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Ways to Eat Lilacs

Lilacs are such a lovely part of spring and summer in my opinion. They’re gorgeous and their amazing scent fills the air in my little town every year, making every a walk a complete sensory experience. The flowers are also completely edible. Get creative in your kitchen this spring with these ways to eat lilacs.

Lilac branches on a wooden table with text overlay.

Preparing Lilacs for Eating

Use only unsprayed lilacs. Rinse the flowers under running water. Let dry. I often give them a spin in the salad spinner to remove excess water.

A metal bucket filled with lilac branches sitting behind a white bowl of lilac blossoms snipped from their stems.

Strip those flower blossoms from the stem. I find it easiest to do this with a pair of scissors over a bowl. Just snip getting the tender bloom and avoiding the tough, woody stem. This is a little bit of a process but is a nice way to sit on the porch on a lovely day.

Drinking Lilacs

Make a cordial by covering those blossoms with vodka and let it sit in a dark cupboard for 2 to 4 weeks. Strain, that now lavender-colored alcohol, and use in all your favorite cocktail recipes. Make big batches and put into pretty bottles for gift giving.

Homebrew those lilacs into some homemade wine.

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For the non-drinkers and kids, make a simple syrup by simmering 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of lilac blossoms to the warm mixture, cover and let steep 20 minutes. Strain and refrigerate. Use this simple syrup to flavor and sweeten iced tea or to make homemade Italian sodas.

Preserving Lilacs

Infuse lilacs into vinegar for a floral vinegar that would make a delightful salad dressing on those strawberry and spinach salads.

Preserve the blossoms and flavor by making lilac sugar, a delicately infused sugar perfect for baking and more.

A jar of sugar and lilac blossoms sitting on a table.

Cover those blossoms with an egg white and sugar, let dry. These candied lilac blossoms are a labor of love but make for beautiful cake decorations.

Lilac jelly is beautiful and tasty. Make a couple of batches now and store for thank you and holiday gifts later.

Eating Lilacs

Lilacs seem to have a perfect affinity for sweets. Toss a few into salads for savory use but consider using them for simple and showstopping desserts.

Have lilacs for breakfast or afternoon tea by folding the blossoms into scones.

Add the blossoms to creamy and comforting rice pudding.

They’re delicious tossed into cake and make for a beautifully simple decoration too.

A lilac honey cake on a cake plate with a vase of fresh lilac branches in the background.

Make single serving lilac cream tarts for a buffet.

Their color and delicate flavor match nicely with crunchy cornmeal cookies.

Mix lilacs and blackberries for a fluffy and decadent pavlova.

So this spring and summer get out there and bring lilacs not only to the table as centerpieces but also as part of the meal itself with these easy ways to eat lilacs.

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kerry A lepley

Saturday 7th of May 2022

Thank you for this post, I love the smell of lilac and now I can preserve it for a long winter.

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 11th of May 2022



Sunday 1st of May 2022

We purchased our home two years ago and it has a lilac bush on the edge of the yard! I don't know the history of the yard, but I assume the grass (at the very least) been treated with weed & feed, pesticides, etc. If we haven't treated the bush with these things, are the blossoms now safe to consume? How long does a plant have to go untreated to be safe to consume? Thanks!

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 11th of May 2022

I personally would think 2 years is long enough but I honestly can't say with any kind of scientific accuracy. Maybe ask a local extension office?


Saturday 19th of March 2022

I can't wait to try these,thank you for sharing


Sunday 5th of May 2019

I always make a lemon balm cake with lilac frosting . This year tried cream cheese and I haven’t perfected the texture but it doesn’t matter bc it was so good! Also I make syrups and add to sweet cream ice cream. Decorate w candied lilacs if ya feel like it. When I used to drink I loved the syrup w vodka and seltzer and lime or lemon. I also want to make a sorbet w blueberries this year !


Thursday 25th of May 2017

Interesting. I never knew you could eat them. The garden of our new home is currently bursting with lilacs so even with a crop to make some goodies I shall still have plenty in the garden to enjoy :)

Homespun Seasonal Living

Saturday 27th of May 2017

Oh very fun - enjoy!