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Learn how to make homemade lilac sugar. This is such an easy way to preserve the taste and scent of lilacs to enjoy all year.
Lilacs have always been my favorite spring flowers. We have a huge lilac bush in our backyard that provides us with lots of edible blossoms every year.
One of my favorite ways to use lilac flowers is to make homemade lilac sugar and it’s just about the easiest thing you could ever make.
Really, it’s simply mixing lilac flowers and sugar in a mason jar or container and letting it steep. This simple process of making lilac sugar lets you infuse the delicate scent of lilac into the sugar so you can enjoy a little taste of spring anytime you like.
You’ll enjoy adding this flower-scented sugar to your favorite baked it’s perfect for adding to sugar cookies or sprinkling over cake icing and so much more.
But there are a few things that can go wrong even though this recipe is so simple. Don’t miss my tips that will help you avoid the common problems of making flower sugars.
How To Make Lilac Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup lilac blossoms
Step 1. Pick Your Lilac Flowers
The first thing to do is to head outside and pick some lilac flowers. Make sure to pick from bushes that are healthy and haven’t been sprayed with anything.
After picking give the flowers a few shakes to help remove any dirt or bugs hiding inside.
If you want you can give the flowers a light rinse in cold water. After washing lay the flowers out on a towel to dry completely before adding them to your sugar. It’s very important that the flowers do not have extra moisture.
Step 2. Remove Blossoms
The green stems and leaves of lilac plants can bring a bitter taste to your recipes. So it’s a good idea to remove the flowers from the stems before using them.
The easiest way I’ve found is to simply hold the flowers above a bowl and gently pull on the blossoms. The lilac petals fall right off and land into the bowl.
Another option is to cut the flowers, it works fine but takes a bit longer.
Step 3. Combine Sugar And Flowers
Next, you’ll want to select a container to make your lilac sugar in. My favorite to use are canning jars as I always have lots on hand.
Place 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar in the bottom, then a few tablespoons of lilac flowers. Continue alternating layers of flowers and sugar until you have used both up.
This helps to coat the flowers in sugar so they don’t stick together as much in the jar.
Step 4. Shake And Let Sit
Give the jar a good shake and then place it into a cool, dark place.
Later in the day shake the jar again, you’ll want to shake the jar every day until your sugar is ready. Shaking is an important step, if you skip this your sugar will harden into a lump as it absorbs moisture from the flowers.
Let your lilac flowers sit in the sugar for 24 hours then test the sugar. If it tastes the way you like then it’s done.
You can let the sugar and flowers sit for as long as 7 days but if you live in a humid area you might have trouble with the sugar going bad if you let it sit past 2 days.
Step 5. Strain And Store
As the flowers sit in the sugar they will start to fade in color and turn brown, this is normal. You can leave them in the sugar or strain them out. I prefer to strain my lilac sugar.
The easiest way to remove the flowers is to sift them through a fine-meshed strainer.
If you decide to leave the flowers in but don’t like the look of the brown flowers, you can pulse the sugar in a food processor until the flower blossoms have blended in.
Pour the sugar into a container and place it in a cool, dark, dry place.
What Does Lilac Sugar Taste Like?
Lilac sugar has a mild floral taste, it’s not strong or overpowering. When using it in drinks or dusting cookies with it you will notice a soft floral perfume that reminds you of spring.
But the smell and taste of the sugar is not as strong as fresh lilac flowers.
What Is Lilac Sugar Used For?
You can use lilac flower sugar in the same way you would use normal white sugar, it simply adds a mild lilac flavor to your recipes.
Some fun ways to use lilac sugar:
- Roll sugar cookies in it.
- Sprinkle it on top of cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.
- Use it to make a sugar crumble on muffins.
- Add it to herbal teas.
- Use it to make iced tea.
- Dissolve it in water to make a sugar syrup for drinks.
- Make a lilac sugar body scrub.
How Long Does Lilac Sugar Last?
Properly dried lilac sugar will last for 1 year when stored in a cool, dark, dry place.
Tips For Fixing Lilac Sugar That Is Too Wet
If your flowers have a lot of moisture in them you might find that the sugar keeps clumping together.
There is an easy way to fix this.
After steeping the lilac flowers in sugar for a day, spread the sugar mixture onto a parchment-lined baking tray.
Bake at 200 F for about 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it cool before adding to a new storage container.
The heat will help to dry up the sugar and keep it from clumping as much. If you find the sugar is to hard after heating just give it a few pulses in a food processor before storing.
Some years I find I need to do this and other years it’s not necessary. It could have a lot to do with the growing conditions of the flowers and how humid it is in your home.
If you find your sugar is getting too hard you can also add a sugar saver to the jar. These little terracotta pieces are so handy for keeping sugar soft.
More Lilac Recipes
- 1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup lilac blossoms
- Pick fresh lilac flowers from a clean and unsprayed area. Shake to help remove any bugs. Optionally you can rinse the flowers then let them dry before going further.
- Holding the flowers over a bowl pull or cut off the flowers from the stems.
- In a mason jar place 3 tablespoons of sugar on the bottom, then 2 to 3 tablespoons of lilac flowers. Continue alternating layers until you've used up all the flowers and sugar.
- Place a lid on the jar and shake well. Then place it into a cool, dry, dark place. Shake the jar at least one more time later in the day.
- Let the sugar sit for 24 hours then taste. If you like the taste your sugar is ready, if you want it to taste stronger let it sit for another day. Just be careful not to let it go bad.
- Optionally strain the sugar through a fine-meshed sieve to remove the flowers. The flowers will turn brown and if you decide to leave them in you can pulse them in a food processor to blend them into the sugar.
- Lilac sugar will last for 1 year when stored in a cool, dark, dry place.
- If the sugar is too wet and sticky spread it out on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake at 200F for 5 minutes. Then cool and place into a storage container.
- If your sugar gets too hard give it a few pulses in a food processor then put it into a container with a sugar saver.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 48Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate, this information is for informational purposes only please consult a nutritionist for more information and guidance.
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.