Dandelion flower recipes take the fresh spring flavor of dandelion petals and incorporate them into drinks, desserts, remedies, salves, soaps, and more. Dandelions are incredibly useful, and tasty! Learn to enjoy this fresh spring flower.
While dandelions get a bad reputation as an invasive weed, they’re actually edible flowers, and believe it or not, they’re quite tasty.
At this point, most people know that dandelion greens are edible, as you’ll sometimes see them for sale at health food stores. The problem with those is that they’re bitter, so most people assume that every part of the dandelion plant must taste the same.
Dandelion flowers are very different than greens, and they have a sweet floral flavor that’s absolutely spectacular. Dandelion petals taste like honey, or perhaps it’s better to say that honey tastes like dandelions, depending on how you look at it.
One of the simplest ways to enjoy them is homemade “dandelion honey,” which is simply dandelion syrup made from sweet honey-flavored petals. This can be used as a vegan honey replacement in any recipe that calls for honey.
I know that just eating flowers from your yard might seem a bit strange, but edible flowers were once a lot more common than they are today. Historically, they were a way to add color, flavor, and nutrition to an otherwise bland diet; in the case of wildflowers like dandelions, they’re free.
Believe it or not, dandelions are a superfood, high in vitamins and antioxidants, and have some impressive medicinal benefits.
If you are looking for tasty dandelion recipes, I’d strongly recommend starting off with dandelion flower recipes instead of recipes that use leaves or roots. They’re much more beginner friendly.
On our 30 acres, we could harvest a tractor-trailer load of dandelions each spring without really denting the population. We’re basically dandelion farmers…so when life hands us dandelions, we make dandelion wine!
(And cookies, and soda, and cake…well, you get the idea.)
For those of you worried about saving the dandelions for the bees, harvesting the flowers actually does just that. When you harvest dandelion flowers before they go to seed, it actually stimulates the plant to produce more flowers. This is a process known as “deadheading,” and florists are well accustomed to this process. It’s a way to get more flowers out of a single plant that would otherwise just stop blooming once it sets seed. If the plant loses a blossom before it sets seed, it sends up several more in its place. As a bonus, if you harvest the flowers in the mid to late afternoon, the bees will have already visited…and then you’re encouraging the plant to produce even more blossoms. It’s a win for everyone!
How do Dandelion Flowers Taste?
Dandelion petals have a honey-like, sweet flavor; dandelion jelly tastes like you are eating honey. The trick is to harvest young dandelions because mature blossoms taste more bitter. However, they still contain just as many nutrients. I save mature blossoms for medicinal remedies or skin problems rather than consuming them in salads and other dishes.
Yellow dandelion petals are rich in vitamin A, and they are sweet; try a few straight out of your yard. It’s fun to sample edible flowers, but be sure not to include the green sepals in the recipes you create. They taste bitter and will change the flavor of whatever dish you want to create.
Dandelion greens are edible as well; they are nutritionally dense, full of vitamins. Believe it or not, a half-cup of dandelion greens contains more calcium than a glass of milk. There goes the idea that the only way to get calcium is to drink milk!
Since the greens are bitter, however, we’re starting with the mild, sweet dandelion flowers that are perfect for beginning foragers and a favorite of children everywhere.
Dandelion Flower Medicinal Benefits
While all parts of the dandelion plant have medicinal benefits, we are focusing primarily on the flowers, and they have plenty of uses. These flowers treat a variety of ailments, from chapped skin to digestive problems.
Dandelion flowers offer many heath benefits, and some experts suggest that dandelions are a potential treatment for different cancers. We know the flowers contain mild analgesic properties (pain relieving), which means these flowers work great for aches, pains, and sore muscles. They’re also frequently used for treating skin irritation and other topical issues.
Let’s look at a few medicinal benefits of the dandelion flowers you find in your backyard. You may be surprised just how useful these little “weeds” really are!
Stimulates and Promotes Healthy Digestion
Are you having trouble with your digestive system? Dandelions act as a mild laxative and encourage healthy digestion. Taking this flower will stimulate your appetite and balance the bacteria in your gut.
