Spruce Tip Sugar




About: A self-proclaimed creative high schooler who doesn't fear failure.

There is no green more viridescent than the vibrant color that radiates from the new growth of Spring plants. I can't help but feel jubilant as I take my dog for a walk and notice the tender baby leaves, shoots, and growths on plants that had been suppressed under a harsh Winter. They create a refreshing atmosphere, and I can instantly feel the seasonal depression lifting off my shoulders.

In the Spring, Spruce trees and various coniferous species grow light green colored ends. Try to catch them at their early stages of growth before they grow too bitter and resinous. Keep in mind that when you pick the tips, the tree's growth will be stunted in that area, so never pick from the top of a young tree. These tips are packed chock full of vitamin C, and a completely unique taste: lemony, herbal, and with a woodsy taste reminiscent of the forest.

There are many ways to eat Spruce, like making syrups, cookies, pesto, or tea. I find that infusing them into sugar is a great way to preserve this unique flavor into a usable form. I use this sugar over pancakes, cupcakes, and for rimming glasses of cocktails with appropriate flavor profiles.

Step 1: Pick and Clean

If you've never worked with Spruce tips before, go ahead and eat one as it is just to see if you like the taste, before you pick. These are an excellent trail snack btw!

Pick as many spruce tips as you want to make sugar from, being careful not to pick too many from one tree. I picked a small handful, or about 1/2 a cup.

If they're really young, you'll notice some brown paper casings (third picture courtesy of http://hungerandthirstforlife.blogspot.com/) but these are harmless, so just remove them as best as you can.

There's really no need to wash the tips as they are fresh growth and completely clean, but feel free to give them a quick rinse.

Step 2: Give Me Some Sugar

Now the reason I didn't give a specific measurement for the amount of spruce tips is because it doesn't matter how many spruce tips you have, as long as you pulse it with sugar in a 1:1 ratio.

I used about 1/2 cup spruce tips to 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, then I pulsed it in a magic bullet until you get a relatively uniform and sandy mixture. (This will be a bit wet)

Spread the sugar on a baking tray, and leave it to dry at least overnight.

Step 3: Pulse Again and Sift

Once the sugar has dried, you'll want to either smash it into smaller pieces or pulse it again like I did.

I noticed that pulsing the dried sugar created a lot of dust and the product ended up being a more powdery sugar. I sifted large pieces of sediment out.

Store the remaining sugar somewhere cool and dry indefinitely.



    • Jewelry Challenge

      Jewelry Challenge
    • Fat Challenge

      Fat Challenge
    • Pie Contest

      Pie Contest

    6 Discussions


    10 months ago

    This probably smells amazing! And be super great during Christmas time!Tho where do purchase spruce? I tried reading about picking spruce in the wild but they all are too confusing to me and I'm afraid I might get the poisonous one instead

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    I'm sure there are ways to purchase spruce online (like on etsy), unfortunately, it'll definitely have to be dried and usually pretty expensive. Luckily though, with proper research Spruce is one of the safest wild edible plants, and many of the lookalikes are also completely safe!

    Here are some articles that will hopefully help you:



    The BEST way to instantly tell if a tree is a spruce tree is to roll a needle between your fingers. If it is 3 dimensional and rolls easily it is definitely spruce, as opposed to other conifers which have flat needles. Spruces can be green or blue too!

    As always, thanks for the interest in my Instructables!


    11 months ago

    This sounds awesome for pancakes or sprinkled over Rice Chex cereal - really unique idea. Also, didnt know you could just straight up eat spruce tips either so thats cool. Thanks for sharing this recipe, can't wait to try it!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    I have yet to try it sprinkled over cereal, thanks for the suggestion, and thank you for your comment :)

    Tye Rannosaurus

    11 months ago

    What a fun and innovative idea! And genius for cocktail sugar! Thanks for sharing, I never even thought to use spruce this way.

    1 reply
    38renTye Rannosaurus

    Reply 11 months ago

    Thanks! Judging based on your wild lilac and violet jelly ible, I'd say you'll have no trouble with this one!