Miniature Elderflower Cakes made with Elderflower Sugar

I had grand visions of picking great swarms of elderflowers and returning home to concoct some floral cordial. My imaginings were interrupted with the first (and now unrelenting) rain and my great plan was no more. I had heard that elderflower is not to be picked on a rainy day and I wasn’t about to don my wellingtons and test that theory. So instead of making gallons of cordial I baked some elderflower in to my life.
Iced elderflower cupcakes

These little cakes I suppose pay homage to the great elder tree; a plant that doesn’t look like much until it is burgeoning with white flowers and then, if you manage to resist the flowers, festoons itself with beautiful berries. I needed both fresh elderflowers and some cordial for these cakes but try as I might I could not get hold of local elderflower cordial. The elderflowers were relatively easily obtainable, once you’ve negotiated your way through the many cobwebs that is. 


You will need:
1 egg
Elderflower Sugar (see below)
Self raising flour
Elderflower cordial
Icing Sugar

Elderflower sugar

I have seen both rose and violet sugar successfully made and after a few twitterings (of both verbal and the social network kind) I wanted to attempt elderflower sugar. I wasn’t too sure how many elderflower heads I would need but I ended up using four large ones. Don’t forget to shake the flowers before you use them; sieving the sugar before use may not get rid of every unwanted creature that may be clinging to the flowers. I mixed the heads with 1kg golden caster sugar and left it for two days before using it.

Decorated elderflower cupcakes close up

Weigh the egg and then weigh equal amounts of butter, elderflower sugar and flour into a bowl. Beat them together until light a fluffy; I find this always takes longer than I think it will. Put the mixture into mini cake cases until they are about two thirds full. My mix made 18 mini cakes. Bake at 180C for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
To make the icing beat 75g butter, 50g icing sugar and 1 tbsp elderflower cordial together until creamy. I did get the piping bag out for this one; piping icing is extremely therapeutic. As much as I don’t think I’ll ever have the dexterity or skill to ice a perfect wedding cake I like to crack out a nice star shaped nozzle once in a while.

Finished elderflower cupcakes

The cakes were subtle in flavour with just a hint of elderflower. The icing was comparatively intense but glorious. Delicate, floral and sweet these cakes are a must try. As they are mini cakes they cool down slightly quicker so they can be iced sooner and enjoyed promptly. I don’t think many cakes are better than when they still have a slight crust on the outside with the faintest trace of warmth within. Melted icing is no one’s friend but if you ice these at just the right moment a slight trickle of ever so slightly liquid icing is exquisite.


  1. says

    What a coincidence, you are just publishing this. Only today I finished making elderflower cordial. So … only need to put some remaining flowers together with some sugar and I can have a try later this week …

  2. says

    What wonderful little cakes! And great idea to make your own elderflower sugar–I am thinking of doing that with fireweed, a wildflower that goes, well, wild near where I live, and I wasn’t sure of the proportion of flowers to use.

  3. says

    They look lovely – my experiment with elderflower wine last year was a complete failure – babies nappies come to mind…you have restored faith in this exquisite flavour, the elederflower that is…Putting the buttercream on a bit soon, yep may have done, yummy tho’

  4. says

    Wow! What gorgeous photos! I’ve experimented with lots of sugar flavours in my time but elderflower is a fantastic idea, if only I could get my hands on some elderflower! Beautiful cakes, I bet they were delicious.

  5. says

    What a gorgeous idea – and so pretty! I have two big Elder trees in my garden so am always trying to think up creative ways to use the flowers – shall give this a go!

  6. says

    I love this!! I have never had access it Elder flowers but use the dry Black Elder Berries in my kitchen. Terrific post. I love new and interesting as well as creative ideas like yours. Thanks for a great post.

  7. says

    Another lovely recipe with Elderflower which I’m really looking forward to try; Never tried Elderflower but I’m sure I can find them over here in France! Lovely cupcakes that looks so yummy! 🙂

  8. says

    I too have been awaiting sunny weather before gathering the elderflower… want to get my annual batch of elderflower pop started!
    Might try your elderflower suger while I am awaiting the sunshine… cakes sound lush too!

  9. says

    I have never eaten or drunk anything elderflower — I don’t know if we have elder trees here where I live (Northern California). I have made flavored sugars though, with vanilla beans and citrus rinds, and have eaten floral sugars.

  10. says

    Mmmmm….what yummy looking cupcakes! I don’t think we can get elderberries around here, but I’d love to try them 🙂

  11. says

    This looks so so delicious!!I’ve never tried elderflower sugar and I’m very intrigued!!Would love to have a bite right now 🙂

  12. says

    Ah yes, these look gorgeous too. I was thinking I might try some white chocolate and elderflower cupcakes using last year’s elderflower syrup – worried I’m going to miss the elderflower season again!

  13. says

    Must try elderflower sugar… hmm… and I’d better hurry!

    Also, just thought I’d say your photography is getting better and better – the pictures on the last few posts are marvellous.

  14. says

    I noticed some Elderflowers growing through our hedge, not enough for most things, but enough to make Elderglower Sugar! If it would just stop raining.


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