These Spring Flower Jellies are the Bees Knees

Holly Riddle

By Holly Riddle

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As the world reawakens over the spring months, and your flower beds — and likely your yard, too — come alive with blooming buds, you’re likely also starting to harvest those first few springtime veggies from the garden, or headed to the farmers market to see what local eats you can uncover. However, don’t overlook the bounty awaiting in your own yard or those flower beds.

While you might be focused on spring lettuce or asparagus, the dandelions and violets in the front yard, and the lilacs in the flower bed, all make for some tasty treats. These easy jelly recipes show you how to transform spring flowers into a tantalizing topping for your toast.

A close-up view of an open jar of dandelion jelly with a dandelion flower and jelly spread on toast in the background.

Dandelion Jelly

Making dandelion jelly requires only a few ingredients: dandelion petals, citrus fruit, sugar and pectin. So long as the dandelions in your yard haven’t been exposed to pesticides, they’ll work. Essentially, you’ll make a dandelion tea, which you’ll then combine with pectin and sugar, before canning. Dandelion jelly tastes a little floral, bright, and sweet.

(And while you’re harvesting all those dandelions, be sure to use the entire plant. The leaves can be eaten in a salad or however you might use other greens.)

Top view of redbud jelly in a jar.

Redbud Jelly

Redbud trees offer a burst of bright pink-purple color, growing all across the country and blooming in the early spring. The process for making redbud jelly is much the same as making dandelion jelly, but the jelly’s notes are more characteristic of a red fruit — think strawberry or grape — while still floral.

Just as you do when making dandelion jelly, when making redbud jelly, you make a tea first, then combine that redbud tea with pectin, lemon juice, and sugar, before adding it to your jelly jars. You can go the traditional canning route, or just make sure you store the un-canned jars in the fridge, and consume all the jelly within a few weeks.

Violet jelly spread on a biscuit with a spoon in front and a jar of violet jelly in the background.

Violet Jelly

It’s easy to find wild violets growing in most yards. They’re the pretty purple flowers that pop up throughout the spring and summer, often in conjunction with dandelions. These picturesque blooms make for an equally picturesque jelly, with a very light, pink-purple hue that you could never coax out of a strawberry or grape.

Making violet jelly is very easy and, again, requires minimal ingredients: violet petals, water, lemon juice, pectin, and sugar. The end result is slightly sweet and floral.

Rose Petal and Lemon Balm Jelly

If you love the flavor of rose, you’ll love this rose petal and lemon balm jelly. It’s best to use rose petals intended for culinary use, free from chemicals and the like, for this recipe. Combined with lemon balm leaves, lemon juice, and sugar, the result is a dark red, highly flavorful jelly.

Lilac Jelly

Lilacs are unmistakable in both scent and appearance, and this lilac jelly isn’t too far off from the lilac you already know and love. The color is a lovely light pink-purple, and the cooking process requires steeping a lilac tea before you add in your lemon juice, sugar, and pectin. Lilacs offer a flavor that’s very floral, with slight citrus undertones.