Cooking with Essential Oils

Cooking with essential oils might be new to you and may even raise the question “Can I really use essential oils for cooking”? Well yes. Yes, you can. The USA is the largest importer of essential oils for the food and drinks industry and we ingest essential oils as flavors in many of our commercial foods and drinks daily.

In this article we look at how to safely use essential oils like Lemon, Lavender, Cardamom and Thyme in your recipes including how  to dilute them to retain the best of their flavor and fragrance. Learn how to ramp up meal flavors swapping citrus zests for citrus essential oils instead.

Use essential oils like Thyme, Marjoram and Oregano when you are running low on fresh or dried herbs and of course use essential oils to make delicious candy and chocolate gifts for the holidays and for edible gifts. 

Why Don’t I See More Articles About Cooking With Essential Oils?

Probably Because People can be Stupid...

Hands up! I am as guilty as the next professional aromatherapist that tells you never to ingest essential oils..

We make this blanket statement because not all essential oils are equal. There are many safety considerations and well, frankly ... .because people do stupid things…  then try to sue you when something goes wrong.

In the litigious landscape we live in, that really is the long and short of it.

The general public cannot be trusted not to be daft.

The French however, are much braver and positively embrace the ingestion of essential oils under professional care

We Ingest Essential Oils All The Time

The reality is, of course, that  we ingest essential oils in our food and drinks all the time. We just don’t realize it. The US food and drinks industry is the biggest purchaser, importer and consumer of essential oils in the world, beating even China to the title.

There is a rising demand for quality essential oils to use as natural food flavorings is driving demand right across the food and drinks sector. Many essential oils are processed to remove certain  constituents before they make it into our dinner, however, a good many are used in their pure state.

The Safety Considerations of Cooking With Essential Oils

Food Grade Essential Oils vs Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

“What’s the difference between a food grade essential oil vs a therapeutic grade essential oil.”? I hear you ask.

Absolutely nothing.

There is NO such thing as therapeutic grade or food grade oils and is simply a made up term by companies trying to seduce you into thinking their essential oils are a better quality than anyone else’s.

That said, you still must do your due diligence and buy good quality 100% pure essential oils from proven companies that will provide excellent provenance with their essential oils. If in doubt, give the company a call and have a frank and thorough conversation about your quality needs.

When cooking with essential oils you should also try to use essential oils that are as fresh as possible. That Sweet Orange that has been languishing at the back of your cupboard for five years is probably better suited to cleaning the loo than adding to a custard. Buy a new bottle instead.

They are STILL Potent Potions In A Bottle

Just because you are cooking with essential oils rather than using them for therapy, don't lose sight of the fact that they do still have all those same active constituents  and they will still have physiological effects.

Generally, we are using them in such minute amounts, that it would be easy to presume that the normal safety rules and health guidelines may seem like they do not apply.


Please do not lose sight of this.

Essential oils like Sweet Orange and Lavender have skin safety dilution rates of 3% and Cinnamon Leaf for example has a skin safety dilution rate of 0.60% and Cinnamon Bark is 0.07%.

I would always work on the premise that you would always use less Cinnamon vs Sweet Orange for example. Obviously, I would also want to use less Cinnamon Bark, than I would Cinnamon Leaf.

If you want to be super careful, there are guidelines around the oral dilutions of each Essential Oil Safety for Health Professionals - Tisserand and Young 2013.

Dilution Is Still Needed When Cooking With Essential Oils

It may sound a little odd, but if you are cooking with essential oils, you do still need to dilute them

You want to dilute them in something with a relatively high lipid content like oils, butters and fats. The high lipid content will help to make sure that your essential oils get evenly distributed through your recipe, rather than just floating on the top of your soup!

You can also use honey and sugar based syrups when cooking with essential oils to help you disperse them. They work just as well.

Volatile Oils Are Delicate

Essential oils are volatile oils and as such are delicate little things. They aren’t keen on being exposed to too much light which is why we keep them in dark glass amber bottles. They don’t much like heat either, which is why some don’t do well in processes like candle making and soap making.

