Elderflowers are by far the most delicious edible flowers, in my opinion. Their smell and taste is simply divine. I love to make homemade elderflower cordial, elderflower Kaiserschmarrn (shredded pancakes) or drinks and cocktails that contain elderflower syrup. One of my favorite recipes had been missing on this blog, until now: Elderflower fritters or “baked elderflowers” – if you would literally translate the German name.
At my parents home, there are four huge elder bushes in the garden. Therefore, it’s not surprising that my family has been using elderflowers and, later in fall elderberries, for cooking a lot. Elderflowers are blooming in May and June, only for a couple of weeks. One of my dearest recipes is the one for elderflower fritters.
We used to eat them as dessert – but when my mom or granny made a huge batch of these, my sisters and I sometimes skipped the main dish since we all have a sweet tooth.
Recipe for Austrian Elderflower Fritters
In a bowl, mix all ingredients for the batter. Heat about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil in a pan over medium heat.
Holding the elderflowers by their stems, dip each elderflower into the batter, then drop them into the pan with the hot oil, flower side down.
Fry until lightly golden.
The bottom side should be golden brown, the batter facing up should at least be solid. Remove from the oil and place them briefly on a paper towel.
Enjoy dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Usually, the fritters are accompanied by a fruit compote like rhubarb or other seasonal fruit. They also taste gorgeous with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 4-5 large heads of freshly picked elderflowers
- 1 large egg
- 70 g all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) beer (I prefer blond lager) *
- Pinch of fine salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine, granulated sugar (optional)
- Neutral tasting oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- * If you don’t want to use beer, you can use sparkling water instead. I highly recommend the beer though.
- Gently shake any dirt or insects off your flower-heads. Do not wash the elderflowers as they will lose a lot of their flavor. Cut the stems but leave about 1 inch of stem for handling.
- In a bowl, beat the egg using a hand whisk. Add half of the beer, salt, and sugar (if using) and mix until well combined. Adding only half of the liquid results in a thick batter that doesn’t give lumps much of a chance.
- Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the rest of the beer.
- Heat about ½ inch of oil in a pan over medium heat. Holding the elderflowers by their stems, dip each elderflower into the batter, then drop them into the pan with the hot oil, flower side down.
- Fry until lightly golden. Remove from the oil and place them briefly on a paper towel.
- Dust the elderflower fritters with confectioners’ sugar and eat straight away, while crisp.
- You can serve them simply dusted with sugar, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or fruit compote. Enjoy!
Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to [email protected] Robert: "I tried these elderflower fritters today. Very interesting. Will have to do next time with fresh flowers." Monika: "Once again, I tried one of your recipes. It turned out fantastic. Thank you so much"
OMG I’ve never heard about elderflowers friies…I knew zucchini flowers, sage leaves but this recipe is new for me.
Thanks for sharing
Hi manu, Yes it’s quite unique. Not a lot of people know about this dish – except Austrians I guess ;-)
Wow, I must try this. Looks delicious.
Thanks so much Simona! They taste wonderful ;-)
can you eat the stems?
Hi Emma, I don’t eat the stems since they are kind of tough and don’t taste great.
Thank you for sharing your recipe! My German mother used to make these when I was a kid, as we had elderberries growing on our farm in Virginia. We thought it was the coolest thing to have pancakes with handles!
Haha, pancakes with handles, so true. I think the same way ☺ These are still one of my favorites!
Definitely do not eat the green stems. All green parts of elder are toxic. While it won’t kill you in small
quantities, no sense eating it. The taste and smell of the green portions also mean you wouldn’t want to eat it.
Agreed :-) Only the flowers in batter are supposed to be eaten. The stems are to hard to eat anyways. Thanks so much for your comment!
Ursula, I am writing a book on elder and wanted to include this recipe and some photos. How can I get permission from you if interested?
Could you please write me an email with more details? Thanks, Ursula
email: [email protected][dot]com
Many years ago I learned about this fritter made with elderflowers from a couple from Argentina. They make these fritters to honor a new bride and groom. Since there are seemingly countless flowers in each bunch of elderflowers, they are wishing the happy couple to have many children.
I keep timing out. This captcha thing does not take into consideration that some people may be old and slow. Please honor your elders. Thanks.
What a beautiful story. I’ve never heard of it. Thanks for sharing it here.
And: So sorry about the captcha thing. I didn’t know….. I have to look into that and hope that I can fix it. Thanks for letting me know. Ursula
If I had looked this recipe up and found you, I would have given a taste of childhood to a dear man who recalled this dish from his mother’s kitchen. I sensed the deep meaning Hollundeblueten had for him but I never knew the delight until I smelled elderflower liqueur. I missed the chance to delight him but now, will incorporate this into our tradition. The step-by-step photos really help and look forward to following auf Deutsch.
So happy to hear that! Hollunderblüten are so tasty in my opinion. If you are looking for another recipe, you can try the elderflower Kaiserschmarrn (https://www.lilvienna.com/austrian-kaiserschmarrn/, only in English) or Elderflower Syrup (https://www.lilvienna.com/homemade-elderflower-syrup/, also in German, see tasteoftravel.at). But I guess elderflower season has come to an end – but you can try next year.
Thanks for your comment and I hope you’ll try some of the recipes, Ursula