Foraging & Cooking with Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections!

For me, the heady sweet almond-like fragrance of plum is the very essence of spring.  Standing beneath their sensual pink and rose flower-laden branches on a sun-warmed afternoon is an absolutely swoon-worthy experience. Sadly underutilized as a culinary ingredient, plum blossom has a unique flavour which infuses beautifully in cream, syrups and processes into a delightful floral sugar – making everything it touches taste like spring. 

Over the years I’ve made everything from plum blossom cordial, plum blossom chocolate truffles (both dark and white) plum blossom pannacotta and plum blossom infused vinegar – wonderful in a fresh salad garnished with a few blossoms!  

Plum Blossom Chocolate Truffles

Right now I’m at work creating new recipes which will be available shortly in the Spring Equinox Edition of the Gather Cookbook for Gather Victoria Patrons). But meanwhile, in this post, I’m going to share info about this lovely spring bloom, i.e. how to identify and cook with it! I want us all to share in the glorious bounty of Purple Plum! And it won’t be here for long! 

The following creations will give you some inspiration on the different ways you can use plum blossom. And it always starts with the basics. Like grinding blossoms directly into granulated sugar, and then infusing others in cream.

I used a lot more than this – but the pictures were so pretty!

From this, a variety of confections followed beginning with the Pissardii Plum Blossom Almond Cookies. I infused the blossoms of both in cream and used plum blossom sugar (with blossoms ground directly in) for the frosting. Oh. So. Good.


In the second version, I used plum blossom icing sugar (instead of granulated) then sieved the blossoms out. I also added the infused cream to icing sugar to make the glaze.

This heavenly Plum Blossom Pudding also uses almond as a base and is very loosely inspired by the delicious Indian pudding, Phirni. Instead of the traditional rice, I used almond flour, but kept the cardamom. Also added a sprinkle of rose sugar for garnish.

This is the same Plum Blossom Almond Pudding, but to the left, you’ll see I infused the milk and cream in Prunus x blireiana, a hybrid between the Pissard Plum and Prunus mume, which features double, rather than single, flowers. The pudding itself is garnished with Pissardi Plum Blossoms! (You’ll find all these recipes in the Gather Victoria Cookbook for Patrons) 


There are so many varieties of plum, and the wild plum with white blossoms is divine. In Victoria, there are many varieties of flowering plums with both green and purple leaves (Prunus cerasifera) and they line block after city block in our urban neighbourhoods. In early spring, they feature abundant white to varying shades of pink flowers depending on the variety. Often known as Cherry Plum, some bear fruit that is positively luscious. These are a few of my foraged purple plum finds last summer.

Plum blossom is often mistaken for cherry blossoms, which isn’t a surprise as both are members of the Prunus family, along with almonds, apricots, peaches and nectarines. Cherry blossoms are known to have a definite split or notch at each petal tip, while plum blossoms always have a rounded petal tip.  

These are plum blossoms.
Cherry Blossoms: Note the notch at the tip of each petal.

Plum blossoms bloom first and cherry blossoms tend to bloom later. Both are edible so if you make a mistake don’t worry. But the biggest distinguishing factor as far as I’m concerned is that plum blossom tends to be highly scented while cherry blossom is not!

More purple plum blossoms…

Which is odd as there is a whole culinary tradition devoted to Cherry Blossoms (the Japanese eat them pickled, salted, and baked into innumerable jellies, puddings, cakes, teas). Korea is the only place I’ve found a tradition of eating plum blossoms. Maehwa-cha (plum blossom) is a tea made by infusing dried flowers of Prunus mume in hot water. In early spring, half-open buds of plum blossoms are picked, dried, and preserved in honey. Plum blossoms also feature in Korean maehwajeon, pan-fried sweet rice cakes, with honey as an ingredient. YUM.

