8 Delicious Desserts Featuring Edible Pansies

They're just the thing for a spring celebration.

chocolate cakes with pansies
Photo: 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? We're sharing our favorite ways to work with edible pansies.

Pansy Cookies

pansy cookies with tins
Victor Schrager

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

pansy tartlets edible flowers
Victor Schrager

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

watermelon punch pansy
Victor Schrager

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 Violas

crystallized pansies cake
Victor Schrager

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

brownie cupcakes martha bakes cupcakes
Mike Krautter

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.

Edible-Flowers Cupcakes

Edible-Flowers Cupcakes
Con Poulos

Swap faux frosting flowers with real ones. Top these classic, buttercream-frosted vanilla cupcakes with pansies, violas, or other edible flowers—perfect for a springtime affair. This batch makes 35 cupcakes.

Spring Lemon Cake

lemon cake
Mikkel Vang

This lemon cake recipe from Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of the "Mad Hungry" cookbook series, will bring bright and tart flavors to your spring gathering. Although this lemon cake recipe calls for edible borage as a garnish, pansies are an easy swap here.

Chocolate Truffle Cakes With Fresh Pansies

chocolate cakes with pansies
Raymond Hom

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, these triple-decker Chocolate Truffle Cakes with Fresh Pansies are topped with the intense jewel-toned flowers.

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