Candying or crystallizing flowers: Add a bit of elegance to your next dessert

Adding elegance to plain baked goods and other sweet treats is easy to do with candied edible flowers.

Candied edible flowers. Photo credit: Tisay, Flickr Creative Commons

Candied edible flowers. Photo credit: Tisay, Flickr Creative Commons

Candied flowers are a fantastic way to wow your friends and family at your next dinner party. Adding elegance to plain baked goods and other sweet treats is easy to do. Topping a cupcake or petit four with a single violet or rose petal is nothing less than spectacular. Adding a garland around the base of your favorite cheesecake with all the blossoms of early spring is truly a statement for royals.

With so many uses from simple to spectacular, gather some blossoms and have some fun. There are many flowers and blossoms that make good candidates for candying. Some of the most popular are apple and plum blossoms, borage flowers, lilac florets, rose petals, scented geraniums and violas (violets, Johnny-Jump-Ups and pansy petals.) Be sure to use edible, chemical-free flowers for this project. For tips on edible flowers, see “Edible flowers: Adding color, flavor and fun to your dinner plate” by Michigan State University Extension.

This job takes a little patience, but candying flowers is productive, frivolous and fun to do with friends.

Recipe for candied flower blossoms

The following recipe will coat quite a few flowers.

  • Rinsed and dried flower blossoms, separated from the stem.
  • 1 extra large egg white at room temperature.
  • Few drops of water.
  • About 1 cup of superfine sugar (you can color the sugar too).
  • A small paint brush.
  • A baking rack covered with waxed paper.

In a small bowl, combine the egg white with the water and beat lightly with a fork or small whisk until the white just shows a few bubbles. Place the sugar in a shallow bowl.

Holding a flower or petal in one hand, dip the paintbrush into the egg white mixture and gently paint the flower. Cover the flower or petal completely but not excessively on both sides. Next, hold the flower over the shallow bowl filled with sugar and gently sprinkle both sides of the flower with sugar. Place the flower or petals on the waxed paper to dry. Continue with the rest of the flowers.

Let the flowers dry completely; they should be free of moisture. This could take 12-36 hours, depending on atmospheric humidity. To hasten drying, you may place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light overnight or in an oven set at 150 degrees Fahrenheit with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the dried, candied flowers in airtight containers until ready to use. They will keep for as long as a year. The great thing about storing them is you can make them with friends and all have a supply to use at a moment’s notice.

You can search Pinterest for more candied flower recipes.

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