Here in Victoria, the most common purple leaf flowering plum is Prunus cerasifera ‘Pissardii’, it features nearly pure white flowers or just the faintest blush of pink (far left above). These were planted in 1890 after its discovery by Mons. Pissard, gardener to the Shah of Persia. Other common cultivars are Prunus cerasifera ‘Atropurpurea” and ‘Thunder Cloud’ or ‘Nigra’ with blossoms ranging from white to decidedly pink (third from left), Prunus x blireiana, a hybrid between the Pissard Plum and Prunus mume features double layers of blossoms (second from left).

Probably the easiest thing to make with plum blossoms is Plum Blossom Vinegar. Just fill a jar with the blossoms and buds with vinegar and let sit a couple of weeks. Then along with few fresh blossoms toss in a salad!

Or make a cordial or infuse your blossoms in spirits – then mix with your cordial – you’ve got plum blossom liqueur! This year I made Plum Blossom Peda and Burfi (a kind of milk fudge) which were absolutely wonderful!  A rich, creamy and delicately scented treat.

Gather from trees whose blossoms are newest and have not yet budded fully. (I’ve noticed their scent fades once they begin to put their energy into leaf growth.) Pinch off the blossoms at the base of the stem, and be sure to include plenty of unopened buds as well. Remove as many stems as possible and make sure there isn’t any branch material. Also, this is important, make sure to remove all the leaves no matter how small, as they contain trace amounts of hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous compound, also found in almonds.

I can find no specific warnings (unless you’re a cow or a cat) regarding consuming Prunus blossoms, but it’s possible the blossoms also contain trace amounts of the toxin. And so consumed in excess, they could be harmful. I have consumed copious amounts of plum blossom chocolates and cordial each spring with no ill effect – but that said – please be forewarned and use your own judgement. 

I use fresh blossoms immediately and store a few branches in a beautiful vase of water if I’m going to be using them later. Below are Plum Blossom Petit Fours – recipe coming soon for Gather Patrons! Meanwhile here’s to the coming of Spring! And Plum Blossoms!2020-03-05



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Whether its through wildcrafting, plant medicine, kitchen witchery or seasonal celebrations, I believe we can enhance personal, community and planetary well-being by connecting with mother nature!

17 thoughts on “Foraging & Cooking with Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections!

  1. I have a beautiful ornamental plumb in my backyard, transplanted from my mothers. I’ve long wondered if I could use the entrancing blossoms in edibles. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. OMG, I cannot express my gratitude for your exquisite posts, photographs–not only informative but poetry for the soul. I adore flowers and using them in edible ways…beyond words-beautiful. I made a raspberry chocolate cake yesterday with strawberry-dark chocolate ganache and a white chocolate drizzle infused with roses and hibiscus–the cake and cream were sprinkled with ruby-pink hibiscus dust. Divine. I can’t wait to explore you posts thoroughly. Lilacs are also my favorite–do you have any posts on those beauties? I love them sprinkled on homemade chocolate. Blessings and beauty to you and many thanks!

    1. Thank-you so much!!! Your recipe sounds AMAZING. Wow. And sounds so beautiful too! We do have recipes for Lilac, just go to the search bar and enter Lilac – it should come right up! xox

  3. I just moved to California and the plum trees are blooming here–it’s new for me, I’ve never lived anywhere with so many plum trees! I’d like to try making the vinegar–would you use white wine vinegar for that?

  4. Your posts are gorgeously delectable enough that I don’t have to bake anything to feel delighted and appreciative – your visuals are so fabulous that I can ‘taste, smell’ experience your recipes without having to physically make or eat them! You are a true artist in every sense of the word. THANK YOU for sharing your brilliance with us.

    1. Thank-you so much! But I hope you still go out and treat yourself to their breathtaking beauty!

  5. Have you ever experimented cooking with apricot blossoms? They smell lovely but don’t taste so good.
    I have come across a bounty of them and would love to utilize them some way, and may experiment with some of these ideas.
    I deeply appreciate your posts and recipes. They inspire me to use what is all around me! Thank you!

    1. Thank-you! Not sure about Apricot blossoms, have never used them. They sound lovely but I’d recommend a bit of research on their edibility before going ahead as I don’t really know anything about them! Good-luck!

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