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Elderflower Cordial

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


  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



Baked lovely rhubarb and ginger scones and fairy cakes last week. The class was really enjoyable and it was great to bring home my baking and eat it!! Will definitely go to another class!

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