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Cooking With Culinary Lavender: What Does Lavender Taste Like?

Culinary lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright

Culinary lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright


If a healthy mix of sugar and spice would make your day nice, consider cooking with lavender.

The tiny purple flowers of the lavender plant lend food a unique, spicy kick. When added to a recipe, lavender is a surprise. The taste of lavender attention-grabbing — the exact opposite of the calming, relaxing sensation that the scent of lavender supposedly enhances.

Culinary lavender used as a cupcake topping / Photo by E. A. Wright

Culinary lavender used as a cupcake topping / Photo by E. A. Wright

English lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright

English lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright

English lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright

English lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright


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No spice lover should skip culinary lavender. That's especially so for spice fanatics who like a dash of hotness in their desserts.

If you think mixing a bit of pepper into chocolate is an amazing idea, or if you absolutely adore the ginger in gingerbread cookies, you might really enjoy cooking with lavender.


Culinary lavender is nothing too exotic. It's simply a mix of dried lavender buds that have been treated like food, rather than like something that might go in a sachet and never pass human lips.

In theory, culinary lavender comes from lavender varieties selected primarily for flavor.


At first bite, lavender tastes exactly like it smells: a little bit like evergreen, a little bit like like mint, a little bit like rosemary and a little bit like flowers -- spicy flowers. Lavender is surprisingly peppery.

If, after sampling a piece of dried lavender, the taste seems too overpowering, don't give up on lavender forever. You might still enjoy a hint of lavender in your food. Try it in a sweet sauce or in honey.


  • Chocolate
  • Lemon
  • Blueberries
  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Cream
  • Vanilla
  • Thyme
  • Bay
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  • Ice creams
  • Cookies
  • Spice mixes
  • Stews
  • Sauces
  • Decorative toppings for baked goods
  • Flavored sugars
  • Salad dressings

Culinary lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright

Culinary lavender / Photo by E. A. Wright


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Yadi Kusmayadi from Bekasi on December 11, 2013:

I never think before that lavender could be more attractive for the food. Great article here

toomuchmint on June 18, 2012:

I love the idea of lavender buds as a cupcake topping. The purple makes such a delicious contrast. Thanks for the ideas!

craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on February 20, 2011:

Very intersting article, I've heard that one can cook with lavender but have never tried it.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on June 08, 2010:

I love how it looks, and the idea of using culinary lavender sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing

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