5 Ways to Use Fresh Herbs to Decorate Desserts

Adding fresh herbs to desserts is one of the easiest ways to give them a pretty and unique finishing touch. You don’t need special equipment, hard to find ingredients or advanced techniques, so anyone can do it—it’s as simple as finding fresh herbs and getting a little creative.Herbs usually call to mind savory dishes, but they add amazing flavor to sweets, too! You can make herbed buttercream by steeping fresh herbs in hot melted butter for 20 minutes, then chilling the butter before following a basic buttercream recipe. I added a rosemary wreath to this cake frosted with rosemary poppyseed buttercream to hint at the flavor and give it a finished look. Lavender would also make a great wreath and tastes great with cake!You can turn a basic shortbread into herb shortbread by pressing fresh herbs into the shortbread just before baking. I’ve found that basil doesn’t bake well and lavender isn’t very appealing to eat, but sage, dill, rosemary, thyme, oregano and cilantro all work well and look pretty even after baking.Herbs are a great way to disguise flaws in desserts, like cracks on top of a tart or cheesecake (I can’t be the only one whose cheesecake always cracks!). Wide, leafy herbs like rosemary and basil work well to hide mistakes and they look gorgeous when they’re layered with citrus slices or berries.Similarly to buttercream, whipped cream can be infused with fresh herbs and served with fruit for a refreshing, flavorful dessert that doesn’t require any baking. Here I heated heavy cream until very hot, removed from heat and steeped several fresh basil leaves in the cream for 20 minutes. Then chill the cream, add sugar to taste, and whip with an electric mixer. Sprinkle sliced strawberries with sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and some lemon zest and let sit while you’re whipping the cream. Serve the fruit with a big dollop of herb whipped cream and garnish with fresh herbs.Decorating personal size desserts with a small fresh herb cutting is a simple way to make the desserts look polished without spending hours decorating individual desserts. These bundtlettes looked too plain with glaze alone, but fresh lavender stems give them a finished look, which I think is a great choice for more elegant looking desserts when garnishes like sprinkles are too casual.

One last tip before I go: Keep your herbs fresh by refrigerating them in a single layer between moistened paper towels, sealed in a plastic bag or container. They’ll stay fresh for several days. Happy dessert decorating! xo Kayleigh

Credits // Author and Photography: Kayleigh Kosmas. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • oh my goodness, I love this so much! It’s amazing that just a little sprig makes a pastry look so much better! It’s like putting on earrings! I’m planning on making a chocolate tart this weekend and I think I might top it with a little rosemary or lavender from my yard!

    xoKaelen | Darling Marcelle

  • So beautiful! I love these ideas and especially the tips on what doesn’t work well. Saves me some tears lol

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