It is therefore important to consider whilst cooking with essential oils, when to add your essential oil into your recipe and cooking process. You want to add it as late as possible into recipes that are cooked under high heat like stews and sauces, adding them right at the last moment, if appropriate.

Baking with essential oils makes the process a little harder, but again, consider adding the essential oil to the toppings, icings or flavored butters instead. Although, I have found, most of the essential oils from the list below will survive in both flavor and taste reasonably well enough in a cookie recipe that is cooked for a very short time. (Like the Sugar Cookie recipe you can find below).

Less Is More When Cooking With Essential Oils

When cooking with essential oils we need to be judicious about how much we include in our food. We really do want to use only the tiniest amounts.

Remember essential oils are highly concentrated. It is these very high concentrations of plant matter into volatile oils that make them extremely powerful and potent agents.

You won’t see recipes for calling for a hundred drops, it might be adding ONE drop…. And yes, that REALLY IS ENOUGH.

It is when people start thinking that it “can’t possibly be enough” and push the boundaries that they run into trouble and run the risk of going overboard and using way too much. (Aka being stupid).

Follow recipes EXACTLY and only use ones that have been put out into cyberspace or bookdom by aromatherapy professionals. Avoid recipes from enthusiastic food bloggers who THINK they know what they are doing.

The Onus Of Cooking with Essential Oils Safely Lies With You

When cooking with essential oils, at every level it is up to YOU to do your due diligence about the whole process. From the source of the recipe, the quality and provenance of the essential oils you intend to use, the proportion of oils you plan to use and most importantly that you follow the given recipe EXACTLY.

Please, please please, do not relegate yourself to ‘the realms of the stupid’.

I am putting my faith and trust in you here, please do not let me down. 

Smell vs Taste When Cooking With Essential Oils

It is useful to remember when cooking with essential oils that not all essential oils taste as wonderful as they smell, so you need to be considered in what you choose and perhaps stick with some of the tried and tested essential oils.

Citrus essential oils like Orange, Lime and Lemon tend to have fairly obvious results, but they are unlike those synthetic flavorings you might be used to, so a palate adjustment may be necessary.

Essential oils derived from herbs like Marjoram, Oregano and Basil can be a lifesaver when we have run out of fresh herbs but need the freshness of flavor in a stew, bolognaise or casserole. It’s easy to think that you would add a lot of herb material, so it is tempting to think you should add a fair bit of essential oil.

Don’t  do it!

RESIST the urge.

Add a couple of drops at the most.

It will be enough.

It is wise when you are making your first explorations into cooking with essential oils, to stick to some of the tried and trusted essential oils to begin with. You can then try something a little more adventurous once you get some experience under your belt.

Cooking With Essential Oils - Our Favorites

I have compiled a short list of essential oils that have a fairly proven track record in the food and drinks industry and are used widely across the sector. I have paired the essential oil with some ideas on how to use it in your cooking and favorite recipes.

Many of the essential oils you are likely to be familiar with, especially those derived from fruits, herbs and spices that you might use in your day to day cooking.

