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How to Make Lilac Sugar

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Lilacs are one of the most wonderful parts of spring. And yet, they are also so very fleeting. Thankfully, we can save them by making lilac sugar.

Lilac recipes are a great way to save those gorgeous edible blooms for later in the year. Lilacs have a delicate, floral flavor that adds dimension to many sweet treats.

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.

A canning jar full of sugar and lilac blossoms sitting next to a stem of lilac flowers on a table with text overlay stating: how to make lilac sugar.

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.

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.

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

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 any dirt and bugs.

After rinsing, let them sit on a towel for an hour or more to remove any surface water before proceeding. Extra water in the sugar is not a good thing so do make sure they are dry before adding the layering.

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.

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

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

Do know that the color will fade as the blossoms sit in the sugar. They will not be that vibrant purple color after a week – that doesn’t mean anything bad is happening, it’s just part of the natural process.

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.

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

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.

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.

More Recipes with Lilac

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

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.

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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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Mama Tried

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

Do you cover the jar with a lid or do you let air escape? Like with cheeseloth? I'm having the rancid flowers after a few days experience. The flowers were dry. The jar is lidded. I'd imagine sealing is causing it maybe?

gloria

Sunday 25th of April 2021

Hi, Kathie, Have you ever made lilac infused oil? Is that even a thing? What if you used an oil with little scent of its own? Do you think the lilac scent would come through? Does it have any medicinal value? Thanks.

Kathie Lapcevic

Monday 26th of April 2021

I have not made lilac infused oil - I'm not 100% confident the aroma would come through but there's no harm in trying a small jar. There's no medicinal benefit that I'm aware of - there could be of course just I haven't read about it in my studies to date.

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.

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