How to Make Sugared Flowers: Dainty Decorations for Your Spring and Summer Baking

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Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and so are these candied flowers!

Vertical image of cupcakes decorated with thick pink frosting and garnished with candied blooms.

Ah, don’t be so disappointed – you know I think you’re sweet, too!

If you want to add a new technique to your basic cake decorating skills (sprinkles can only do so much), consider these sugary edible garnishes as your new spring/summer obsession.

Vertical top-down image of a brown bowl of white sugared rose petals on a slate next to a whole rose.

Use sugared flowers to beautifully adorn cakes, brownies, and cookies. Everyone will admire the dainty and delicate decorations, crisp and sparkling from a light coating of granulated sugar.

I’ve used them as a garnish on cupcakes – a couple rose petals on top of light pink buttercream transforms a cupcake from a simple party favor to an elegant, almost ethereal dessert.

Vertical top-down image of an assortment of pink cupcakes on a white background with assorted candied flowers as garnishes next to whole pink roses.

And for those of you with green thumbs who have flower gardens at home (have fun on our sister site, Gardener’s Path!), you might already have a beautiful source of blooms you can use.

Here’s the biggest precaution, though – make sure you use blossoms that are safe for consumption!

Whether you are using your own plants, or if you are purchasing from a store, ensure they are not dyed artificially, and are grown organically – no pesticides, no herbicides, no chemical treatments!

Some are inedible, or can be potentially poisonous when eaten in larger quantities. I didn’t find out until after I decorated my first batch of cupcakes with candied hydrangeas that they are not meant to be eaten!

Vertical image of a brown bowl with candied white rose petals.

Sure, they may look pretty, but they shouldn’t top your next sweet treat.

Disclaimer: No one was harmed in the making of my first batch of cupcakes… except for my pride. Lesson learned.

Vertical top-down image of a few cupcakes topped with pink frosting and sugared flowers on a white towel next to roses.

Roses and violets are just a couple among the many pretty edible blooms you can eat. Other smaller varieties that would be cute as decorations are dandelions, pansies, and violas.

Vertical image of a vanilla cupcake with pink icing, surrounded by candied white rose petals.

Consult this thorough list of edible flowers for more options.

Pick some pretty plants from the garden, and make these decorations now for your next batch of baked goodies!

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Horizontal image of a pink cupcake on a white stand with white petals.

How to Make Sugared Flowers


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 25 individual flowers/petals 1x

Description

Tired of decorating with sprinkles? Try something new for spring and summer with these dainty and elegant edible sugared flowers.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 25 edible rose petals or flowers, stems removed
  • 1 large pasteurized egg white

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg white for just a few seconds without frothing the egg.
  2. Working with one flower or one petal at a time, brush a very fine layer of egg wash over the back and front of the flower or petal with a small paintbrush.
  3. Place the sugar in a shallow bowl. Using tweezers, gently transfer the coated flower on top of the sugar. With a spoon, sprinkle a fine layer of sugar over the top of the flower, and very gently press down to ensure the sugar will stick to both sides.
  4. Using the tweezers, gently pick up the flower and lightly tap on the side of the bowl to remove any excess sugar.
  5. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining flowers and petals, and transfer to the baking sheet, leaving enough space in between each sugared flower.
  6. Let the sugared flowers stand uncovered at room temperature for at least 8 hours, or overnight, until dry and hard to the touch.
  7. Store the sugared flowers in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature for up to one month.

  • Category: Candy
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: Dessert

Keywords: cake decorating, sugared flowers, candied flowers, candy

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep the Flowers

Horizontal image of a gray plate with individual pink petals on a white towel.

If using roses, remove the individual petals from the rose. One rose will typically yield about 20-25 petals.

If using other flowers, remove them from the stem, as close to the petals as possible without separating them.

Set aside on a large plate.

Step 2 – Lightly Whisk Egg White

Horizontal image of a fork whisking egg whites in a white bowl next to roses on a white towel.

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg white for just a few seconds without frothing – you’re simply breaking down the structure without incorporating any air to make it easier for brushing.

Use pasteurized eggs to lower the risk of any foodborne illnesses potentially caused by raw eggs. Pasteurized egg whites sold in a carton will also work.

Step 3 – Brush the Petals

Horizontal image of applying egg whites on a single rose petal on a white plate with a brush, next to a gray plate with more petals.

Work with one flower or one petal at a time for this step.

With a small paintbrush, brush a very fine layer of egg white over the back and front of the flower or petal. Work on a plate for this step to give yourself more control. You can use clean tweezers to help switch front to back.

There are two reasons why you need to ensure you are coating with a very fine layer:

  1. If there is an excess amount of liquid, the sugar will just dissolve into it without sticking, and it will not dry properly.
  2. With the smaller, more delicate petals of certain flowers, too much egg white will destroy the petals.

Step 4 – Cover in Sugar

Horizontal image of a pink petal on top of a white bowl of sugar next to a white plate with brushes and a gray plate with more petals.

Place the sugar in a shallow bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Use tweezers to gently pinch the coated petal and place on top of the sugar. With a spoon, spread a fine layer of sugar on the top. Gently press down to make the sugar stick on both sides.

Horizontal image of a petal being covered in sugar by a metal spoon in a white bowl next to a white napkin and pink rose petals.

Using your tweezers, pick up the flower and gently tap it on the side of the bowl to remove any excess sugar. Place the coated flower on the prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with the other flowers or petals, leaving enough space between each one on the baking sheet for them to dry properly.

Horizontal image of sifting small clumps of granulated sugar.

After sugaring a few petals, you will need to sift the granulated sugar to remove any large clumps. You don’t want those large bits sticking to your pretty decorations!

Step 5 – Dry and Store

Horizontal image of a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper with candied pink petals.

Let them stand uncovered at room temperature for at least 8 hours, or overnight, until dry and hard to the touch.

Horizontal image of a plate of pink rose petals on a white towel next to roses.

To quicken the drying process, you can use a cooling rack instead of a baking sheet pan to get more airflow on the bottom.

Horizontal image of one pink cupcake with two rose petals on a white cake stand above other cupcakes with assorted sugared flowers.

Once dried, use them for decorating, or store for later use. You can store the sugared flowers in single layers in airtight containers at room temperature for up to one month.

Beautiful Blooms – What Will You Choose?

With spring nearing full bloom, you’ll soon have a beautiful variety of edible flowers for sugaring!

Carefully go over the list of what you can and cannot use before you start the process. Don’t be like silly little me… do your research, readers!

Horizontal image of one cupcake on a white stand with pink icing with white decorations in front of more cupcakes.

What will you choose? And how will you decorate with them? I’d love to get all of your fun ideas – be sure to leave me a comment below.

And if you can’t take your eyes off the beautifully tinted pink buttercream on the cupcakes, we can’t blame you. It’s gorgeous! We used the all-natural, plant-based pink food coloring from ColorKitchen.

For more tips and tricks for taking advantage of all of nature’s bounty in the warmer months, take a look at some of our helpful articles:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best cheesesteaks, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

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