Litha: Elderflower Folklore and Favourite Recipes

Elderflower Recipes

This week on Instagram I shared a Guide with some of my favourite ways to preserve elderflower – from cordial to champagne – and I wanted to follow up with a round-up of recipes you can use the preserved elderflower in.¬†According to ancient Scottish folklore, the Elder is a sacred tree and even contains a spirit called an “Elder Mother” who lives inside the tree and possesses magical powers – hence its long-regarded medicinal nature (mainly thanks to its magic-rich, a.k.a. Vitamin-C-filled berries). Fairies were said to congregate by Elder trees during Litha, and as such it is commonly associated with protective qualities and rebirth; its branches were hung over front doors to ward away evil spirits during the Celtic festival of Samhain. With all that history, it’s clear to see why it is so special. Here are five favourite recipes from my archives that make a star of the floral flavour for this Litha time of year.

Rhubarb and Elderflower Cake

Rhubarb & Elderflower Cake

Peach and Elderflower Pavlova

Peach and Elderflower Pavlova

Elderflower Custard Creams

Rosie Makes: Elderflower Custard Creams

Strawberry and Elderflower Tarts

strawberry and elderflower tarts with brown butter pastry

There are lots more elderflower recipes in my archives here – do check them out and let me know if you make anything!


  1. Maureen Irvine says:

    I am so interested in this post Rosie. I remember my Dad telling me that his Great Aunts and Granny prized Elderberries and made a syrup from them which they used for coughs and colds etc. This was here in County Armagh but like so many people here they had Scottish ancestors.

    • Rosie says:

      So glad it resonated! Yes the elderberries make a lovely syrup – I’ll be sure to share a recipe in the Autumn! Lovely to hear you’re familiar with them too via your family! Xx

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