St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur & Lemon Zest Icing Vegan, Dairy & Gluten Free

By Crystal Baldwin

Elderflowers are the magic fairy flowers of summer.  They bloom in soft, white, pillowy drifts in late spring & early summer.  Their light, sweet perfume fills the air and lets you know summer is here.

There are many different foods and drinks that are made with this beautiful flower like elderflower champagne, elderflower granita and one of my favorite...elderflower liqueur.

Although there are many, wonderful elderflower liqueurs to pick from, one of my absolute favorites, and the gold standard brand is St. Germain.   It's sweet, light flavor takes me away to the French hillsides where I can just see these beautiful flowers in full bloom. 

St. Germain is a French Liqueur that is made from elderflowers which are handpicked in late spring.  To capture this exquisite and light flavor up to 1000 flowers go into each bottle.  Magical is the best way to describe the flavor of this amazing liqueur.

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

This flavor is a game changer when added to this Icing.  You still use a tad of vanilla and butter (vegan or regular) but the St. Germain is the show stopper.  It pairs perfectly with lemons or any citrus with its light airy flavor (try it with a orange cake) .  I won't lie it tastes amazing on lemon cupcakes paired with elderflower champagne...been there and done that - yum! 

You will whip the St. Germain into the buttercream frosting in place of part of the milk and feel free to add more or less to your taste.

I love pairing this frosting with my dandelion cake (see photo below and check out the blog) and I add some of the liqueur into the cake as well.  It is a very special cake with part brown sugar and part coconut sugar for a less sweet taste - we let the icing do the talking and the dandelions bring all the moist, yummy cake goodness to highlight this amazing icing.  Check out my blog on dandelion cake made with this lovely icing.

Perfect for use on lemon bread or cupcakes or orange cupcakes or cake.  It also works well on carrot cake or add a dollop to a dish of fresh strawberries - delightful!  Mix it up a little and infuse your next baking adventure with this unique spring flavor!

St. Germain Elderflower Icing with Lemon zest

This delightful Icing can be made conventionally or with a vegan, dairy & gluten free option. It is super simple to make with just a few ingredients.


1 Stick of butter at room temperature (or vegan butter of choice, keep in fridge)

3 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

¼ Cup Soy Milk or milk of choice

¼ Cup St. Germain Elderflower liqueur- can add more to taste

2 Tablespoons or more of Lemon Zest (to taste)

Directions for icing:

  1. If using regular butter allow it to come to room temperature and soften, if using vegan butter, keep it chilled in the fridge (vegan butter is softer when warmed and won’t stiffen as easily)
  2. In a bowl add the butter and powdered sugar, put your mixer on low and slowly blend together
  3. Next add the milk, St. Germain liqueur, beat until smooth, taste and add more liqueur as desired
  4. Lastly add in the lemon zest and blend until incorporated.

If making a large layered cake, double the recipe and be sure to wait until the cake is completely cooled before frosting. Apply to lemon cupcakes as needed.  Keep refrigerated or freeze the frosting and use as needed.

We love this icing on our 4-layer Dandelion cake (which also has St. Germain in it).  Check out the recipe on our blog.

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