Flower Petal Morning Buns: How Loria Stern Brings the Garden In

Spring is all about flowers, especially when we’re crawling out of an enforced pandemic hibernation, squinting and blinking into the sun. And Loria Stern, a baker and private chef, is all about everything that bursts into bloom. Her gorgeous pressed flower cookies and bridal cakes and even savories have been featured in Vogue and gone viral on Instagram. In Mount Washington, where we can picture her padding around her gorgeous backyard in a floaty summer dress, she harvests her ‘edibles’ and dreams up all kinds of delicious food that’s as beautiful as it tastes. We had a few questions on our mind, which Loria gracefully answered, as well as giving us her recipe (below) for flower studded morning buns to play with as well. 

eLA: What's impressive about your work is how you use flowers in everything! I think we associate flowers more with sweet than savory. Can you tell us a little more about your inspirations? 

LS: Adding edible flowers to savory foods came naturally to me as my background as a cook is both in sweet and savory foods. As I began to work more with edible flowers, I noticed the ways that flowers behaved in different methods of cookery, which was extremely interesting to me. For example, steaming flower petals onto a tamale essentially paints the shape and color of the flower onto the corn husk and masa, the flower adds very little taste so this technique is all about the artfulness of the flower application. Alternatively, baking flowers into cookie dough dries and shrinks the edible flowers, as well as adds a crunchy, unique flavor to the cookie. Perhaps I'm a nerd, but these types of things prove to be endlessly interesting and inspiring to me!

eLA: Go on about your garden too a bit. How has it evolved?  

LS: I moved to LA in March of 2020, right before quarantine started, so I had lots of time to work on my garden. I immediately planted herbs, summer loving edible flowers, melons, tomatoes and squash. Since then I tore up the little lawn patch and planted more edible flowers. Now my backyard garden provides many edible flowers and herbs for my cookie business and it's a safe haven for pollinators. 

eLA: We’ve heard about your magic carpet dinners. How did the idea come to you and what fantasy does it fulfill?

LS: The idea was essential as I love entertaining and cooking for friends, although I never lived in a space that had a table that could fit more than 4 guests, so I took my dinner parties to the floor. I put several tablecloths on the ground, 3 small bouquets of flowers, and a pillow and place setting for each guest to sit. I would bring out plentiful platters of food that guests could pass around and enjoy together, immediately opening up guests to the fun, casual yet different experience. I spent some time in the Middle East and enjoyed many shared meals on carpets on the ground, so this is where my idea came from. I'd say my magic carpet dinner parties fulfill but a necessity and a fantasy! The necessity of comfortably hosting up to 16 guests at once and the fantasy of experiencing my magic moments spent in the Middle East, at home.  

eLA: Would you tell us what edible flowers you’d recommend planting this spring?

LS: It's exciting-- we're about to embark on prime time edible flower season.  You'll see them growing wildly on hills and even on the sides of freeways. In my backyard garden, I’ve recently planted nasturtium seeds (which are happiest when started from seed rather than from starter plants), chamomile (for cake and cookie decorating), and bachelor buttons (which are hearty and thrive during hot summer months). Make sure your soil isn't too compacted and water every other day. The soil should always be a bit damp. Happy flower-ing!

Flower Petal Morning Buns

Flower Petal Morning Buns

12 buns


  • 1 cup lukewarm milk, any kind will work (whole cows milk, almond, cashew, coconut, or oat)
  • 1/4 cup unrefined organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast yeast
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2/3 cup butter melted
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • spill of oil— canola, sunflower, grape seed, or safflower
  • 6 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/4 cup unrefined organic cane sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups edible flower petals (my favorites to use for this recipe are roses, calendulas or marigolds) 
  • *egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 2 tablespoons water


  1. Step 1

    Warm milk on the stovetop until it is lukewarm, about the temperature of a bathtub.  Pour into a bowl or cup and add sugar, stir a couple times and then add the yeast.  Cover bowl with a tea bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes or until foamy, to allow the yeast to proof.

    Step 2

    In the meantime, measure your flour and salt and mix on low speed with a dough hook attachment in a kitchen aid stand mixer.   All at once, pour in the proofed yeasted milk, butter, and eggs and then use the dough hook on low speed to combine until a large ball is formed and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

    Step 3

    Detach the bowl from the kitchen aid and then remove the dough hook.  Pour a spill of oil into the bowl to coat the dough.  Cover with a tea towel a let rest in a warm place to rise, about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

    Step 4

    While the dough is rising, mix all the ingredients for the filling together (except the flower petals) in a medium sized bowl until well combined.

    Step 5

    Once the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll the dough in a 20 x 10” rectangle, about 1/4” thick.  Using an offset spatula, spread the filling on the rolled out dough and then sprinkle with flower petals.  Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 12 equal sized rolls (the best way to do this is cut the dough in half once and then cut the halves in half and then the quarters in thirds until you have 12 rolls).  Now tuck the lose end under the roll and place that size down on the baking sheet.  Place all 12 rolls on the baking sheet.  Cover again with a tea towel and let rise until nearly doubled in size.

    Step 6

    After you cover your rolls for the second rise, preheat the oven to 350° F.

    Step 7

    Brush your rolls with egg wash and then place on the middle rack in the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then serve.

Alternative recipe:

*Nasturtium Green Buns: To make the dough green, simply food process 6 cups washed nasturtium leaves into a paste and mix in with the wet ingredients.  Use nasturtium flowers for the flower filling.


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