Sweets with Cherry Blossom Filling

I’m back at it again with more Japanese sweets. (I swear I don’t eat like this all the time…but I mean, who can resist!) I recently came across another curious, but delicious sweet called sakura daifuku. It’s made of a thin gooey layer of mochi on the outside, with a sweet white bean paste filling, delicately flavored with salted cherry blossoms and cherry leaves. The result is a soft, aromatic dessert with a subtle sweetness and just a hint of tang from the cherry leaves. It’s not at all like western cherry flavored candies, and it doesn’t even taste like actual cherries…it really is in a class all its own, and the skillful balance of flavors absolutely stunning!

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Cherry blossoms and cherry leaves are seasonal ingredients most commonly used in Japanese sweets during the springtime, but they are still available year round for people like me who just can’t get enough of them. There’s even a cherry blossom tea, where you put a few of the little preserved flowers at the bottom of your cup and pour hot water over them. The blossoms open up and look like they’re blooming right there in the water, and the fragrance is incredibly calming.

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20 thoughts on “Sweets with Cherry Blossom Filling

    1. Interesting point! I know what you mean. Now that I think about it, I feel like the old fashioned, traditional sweets often use actual cherry blossoms and leaves, whereas the modern and western-style sweets use cherry and strawberry. For example, I had a “sakura tiramisu” with pink petals on it that turned out to be completely strawberry flavored haha

    1. Haha exactly! Japanese sweets are just so pretty and intriguing. Luckily, they’re small so it’s easy to sample many different kinds. I know what you mean about namagashi. They’re so colorful and the variety of shapes and designs is incredible. I’ve never tried cherry blossom wine, though! What’s it like? Is it like umeshu?

  1. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, at least not for candy-ish items. The top image reminds me of the Easter Creme Egg filling. Even when I was a kid, I found those waaaay too sweet. I’m a chocolate fan, and there’s loads of vegan chocolate around thank goodness!
    I had no idea that the cherry blossoms were actually edible. You’re full of interesting information, Elle. 😉

    1. Ahh, I see what you mean now about the Easter egg creme! It does look similar doesn’t it. But, I promise you they’re nothing alike. Instead of being made out of almost pure sugar like the Easter eggs, the filling here is made out of beans! As with all traditional Japanese sweets, the sugar is very subtle. The pink coloring usually comes from a bit of beet juice, and the preserved cherry blossoms make it just slightly salty. For someone without a sweet tooth, I think you may actually like it!

      1. It sounds like I might – a complex flavouring for sure and the salty taste is more up my alley. (Watching the video on your “Why Vegan” page. Wow!)

      2. Thanks for checking out the videos! I’m glad it resonated with you. Those were just two of the many videos that I watched back in 2011 and 2012 when I was new to the plant-based lifestyle. I was facing so many dissenting and challenging comments from people that I read and watched a lot of materials to remind myself why it was so important to stick with it and not feel discouraged. Perhaps I should update those two videos, but I still find them so comprehensive and logical that I would like to share them with other bloggers!

      3. Perhaps you could do a short post directing your readers (old and new) to the page, so they can view them. I had no idea they were there, and I’m sure others would miss them too.
        It seems, Elle, that we came to the plant-based lifestyle at around the same time. I haven’t a single regret, and I’ll bet you don’t either. 😉

    1. I know right? I’ve had plenty of daifuku filled with red bean paste, but this was a first for me. It’s totally different…fragrant and delicate tasting. I hope you can get your hands on one sometime. Sooo good!

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