It's springtime, which means flowers. (Groundbreaking!) But for some bakers, adding florals to their spring bakes means something entirely different — it means baking with Fiori di Sicilia.  

What exactly is Fiori di Sicilia?  

This potent ingredient, which translates to "flowers of Sicily," is a proprietary blend of essential oils with a unique flavor profile: an ethereal mix of citrus, vanilla, and floral notes. It's sourced in Italy, and the exact blend of oils is kept secret, adding to its intrigue — and may explain why it has an elusive, can’t-put-your-finger-on-it flavor. But that delicate floral flavor, which some bakers liken to an orange creamsicle, gives a burst of Sicilian sunshine to everything it touches. And it's particularly well-suited to springtime baking. 

Fiori di Sicilia Photography by Danielle Sykes; Food Styling by Liz Neily
A little Fiori di Sicilia goes a long way. 

How to use it in your Easter desserts ... 

Baking for Easter? This Easter Bread Wreath, slightly sweet and enriched with butter and eggs, is perfumed with orange zest, anise seed, and Fiori di Sicilia to capture the quintessential flavor of its Italian inspiration. Braided and finished with sprinkles and a decorative glaze, it’s sure to be the star of your brunch spread. 

Or, for something to finish off a big meal, Ricotta Pie is a classic. Think of it as a refined version of cheesecake: Ricotta replaces the cream cheese, almonds are incorporated into the graham crust, and of course, Fiori di Sicilia brings its citrusy essence.

King Arthur's Carrot Cake Photography and food styling by Liz Neily
The secret ingredient in our carrot cake? Fiori di Sicilia. 

Just as flower buds are peeking through the soil, carrot cake on the table is another sure sign of spring. Replace the vanilla extract in your carrot cake's cream cheese frosting with Fiori di Sicilia, and introduce an unexpected hit of citrus. You’ll be surprised by how big of an impact it makes — bakers love the unique flavor it adds, and many report that it keeps people guessing just what the secret ingredient is.  

... and for all your springtime baking needs 

Pairing Fiori di Sicilia with creamy cheeses like ricotta and mascarpone is a natural fit — especially when you consider their shared Italian roots. When eating cannoli, you expect a hint of orange zest amidst the rich ricotta filling and speckles of chocolate chips. In our mash-up Cannoli Cheesecake, Fiori di Sicilia amplifies those delicate notes of citrus, bringing more intrigue than plain orange zest. 

Similarly, Fiori allows the simple ingredients in this Lemon Ricotta Cake to really sing. Lemon zest, ricotta cheese, and vanilla are a failproof trio of flavors, but the final addition of Fiori di Sicilia gives this entire cake a sophisticated dimension. Similarly, Fiori di Sicilia complements the tangier flavors of this Raspberry Lemon Cake, with a dash added to both the cake itself and its frosting.  

Cannoli Cheesecake Photography by Rick Holbrook; Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
You may not see the Fiori in your bakes, but it will have everyone guessing, "What is that?!"

Fiori di Sicilia can also elevate the simple things to something more refined and multi-dimensional. Even just adding a few drops to a straightforward confectioners’ sugar glaze can take that one-note sweetness into more complex territory — such as in these whole wheat scones. Or, use Fiori to spike this plushy Everyday Olive Oil Cake and complement the grassy flavor of a high-quality oil.  

Beware: There can be too much of a good thing 

Much like vanilla, Fiori lends a background note to your baked goods. But unlike vanilla, it should be used sparingly. While some bakers like to “measure with their heart” when it comes to vanilla extract, restraint is key with Fiori di Sicilia. Since it’s a concentrated blend of essential oils, it’s pungent — so if you’re adding it to a recipe that doesn’t already call for it, start with as little as a few drops and up to 1/4 teaspoon. 

It’s hard to pin down just what exactly Fiori di Sicilia tastes like. But that’s all the more reason to get your hands on a bottle and find out — there’s truly nothing else like it. 

Cover photo (Easter Bread Wreath) by Kristin Teig; food styling by Liz Neily. 

From March 21 to March 25, take 20% off our 16-ounce vanilla extract and 4-ounce Fiori di Sicilia

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Cannoli Cheesecake
Cannoli Cheesecake
3.8 out of 5 stars 4 Reviews
13 hrs 5 mins
one 9" cheesecake
Filed Under: Tips and Techniques
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The Author

About Tatiana Bautista

Tatiana Bautista is a writer, editor, and avid home baker and cook. She grew up on Long Island, New York, where her family helped instill a lifelong love of food through homestyle Toisanese dishes and weekly outings for dim sum. From a young age, she’s had an interest in baking thanks to her aunt, w...
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