A good place to start cooking with essential oils and experimenting is to choose something you are familiar with. Try the essential oil as an alternative in a recipe that you know well. Resist the desire to use more than a couple of drops. Try it out and see if you like the results.
Cooking With Essential Oils - Spice Oils
Essential Oil Latin Name Ideas for Use in Cooking
Anise (Illicium verum) Indian, Chinese and Caribbean sauces and marinades, BBQ sauce.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) Curries, chutneys, sauces and marinades, cookies, cakes and breads, BBQ sauce.
(Clove Leaf)
(Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Cakes, cookies, chutneys, BBQ sauce.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Curries, soups, stews, chutneys, sauces and marinades, cookies, cakes and breads, BBQ sauce and relish.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) Rice puddings, custards, bread pudding, baking, cookies, curries, sauces, relishes and chutneys.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa Linn) Curries, chutneys, stews and casseroles, sauces and marinades, smoothies, BBQ sauce.
Cooking With Essential Oils - Citrus Oils
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Making Earl Grey Tea and flavored ices and granitas, baking.
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) Smoothies, ices and granitas, kombucha, cookies and cake icings and toppings.
Lemon (Citrus limon L (Burm.) F. ) Smoothies, ices and granitas, kombucha, flavored spirits and liqueurs, cookies and cake icings.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) Thai curries, sauces and marinades and sugar cookies. Wonderful with coconut milk to make vegan ice cream.
Lime (Citrus latifolia Tanaka) Key Lime Pie, curds and marmalades, sugar cookies, ices and granitas, cake icings, kombucha.
Orange (Citrus sinensis L) Smoothies, ices and granitas, kombucha, flavored spirits and liqueurs, cookies and cake icings, curds and marmalade, hot chocolate.
Tangerine (Citrus Reticulata Blanco) Smoothies, ices and granitas, kombucha, flavored spirits and liqueurs, cookies and cake icings, curds and marmalade, hot chocolate, candies, cocktails.
Cooking With Essential Oils - Floral Oils
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Cookies, cake icings, flavoring tea leaves, jams, kombucha, flavored vinegars.
Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) Rice and milk based puddings and jellies, custards, baking, cookies, curds, jams and marmalades, ices and granitas, icing and cake toppings, candies and chocolate making.
Cooking With Essential Oils - Herb Oils
Oregano (Origanum) (Origanum compactum Benth) Stews, Bolognese, pizza sauces, cheese or yogurt dip, flavoring salt to sprinkle on roasted veg or homemade crackers or breads, sauces and marinades.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Peppermint creams and candy mints, hot chocolate, mint sauce for lamb, raita.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Pizza sauce and Bolognese, flavoring salt to sprinkle on roasted veg or homemade crackers or breads, sauces and marinades, baking.
Spearmint (Mentha spicata) Spearmint creams and candy mints, hot chocolate, sauces and marinade, mint sauce for lamb, raita, mojitos and cocktails and kombucha.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Pizza sauce and Bolognese, sauces and marinades flavoring salt to sprinkle on roasted veg or homemade crackers or breads. Stews, casserole, roasted chicken and vegetables.

Cooking With Essential Oils - Where To Start If You Are Nervous

Need Citrus Zest In A Recipe?

Why not try using our citrus oils in place of the citrus zest called for in the recipe?

You can substitute Lemon essential oil for Lemon zest,  Sweet Orange essential oil for Orange zest and Lime essential oil for Lime zest and so on and so forth with Grapefruit, Yuzu etc.

If your recipe calls for grated citrus zest simply swap it out for an 1/8 teaspoon (0.73 ml or approximately 14 drops of essential essential oil) in place of 1 tablespoon of citrus zest. And even then I would err on the side of less is more, and add a few drops and taste and add more, if needed.

Now you can avoid all that fiddly grating with this super easy way to add a punch of citrus flavor to your glazes, cake and icing toppings, and sauces.

I also like to add an extra dash to my lemon or lime curd for that extra intensity of both fragrance and flavor. 

Run Out of Fresh Herbs?

When cooking with essential oils, you can use the essential oils to create the flavor profile of fresh herbs in your cooking. Although, this is where you do need a little bit of knowledge about their intensity and depth of flavor. Are they a strong tasting herb like Rosemary or Oregano? Or are they milder like Savory and Coriander.

When you are using herb based essential oils, ONE drop is the equivalent of about a teaspoon of dried herbs, which, in turn is usually equivalent to about 2-3 teaspoons of the fresh herb.

A toothpick tends to come in handy when you are using the stronger and bolder flavors of Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary and Marjoram. Even a drop can be too much, so dip a toothpick into the bottle and stir into your recipe just before serving.

Remember what I said about heat  degrading your essential oils.

If you do go overboard when cooking with essential oils and use too much, those strongly flavored essential oils can be simmered for a while to produce a milder flavor in soups and stews.

