elderflower cupcakes

Elderflower cupcakes taste like a picnic in the British countryside on a sunny afternoon! If that doesn’t inspire you to bake these pretty cupcakes for Mother’s Day, spring celebrations, or afternoon tea, perhaps the light texture and elderflower buttercream will!

Elderflower Cupcakes

Floral elderflower paired with Meyer lemon is a classic pairing, and the flavors shine in these lovely treats. Baked until golden, the warm cupcakes are brushed with elderflower syrup to infuse them with flavor. Once cool, swirls of elderflower frosting and sugared flowers add the perfect finish!

Elderflower Cupcakes

How to make sugared flowers

Sugared flowers make a beautiful finish to spring and summer desserts! To make them, you’ll need meringue powder, superfine sugar, and edible (pesticide-free) flowers.

  • Whisk the meringue powder with water until dissolved, and use a pastry brush to gently and evenly coat the flowers.
  • Sprinkle flowers with superfine sugar and let dry on a baking sheet (about 4-6 hours) before using to decorate desserts.
  • Sugared flowers can be made ahead of time – simply arrange them in a single layer in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
Elderflower Cupcakes
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Elderflower Cupcakes

Elderflower Cupcakes

  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 48 minutes
  • Yield: 16 cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Elderflower cupcakes are perfect for spring! Flavored with elderflower cordial, these pretty and delicious cupcakes are topped with elderflower frosting!


Sugared Flowers

  • 2 tsp meringue powder
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar, divided
  • edible flowers


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (see note below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

Elderflower Syrup

  • 2 Tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 1 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

Elderflower Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 1/2 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice


  1. For the sugared flowers, combine meringue powder and water in a small bowl, whisking until meringue powder has dissolved. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons superfine sugar. Working with one flower at a time, use a pastry brush to lightly brush meringue mixture over the entire surface of the flower. Sprinkle with superfine sugar and transfer to baking sheet, arranging flowers in a single layer. Let stand until dry (about 4-6 hours at room temperature).
  2. For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with baking cups. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy; beat in Meyer lemon zest and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Combine buttermilk and Greek yogurt in a small bowl. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture).
  4. Divide batter evenly among cups (about 2/3 full) and bake for 18 to 19 minutes, until cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare elderflower syrup. Combine elderflower cordial, Meyer lemon juice, water, and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove syrup from the heat.
  6. Remove cupcakes from oven and transfer pans to a wire rack; use a pastry brush to brush tops of cupcakes evenly with elderflower syrup. Let stand for 5 minutes, then carefully remove cupcakes from pans and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. For the buttercream, beat butter, salt, and vanilla in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until smooth. Mix in powdered sugar on low speed 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add elderflower cordial and Meyer lemon juice and mix in on low speed until smooth.
  8. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting over cooled cupcakes and top with sugared flowers.


To make your own cake flour: Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in an empty 1-cup measure, then top up with flour. Sift the mixture several times to evenly distribute the cornstarch.

Keywords: Elderflower, Elderflower Cordial, Meyer Lemon, Cupcake

More spring desserts you’ll love:

Classic Hummingbird Cake
Meyer Lemon Cream Puffs
Meyer Lemon Layer Cake

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  1. The last time I had an elderflower dessert was at a royal wedding party! Your cupcakes are perfect for Mother’s Day!!

  2. Absolutely beautiful and I love the elderflower flavour going on here 🙂

  3. What a lovely and delicate flavor combination, Laura. Those sugared flowers are just beautiful!

  4. What a pretty and delicate cupcake. Sugared flowers are so much fun to make and will definitely make the cupcakes a special treat for any mother.

    1. Hi Jackie, I used elderflower cordial by Belvoir Farms. If you’re based in the US, it’s available at Whole Foods, World Market, and Kroger. You can also find it online. Hope that helps!