How to Cook with Rose Petals (+ Rose Sugar Recipe!)

Dried edible rose petals have a musky and floral aroma and are such a joy to use in the kitchen. They are a very popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking and also that of the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

dried edible dried rose buds in a white bowl
Dried Edible Rose Buds
dried edible rose petals
Dried Edible Rose Petals

Dried Edible Roses

Dried edible roses come in two forms: buds and petals. They make a wonderful addition to your pantry staples, for adding just that touch of class to your cooking and presentation.

If you’ve been following me a while, you know I use them A LOT!

More often than not, they complete the picture, both tastewise and aesthetically, in Middle Eastern desserts, see the gallery below. But I also use them in Indian recipes, in rice dishes and most definitely in drinks.

Dried Edible Roses have a delicate floral and musky aroma that enhances whatever dish they are used in, whether that’s sweet or savoury.

ground dried edible rose petals
ground dried edible rose petals

How to use Dried Roses?

Edible roses can be used in many different ways. But firstly, you must ensure that they are of the edible variety.

Organic is always better, like the organic roses I grow for making rose syrup in the summer. However, that’s not always possible, so just make sure that what you are buying clearly states edible. This is because pesticide requirements differ for items meant for decoration purposes.

So dried roses can be used as:

  • dried rose petals (as they are)
  • ground petals
  • dried rose buds
Dried Rose Sugar
Rose Sugar

Use Dried Rose Petals:

  • stirred through biryanis, pilaus, couscous and any other grains
  • added into cake, brownie and cookie dough/batter before baking
  • added to jellies and panna cotta
  • in ice cubes (add before freezing)
  • in cocktails and mocktails
  • as a garnish on all of the above and many Middle Eastern and South Asian desserts (see below); you can also crystallise them first
  • can also be used to make jams but I personally think that fresh is much better for this
  • for a light, floral tea, sweetened with honey or even better, our rose sugar below
  • ground, to make rose sugar, and added to desserts or as garnish

Homemade Rose Sugar makes a great Foodie Gift too!

Dried Rose Buds can be used:

  • to decorate cakes and desserts, not really meant for consumption
  • in ice cubes
  • to make tea, as dried rose petals

There you have it, all the ways we can use dried roses in the kitchen. And below are only a few of the recipes on LinsFood that use them.

Recipes using Dried Edible Rose Petals and Buds

Mahalabia Recipe – Middle Eastern Milk Pudding
Mahalabia recipe, quick and easy, chilled, make ahead Middle Eastern milk pudding, flavoured with rose water or orange blossom water.
Updated March 2023.
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mahalabia Middle eastern milk pudding in champagne saucer topped with crushed pistachios and rose buds
Halawet el Jibn (Levantine Sweet Cheese and Semolina Rolls)
Halawet el Jibn recipe, a heavenly Levantine dessert made of sweet cheese and semolina rolls drizzled in rose scented sugar syrup.
Last Updated March 2023.
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pouring sugar syrup on Halawet el jibn on a glass tray
Persian Saffron Rice Pudding (Sholeh Zard)
Persian Saffron Rice Pudding or Sholeh Zard, in Farsi, is a rice pudding without milk, flavoured with saffron, rose water and cardamom.
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If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor.

Lin xx

edible dried rose buds in a white bowl

How to use Dried Edible Rose Petals PLUS Rose Sugar Recipe

Find out how to use dried edible rose petals and rose buds in your kitchen PLUS bonus EASY DIY rose sugar recipe!
5 from 10 votes
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Course: Ingredients
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, South Asian
Keyword: edible flowers, edible roses, rose sugar
Servings: 8 (8 teaspoons)
Calories: 16kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • spice or coffee mill
  • OR pestle and mortar
  • small spice jar for storage


As a Topping meant to be consumed

  • 2 Tbsp dried edible rose petals (not buds) the amount is as required by your recipe

As Decoration (not really meant for consumption)

  • dried edible rose buds as needed amount as required by your recipe

Homemade Rose Sugar

  • 8 tsp white sugar (caster or granulated)
  • 1 tsp dried edible rose petals or 2 tsp for a stronger flavour


As Dessert Topping

  • Rose petals can be used whole to garnish foods, but grinding them first allows you to enjoy them better. Whole rose petals can sometimes resemble dried pieces of paper, when bitten into. Just tastier!
    Place the petals into your spice mill and grind to a fairly fine powder.
  • Scatter this rose petal powder over desserts like mahalabia, rice pudding, halawet el jibn and layali lubnan.
    Can also be scattered on rice dishes like biryani, pilau and Persian rice dishes like Morasa Pulao. And also savoury dips like raita and this Persian Yoghurt Dip.
    Mahalabia in champagne glass, white dessert photo

As a Garnish

  • Top your desserts (see post above for examples) with the rose buds. Use 2-3 buds per serving, so they can be easily removed.
    Persian Saffron Rice Pudding decorated with dried rose buds

Homemade Rose Sugar

  • Place the rose petals into your coffee or spice mill and grind to a fairly fine powder.
  • Place the sugar and ground rose petals into a small spice jar and use when needed. Will keep indefinitely, although like spices, its aroma will mellow out after a few months.
    I've given you a very small amount in this recipe. Increase the sugar as you like, and be sure to do the same with the rose petals.
    Dried Rose Sugar


Nutrition is for the Rose Sugar, and is for 1 teaspoon.


Serving: 1teaspoon | Calories: 16kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
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16 thoughts on “How to Cook with Rose Petals (+ Rose Sugar Recipe!)”

  1. 5 stars
    That’s a wonderful post on how to use rose petals.. I liked the idea of making rose sugar which I can add lend a flavourful aroma to my phirni and rice kheer.. thanks for this sharing this detailed post.

  2. Hello!

    You mention you can add dried rose petals to brownies. How many spoonfuls would you put into a batch of say 12 brownies?

    Thank you! Love your recipes!

    1. Hi Tess, 2 tsp will be a good amount to use. Be sure to grind them up a little so they blend in with the brownie mix better.
      And thank you, I’m pleased to hear that you enjoy the recipes here.

    1. Hi Ad, yes, you can. You have 2 choices. You could release the petals and grind them as per the instructions. Or you could place a handful of the bulbs with some sugar in a jar. This second method isn’t instant, you’ll need to let the buds infuse the sugar over at least a couple of weeks.

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks Lin,, this was a very interesting article. I read it before making the yellow rice pudding and am so excited about using dried rose more!

  4. I’m thinking of trying Ottolenghi’s Pan-fried sea bream with harissa and dried rose petals on top. I’ve bought the edible rose petals. They seem rather hard and I am wondering if I should do something to soften them first?

    1. Hi Jackie, as soon as the rose petals are wet, they’ll get soft, if a little chewy. But my suggestion for using rose petals when you actually intend to eat them (as opposed to just as a decoration), is to grind them up in a spice mill or chopper to a semi fine or coarse powder. That way, you can enjoy the flavour and aroma without feeling like you’re eating nice smelling paper!
      Let me know what you think of the recipe. I have never been a fan of the combination of rose and fish, so I’m be curious to see what others think. I also don’t own any Ottolenghi books, so don’t know the recipe personally.

  5. 5 stars
    I can NOT wait to try your Rose jelly and rose sugar recipes, as well as, many of your other ones. I am happy I found your site and will be looking at it often and will look forward to receiving e-mails from you!!!

  6. 5 stars
    Beautiful clicks! And such fab ideas to use rose petals! I love the pairing of chocolate and rose but never tried adding them to brownies. Will definitely do that very soon!

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