Filed under: Bundt Cakes
March 31, 2021

Cherry Blossom Bundt Cake

The bundt version of my cherry blossom cake: a tender white cake flavored with real sakura essence, and speckled with homemade pink sprinkles of various shades to resemble the beautiful trees.

Yield: 10
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The bundt version of my cherry blossom cake: a tender white cake flavored with real sakura essence, and speckled with homemade pink sprinkles of various shades which give it a beautiful effect to resemble the Japanese tree flowers.

Cherry Blossom Cake 2021 

I make this cake, or a version of it, every year! I started four years ago and since then whenever the first cherry blossom varieties start to bloom in our neighborhood, I feel the itch to make it again. Some years I make 2-3 times, because I can’t help myself.

It’s a special cake to me because not only is it a sign that spring is here, and a tribute to the city we live in but because I invented a way to get it to look like the beautiful trees on the inside. A little chocolate batter does the trick! 

This year I went to make the cake as usual, and found myself out of pink sprinkles and unable to find them in any store nearby. I decided I’d make my own using Stella Park’s sprinkles recipe as a template. And instead of going with just the one hot pink, I did colors of various pink shades which would look more like the real flowers. There are quite a few varieties of cherry blossoms here, and they usually bloom at the same time, creating an ombre of pink around the city. 

Note: The cherry blossoms in DC have a super interesting backstory involving worms, beavers, a ‘cherry blossom rebellion’ and one woman’s life dedicated to planting them around the tidal basin. Read this!

 

 

Sakura Extract for a Sakura Cake

Sakura, aka the cherry blossom, essence is an extract derived from the flowers. It’s got a delicate, sweet floral scent and taste, and even though we have tons of flowers here, you must go to the source of these beautiful trees for the extract: Japan. In previous years I’ve bought mine online (takes a few weeks for it to ship!) but last year a friend who made a trip to Japan brought me some, and it’s better than anything I’ve had before. I found the same bottle via this online store

 

How to make homemade cherry blossom sprinkles 

Before we get to the how, let’s talk about the why. You can absolutely buy pink sprinkles but they will be one shade so you won’t get the variety in shades you can create at home. Most pink sprinkles are hot pink (the ones that are more naturally colored will turn orange once baked!) so to get the prettiest effect homemade is the way to do it. Plus, well, they taste better, no wax!

It sounds complicated but making sprinkles is like making a glaze, except with egg white, and then piping it out into long sticks so it can dry. If you have a piping tip with one hole (not the super tiny one, and not a big one, it should pipe a line as thick as a jimmy sprinkle) you can use that but it will take a long time and you’ll overwork your hand. I use a two-hole piping tip which speeds up the process considerably. Once they are dry you break them up into smaller sticks and… you have sprinkles! 

Notes: Avoid adding too much water or using water based food coloring. This will cause white spots to appear in the sprinkles. You want it to be loose enough to pipe but not watery. 

 

 

Optional: making brown ‘branches’ within the cake 

If you’ve seen my original cherry blossom cake, it looks like branches within the cake. I do this by piping a bit of chocolate batter into squiggles within layers of the cake batter. You can do it here too if you like: simply take a bit of white cake batter (not more than ¼ cup) add some cocoa (about a tablespoon) and some more keffir/buttermilk to thin it out again (more info on the technique available in that recipe). 

 

 

FAQ on Cherry Blossom Bundt Cake

What tools do I need to make homemade sprinkles? 

A piping bag and a two-hole piping tip. You can use a single hole but it will take you a lot longer (and your hand will ache!). You’ll also need cookie sheets and parchment paper to pipe the paste onto. 

Where can I get sakura extract? 

Check a local Japanese store, occasionally they might stock some. The bottle I have is the same as this oneAmazon also sells it. If you can’t find it, rose water and orange blossom water can be used as an alternative to get the ‘floral’ taste (although sakura is far better imo!).

What size bundt pan should I use? 

A ten cup bundt pan, these are the large ones. This is the one I used

 

 

Recipe for Cherry Blossom Bundt Cake

Cherry Blossom Bundt Cake

Tender white cake flavored with real sakura essence, and speckled with homemade pink sprinkles for a beautiful effect that resembles the Japanese tree's flowers.
cherry blossom bundt cake
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Yields: 10

Ingredients

Sakura Sprinkles

  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 ¼ cups organic powdered sugar 282g
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sakura extract rose water or orange blossom can be substituted
  • 1-2 teaspoons water as needed
  • Gel food coloring: various shades of pink

Cherry Blossom Confetti Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened (226g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 400g
  • cup refined coconut oil 72g
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons sakura extract rose water or orange blossom can be substituted
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 360 g cake flour about 3 cups, shake the flour and sprinkled it into the measuring cup and level the cup
  • 1 cup kefir 225g
  • 1 cup sakura sprinkles from above

Pink Sakura Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar 113g
  • 1-2 tablespoons blood orange juice or frozen raspberry puree seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon sakura extract

Method

Make the sprinkles first, they need to dry overnight:

  • Grease three cookie sheets and line them with parchment paper. Have a piping bag fitted with a two-hole piping tip ready; unfold the bag half way and place it upside down in an empty cup.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, powdered sugar, vanilla and sakura extract. You want to get the consistency of ‘glue’ (thicker than elmer’s) so add water as needed but try to avoid adding too much.
  • Separate the paste into three bowls, to each adding a different shade of pink. Beginning with the lightest pink, scrape the paste into the piping bag and with a steady hand and consistent pressure, pipe out lines of paste onto the cookie sheets. Once all the paste is used, open it again by unfolding (it will be sticky and messy) and scrape in the medium pink. Pipe out the lines until the paste is done and repeat with the darkest pink. Set the piped paste at room temperature overnight to allow to harden and dry.
  • The next day, lift the parchment paper and allow the hardened sticks to break apart into small pieces. Use your fingers to break them smaller. They can be left in a bowl at room temperature, uncovered, until you are ready to make the cake.

Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use baking spray to grease a 10 cup bundt pan.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, coconut oil, salt, sugar, extracts and baking powder until very fluffy, at least five full minutes. If you are using a hand mixer beat longer.
  • With the mixer on, add an egg white one by one allowing each to fully be beaten in before adding another. Let the mixer beat for a few more minutes after all the eggs are incorporated. Scrape the bottom of the bowl in case any bits have gotten stuck.
  • Over the batter, sift in the cake flour. Using a rubber spatula, stir the flour in (this way it won’t make a mess when you turn the mixer on). Turn the mixer on and slowly pour in the kefir, let it beat until fully combined, scraping the bottom to ensure the batter is all incorporated.
  • Add the sakura sprinkles and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes until you can press the center ring of the cake and it springs back. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes then turn it upside down onto a plate. Let it cool fully.
  • Make the glaze by combining all the ingredients into a paste. To make a thick glaze add less juice, to make a thin add more. Pour it over the cooled bundt. Add remaining sprinkles on top.
  • Kept in an airtight container at room temperature, the cake stays moist for 3 days.

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  1. Hello! I’m intrigued, the link to the Sakura extract is no longer working. Possible you could share the name or an image of the bottle you like? Thanks!