Lilac simple syrup is sweet and citrus-y with plenty of floral hints. It’s amazing to add to homemade popsicles, cocktails or spring time cakes for a refreshing and unique taste.
It is a super cool and almost forgotten important life skill is to be able to use the things around you to thrive. Why not use those fragrant blooms to make these lilac recipes for your spring and summer baking. I promise, you’re going to feel like some kind of powerful wizard!
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Like many of us, I am a 20 something on a tight budget. I like affordable ingredients that are still delicious. And you know what’s better than affordable ingredients?
That’s right, free ingredients.
There’s so much edible goodness around us. And lots of it doesn’t cost a penny.
Where I live there are huge lilac bushes on almost every corner. Why let those beautiful bloom go to waste when I have 3 lilac recipes to preserve summer just a little bit longer?!
If we get creative, we quickly realize how much free shit is all around us especially in the summer.
Many flowers are not only edible, they also provide health benefits and unique flavors to desserts and summer drinks.
A Few Fun Facts about Lilacs
Lilacs are part of the olive family. (I know, whaaaa?)
Typically lilacs bloom every other year, but you can force them to bloom annually.
Lilacs was used medicinally in the 19th century to help treat malaria and rid the body of parasitic worms. (The OG de-wormer).
Like lavender, lilacs can help reduce anxiety and depression and is used in aromatherapy as a calming scent.
Amazing recipes that are even better with Lilac:
Summer Pound Cake
Where to Find Your Edible Flowers
As I said, I really love the free flowers. The lilacs I got for all of these recipes were picked from my grandma’s house. Her backyard is just full of bushes so free lilacs are abundant!
I have also bought flowers from Lowes or other garden centers so that I can have lots of edible flowers like pansies and carnations all summer long.
Normally I don’t suggest using cut flowers, because there’s a lot of pesticides + preservatives on commercial bouquets. And those pesticides and preservatives are hard to get completely off the flower so that it’s safe to eat.
HOWEVER! I have been informed by a fellow baker in my area that Costco’s flowers are actually quite low in pesticides if cut flowers are the way you want to go. (These are the flowers many bakers use for topping cakes and such).
But still. Cleaning your flowers is a super important step. There are a couple ways to clean them to rid them of bugs, dirt, and/or mild pesticides.
Cleaning Edible Flowers
- For both methods, fill a bowl halfway with warm water. Add your lilacs to the bowl.
- For method one add 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
- For the other method, add 3 tablespoons of vodka or another high proof alcohol.
- Swirl the flowers around and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Then, using a fine mesh strainer like this one, drain the flowers and rinse them well under more warm water.
- Pat dry with a clean dish towel and you’re ready to start making your lilac recipes!
Why do I have to take off the green parts?
The greenery makes the extract super bitter almost deeming it unuseable. It’s gross.
Lilac syrup is perfect for drizzling over some Sunday morning pancakes, crepes, or waffles.
(Honestly it makes a great dipping sauce for these Pancake Bites for when you’re on the go too)!
It can also go in cocktails and iced teas. I will say that this syrup is a bit thicker than normal simple syrups that you’d usually use in drinks. If you want the perfect cocktail simple syrup, decrease the sugar by one cup and keep everything else the same!
My favorite way I’ve used it is in this Lilac Lemon Pound Cake. Holy crap it’s amazing!
Lilac Syrup FAQs
Why do we add the blueberries?
100% Lilac syrup doesn’t have the most appetizing color. Tbh it’s the color of pee. Which, I mean, whatever floats your boat, but I think the blueberries make this much more appealing, don’t you? I mean most of us do eat with our eyes first, especially in the Instagram age.
But do the blueberries affect the taste?
Not really. I can’t tell the difference because we use so few. These really are just more for the coloring of this lilac recipe!
Why do I need to stir continuously?
Stirring the sugar and water continuously while the sugar dissolves is crucial. By stirring you are helping to better break down the sucrose into a smaller molecule.
Thus, when the syrup cools, it will stay smooth rather than crystallizing again and leaving you with a gritty syrup. #science
Why do we take off all the greenery?
Removing all the greenery is super important because the green stuff is bitter AF.
Making Lilac Simple Syrup: The Major Motion Picture
Lilac Simple Syrup
- 2 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups lilac flowers clean and off the stem
- ¼ cup blueberries (depending on how deep of a purple you want)
- In a medium saucepan combine your water and sugar. On medium heat, continually whisk your sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and the solution is clear.
- Add your lilacs and blueberries. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes before removing from heat and straining the syrup into a jar.
- As the syrup cools, it will thicken. Leave in the fridge overnight for best results.
- Use in your favorite summer drinks, over pancakes, in baked good, etc. One jar can last up to 3 months in the fridge.
Other Lilac Recipes You Can Try
If you have extra lilacs left over, but aren’t feeling up to making more lilac recipes ,don’t let them go to waste! Besides putting them in a little vase to fill your apartment with fragrant smells, try a couple other ideas!
Dry the petals
It’s a great way to be able to safely gift your infused honey around the holidays to friends and neighbors.
This is also great for out of season baking. Lilacs are plentiful in the dead of winter but that doesn’t mean you won’t be craving some summer flavors.
You can technically rehydrate the petals or use dried petals for decoration on cakes and other baked goods.
You can also make your own lilac body scrub for a luxurious shower.
Lilac is a unique and tasty flavor that is great to use when you want to shake things up with your baking creativity. Decently versatile and not overpowering, lilac is a subtle and interesting addition to most of our citrus summer treats.
Did you guys enjoy this article? Would you like me to do more posts on how to use edible flowers in the kitchen? Let me know in the comments!
And since you’re already here, why not check out some of our other awesome spring recipes to keep your sweet tooth satisfied.
Sharing is caring! Do you know someone who would needs to try these unique lilac uses? Share it with them!
See you soon, friends!