Some studies indicate that dandelions increase Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, two bacteria found in probiotics that help with gut health. If you want to skip your daily probiotics, try adding dandelions to your diet to reduce bloating and gassiness.
Heals Minor Skin Injuries
One of the most common dandelion medicinal benefits is healing minor skin injuries. You can use dandelion flowers to heal cuts, scrapes, and minor burns. It’s also useful for moisturizing dry and chapped skin, and you can use it in place of triple antibiotic cream for minor issues.
Dandelions contain phytochemical compounds that contain anti-inflammatory properties. Taking dandelion orally may decrease inflammation throughout your body. (Study)
Helps with Female Health
Women often face various health problems like hormonal imbalances, and dandelions contain nutrients that support your body’s natural detoxification system. You can use dandelions to treat hormonal problems and recurrent mastitis.
Since evidence indicates that dandelions reduce inflammation and treat infections, it is a great herb to use for abscesses that happen with mastitis. Another benefit of using dandelions is that they act as a natural diuretic, flushing out excess body water. It will help relieve fluid retention and bloating associated with PMS. (Study)
Helps Treat Urinary Tract Infections
Dandelion blossoms contain high levels of antioxidants, and when combined with the anti-inflammatory properties, this backyard weed is great for battling infections. Studies show that dandelions help kick urinary tract infections, in particular when combined with uva ursi. (Studies)
Support Blood Sugar Regulation
Studies show that dandelions may normalize blood sugar levels. Studies utilizing animals suggest the compounds in dandelions aid the secretion of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. (Study)
Preparing Dandelion Flowers
Harvest dandelions on a sunny, dry day when the flowers are open. They’re much harder to work with when they’re closed, as most dandelion flower recipes have you remove the sepals (green parts) from the flowers. Be sure to only select dandelions that grow in a spray-free area; you don’t want to consume sprayed dandelions!
Try to only harvest what you need for a particular recipe, as they don’t dry well. If you do want to keep dandelion flowers for later use, clean them completely and remove the petals from the blossoms, and then freeze the petals. Dried whole dandelion flowers don’t tend to work well in recipes, but frozen flower petals work great.
There are a few dandelion flower recipes that use whole flowers, sepals and all. Things like dandelion-infused oil and infused vinegar. But for the most part, dandelion flower recipes actually mean dandelion petal recipes.
You’ll need to carefully remove the yellow flower petals from the flower itself, discarding the sepals and green parts. This can be time-consuming, but it’s a great way to spend time enjoying spring breezes on the porch with friends. It’s also faster if you enlist the kids!
Dandelion Flower Recipes
Dandelion flowers are edible right off the plant. If your toddler decides to take a nibble while you are outside in your backyard, don’t freak out – as long as you don’t spray your property with herbicides! Sending kids outside to harvest and gather flowers is a great way for them to learn about foraging and spend time outside in the sun.
The greens are the bitter part of the plant, especially if using mature flower blossoms. Be sure to take the time to remove the greens when using these in the recipes if you want them to turn out right!
Dandelion Flower Desserts
Dandelion petals are sweet and honey-like, which makes them the perfect addition to many different desserts and sweet treats. You can be creative when cooking with the petals. Add them to your batter and mixes; they won’t alter the flavor too much, so don’t be scared to give them a try.
Toss flowers into your pancakes, cookies, and muffin recipes. It’s fun to try new recipes, but if you need some ideas, here are some fun ways to use dandelion flowers in dessert recipes.
Dandelion Cookies & Bars
Cookies and bars can be made with either fresh dandelion petals, or with the inclusion of “dandelion honey” (dandelion simple syrup) in place of honey-sweetened recipes.
Simply including dandelion petals is easier, of course, since dandelion honey-based recipes would need to be done in two steps.
- Dandelion Shortbread Cookies
- Dandelion Flower Butter Cookies
- Lemon Dandelion Cookies
- Dandelion Peanut Butter Cookies
- Dandelion Lemon Bars
- Nettle Seed & Dandelion Blossom Energy Bars
Most dandelion candies use dandelion honey or simple syrup as a base, or at the very least, they make dandelion tea and then cook it into some form of candy.
Sweetening dandelion candies with sugar only enhances their honey taste.
