All About Japan

These Sakura Sweets Taste as Good as They Look

| Sweets , Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms are not only gorgeous to look at, they can be used to make stunning desserts. It's a surprise to some that cherry blossoms (sakura in Japanese) are actually edible. This sakura season, surprise your guests with these tasty treats from Just One Cookbook, complete with videos and recipes.

1. Cherry Blossom Milk Pudding

Spring is coming, and with it, warm weather and beautiful blossoms. To celebrate cherry blossom season, I made a creamy milk pudding with pink cherry blossom jelly on top. The top layer is both sweet and a bit salty from the the salt-pickled cherry blossom, and the combination of salty cherry blossom jelly with the gently sweet milk pudding is a match made in heaven! You can definitely try making different flavors to go on top of the milk pudding base. The bottom milk pudding part is very similar in texture and flavor to panna cotta.

So what does this pretty dessert taste like you might wonder? Why not try making it yourself by following the recipe below!

2. Sakura Mochi

Sakura mochi is a type of wagashi (Japanese confectionery) made of sweet pink mochi (pounded glutinous rice). It’s usually filled with a sweet red bean paste (anko) and wrapped in a salty pickled cherry leaf. This chewy mochi with sweet anko filling is simply delectable! Mix in the aroma of cherry blossom leaves and the experience is simply amazing!

3. Cherry Blossom Cookies

These cherry blossom cookies are butter cookies, or you may know them as shortbread cookies or sable cookies. They are unleavened cookies, which means that leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda is not used in the recipe. These cookies can't get any easier to make, consisting of only butter, sugar, eggs and flour. We use salt pickled cherry blossoms in this recipe, so it adds just enough saltiness essence to the rich, buttery cookies. You can even smell and taste the cherry blossoms, which is the highlight of these cookies.

You'll have a blast making these simple yet scrumptious cookies. Get the full recipe below.

4. Hanami Dango

Japanese people have long celebrated and admired the beauty of cherry blossoms by enjoying picnics beneath the blooms, called hanami. At the picnics, people can enjoy spring themed foods, including hanami dango, or sweet, colorful rice flour dumplings made skewered on a stick. Nothing says spring in Japan quite like these delightful dumplings.

Hanami dango consists on three dumplings of pink, white and green (top to bottom in that order). The pink and white dango typically taste the same, while the green one tastes a bit more earthy because it's mixed with yomogi (mugwort) grass.

Hanami dango brings the happiness of the spring season, and you can bring joy to your friends and family with these amazing desserts. Try all four recipes and let us know how they turn out!