Culinary Uses for Nutmeg Geraniums

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Mistakenly called "scented geraniums" in the 1600s though they are not true geraniums, Pelargonium feature aromatic leaves that gardeners love. Cooks value them for the versatility they bring to the kitchen. Hardy for outdoor growth in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 and up, the small plant also makes a lovely potted addition to a kitchen window.

Baked Goods

  • Line the bottom of a cake tin with nutmeg geranium leaves to give sponge cakes a delicate flavor. Discard the leaves after baking. Make flavored sugar by alternating the leaves with 1-inch layers of sugar.


  • Make an infusion of the leaves to flavor sauces, or flavor simple syrup by steeping the leaves in equal parts of sugar and water heated until all the sugar dissolves. Pour the syrup over cake slices, ice cream or pancakes and waffles. Replace the plain water in fruit juices for jelly with geranium-infused water for a spicier flavor.


  • Make a tea from 3 tsp. of fresh or 1 tsp. of dried nutmeg geranium leaves added to 1 cup of boiling water. Add a leaf to coffee grounds before brewing to spice up your morning brew.

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