How to Cook With Rose Petals


Roses don't just beautify your garden and cut flower arrangements--the petals are also edible. They add color whether they are an ingredient or garnish and provide a mildly sweet flavor to a dish. Petals from all rose varieties are edible, but they do require some preparation to prevent bitterness. Use roses from your own bushes to ensure they haven't been treated with any harmful chemicals such as pesticides.

Step 1

Harvest the rose flowers from the plants once the petals are fully open but before they begin to wilt. Choose flowers that are healthy with no signs of insect damage.

Step 2

Pluck the petals from the rose. Discard any petals that are dry, browning or showing any other signs of damage.

Step 3

Cut the white section from the base of each rose petal with a pair of kitchen shears. This section is bitter and negates the otherwise sweet flavor of the petals.

Step 4

Place the petals in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 5

Set a colander on top a bowl and pour the rose water through the colander to separate out the rose petals. Combine the water with 1 to 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to help preserve the color of the water and store in the fridge. Replace part of the liquid in recipes, such as baked goods and soups, with the rose water to add flavor.

Step 6

Combine 1 cup rose water with 2 cups sugar. Simmer over low heat until the rose water reaches the consistency of syrup, approximately 10 minutes. Substitute rose syrup for corn syrup in recipes or drizzle over pastries and desserts.

Tips and Warnings

  • Only the rose petals are edible. Do not eat the leaves or stems.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Saucepan
  • Lemon juice
  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • Sugar


  • University of Kentucky Extension: Edible Flowers
  • Washington State University: Edible Flowers
Keywords: rose petal cooking, edible flowers, edible rose preparation

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.