When  using more delicate and milder herb oils use 1 - 2 drops at the end of cooking,  just before serving to preserve their fragrance and flavor intensities..

Apply the same principles to Spice essential oils 

Essential oils like Ginger, Clove, Nutmeg and Cinnamon are far stronger than essential oils like Turmeric and Cardamom, so treat them in the same way as described above.

Making Candy Or Cookies?

When cooking with essential oils, you can use them in place of your usual flavorings. But you need to remember there is a distinct difference in the strength of these two products.

100% pure and natural essential oils are about 4-5 times stronger than your average alcohol-based extract flavorings. If you are not sure what type of flavoring you normally use, have a look at the ingredients on the bottle. An extract is a flavor diluted in alcohol or a combination of alcohol and water.

You can substitute 100% pure and natural essential oils for an alcohol extract flavoring by using 1/5 teaspoon of essential oil (1ml or approximately 20 drops of essential oil) in place of 1 teaspoon of an extract.

Again, for some recipes and essential oils, even that… might be too much, so err on that side of less is more. Adding too much essential oil to your food can often mean it ends up in the bin!

Essential oils such as Anise, Oregano, Clove and Peppermint are really rather potent and we certainly recommend starting with less, use that toothpick, and add more to taste, if needed. Just err on the side of extra caution when cooking with essential oils.

Fancy A Go At Chocolate Making?

When I look at those counters of Chocolatiers confections gleaming gold and that delicious shade of chocolate brown in the lights of the shop, I am always drawn to the floral flavors of Rose and Violet. In fact, I’m going to reach for a box right now of Violet Creams leftover from Christmas and eat them as I write! Yum!

You can use essential oils in the making and production of real chocolate and chocolate coating (candy melts).

It is recommended that you use approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 - 3ml  or approx. 30 - 60 drops) of essential oils per pound (453gm) of chocolate or chocolate coating, when cooking with essential oils.

Essential oils are also very suited to flavoring candy centers & fondants. 

It’s very easy to use, you simply add the essential oil to melted chocolate and stir to mix thoroughly.  However, that said, you do need some chocolate experience to judge just the right time to add the essential oils, when it is not too hot, but also don’t want to add it at a time where it will make it seize up!

Remember to consider the strength and intensity of the essential oils you are using, especially when using a floral or herbal essential oil such as Lavender and Bergamot. You only need the merest hint of essential oil. Again, I’d  recommend dipping a toothpick into the bottle and stirring that into the melted chocolate. With these more intense flavors, it’s best to start with a tiny amount, stir it in, taste, then add any more if necessary.

Cooking With Essential Oils - Professional Recipes

I love tinkering in the kitchen and I’m always coming up with something or other with the fresh food that comes from our allotment. I have had enormous fun developing these recipes for cooking with essential oils, just for you, so without further ado, from my kitchen to yours…..

Cooking With Essential Oils - Mushroom and Thyme Soup

I’m not very good with too much cream in recipes, so I was in need of a simple Mushroom soup recipe that did not rely on a cream base. I struggled to find one I liked, so one day I just made this one. It took  about 5 minutes flat. I’ve tinkered with it slightly over the years and I’ll show you how you can tinker with it to suit you too.

You will need:
    • Saucepan
    • Spoon
    • Hand held blender, blender or food processor
    • Toothpick
    • 500gm Chestnut Mushrooms
    • 1 large onion 
    • 3 medium sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
    • Stock of choice, I used chicken stock
    • 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce
    • 2 tsp Worcester Sauce
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • 1-2 drops of Thyme Essential Oil (Thymus vulgaris)
    1. Fry off the onion until softened in an oil of your choosing. Optional - If you like a little sweetness, add ½ tsp of sugar and a small knob of butter to caramelize the onions. 
    2. Add the fresh herbs until wilted and fragrant. Optional - skip this and rely on just adding the essential oil itself at the end of the cooking process.
    3. Add the chopped mushrooms and sweat with the lid on the pan, to retain the juices, until half cooked. 
    4. Add your preferred stock. I used chicken stock but you add what you fancy. Beef stock makes a deliciously rich soup and veg stock keeps it light but flavorful. 
    5. Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the Soy and Worcestershire Sauces. 
    6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then blend to a smooth consistency and pop it back in the saucepan on a very low heat. Optional: Smoked Salt and Celery Salt make for wonderful seasoning. 
    7. Take your Thyme essential oil, and using a toothpick, swirl a small amount of oil into the soup, mix it through well. The oil and butter in the soup will help it disperse. Add no more than the 3 drops maximum. 
    8. Pour into your favorite bowl and garnish with fresh herb leaves and enjoy this quick and easy flavorful and nourishing soup.

