Thursday, June 10, 2021

Elderflower Shortbread l Holunderblüten Shortbread

It’s elderflower season (Holunderblüten Saison) again – one of the classic smells and tastes of early summer. These days, you can see those frothy white flowers growing wild all around as well as in our garden and there are countless ways to put them to delicious use.

As every year, I have already prepared Elderflower Cordial (Holunderblüten Sirup), baked Elderflower Bread (Holunderblüten Brot), and made Elderflower Fritters (Ausgebackene Holunderblüten). Today, I decided to bake some elegant Elderflower Shortbread (Holunderblüten Shortbread).

Basically. there are three methods for incorporating the elderflowers’ distinct flavor into the shortbread. First, you can use the elderflower cordial as one of the ingredients, second, you can infuse the baking sugar with bunches of elderflowers and thirdly, you incorporate the tiny petals into the shortbread dough itself. Or, of course, a combination of these natural flavoring methods.

In the past, I just used cordial, but found the elderflower flavor to be rather elusive. Today, my favorite way is to start by making an elderflower infused sugar and then add that and a bunch of the tiny blossoms to the dough as well . The resulting shortbread is perfectly crumbly with a wonderful distinctive flavor and tiny specks of elderflower blossoms. Please note that you will have to infuse the sugar about one hour before baking.

Elderflower Shortbread 


  • 3 elderflower heads, freshly picked 
  • 75g (3oz) superfine baking (caster) sugar
  • 175g (6oz) white spelt flour, plus some extra for the tart pan 
  • 75g (3oz) rice flour 
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, plus some extra for the tart pan

In addition

  • tart/quiche pan with a removeable bottom (23cm/9in)
  • baking parchment


  1. Make sure the elderflower heads are free of insects and any wilted bits.
  2. Snip off the little flower heads, add them to the sugar and stir in. Cover and leave at room temperature to infuse for about 60 minutes.
  3. Butter your baking pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, butter the paper and lightly dust the entire pan with flour, shaking out any excess flour.
  4. Put the elderflower-infused sugar, flours, salt and butter into a food processor and combine for about 30 seconds or until lumps begin to form. OR do this by hand.
  5. Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured baking parchment OR baking mat on your work surface and bring together into a rough ball.
  6. Press the dough evenly into your baking pan – best done with the back of a lightly floured cup measurement or glass.
  7. Prick the top with the tines of a fork or wooden skewer to prevent it from rising while baking.
  8. Wrap well and place in fridge for about 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
  10. Take the pan out of the fridge, unwrap the pan and bake the shortbread round for about 35 minutes or until it just begins to turn golden (you might need an extra 5 minutes baking time).
  11. Remove from the oven on to a wire cooling rack. 
  12. While still a bit warm score the top with a knife into portions.
  13. Once cooled completely, remove from the pan and cut into pieces.
  14. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Holunderblüten Shortbread


  • 3 frische Holunderblütenköpfe
  • 75g feinster Backzucker
  • 175g Dinkelmehl (Type 630), plus etwas für die Backform
  • 75g Reismehl (hell)
  • ¼ TL feines Salz (z.Bsp. Ursalz)
  • 175g Süßrahmbutter, plus etwas für die Backform 


  1. Zuerst den Holunderblüten Zucker herstellen: dafür den Zucker mit den abgezupften Blüten mischen, abdecken und zirka 60 Minuten stehen lassen, um den Zucker zu parfümieren.
  2. In der Zwischenzeit die Tarte Form buttern, den Boden mit Backpapier auslegen, nochmals buttern, mit ein wenig Mehl ausstäuben und das überschüssige Mehl ausschütten.
  3. Nachdem der Zucker ‚parfümiert‘ ist, in einer mittleren Schüssel das Dinkelmehl mit dem Reismehl, dem Salz und dem Zucker mischen, dann die Butter dazu geben und entweder mit der Hand oder in der Küchenmaschine mischen.
  4. Den Tiehg auf leicht bemehltem Backpapier zu einem Kreis fromen.
  5. Den Teig in die vorbereite Tarte Form geben, glatt drücken, das Ganze einwickeln und zirka 30 Minten kalt stellen.
  6. Aus dem Kühlschrank nehmen, auswickeln.
  7. Dann den Teig in Stücke einteilen (mit einem Küchenmesser) und mit einer Gabel oder Holzspieß einstechen und bei 150°C zirka 35 Minuten leicht braun backen (kann auch 5 Minuten länger dauern).
  8. In der Form auskühlen, dann auf einem Kuchengitter weiter auskühlen lassen. Wenn er fast erkaltet ist, die vorgezeichneten Stücke mit einem Messer durchschneiden.

For more seasonal Elderflower recipes, go to:

  • Elderflower Bread (Holunderblüten Brot) (HERE)
  • Elderflower Cake with Strawberry-Elderflower Filling and Elderflower Icing & Elderflower Cordial (Holunderblüten Kuchen mit Erdbeer-Holunderblüten Füllung und Holunderblüten Sirup) (HERE)
  • Elderflower Fritters (Ausgebackene Holunderblüten) (HERE)


  1. Oh, I bet your shortbread tastes amazing! I adore elderberry liqueur, and I'm impressed how you got even more flavor into these cookies. I love that you have access to elderberry blossoms---I can only imagine their magnificent aroma! xo

    1. Dear Liz, elderflower is abundant around here. And there are countless myths, stories and legends that exist around the "magical power" of this plant. For example, it is said that having an elderflower bush in your garden or on your farm will keep all harm away from the house and its inhabitants.
      Take care, my friend! xo

  2. These look so good! I love adding edible flowers and herbs to shortbreads.

    1. DEar Amy, adding elderflower to this shortbread is nice - adds a wonderful flavor that is rather seasonal and reminiscent of green muscat grapes.

  3. I did find an elderflower bush here once... and it was blooming! It is at the cooperative extension garden... maybe they would let me have some to make one of your fantastic recipes?

    1. Dear David, when elderflower bushes are in bloom around here, I know that spring has arrived and with that the season of what seems an endless bounty of fresh fruits and veggies - that always makes me happy. I would send you some fresh elderflowers if I could but some of my recipes like my Elderflower Ice Cream do not require fresh elderflowers but the syrup which can be purchased online.
      Liebe Gruesse,