Dandelion Pie and Ice Cream
I have this idea that someday I’ll make a “Dandelion Cream Pie” using dandelion petals in place of coconut in a classic coconut cream pie recipe. I’ve already made the filling once, and it came out wonderfully…now I just need to put it together into a finished pie.
Dandelion ice cream is one of my childrens’ favorites, and it’s the main reason they spend spring days picking blossoms outdoors.
Dandelion Cake and Cupcakes
Like cookies, dandelion cakes are made by including dandelion petals in just about any cake recipe.
They add color (like Funfetti cakes) and wonderful flavor.
Dandelion Baked Goods (Muffins, Pancakes & Bread)
While not exactly desserts, there are many baked goods and breakfast foods that work really well with the sunny flavor of dandelions.
Dandelion muffins and bread are a great way to incorporate plenty of flavor, without as much sugar as dandelion desserts.
- Dandelion Muffins
- Lavender Dandelion Muffins
- Dandelion Blossom Honey Butter
- Banana Dandelion Pancakes
- Dandelion Sourdough Pancakes
- Quick & Easy Dandelion Flower Bread
- Homemade Dandelion Bread
Dandelion Preserves (Jam, Jelly, Syrup, and Marmalade)
Our Vermont winters are long, and sometimes I need a little pick me up to remind me that spring will come again.
On those days, I reach for dandelion jelly and spread a sunny layer on my morning toast. It doesn’t make the snow go away, but it does bring a smile to my face.
Dandelion Flower Drinks
Foragers know that dandelion roots work to create a coffee replacement, but we are focusing on the flowers. Dandelion flowers make delicious, sweet drinks! Dandelions are perfect for summer drinks since the flowers capture the perfect summer flavor.
The sweet, floral flavor with notes of honey are great for all sorts of drinks.
Whether you want to take a few months to make homemade dandelion wine – a favorite of ours! – or make some family drinks, here are some flower drink recipes you will love.
Dandelion Wine, Mead, and Cordial
Meads and wines are some of the oldest dandelion flower recipes, and they’ve been made since antiquity.
Cordials are a bit easier, since the petals are just infused in alcohol, and the alcohol is already made.
Dandelion Tea, Lemonade, and Soda
You can make virgin dandelion drinks too!
- Dandelion Coffee Substitute
- Dandelion Lemonade
- Dandelion Blossom Tea
- Fermented Dandelion Soda
- Dandelion and Fennel Kombucha
- Iced Lime Dandelion Tea
- Dandelion Tea Latte
Savory Dandelion Flower Recipes
Most people associate dandelion flowers with sweet recipes because they have a honey-like taste.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them in savory dishes as well!
Dandelion Flower Remedies, Soaps, and Salves
One of the best ways to tap into all of the ways to use dandelion flowers is to make herbal remedies like infused oil, salves, soaps, and more. These uses help to soothe and heal chapped skin, ease sore muscles, and reduce body pains.
We make jars of dandelion-infused oil to create salves and body butters. After working for hours in the garden and around the homestead, dandelion salve is great for your sore muscles and chapped hands.
Here are some dandelion flower remedies to consider making.
- Dandelion Flower Infused Oil
- Dandelion Flower Tincture
- Cough Syrup with Dandelions and Plantain
- Dandelion Infused Honey
- Dandelion Flower Salve
- Dandelion Shampoo Bar
- Bath Bombs with Dandelion Flowers
- Dandelion Soap with the Whole Plant
- Honey & Dandelion Soap Recipe
- Homemade Dandelion Sunscreen with Coconut Oil
- Crock-Pot Dandelion Soap
- Dandelion Lip Balm for Dry & Chapped Lips
- Dandelion Lotion Bars
- Dandelion Magnesium Lotion for Muscle Aches
- DIY Fine & Dandy Facial Serum
Dandelion Flower Crafts
Even if you’re not planning on eating dandelion flowers, you can still use them in fun crafts!
Looking for more fun spring foraging guides?
- Foraging Morels
- Foraging Dryad’s Saddle
- Foraging Chickweed
- Foraging Ramps (Wild Leeks)
- Foraging Fiddleheads
- 60+ Dandelion Recipes