Cooking With Essential Oils- Citrus Crush

I am brand new to making Kombucha, so I confess to still  being in the experimentation phase of my journey.  I liked this one though, and I think you might too. It is jam packed with healthy probiotics and helps to feed all that good bacteria in your gut, aiding digestion, a healthy immune system and overall body function. It’s a new and exciting way of cooking with essential oils.

You will need:
    • A large measuring jug and spoons
    • A suitable bottle that will fit in the fridge
    • A funnel
    • A spoon or stirrer
    • 1 liter of original flavor kombucha, this is normally called unflavoured kombucha. I used my homemade kombucha (or you could use lemonade, sparkling spring water or club soda).
    • 1 drop of Tangerine Essential Oil (Citrus Reticulata Blanco)
    • 1 drop of Sweet Orange Essential Oil (Citrus sinensis L)
    • 1 drop of Grapefruit Essential Oil (Citrus paradisi)
    • 1 drop of Lime Essential Oil (Citrus latifolia Tanaka)
    • 1 drop of Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon L (Burm.) F. )
    • 2 tbsp Maple syrup
    • Slices of fresh Lemon, Lime and Tangerine
    • Fresh mint, lemon balm or lemon verbena leaves for garnish
    • Ice
    1. Measure out your Maple syrup and add the essential oils and mix well to combine.
    2. Add in your Kombucha and mix well until all is evenly distributed. Make sure there are no essential oils floating to the top.
    3. Using a funnel decant into a bottle to store in the fridge until ready to serve.(Drink within 3 days)
    4. An hour before serving, decant into a jug, add the fruit slices and herb leaves and leave to infuse. 
    5. Pour over ice into a long glass and garnish with extra fruit slices and herbs leaves.

TOP TIP: Kombucha will continue to ferment, especially if you add more sugar or fruit content, so make sure that you ‘burp’ your bottles every day to release any build up of gas!

Cooking With Essential Oils- Rose and Lavender Butter Mints

I had never come across these but in researching a variety of recipes I came across a Butter Mint recipe which apparently is all the rage, especially at weddings on your side of the pond! Maybe you might like these better?

Your waistline will thank you because this is a much healthier version. The original recipe called for Coconut Butter and I was somewhat confused until I realized it is just what we call Coconut Cream here in the UK.

You need to be extremely careful about how you balance these flavors when cooking with essential oils. Quite literally, only add a tiny amount and try it, because ALL  these essential oils have the potential to take a recipe from perfection to ruination in less than one drop!

