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Floral Christmas recipe ideas

18th September, 2023

The smell of gingerbread is all around, our summer essentials have been replaced by winter favourites and the sound of jingle bells is almost certainly waiting for you in the next store you visit. It can only mean one thing – Christmas – and all the festive feasting that comes with it – is on the horizon

Whether you’re keeping your eyes peeled for this year’s secret to the perfect roast potato or an ingenious twist on a well-loved classic, food is an essential part of most celebrations and Christmas is no different.

But some ideas stick, and some don’t. This year, we’re sticking with what we know (and love) – flowers. Many of your favourite festive recipes already use flowers in some way, so why not crack open the Christmas cupboards and cook up a storm?


Add rose to your Christmas cake

With deep, warm hues and elegant petals, roses are a firm favourite for Christmas bouquets. So why not double down and incorporate them into your Christmas cake too?

One option is making candied rose petals to decorate the top of your cake – a beautiful (and delicious) arrangement that will knock the Santa hats off your family, friends and guests. To do it, dip rose petals in egg white and caster sugar and leave them to dry for an hour or so.

You can find rosewater in most supermarkets these days. If you can’t, you can easily pick some up online or at a specialist grocer.

So how do you use it? Angela Nilsen adds rosewater alongside sherry, candied peel, lemon zest and spices to her Christmas cake recipe. This simple hack is all you need for a delicate floral finish – and a Christmas cake with a distinctive difference.


Vanilla-flavoured festive biscuits

As we learned with the rose, some edible flowers are more common than you think. Enter vanilla – the elegant orchid lending its delicate flavour to ice creams, cakes and puddings the world over.

When it comes to Christmas, vanilla offers a hint of something special to more robust festive flavours like cinnamon or ginger. It’s also a mainstay for kids’ biscuits, as in Lulu Grimes’ snowflake biscuit recipe.

For the dough, simply cream butter and sugar, stir in flour, beat in an egg and add that all-important vanilla extract. After cooking, decorate the biscuits like snowmen for a great festive afternoon activity – plus a super-cute edible tree decoration.


Rosemary roast potatoes

Rosemary is a great choice for winter wreaths and decorations, and even better for your roast potatoes. This woody herb adds a distinctive savoury note to your spuds – and fills your kitchen with gorgeous aromas too.

The best bit? It’s super easy to use and doesn’t require professional-level chef skills (or equipment).

All you need to do is make roast potatoes like normal. Peel, par-boil, and then fluff up the outer edges of your spuds. Chuck them into some very hot oil (or goose fat if you’re feeling fancy) in a roasting tin. Then, add some chopped or sprigged rosemary and toss it among the potatoes about halfway through the roasting time. This will stop it burning. Add some bashed up garlic at the same time to seal the deal.


Decorate your cakes with holly and festive flowers

Like its close cousin the wedding cake, Christmas cake is all about the decorations. Holly is a common choice (please don’t mistake this for an edible flower), but for a truly Insta-worthy addition to your Christmas table, why not go full-on floral?

Red roses are a great choice to go alongside the green and red ivy. Likewise, you could try poinsettia for an even deeper scarlet shade. Mix and match with pine cones for the ultimate festive decor.

Or why not go edible? You could choose flowers like lavender, nasturtium or hibiscus for a cake decoration with distinctive wintry flavours.


Fried courgette flowers

Courgettes have beautiful yellow petals that are perfect for festive fillings. They’re traditionally eaten in Italy and the Middle East, filled with cheese and herbs and deep fried until golden brown. This year, wow your guests with these next-level nibbles.

You can make sweet or savoury fried courgette flowers. Stuff your savoury version with goats’ cheese, thyme and parmesan. For a sweet treat, you could try ricotta, orange zest and mint.

First, make a simple batter of flour, sparkling water, baking powder and salt. Mix together your filling ingredients and spoon it into a piping bag. Then, heat a deep fryer to 180 degrees and pipe your mixture into each of your courgette flowers. Dip your courgette flowers into the batter and deep fry until golden brown. You can keep them warm in the oven if needed. Sprinkle with salt for savoury or icing sugar for sweet.


Mulled wine

Of course, many classic flavours of Christmas are derived from flowers. Cinnamon, star anise and cloves to name but a few. Are you thinking what we’re thinking?

Why not celebrate all things floral this year with a batch of classic mulled wine. Gently heat red wine on the stove with a cinnamon stick, two star anise, four cloves and some sugar. Finish with orange and lemon zest. For a fabulous floral finish, adorn yours with some dried orange blossom.

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Once you’ve chosen the perfect floral recipe, why stop there? We’ve got a whole host of festive guides to help you make this year the best ever. Check out our guides to: