The Bold and the Beautiful: Cooking with Edible Flowers

The Bold and the Beautiful: Cooking with Edible Flowers

Incorporating edible flowers into your cooking might seem like a new trend, but it has been a long-standing practice in many culinary traditions around the world. Flowers not only add beauty to your dishes but also offer unique and complex flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits.

If you want to add some flair to your cooking game and impress your guests with stunning floral presentations, here are some tips, ideas, and recipes to get started.

Choosing Edible Flowers

Not all flowers are edible, and some can be toxic or cause allergies. Make sure you are using flowers that are safe, fresh, pesticide-free, and suitable for culinary purposes. Here are some popular and safe options:

  • Nasturtium - Peppery, tangy, and bright orange or yellow color.
  • Roses - Perfumed, sweet, and vibrant hues.
  • Lavender - Floral, aromatic, and earthy flavor.
  • Chrysanthemums - Bitter and slightly sweet with a wide range of colors.
  • Dandelions - Slightly sweet with a nutty flavor.
  • Hibiscus - Fruity and tart with a vibrant red color.
  • Violets - Mildly sweet with a delicate appearance.

Ideas for Using Edible Flowers

Once you have chosen your flowers, let your creativity flow. Here are some ideas to incorporate them into your cooking:

  • Use as a garnish for cocktails and mocktails.
  • Sprinkle over salads and soups for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Infuse in syrups, jams, butter, and oils for flavor and aroma.
  • Bake into cakes, cookies, and pies for a unique twist.
  • Freeze into ice cubes and popsicles for a refreshing treat.
  • Make floral teas, tonics, or lemonades.
  • Decorate your cheese boards, charcuterie plates, or sushi rolls.

Recipes with Edible Flowers

Here are some recipes that feature edible flowers:

Lavender Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender flowers


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the flour and lavender, and mix until the dough is smooth and fragrant.
  4. Roll the dough into a log and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Cut the dough into 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) slices and place them on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are light golden brown.
  7. Let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing.

Hibiscus Margarita


  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz hibiscus syrup
  • Salt
  • Hibiscus flowers for garnish


  1. Rim a glass with salt and set aside.
  2. In a shaker, combine the tequila, lime juice, and hibiscus syrup.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain the mixture into the salt-rimmed glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with edible hibiscus flowers and enjoy!

Rose Petal Jam


  • 1 cup fresh rose petals, rinsed and minced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pectin


  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, lemon juice, and pectin.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it boils.
  3. Reduce the heat and add the minced rose petals.
  4. Simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the jam to a sterilized container and let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Final Thoughts

Edible flowers can add creativity, beauty, and flavor to your dishes. With some caution and imagination, you can elevate your cooking game and enjoy this bold and beautiful world of culinary innovation.