You Will Need:
    • Double boiler 
    • Spoon
    • Candy mold
    • 1/2 cup coconut butter, preferably organic
    • 1/4 cup butter, preferably made from certified organic grass fed cattle
    • 2-3 tbsp raw honey (or normal honey if that is all you have, you can substitute for Maple Syrup)
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence - use the best quality you can afford.
    • 2 drops of Rose Otto Essential Oil (Rosa damascena)
    • 1 drop of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
    • 1 drop of Peppermint Essential Oil (Mentha piperita)
    • Coconut oil for greasing candy molds
    1. Gently melt coconut butter/cream and butter in a double boiler over a low to medium heat.
    2. Remove from heat and add in the raw honey, vanilla essence and stir well to combine.
    3. Use a clean toothpick for each individual essential oil and rather than adding a full drop, add a swirl from the stick instead. Add all three essential oils, stir well to distribute and taste.
    4. Repeat the process until you are happy with the flavor. I would always go for using more Rose and less Lavender and Peppermint essential oils, but you may like it another way. Do it to suit you!
    5. Grease your candy molds liberally with warmed and melted coconut oil.
    6. Using a teaspoon, scoop the mixture into the molds and try to finish them neatly on the top/back of the candy with a palette knife.
    7. Place into the fridge for at least 4-6 hours until well set and firm.
    8. Pop them out of candy molds gently and enjoy the delicate floral flavors finished with a final flourish of fresh mint. I will warn you, they are decidedly moreish! 
    9. Store them in a well sealed jar in the fridge or freezer for up to one week.

TOP TIP: I thought these would look amazing if they were topped with edible flowers like Viola and Borage. Rose petals, Lavender florets and Mint leaves would suit the theme. Add the flowers or leaves just before they are fully set and serve immediately and consume within 12-24 hours. 

Cooking With Essential Oils - Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken 

This is a great place to start cooking with essential oils, many of us feel relatively confident roasting a chicken and we have a good idea of what it should taste like. This makes a great place to experiment from because you have a good baseline of experience and knowledge that can guide you.

This is exactly what you need when you first start cooking with essential oils, it will help you to feel more confident. Not to mention this recipe is absolutely delicious!

You Will Need:
    • Roasting pan
    • Small measuring jug
    • Silicone brush
    • Meat thermometer
    • 1 large Chicken
    • 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil or oil of your choice
    • 4 drops Lemon Essential Oil
    • 4 drops Thyme Essential Oil 
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp dried Oregano
    • 1 medium Lemon, pierced in several places
    • 1 medium Onion, peeled but left whole
    1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
    2. Combine your EV olive oil with the essential oils and mix well.
    3. Add the salt and pepper and set aside.
    4. Put the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up, and remove any giblets from the cavity. Reserve these and use them to make the gravy!
    5. Use a silicone brush, brush the outside of the chicken with your oil mixture, making sure you cover all the chicken, including the underside.
    6. If there is some oil mixture leftover, pour it into the cavity of the chicken and swirl it around to coat it as evenly as possible.
    7. Sprinkle the oiled and seasoned chicken with a little dried oregano.
    8. Pierce the lemon in several places so that as it cooks it releases its juice and steam into the cavity of the chicken. 
    9. Place lemon and peeled onion in the cavity of the chicken. 
    10. Add a little spring or filtered water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
    11. Place in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees (It can take about 1 hour 45 minutes, give or take depending on the size of your bird).
    12. Remove from the oven, cover closely with foil or a clean tea towel and let the chicken rest for  10 - 20 minutes to let the juices return to the meat, before slicing. 
    13. All that remains is for you to enjoy it and wonder why you never did this before?

TOP TIP: Try it with smaller chicken pieces that still have the skin on for a quicker cook time and pop some lemon and onion in the roasting pan to impart that extra layer of flavor.

Cooking With Essential Oils - Custom Sugar Cookies

Here in the UK Peggy Porschen is the doyenne of the pretty cupcake and the perfect sugar cookie. Her shop in Belgravia, London is like something from a storybook fairytale in Sugar Pink and a fantasy of flowers.

No one makes a better sugar cookie recipe (You can argue if you like but I won't hear you from here). This recipe belongs to Peggy and not me!  From her book Pretty Party Cakes you can take it and make it yours and customize it by adding your essential oils at the butter and sugar mixing stage. Alternatively, you could make a plain cookie and flavor your icing instead. Personally, I like a little of both!

It is a great entry level project to start cooking with essential oils. 

