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Elderflower Cordial

I late spring or early summer the elderflowers start appearing in the hedges and this Elderflower Cordial is easy and delicious. It’s great for cakes, soft drinks and cocktails too !

Elderflower Syrup

It is June 12th and a beautiful sunny morning here in Northern Ireland.  The elderflowers are in full bloom in the hedges now and are abundant along the little country road where I live and walk every day. 

The fresh flowers are great for making Elderflower Syrup which is delicious for brushing onto Sponge Cakes, for homemade lemonade and cocktails !   They are also lovely paired with gooseberries to make jam. Pick them just as the tiny buds are beginning to open, and some are still closed. Pick on a warm, dry day (never when wet).

Servings: About 2 litres



  • About 25 elderflower heads
  • zest of 2 unwaxed lemons plus their juice
  • 1.5kg granulated sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)
  • 1.5 litres water

Method – Elderflower Cordial

  1. Inspect the elderflower heads carefully and rinse in cold water. Place the flower heads in a large bowl together with the lemon zest.
  2. Bring 1.5 litres of water to the boil, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Add the elderflower heads and lemon zest and juice. Stir in the citric acid if using. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave in a cool place to steep overnight.
  4. Next day, strain the liquid through a sieve and then a jelly bag or piece of muslin. Do not push it through.
  5. Pour the syrup into sterilised bottles or jars, seal and store in a cool dry place. Keep refrigerated once opened.
  6. If you are not making it to store you can easily make half this recipe.


Citric acid is a preservative, your cordial will keep better with it but it’s not essential.

I am passionate about embracing the seasons. You can find our seasonally inspired Baking and Cooking Classes Here. You can find more seasonal recipe inspiration on the Recipes page.



What a lovely morning!!!! I have been waiting for this class since before covid hit and it definitely didn’t disappoint- I enjoyed every minute- a beautiful Victoria Sponge- Scones to die for and fairy cakes -not to mention the melt in your mouth Chocolate brownies- pure indulgence

Sharon Callaghan

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