Even though the plum blossoms are barely blooming, people are already looking ahead to cherry blossom season. The sakura season forecasts are already being regularly updated and though we won’t see any blossoms in the trees until March, there are plenty to be found elsewhere — especially in desserts. Here are eight of our favorite sakura sweets to sink our teeth into this season.
Topped with fresh whipped cream and a dainty salt-pickled sakura blossom, this two-layered sakura jelly and sakura-flavored blancmange (similar to pannacotta) dessert is a sweet treat as delicious as it is beautiful.
Sakura Blancmange ¥800. Available mid-March to mid-April at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo‘s pastry boutique Fiorentina.
Sakura Ichigo Mochi
Tsukiji Chitose, a confectionery with over 100 years in the business, offers a limited time Sakura Ichigo Mochi, which features a sweet and sour strawberry sauce made with Tochigi-sourced Otome strawberries. The sauce is surrounded by a mixture of salt-pickled cherry blossom petals and leaves and whipped cream, and its entirety is wrapped in faintly vanilla-scented mochi.
Sakura Ichigo Mochi (box of eight) ¥864. Available now while stocks last at Tsukiji Chitose Lumine Shinjuku Store and other outlets.
Sakura Sweets Selection
Andaz Tokyo celebrates the arrival of spring with a selection of sakura-inspired desserts that would be right at home at a more sophisticated hanami party. From pink-frosted eclairs to Swiss rolls and macarons, there is something for every palate.
Sakura Eclairs (small) ¥200, (large) ¥490 and other desserts available at Andaz Tokyo‘s pastry shop from March 19 to April 27.
Inspired by the theme “Hanami in Japan,” Mandarin Oriental Hotel has devised an artistic line of sweets, including the so-called Flower Garden. This delightful dessert depicts a traditional Japanese garden, with sakura blossom infused jelly, layered with a cherry blossom-flavored mousse. A delicate chocolate sakura branch sits on top of it all, as the proverbial cherry on top.
Flower Garden ¥850. Available at Mandarin Oriental from March 15 to April 27.
Sakura Crème Brûlée
This may be what a plate full of happiness looks like. This classic French dessert has the gentle fragrance of cherry blossoms and is topped with a crisp sheet of cherry-flavored caramelized sugar, and crunchy pink meringue. A thin layer of cherry sauce, soft whipped cream and strawberries frame this one-of-a-kind creation.
Sakura crème brûlée ¥1,404. Available at Yoku Moku Aoyama Flagship Store’s Blue Brick Lounge from Feb 20 to Apr 19.
For a budget-conscious cherry blossom gourmet, this Lawson treat should hit the spot. Sakura jelly is a pink agar-agar jelly dome, infused with sakura petal extract for flavor and fragrance, topped with a sakura blossom.
Sakura Jelly ¥150. Available at most Lawson stores nationwide from Feb 20.
Mont Blanc Sakura
This delicate pink version of the snow-capped Mont Blanc dessert should be named Mont Rose! The shiroan (white sweet bean paste) milk mousse is enveloped by a sakura-scented buttercream, creating the cake’s signature mountain shape. It’s topped with sakura petal-infused whipped cream and a salt-pickled cherry blossom.
Mont Blanc Sakura ¥584. Available at Patisserie Kihachi from Feb 28 to April 24.