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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. 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


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


  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:



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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Thursday 1st of June 2023

I'm thinking something went wrong, too warm maybe? As the sugar smells really bad and the lilac flowers are brown. I'm in Minnesota and we're in the midst of record-setting high temps.

Kathie Lapcevic

Friday 2nd of June 2023

It could be that it fermented...


Wednesday 17th of May 2023

Do you leave the lid on all week? Or do you remove the lid? It is so wet! I’m afraid it’s gonna mold or something. I’m on day 4 and gave it a taste- so far it does have a very faint floral taste, I’m excited to finish the week.


Saturday 6th of May 2023

Do not wash your lilacs! Even though I put them in a salad spinner then on a towel and dried for more than an hour my sugar still got lumpy. Other recipes do not mention washing them. That's why I think people's sugar is getting rancid smelling or fermented.

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 6th of May 2023

My lilac bushes are full of birds at all times, walking all over the flowers and branches, not to mention bugs. I'm going to wash, but people are welcome to do what they want.

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?


Monday 30th of May 2022

@Mama Tried, I put a coffee filter over my jar and a ring. Works perfect. You can still shake it with out a problem.

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

I haven't had this problem and I do just seal it with a regular lid so that I can shake it every day.


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.


Thursday 27th of April 2023

@Kathie Lapcevic, the scent of lilacs is too delicate to transfer to an oil, especially if it has a scent of its own. Lilacs are a long-lost medicine known for being astringent, high in volatile oils, and a bitter. This combination made it suitable for ceasing cycles of recurring disease and illness, as well as being antimicrobial, antibiotic, purgative, encouraging to gastric juices for proper digestion and assimilation, a respiratory tonic, and drying to excess mucous production. I’m an herbalist and lilac is one of my favorite medicinal revivals.

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.

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