Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Chocolate Viola Cupcakes

A little while ago I decided to do a bit of research on edible flowers. I was pleased to discover that violas are among the edible group, as they are one of the few flowers I have growing at the moment
So I was so happy the other day when I noticed that my three little Viola plants were covered in blooms. I knew I just had to bake something so that I could use the flowers to decorate!
Whilst I was waiting for the flour to grind I decided on some simple chocolate cupcakes.

I bake with a lot of organic and natural ingredients. White sugar and it's processed relations are banned in my kitchen, so it can be tricky finding ways to make my sweets look pretty. Using fresh flowers are the perfect solution and add a touch of novelty too!

I'm now planning on expanding my Viola plants into a bed, and perhaps I will add some other varieties too.

Here are a few tips for using fresh flowers to decorate your baked goods:

  • Pick your flowers once you're ready to serve, otherwise they might wilt if you decorate ahead of time.
  • Don't wash your flowers if using something as delicate as a Viola, as you could damage the leaves. Simple carefully look them over for any spots of dirt or tiny bugs.
  • Only use flowers that you have organically grown yourself. Don't use the flowers off plants you purchased at a nursery as they could have been sprayed or fertilised with artificial chemicals.
  • Flowers are beautiful and you want them to be the centrepiece of your deocrating! Use simple methods of decorating to allow your flowers to shine. For my cupcakes I simply whipped some pure cream, dolloped it onto the cupcakes and then placed two or three Violas in the centre of the cream.
  • Different flowers have different flavours. I found Violas perfect for sweet cooking with their vanilla-like flavour. Something a bit spicy like a Nasturtium is more suited to savoury food. 
If you have any tips for working with fresh flowers in either sweet or savoury cooking, I'd love it if you'd share them in the comments below!

Sarah x


  1. They are beautiful Sarah!!! I would love to know what you use instead of sugar....honey??? You are so inspiring! I hope the farm is going well! Nicole xoxo

    1. Thank-you Nicole :-)
      We do use honey & we also use a non-refined cane sugar called Rapadura - we only buy the organic version which can be costly so we get it through a local 'co-op'. Rapadura is basically just what's left over after the sugar cane juice has been evaporated, sometimes it's listed as an ingredient as 'evaporated cane juice'. All of it's nutrients are left in tack, in many ways this sugar is actually beneficial. It has a caramel flavour and is behaviours in a similar way to brown sugar. It's not very easy to dissolve so I tend to use honey in things like icings, etc. Biscuit recipes that are based on icing sugar and butter are a thing of the past now :-)

      Hope this helps!
      Sarah x

  2. Hey Sarah ... wow, they look amazing. Bet they tasted fabulous too. Love the presentation. :)

  3. Gorgeous cupcakes Sarah! We are trying out different sugars too. I used raw castor sugar the other day in some banana cupcakes I made for the kids. I looked at the supermarket to see what other types of sugar they had and I found coconut sugar. I also bought some organic panela. I haven't used either of them yet. I use demerara sugar in my coffee. I love the smell of the raw sugars. Simone xx

  4. This is absolutely beautiful! I'm pretty into edible flowers too. I have nasturtiums which I use in salads and as cupcake toppers, I think I need to plant some viola now.

  5. Ooh, these look yummy - I'd never thought of using real flowers as toppers before, it's a lovely idea. Thanks for linking me up. I posted from my iPad but couldn't get it to link so was going to do it when I got to my PC, so thanks again :-) Hope you're having a lovely week, xx

  6. They look so very beautiful! Thank you for sharing! Liz x


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