Basic Sugar Cookie Recipe alá Peggy Porschen

You Will Need:
    • Kitchen Aid, Food Mixer, Food Processor or Hand Held Mixer
    • Cling Film
    • Greaseproof Paper
    • Rolling Pin
    • Palette Knife
    • Cookie Cutters
    • Baking Tray
    • Wire Cooling Rack
    • Weighing scales!!!!
    • 200g unsalted soft butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 400g plain flour, plus more for dusting. 
    • Essential oils of choice - see variations below for specific amounts.
    1. Cream the butter and sugar with your essential oils, until it looks creamy in texture. Don’t overwork it.
    2. Beat in the egg until just combined
    3. Add flour and mix on a low speed until a dough forms
    4. Gather into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour
    5. Place the chilled dough on a floured surface and knead briefly.
    6. Roll out, use guide sticks for an even surface.
    7. Cut out your preferred shapes from the dough and lift with a palette knife onto a greaseproof paper lined baking tray. 
    8. Chill again for 30 mins and preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4, 350F
    9. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on size, until golden brown at the edges.
    10. Remove to a wire rack and allow to fully cool before icing or decorating with essential oil flavored royal icing.

Cooking With Essential Oils - Custom Sugar Cookie Variations

These are just some of the ways that you can use this basic sugar cookie recipe mix and make it your own by adding a variety of essential oils at the stage of creaming the butter and the sugar. That way you get even distribution and an intensely flavored and fragrant cookie dough.

It gives you great scope for experimentation and to learn about how things taste when you are using them as flavorings when cooking with essential oils. 

Orange and Cardamom Sugar Cookies

These are very elegant and grown up and make for a delicious sugar cookie for an afternoon tea party.

Add these essential oils to the exact amount of the sugar cookie dough recipe outlined above: 

You can also add 1 drop of each essential oil above to 250ml of any icing you decide to decorate with.

Lavender Sugar Cookies

Aim for a beautifully delicate and a subtle floral experience. Add teeny amounts and taste before you add the eggs and flour. Go too far and it will be too perfumed for some people.

These look delightful when decorated with fresh or dried Lavender flowers and other edible flowers and petals like Violas, Roses and Calendula.

Add these essential oils to the exact amount of the sugar cookie dough recipe outlined above:  

You can also add 2 drops of Lavender essential oil to 250ml of any icing you decide to decorate with.

Ginger and Lime Sugar Cookies

I just love this vibrant combination, hot and cool all at once! Packed with flavors of the East and perfect for a summer party.

Add these essential oils to the exact amount of the sugar cookie dough recipe outlined above: 

You can also add 1 drop of each essential oil above to 250ml of any icing you decide to decorate with.

Chocolate and Orange Sugar Cookies

This is a well loved flavor combination the world over and you find it repeated through cultural recipes, especially those of the Southern hemisphere.

You can flavor both the sugar cookie dough and the dipped chocolate icing for a taste sensation!

Add these essential oils to the exact amount of the sugar cookie dough recipe outlined above:

You can also add 1 drop of each essential oil above to 250ml of any icing, or melted chocolate , that you decide to decorate with.

The Final Word

As you have found, there is no real mystery to using essential oil in food and cooking with essential oils. It really is as easy as it first seems. But you must never lose sight of the fact they are concentrated and potent volatile oils with active constituents and properties and need to be used with caution, respect and professionalism.

It’s understandable to be a little nervous trying something that the whole world is seemingly telling you NOT to do, but in that nervousness is the respect the essential oils deserve. Be considered, be sensible and if in doubt LEAVE IT OUT!

Don’t consign yourself to the realms of ‘the stupid’ and put a few more drops for good luck because “that one drop surely cannot be enough”!

It IS enough, put the bottle down!

Once you find your feet in cooking with essential oils, you can create some really exciting recipes to delight your friends and family. When they ask for the recipe, it’s up to you if you want to divulge your secret ingredient or not. Maybe, that bottle of Lemon essential oil will turn you into the Doyenne of the Pot Luck or Tailgate party, and maybe, you just might want to keep that little gem of an oil to yourself.

However you decide to use them, cooking with essential oils is meant to be an enjoyable experience. So have fun with it and create some delicious and tasty morsels.

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