Fall and winter are the perfect seasons to spend an afternoon baking a pie and an evening enjoying it with loved ones. While you can’t go wrong with a flaky crust and flavorful filling, sometimes you want to make things extra special. When this is the case, turn to edible flowers!
Adding edible flowers to pies adds a bit of color and keeps things interesting. To get started, take a minute to learn some of the types of edible flowers as well as how to add them to pies. If you’re still unsure about adding flowers to pie, don’t worry! We’re going to give you some inspiration via our favorite floral-topped pies.
Types of Edible Flowers
Before you go grabbing blooms from flower arrangements and adding them to pies, stop. Not all flowers are edible! And some edible flowers don’t work well with pie (you don’t want your pie tasting like dill or cilantro).
To give you an idea of the types of flowers that work well with pie, check out these popular edible flowers. If you’d like to learn about more options, check out our edible flowers list.
Calendula flowers have a round center surrounded by many delicate petals. While orange calendula blooms are the most common, you can also find pink and yellow flowers.
When you add these flowers to food, you can use the whole bloom or pick off individual petals.
If you’re looking to add a bit of flavor as well as color, anise hyssop is your flower. As its name suggests, this purple flower has a sweet, anise (aka black licorice) flavor.
Since the flower spikes are a bit large, you can remove individual flowers to decorate with.
Violas are some of the most popular edible flowers due to their delicate petals, mild flavor, and many colors. Since these flowers are thin and flat, they are perfect for adding to cakes, cookies, pies, and whatever else you can imagine. Cocktails with flowers anyone?
If you think violas look a lot like pansies, you’re not alone. These two flowers are closely related, with pansies being the bigger of the two. Feel free to use both blooms on top of baked goods and salads.
Also known as cornflowers, these round flowers are available in various shades of blue, pink, purple, and white. The textured petals give the flowers a bit of a flattened pom pom appearance. When adding these blooms to pies, you can use the whole flower or pick off individual petals.
Cornflowers are rather mild in flavor with a few spicy or bitter notes.
Adding Edible Flowers to Pies
Now that you know which flowers you can add to pies, it’s time to figure out how to add them.
Before or After Baking
One of the biggest considerations is whether you want to add your flowers before or after you bake your pie. Before anyone tells you otherwise, both of these options can work.
If you want a fresh flower look, add the flowers after you have baked and cooled your pie. Be aware that these flowers will wilt over time, so it’s best to add them right before serving.
Alternatively, you can add your flowers to your pie before baking. If you choose this option, be prepared for your flowers to collapse while in the oven. While they will lose some of their shape, most edible flowers will keep their color through the baking process.
If you really want to get fancy, candy some flowers! Not only does this make the flowers sparkle, but it also preserves them.
To get started with candied flowers, you’ll only need three ingredients: edible flowers, egg whites, and sugar.
Whip the egg whites until they are foamy but not stiff. Once they reach the perfect texture, use a paintbrush to coat all sides of a flower with egg whites. Next, sprinkle sugar to cover the flower.
Once your flowers are fully coated in sugar, place them somewhere to dry. After one to two days, the flowers should be dry and brittle. At this point, you can use them to decorate or store them in an airtight container for up to a year.
Flower Confetti Crust
One way to sneak edible flowers into your pie is by adding them to the crust. By adding little pieces of flowers, you’ll end up with a crust that looks like it’s been covered in confetti.
If you’ve ever made pie crust, you know over mixing flour and fat is detrimental to a flaky crust. Therefore, you’ll want to add the edible flowers to the dry ingredients and mix well. This way, the flowers will be distributed throughout the crust without the need for overworking the dough.
Holiday Pie Ideas
There’s no wrong way to add edible flowers to pies. But if you need some inspiration, check out these floral-topped pies.
Viola Topped Pumpkin Pie
While candy is the main Halloween treat, this spooky holiday is perfect for pie — especially this viola topped pumpkin pie. To get started, make or buy a simple pumpkin pie that’s ready to decorate.
Next, you’ll need some violas (or their larger cousin the pansy). Fortunately, these are common cool weather flowers, so you can find them in gardens or garden centers. Before you go picking flowers to put on a pie, make sure they haven’t been sprayed with any chemicals.
Now it’s time to get creative! If you’d like to go with a classic Halloween color combination, stick with purple and black flowers. Or you can mix it up and select blooms that mimic the colorful autumn leaves.
As far as how many flowers to add, it’s up to you! One appealing option is to apply 10-15 flowers along a portion of the pie’s crust.
Apple Pie with Candied Chamomile
You can’t go wrong with apple pie. Serve it at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or an average Thursday night, and you’re sure to please your guests.
If you’re looking for a spin on a traditional apple pie, add some candied chamomile! Chamomile has a mild flavor that turns delightful once candied. And since it has calming properties, it’s the perfect way to segue into a relaxing evening.
Candied chamomile flowers work well on single-crust and double-crust apple pies, as long as you add them after the pie is cooled.
Pretty Pecan Pie
While ooey, gooey pecan pie is a crowd-pleaser, it isn’t always the most beautiful pie. Edible flowers are here to change that!
Choose your favorite edible flowers, and sprinkle them across the top of the pie once it has cooled. A combination of yellow and orange calendula petals adds a touch of color and fits in with fall colors.
Add Some Flowers to Holiday Pies
Now that you know how to add some edible flowers to pies, it’s time to get baking! By prettying up your pies, you’ll make time with family and friends even more memorable. And don’t think you can’t make a pretty pie for yourself! Order a bouquet for the holidays, put on some music, and spend an afternoon baking a pretty treat. Whether you’re making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving or a chocolate cream pie for New Year’s Eve, consider an elegant garnish with gorgeous flowers.Shop All