~ in China, the use of dried flowers and herbs in tea can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). During this time tea was blended with flowers and herbs such as chrysanthemum, jasmine, and honeysuckle to create a variety of different flavors and medicinal benefits.
Water, an ice cube tray, and a few edible blossoms are all you need to make these stunning ice cubes.
BLUEBERRY LEMON CURD POP TARTS WITH EDIBLE FLOWERS ~ Broma Bakery
The mundane meets the sublime in this quirky edible flower recipe!
STRAWBERRY GRAPEFRUIT BOURBON AND CHAMOMILE PUNCH ~ Heather Christo
This romantic edible flower recipe pairs bright fruit with herbaceous chamomile for the perfect brunch cocktail.
Edible flowers like pansies mix well with fresh herbs in a spring salad. I like to add edible flowers at the last minute to a salad, after it has been dressed.
LAYER CAKES WITH EDIBLE FLOWERS ~ Amiee Twigger
These edible blossoms provide a decorative function on these diminutive cakes ~ just press them into the frosting!
Buttery shortbread infused with aromatic lilac blossoms ~ perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, or spring weddings and showers. Note: If you do decide to use lilac flowers in your cooking, it’s recommended to use only small amounts and to make sure that the flowers are from a known, safe source. As with any new food, it’s also a good idea to try a small amount first to see how your body reacts before consuming larger quantities.
Wild violets can be found growing in a variety of habitats, including meadows, fields, forests, and along roadsides. They are also commonly found in residential lawns and gardens, where they may be considered a weed. Be sure to source pesticide-free blossoms.
RADISH TOASTS WITH CHIVE BUTTER ~ Coley Cooks
Pansies are a favorite edible flower because they’re small, readily available, and come in so many beautiful colors. Some specialty food stores, such as Whole Foods or gourmet food stores, carry edible pansies in their produce section or in the floral department.
In this pretty spring cake chamomile flowers (members of the daisy family) are used to decorate the surface.
If you’re lucky enough to have a grapefruit tree growing nearby, this is a must try!
VANILLA ROSE SHORTBREAD ~ Seasons & Suppers
Rose is one of the most fragrant of edible flowers, and can be used fresh or dried.
AVOCADO TOAST WITH SPRING FLOWERS ~ Hello My Dumpling
Spring is high season for edible flowers, but not all flowers are available year-round, and some may only be in season for a few weeks or months out of the year. If you’re interested in using edible flowers in your cooking or baking, it’s a good idea to do some research on the specific types of flowers you’re interested in and their growing seasons in your region.
A backyard patch of Bee Balm provides a year long supply of gorgeous and healthy tea.
FLORAL DONUTS ~ The Merrythought
Edible flowers are an easy way to turn a baking project into an art project!
EDIBLE FLOWER LOLLIPOPS ~ A Beautiful Mess
Edible flowers are pressed and then embedded into clear candy lollipops.
LILAC INFUSED HONEY ~ Lyndsey Eden
The technique of infusing flavor into honey or other liquids is ideal for use with edible flowers. For the sweetest flavor, use the earliest blossoms.
FLOWER AND HERB BUTTER ~ Sunset
An elegant take on the butter board craze!
Gazpacho and other chilled soups are one of my favorite ways to use edible flowers as garnish. As a bonus the cold soup keeps the blossoms fresh!
ALMOND FAIRY CAKES WITH BORAGE ~ Love & Olive Oil
Did somebody say tea party? Elegant borage blossoms make these little tea cakes fit for a queen!
WHITE CHOCOLATE BARK WITH CARDAMOM AND ROSE ~Honestly Yum
CHERRY BLOSSOM CAKE ~ Hummingbird High
While cherry blossoms are generally considered safe to eat and are used in culinary applications in Japan and other parts of Asia remember that only the petals are edible.
YOGURT SHEET CAKE WITH FRUIT AND FLOWERS ~ Kara’s Party Ideas
When decorating cakes and cupcakes with edible flowers be sure to add them at the last minute because they will start to deteriorate at room temperature.
ICED HIBISCUS LATTE ~ The Merrythought
Hibiscus is a plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties but it also has a lovely tart, slightly sour taste that is often compared to cranberry or pomegranate.
HOMEMADE CHIVE BLOSSOM VINEGAR ~ Vegetarian ‘Ventures
Chive blossoms are not only edible, but they can also add a burst of color and mild onion flavor to a variety of dishes.
where to source your edible flowers
There are many places to find edible flowers, both in stores and online. Here are some options:
- Local Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ markets are a great place to find fresh, locally grown edible flowers. Many vendors offer a variety of options, including pansies, violets, calendula, and more.
- Health Food Stores: Many health food stores carry edible flowers in the produce section or in the bulk section. Look for options like rose petals, chamomile, and hibiscus.
- Online Specialty Retailers: There are several online retailers that specialize in selling edible flowers, including Marx Foods and Gourmet Sweet Botanicals. These sites offer a wide range of options, including roses, lavender, and more.
- Edible Flower Growers: Some farms and nurseries specialize in growing and selling edible flowers. One example is Maddocks Farm Organics (UK) which offers a variety of edible flowers for sale online. Another is The Chef’s Garden.
- Home Gardening: If you have a green thumb, consider growing your own edible flowers at home. Many varieties can be grown easily in pots or in a garden bed, including nasturtiums, pansies, marigolds, borage, and chives.
It’s important to note that not all flowers are safe to eat, so it’s essential to do your research and only consume flowers that are known to be edible. Additionally, always make sure to source your flowers from a reputable source and wash them thoroughly before consuming.