They're just the thing for a spring celebration.
chocolate cakes with pansies
Credit: Raymond Hom

Pansies stand for thought or remembrance, which is fitting: Not only do they make a memorable bouquet or a showstopping centerpiece, but a handful can also take a dessert from ordinary to unforgettable. Pansies and their relatives violas, two common types of edible flowers, have a mild, fresh flavor or a more prominent wintergreen taste depending on the variety and how much you eat. For example, a whole flower tastes stronger than consuming a few petals alone. You should only eat flowers that are grown organically, without chemical pesticides, which rules out almost everything from florists to garden centers and nurseries.

If you plan to consume pansies, look for them at farmers' markets or in the produce aisle of a specialty grocery store. You can also order them from an edible flower source or follow our lead and grow them yourself. Once you stock up, try using the beautiful blossoms in all kinds of sweet treats. Perch a bouquet on top of a cake, bake them into cookies or tarts, candy them until they sparkle, use them to adorn the rim of a drink, and more. Want to incorporate this pretty flower into your next party menu? Ahead, we're sharing our favorite ways to work with edible pansies.

Chocolate Truffle Cakes with Fresh Pansies

Adding fresh florals to your dessert is a simple way to incorporate color and new blooms of the season. As if a rich ganache coating wasn't luscious enough, this triple-decker Chocolate Truffle Cake with Fresh Pansies is topped with the intense jewel-toned flowers.

pansy cookies with tins
Credit: Victor Schrager

Pansy Cookies

Each of these dainty scalloped cookies is decorated with a pansy and a sprinkling of sanding sugar before baking, which turns them absolutely radiant. Pack in elegant tins and gift to family or friends for the perfect party favor.

pansy tartlets edible flowers
Credit: Victor Schrager

Pansy Tartlets

Perfect for afternoon tea, these lemon-curd tartlets have pansies beneath the glossy, clear apricot glaze. Pansy leaves are also scattered across the cake stand, and a little bouquet sits at the center for optimal décor.

watermelon punch pansy
Credit: Victor Schrager

Watermelon Punch

A colorful assortment of pansies floats on top of this icy Watermelon Punch that teams puréed watermelon with white vermouth. More of a slushy than a punch, it makes a light, refreshing dessert during the spring and summer months.

crystallized pansies cake
Credit: Victor Schrager

Crystallized Violas

Candied flowers like these Johnny-jump-ups can make any dessert pretty enough to serve as a centerpiece. The white grid on this magnificent cake was piped with a number two round tip over a smooth coating of lavender buttercream.


Brownie Cupcakes with Sugared Pansies

Brownies get a springtime upgrade with a cupcake form. Add a dash of color and sweetness with delicate candied flowers and lavender-hued white chocolate ganache.


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