What could be more luscious (or Victorian) than a buttercream-frosted layer cake decorated with little candied violets? Where do you find wild violets? Here in Virginia I find mine in a corner of the back garden where the dogs don’t go. I have purple, yellow and gray violets. The grays are known as Confederate violets around here, where we’re still fighting the War Between the States.

Making candied violets is an easy and satisfying project, and the finished product will wow your friends and neighbors. I’m going to give you the sugar and water recipe (which I find easier than painting the flowers with egg whites)!

Pick about 40 violets, keeping the stems long. Put them in a colander and gently run water over them. Allow them to dry on papers towels.

Once the little flowers are dry, put one and a half cups of water and one cup of white granulated sugar in a sauce pan, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. With a pair of clean tweezers, dip each flower into the sugar water syrup, place on a sheet of waxed paper and sprinkle with fine sugar on all sides. (I just run my sugar through a blender or food processor since castor sugar is a tough find in the country.)

Snip off the stems and put your violets in a cool, dry place to dry (not in direct sun).

Store your candied violets in a clear glass container that’s airtight for up to a month. Use them to decorate cakes or eat them like candy!

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