Making candied flowers from foraged wild violets and pansies from our garden is the perfect activity to welcome in spring. It’s a fun and easy project that requires just a few simple ingredients and absolutely no artistic skills even though you will need a paintbrush :). I was able to make these candied flowers with my two small children and they enjoyed every part, from foraging the violets while hiking in the forest, to painting the flower petals and tasting their flower candies the next day. It was a relaxing and quick project, with minimal clean up and nothing too complicated for little hands, which is my kind of recipe when working alongside a 2 and 4 year old!
Choosing the Best Edible Flowers
There are many edible flowers you can choose for this recipe! The type of flowers you choose does matter, and the small flowers work the best, which is why we used pansies and violets. You could also take a larger edible flower, such as a rose, and use just the individual petals.
Here are some more flowers you could use:
- Rose petals
- Even herbs, like mint leaves!
Tools You Will Need
- Small paint brush or pastry brush
- Small bowl
- Drying rack
- Baking sheet
Ingredients You Will Need
- Edible flowers
- Egg white
- Regular sugar or caster sugar (optional wild violet sugar)
In our process we used both regular sugar and wild violet sugar, which has a purple tint to it. It allowed the darker flowers to maintain a darker hue after they were crystallized.
How to Make Candied Edible Flowers
1) Gather your Flowers
Where and how you source your flowers is very important. You want to make sure you have fresh flowers that are free of pesticides and contaminants. We used pansies from our own garden because we know how they have been grown and we went to a nearby forest to forage the wild violet flowers. If you don’t have flowers available to you, you may be able to find them at a local farmers market or specialty grocery store. You could also find them online!
When picking violets, we found it helpful to keep the long stem in tact, so they were easier to hold when you paint on the egg wash later on.
2) Clean the Flowers
Once you have your flowers gently rinse them off with cool water or submerge them in a bowl of cold water to remove any dirt or bugs. Be careful not to bruise the petals in this process as they are very delicate. After they are clean, take them out and place them on a towel and pat dry.
3) Prepare the egg white and sugar
Take an egg white and add a teaspoon of water and whisk with a fork until it starts to look bubbly. (note: anytime you consume raw eggs you have a risk of salmonella, you can use pasteurized eggs to minimize this risk.)
Place your sugar in a small bowl. You will only need about 1/4 cup, but the amount will depend on how many flowers you are using.
4) Paint on the egg white
You will then use your small brush to paint a thin layer of egg white onto the petals. By using a small paintbrush, it will be easier to keep the coated petal separate from the other petals.
5) Sprinkle sugar on top
Now take a small pinch of sugar and sprinkle it on top of your flower. You can also dip into the sugar, but it tends to get clumpy and you will need to wipe off the excess sugar if you want a perfectly coated flower.
Our petals had lots of clumps because my kids were very excited about the sugar and had a hard time restraining their sprinkles 🙂
6) Drying time
This part requires a little patience. Set your flowers on a drying rack or plate at room temperature for around 24 hours. You may need to flip your flowers over to make sure the whole flower is dry if they are on a plate. The flowers are preserved in the sugar and it is important they are completely dry before you put them in an airtight container for future use.
7) Remove the stem
Once the crystallized flowers are dry, they become crispy and brittle. Use a scissors when removing the rest of the stem and don’t try to pull it off or your flower will most likely break.
You now have your finished product! Store flowers in an airtight container. They will get crispier the longer they are stored and can last multiple months if stored correctly. Do not use if flowers have lost their crispiness and have become mushy.
And there you have it! Beautiful sugared flowers that make great decorations for your baked goods, drinks, or cocktails. My kids also think they are fun to just eat on their own, but I think I prefer them to go along with something sweet 🙂
There are so many fun ideas for how to use sugared edible flowers in your food adventures, here are some great examples:
- Almond Flower Cakes with Candied Borage Flowers
- Hibiscus, Rose and Lime Cupcakes with Candied Violas
- Cheesecake in a Jar with Candied Rose Petals
Have you tried baking with candied edible flowers? Which flowers do you want to try next?!
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