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How to Make Lilac Sugar

Lilacs are one of the most wonderful parts of spring. And yet, they are also so very fleeting. Make lilac sugar as a way to save them for the entire year.

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

This truly is as simple as laying sugar and lilac blossoms in a jar and letting it sit. It’s not a complicated project and yet is so very glorious.

Use Only the Lilac Blossoms

The stems and leaves of lilacs tend to be tough and bitter. Use only the blossoms to make lilac sugar.

Lilac blossoms clipped from their stems sitting a bowl to make lilac sugar.

To do this, simply clip the blossoms from the stems with a pair of scissors. I simply do this standing over a bowl to catch the falling blossoms. Admittedly this takes a little time but it’s not hard or drudgery by any means. Do it outside on the porch and listen to the birds sing for an especially pleasant seasonal activity.

After clipping, do give the blossoms a quick rinse and spin through the salad spinner. This will remove and dirt bugs. Let them sit on a towel for an hour to remove any surface water before proceeding.

Tips for Making Lilac Sugar

Shake the jar of sugar every day for a week. Every day. Skipping this means that the jar of sugar will likely become one solid mass as the sugar pulls the moisture from the lilac blossoms and hardens.

After the blossoms dry (usually 7 days at most), they are essentially preserved, candied. One could strain those bits of flowers from the sugar by pressing it all through a fine mesh sieve

Or one could leave the blossoms in the sugar for a fun bit of color in baked goods. 

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

Perhaps make a jar of each – strained and with flowers. Use the strained sugar for drinks, the flowered sugar for baked goods.

How to Use Lilac Sugar

In short, use lilac sugar anywhere you’d use plain sugar for a light lilac flavor. Simply replace granulated sugar with lilac sugar at a 1:1 ratio in baked goods like cookies or cakes.

Don’t forget to add it to pancakes or waffles for a floral breakfast.

Sprinkle the lilac sugar and bits of sugared and dehydrated lilac blossoms on the tops of cookies or muffins for a floral infused sweet crunch.

Use a little of it to sweeten tea for a floral flavor that is sure to delight.

Make lilac hot cocoa by using lilac sugar instead of plain. Trust me, this is such a delight on a winter night.

Dissolve the sugar in hot water for a simple syrup to flavor cocktails and mocktails. 

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

An Amazing Floral Gift

Sugar lasts a long time. Which means this can easily make for a great gift.

Make a big batch of lilac sugar this spring. Then divide it all into smaller, decorative jars and give it away during the holidays or for birthdays all year long. 

Yield: Approximately 1 1/4 Cups

How to Make Lilac Sugar

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

Make lilac sugar for a floral infused sweetener to add to drinks, baked goods, and more.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Lilac Blossoms

Instructions

  1. Put a couple of tablespoons of sugar in the bottom of a jar.
  2. Layer a tablespoon of lilac blossoms on top of the sugar.
  3. Repeat the layers, ending with sugar as the top layer.
  4. Put a lid on the jar and shake the contents.
  5. Shake the jar every day for a week.
  6. At the end of the week the flowers should be dried and the sugar infused.
  7. Strain the blossoms from the sugar if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1 Tablespoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 29Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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

Want more ideas for eating lilacs?

Try these tasty recipes for more ways to eat lilacs in season:

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Suzanne

Thursday 11th of June 2020

My blossoms also turned brown and it smells kind of like coconut oil, not lilac-y. Where did I go wrong?

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 11th of June 2020

I can't explain the coconut oil smell at all. However, if it doesn't smell right at all I wouldn't eat it. Sugar is a pretty amazing preservative so nothing should spoil but be safe.

The blossoms do often turn burnish, they just give up their color but it's not bad per say.

Serena

Thursday 28th of May 2020

I have done this 3 days ago.y flowers are brown and have a pungent kind of smell (they are starting to ferment I think). They are also brown :( did I do something wrong?

Kathie Lapcevic

Friday 29th of May 2020

I've never had them ferment, the flowers do lose color.

Sarah

Sunday 17th of May 2020

Are the blossoms supposed to stay purple? I have tried three times now and they turn brown within 12 hours (not very pretty). The third time I tried laying the blossoms on a sheet tray and putting the sugar over the top so it wasn't so wet. Then I forgot I had set it in the oven and went to make bread and by the time I realized what I had done the oven was preheated. My sugar now smells like soap. I hate to throw it out though. I think I should try a different way to use lilacs lol. I make jelly and love that though.

Kathie Lapcevic

Friday 22nd of May 2020

They will definitely lose color in the sugar. Even when I bake with them in cookies, etc. they lose color.

Hannah

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

How long will lilac sugar last in the pantry?

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 29th of April 2020

At least a year. Sugar is a great preservative.

angela

Saturday 27th of April 2019

A beautiful idea!! I love lilacs!!

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