Filed under: Cookies / Sugar Cookies / Spring
March 19, 2020

Cherry Blossom Cookies

A light, soft but crumbly shortbread flavored with real sakura extract. Topped with a similarly flavored luscious buttercream. Vanilla really allows the sakura to shine.

5 from 1 vote
Yield: 16 cookies
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cherry blossom cookies

A light, soft but crumbly sugar cookie flavored with sakura extract. Topped with a lush, sakura buttercream.  These have all the qualities of a perfect frosted sugar cookie plus a floral flavor. An easy, approachable design makes these a must bake.



This cookie recipe based on a shortbread recipe I’ve been making for some 7 years or so. It’s very basic, needs some softened butter, powdered sugar and flour – no leavening, I like them to hold shape. I’ve recently started adding some sour cream to get them a bit softer. The rest is flavoring, and in this case I use a little bit of vanilla (pure!) and some sweet, floral sakura extract. Which, is very hard to find admittedly. If I don’t have it I use some orange blossom or rose water for a ‘floral’ taste.

Admittedly, this is the perfect frosted sugar cookie for me. And here I’ve just given it a seasonally spring twist.

How to make Cherry Blossom Cookies

The dough is mixed in a stand mixer, it’ll be very soft. Transfer it to the fridge and let the flour absorb some of the moisture and it will solidify enough for you to be able to roll it out and cut out some shapes. If you have a cherry blossom cookie cutter, use that! I went for a round biscuit cutter.

For the topping, this is a simple american buttercream: powdered sugar and butter. I add a little sour cream here too, both to soften it but also mute the sweetness of the frosting. I like to make this ahead of time to allow the flavors to develop and so that the buttercream loses some of its air bubbles (most will come out when you stir it with a rubber spatula after the rest period).

Important: Roll the dough out thick! Thin cookies will brown too quickly in the oven and you’ll get a crunchy cookie. Not what we want here.


cherry blossom cookies

Ingredients & Tools for Cherry Blossom Cookies with Sakura Buttercream:

  • Sakura essence can be bought via this link. (sometimes this link changes but amazon usually has a variety), alternatively check a local japanese grocery store which might stock it.
  • I used an artist’s palette knife to make the flower petals and a soft pink for the colorings.
  • Powdered sugar: check the label, is it made with tapioca or cornstarch? This won’t matter as much for the cookies which are baked but for the buttercream. Cornstarch melts under high heat whereas tapioca on the tongue – the latter is much more pleasant to eat, none of that chalky flavor.
  • Flour: Any protein content should be fine, if it’s 10 or lower the dough will be quite soft so you might want to add another tablespoon. Measure carefully if using a higher percentage: shake the flour over the measuring up and sprinkle it on until full.
  • Butter: I use american butter here which has a lower fat percentage. If you have a european butter you might want to add another 2 tablespoons of flour or the dough will be overly soft.
  • Sour cream: It’s not super essential but I do think it contributes to the overall softness of the cookie texture. If you have it, use labneh instead.


Other Cherry Blossom recipes you might like:

Cherry Blossom Cake (a layer cake with a surprise inside)

Cherry Blossom Bundt Cake 


Cherry Blossom Cookies Recipe

Cherry Blossom Cookies

A light, soft but crumbly shortbread flavored with real sakura extract and topped with a sakura flavored luscious buttercream.
cherry blossom cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yields: 16 cookies
5 from 1 vote


Sakura Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sakura essence or rose water

Sakura Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter unsalted
  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sakura essence or rose water
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • pink food coloring


  • Make the buttercream first, beat the butter with the salt and extracts until light and fluffy with a hand mixer.
  • Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Set buttercream aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Beat the butter with the salt, vanilla and essence on medium until very light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and flour and beat until dough comes together.
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  • Roll it out into a well-floured surface into about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut shapes of dough and place on cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, until just barely golden on the edges.
  • Once cookies are cool spread on some buttercream.

To make petals:

  • Color a few tablespoons of buttercream with two light shades of pink.
  • Use n offset spatula with a thin top to drag a small spot of pink buttercream towards you. Between each petal, scrape the spatula clean.

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