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Cooking With Lavender Tips

Updated on January 5, 2017

Culinary lavender compliments many recipes, both sweet and savory. Many cooks skip over this wonderful herb either because it is difficult to find in their area or they think that nothing can taste good if it has flower buds in it. If you’ve never tried using culinary lavender in your recipes before, now is the time to discover all of the wonderful possibilities of this versatile herb.

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Photo by Nic Neish at Dreamstime.comPhoto by Goh Siok Hian at
Photo by Nic Neish at
Photo by Nic Neish at
Photo by Goh Siok Hian at
Photo by Goh Siok Hian at

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Pairing Foods with Lavender

There is a difference between culinary lavender and other types of lavender that is available on the market. Culinary lavender has a mild fragrance and a taste similar to citrus. Culinary lavender has slight differences between the varieties so many cooks will experiment with the various types available before deciding upon their favorites for use in recipes.

The following are a few of the more common lavender varieties used in cooking:

English Lavender- (l. angustifolia ) is favored for its mild taste and citrusy flavor; used in both meat, drink and dessert recipes

Munstead Lavender – (l. angustifolia ) slightly stronger lavender flavor than English Lavender; used in meat, drink and dessert recipes

Jean Davis Lavender – (l. angustifolia ) has a mild, slightly fruity flavor; used in fish dishes, drinks and desserts

Melissa Lavender – (l. angustifolia ) has a slight peppery flavor; used in savory recipes

Provence Lavender(x. intermedia ) a favorite of chefs due to its mild scent and flavor; used in meat and dessert recipes

Lavender Shortbread

Cooking with Lavender Tips

Ready to start cooking with lavender?  The following tips will help you use the herb successfully in your kitchen:

  • Dried lavender is much stronger in flavor than fresh lavender.  One tablespoon of dried lavender is equivalent to 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender.
  • Lavender leaves may be substituted for rosemary in recipes, in equal amounts.
  • Places 3 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers in a Mason jar with one cup of sugar and keep tightly sealed for several weeks.  This makes a delicious sugar that may be used in cakes or cookies or simply sprinkled on top of desserts.
  • Be sure that you buy lavender that is specifically labeled as culinary lavender.  Other types of lavender are cultivated for their scent, and these types will overpower your recipes.  The end result will be perfumed dishes that aren’t at all appetizing.
  • Organically grown lavender is preferred for cooking because it won’t have been treated with chemicals, which are readily absorbed by the plant.  Check with the grower at your farmer’s market or the labels on commercially sold products before purchasing them.
  • Use lavender that has been harvested within the past year for the best flavor.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with this herb.  If you’re unsure how you’re going to like it, use less than the recipe calls for at first.  You may then add more to subsequent dishes as you discover the flavor and aroma that lends to your recipes.



Blueberry, Orange, and Lavender Ice Cream Sandwiches


Submit a Comment
  • RTalloni profile image


    6 years ago from the short journey

    Thanks for this helpful look at using lavender in recipes. Years ago I was confused about whether lavender could even be used in for cooking. This includes great tips!

  • Gerber Ink profile imageAUTHOR

    Charlotte Gerber 

    8 years ago from upstate New York

    Hi Sandyksk, Thanks for dropping by! I'm researching a few lavender recipes to share. I found a real interesting one for lavender shortbread cookies on my recent travels. I'm trying to get the chef to fork it over to share, but if not, I'll experiment until I figure it out!

  • Sandyksk profile image

    Sandy Jauregui 

    8 years ago from Sanger

    I must have the 'scented' variety...I love to pick it, and put a piece in my pocket...I'll have to look for these other varieties...sounds delish! :) Thanks! :)


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