Cooking Technique: Crystallizing Flowers

Tue, Mar 23, 2010

Cooking, Techniques, Trends

It’s spring, and although most flowers aren’t blooming yet, why not learn how we can incorporate flowers into food so we are already prepared when it’s time! Crystallized flowers are one way to not only make your decorative flowers look beautiful but also to preserve them.

When choosing flowers to crystallize or turn into candied flowers, you want flowers that are edible. Not all flowers are edible, but there are many places that can tell you which flowers are edible! Here’s a short list of edible flowers:

Anise Hyssop – Sweet anise-like flavor. Tastes like licorice.
Burnet – Very mild flavor, faint cucumber taste.
Carnations – Spicy and peppery, clove like taste.
Cornflower - Sweet to spicy, clove like taste.
Dandelion – Some say young buds taste like mushrooms when fried in butter. On it’s own can be bitter.
Day Lily – Make sure you get the correct lily as many are NOT edible.
Fuchsia – Slightly acidic taste.
Gardenia – Light and sweet flavor
– Makes a nice drink or tea when boiled.
Jasmine – Sweet and delicate flavor.
Lavender - floral and perfumed flavor. Lavender oil may be poisonous.
Lilac – Lemony, floral and strong taste.
Pansy - Sweet to tart flavor.
Rose – Sweet, stronger the fragrance the stronger the flavor. Rose hips are also edible
Snapdragon -  Bland to bitter taste.
Violet – Nectar flavor.

The above flowers and flavors were found on the Edible Flowers Chart on It’s a short list compared to the one found there! Also only the petals are edible.

Now that you have an idea of which flowers can be crystallized, here is how it is done!

Gently wash your flowers and pat them dry with a paper towel. Make sure the stem is removed from the flowers, some flower stems are not edible.

You’ll need a pasteurized egg white to make the “glue” for the sugar to stick to.  Whisk your room temperature egg white with a few drops of water. Using a food safe fine brush, brush  the flower petals on each side with a thin layer of egg white. Make sure to completely cover the flower.

Sprinkle very fine sugar over the flower or place in a bowl with sugar. Shake off any excess sugar and let the flowers dry completely.  This can take anywhere from 8 – 36 hours. If you want to just use the petals, wait until the flower is dry before removing the petals from the rest of the flower!

These beautiful flowers can be stored in an airtight container until ready to use and can keep as long as one year!

For more on edible flowers please check out the What’s Cooking America Edible Flower List as well as the Edible Flower Chart at

Photo by distopiandreamgirl.

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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