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Lilac Sugar

Recipe Level: Easy Recipes

Here's a simple yet elegant way to brighten baking and drink recipes by using homemade lilac sugar. Lilac flowers bloom in the spring, make jars and store lilac sugar until the following season

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* For best results, read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Lilac Sugar

As I press the crystals of sugar and the little purple blooms between my fingers the room fills with the sweet floral scent of lilacs. I feel grounded when I embrace quite moments like this; picking tiny little flower buds, one by one making something new and sweet.

Lilacs are one of my favourite spring flowers. On our drive to the lake you can find fields and fields of wild lilac bushes –  their scent fills the air. My eyes brighten with excitement as it’s just about the most spectacular thing I’ve seen in a while.

I long for the beautiful drives in the countryside because they remind me of my years spent living in the country where I had my very own lilac bushes growing in the back. I never once had the idea to make lilac sugar back then (of course, why would I?!!). But my parents have a bunch of lilac trees at their home so I thought this year would be a wonderful time to experiment with some new recipes using lilac sugar.

Lilac Sugar
Lilac Sugar


Lilac sugar is a simple yet elegant way to brighten baking and drink recipes. You can fill glass jars of lilac sugar and keep them stored until the following season. Their delicate fragrance absorbs wonderfully into the sugar crystals. If you are able to get your hands on some beautiful lilac flowers you can start jarring and sugaring them now. You should leave your lilac sugar for a week to let the flavours absorb into the crystals before using it.

  • Fresh Lilac Blooms
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Mason Jars

How To Use Lilac Sugar

  • Sweeten tea or make summer cocktails with a spoonful of the sugar. To make a simple syrup dissolve the sugar in hot water.
  • Rim a glass for a summer cocktail.
  • Sprinkle on top of sugar cookies.
  • Use as you would use plain sugar in baked goods; like cakes and cookies for a delicate lilac flavour. Simply replace granulated sugar with lilac sugar at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Make lilac whipping cream to dollop on scones and desserts (or strawberry shortcakes). Add sugar to whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form.

How To Make Lilac Sugar

Step One: Pick lilac blooms and trim leaves and brown spots. Check for any bugs or little critters and give each lilac a good shake. I like to pick lilacs after a rainfall as they have been freshly washed by nature.

Picking Lilac Flowers

Step Two: Pick flowers off their buds. In a large bowl add sugar and lilac flowers together.

Step Three: Using your fingers rub the flowers into the sugar to release the oils. Add lilac sugar to a glass jar and leave for one week for the flavours to be fully absorbed.

Lilac Baking List

I hope this post inspires you to look differently at how to combine nature into your cooking and baking. Happy Baking!

Before and after picture (after 1 year of storage)

Lilac Sugar

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.5 from 2 reviews

A simple yet elegant way to brighten baking and drink recipes. Lilac flowers bloom in the spring, make jars and store lilac sugar until the following season.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x
  • Category: Baking & Drinks
  • Cuisine: French


Units Scale
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lilac flowers (stems removed)
  • 1 glass jar


  1. Pick fresh lilacs and give them a good shake. Check for any bugs or little critters (I picked my lilacs after a fresh rainfall).
  2. Pick flowers off their buds and remove any green leaves, stems or browning flowers.
  3. In a large bowl add sugar and lilac flowers together. Using your fingers rub the flowers into the sugar to release the oils.
  4. Add lilac sugar to a glass jar and leave for one week for the flavours to be fully absorbed.
  5. Use lilac sugar in baking or to sweeten tea or cocktails.


The sugar will clump together as the lilacs will give off moisture; every few days shake the jar to break the sugar up. The flowers will start to brown as well.  Don’t panic, this is completely normal! 

You can make as much or as little lilac sugar as you’d like, and you can add more or less flowers depending on the floral strength you prefer.



  • Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
  • Calories: 47
  • Sugar: 12.5g
  • Sodium: 0
  • Fat: 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 12.5g
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 0
  • Cholesterol: 0

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I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie


When do lilac flowers bloom?

Lilac flowers bloom in the spring to early summer. They typically start to bloom when they can receive approx. 6 hours of sunlight a day and the air is still cool; May to June.

How long will lilac sugar last?

Lilac sugar will last a very long time, approx. 1-2 years depending on the moisture content in the jar. The sugar acts as a preservative but the flowers give moisture to the sugar. Check sugar around the 1 year mark before using.

What is lilac sugar used for?

Lilac sugar can be used in many ways and is most commonly used to sweeten cocktails, tea, herbal drinks and baking. There are many recipes that use lilac sugar in replacement of regular sugar which will give earthy floral notes to baking and cooking such as blackberry lilac compote and lilac shortbread cookies. It can also be used to make your own body scrub.

What does lilac sugar smell and taste like?

Unlike the floral bouquet that lilacs give, their taste is very different from their aroma. They have an earthy taste somewhat bitter with a slight floral scent. It is not as one expects and is more of an acquired taste.  

You may also like:

How to Make Sugared Fruit

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3 years ago

Hi! Your recipe says to rub the flowers and sugar together to release oils. Am I crushing the flowers? Thanks!

Alexandra S
Alexandra S
2 years ago
Rating :

I made this but I think it was a huge fail, not because of the recipe or instructions, I simply failed to get the flowers at their prime and when I made the lilac sugar it didn’t smell “lilacky” but instead, it smelt more like a hay bail. My flowers also instead of being white and purple turned brown after like 72hrs in the sugar. Needless to say, I WILL try again but with better prime flowers. I’m determined to make the lilac cookies on this blog. (I feel like good lilac flowers are like avocados, brief window to get em while they’re good)

1 year ago

Is it possible to add too many flowers? I’m on day 4 and things seem more than clumpy. I wish there were pictures somewhere of this stage. Do I maybe add more sugar? S.O.S

1 year ago
Rating :

I had so much fun making this sugar. I’m now in the waiting stage but can’t wait to use it in some recipes. I’m thinking about making ice tea with it!

Colin Jones
Colin Jones
1 year ago

I would like to make this recipe for cocktails but I live in Parkdale, the west end of downtown Toronto. Where would I go for lilacs….? I live on the 9th floor of a 9 story building, what should I do?

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Alie Romano



I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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