How to Make Dandelion Honey

Dandelion Clock

I adore dandelion clocks but have had a love/hate relationship with the plants themselves for years due to their pesky roots.

However, as ‘weeds’ go, they are beneficial as they attract pollinating insects (and in particular bees), they can be eaten, made into drinks of all descriptions and are loaded with vitamins and minerals, namely A, C and K as well as iron, potassium, calcium and manganese. They’ve also been around for over 30 million years – it’s no wonder their roots are so deep and strong!

Almost every child I know has heard the tale that they make you wet the bed (indeed I was taught the very same) which stems from the plant’s use as a strong diuretic, though it’s the roots that are used for this purpose, not the flowers.

It wasn’t until @zwartblesIE mentioned Dandelion Honey on twitter that I’d seriously considered using the flowers in the kitchen. Suzanna generously shared her recipe and if you’d like to try this intriguing sounding dish, here it is:

4 cups dandelion flowers
3 cups water
3 whole thick cut lemons
2 1/8 cups sugar

Place the flowers, water and lemons into a saucepan and simmer for 30 mins, leave to cool and stew overnight. In the morning strain through cheesecloth (or coffee filter paper) then bring the liquid to a slow boil, stirring in the sugar until dissolved, then slowly simmer for about one and a half hours and you have your honey.

dandelion honeyIf you start to notice the mixture turn darker, whip it off the heat quickly or it can develop a burnt caramel flavour.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could  try adding a few drops of vanilla essence as @NiamhMaher on twitter did or a few drops of alcohol as @Justcallmelet suggested!

Honey is perhaps a misleading name as the resulting flavour is more like marmalade – guess it got it’s name from the gorgeous colour.

Have you ever tried food or drink made from dandelions? Did you enjoy it?

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33 thoughts on “How to Make Dandelion Honey

  1. years ago working shifts and exhausted i chewed a dandelion leaf with instinct and felt energy flow back into my body and still chew on them as well as milk thistle for a quick energy hit and never pull them out but encourage them to grow for a leaf or two occasionally . kind regards peter.

    • Cool thanks. Have been getting lots of tips for recipes on facebook and twitter – from fritters to pancakes – could almost write a dandelion recipe book! For once leaving my dandelions to flower!!

  2. Hey Dee, love the sound of this! What did you think of it? Would be interested in any other recipes that come your way. Dandelion recipe book – good idea! Also, are you up for the Green Awards tonight? I recall your up for 2 upcoming awards!


  3. A dandelion recipe book would be absolutely fabulous but what does the honey taste like? Is the end product similar to a rose hip kind of jelly? Or is it really like honey?

    • Ah Claire, that’s the first and last time I post a recipe before I’ve tried it… I have all the ingredients bar the flowers! I could only find enough to fill one cup and know that the neighbouring farmer sprays so am not going to forage in the laneways. I’m assured by Zwartbles that it’s delicious but as for flavour…. I’m planning to make the honey within the next few days once the flowers have stopped hiding from the rain and a few more have grown and will update the post with how we find the taste and our use of it then. I hope you’ll check back.

      • Hello! Thanks so much for the update. I like your description of the flavour, sounds both tasty and interesting. Wondering whether to go for a couple of jars in one go. You should see how many of these things I have!

  4. Hi there! It would be great to visit my site where you could find organic seeds gathered in the wild or from small local growths (heirloom).

    Maybe there is not big variety, but this is because all seeds are checked one by one, in order to be real, natural with good germination. This is the real deal. Tested and packed for 2012.

  5. Hi Dee, once you find those flower heads, also try making dandelion wine. You need to watch how long the heads steep or it goes bitter but if you get it right it is a lovely, pale yellow, medium dry “white” wine.

  6. Years ago I made some delicious dandelion wine and remember having to remove all the green from the flowers, ie use only the petals. Is that what you do for the honey?

    • The recipe I was given was to use the whole flower head but not the stem which is what I did, though will carry out an investigation to see if there’s a reason why we shouldn’t Alison. Am liking the sound of the dandelion wine as several people have mentioned it, yum!

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  9. I have it simmering right now. I was very excited to find this recipe as I moved into a new place in the fall and when I looked outside yesterday I saw the wilderness space behind me covered in dandelions. I found it took approx. 55 dandelions for 1 cup of bloom. I was wondering about the lemon. I first squeezed the lemon and then read about it being large slices. Does that matter? Right now the strongest taste is of the lemon but it is nice.

      • The honey turned out very nicely. It tastes mainly of lemon with that something extra from the dandelions. I added the few drops of vanilla and it is like a mix between a lemon curd and marmalade. I only made 1/4 of the recipe to start so today I went out and picked 220 blooms to make up a full amount. I even picked an extra 20 to make fried dandelion blossoms. They were wonderful. I made a honey mustard dip for them and they vanished off the plate.

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