Cherry Blossoms and Springtime Baking
One of the most beautiful times of year in Washington is Spring, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The city holds a month-long festival with a parade and all sorts of special events, and visitors flood into the area from all over the world. The sun is shining, and the blossoms blanket the banks of the Potomac River in a magnificent display of pale pink, hot pink and soft white splendor! The blossoms also smell heavenly, and there's a certain excitement in the air.
Our first year at Georgetown Cupcake, we decided that we wanted to make a special cupcake to celebrate springtime in Washington. Now, our Cherry Blossom cupcake is one of our most popular at Georgetown Cupcake! Try our recipe at home!
Georgetown Cupcakes Cherry Blossom Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes (with a little extra batter left over)
1/2 cup fresh cherries, chopped (or frozen and defrosted if fresh not available)
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, plus seeds from 1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
For the cherry buttercream frosting:
16 tablespoons butter
4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup of fresh cherry juice (juice squeezed from cherries; if you use frozen cherries, there should be enough juice once the cherries have thawed)
1. Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sift together the dry ingredients on parchment and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.
4. Add the vanilla to the milk.
5. Add a third of the dry ingredients to the bowl, followed by a third of the milk. Mix thoroughly. Repeat. Using a spatula, gently fold in the cherries.
6. Scoop the batter into the cupcake pan using a standard-size ice cream scoop, and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
For the frosting:
1. Combine the ingredients in a mixer and whip together at high speed until light and airy, approximately 3-5 minutes.
2. Frost each cupcake with a signature swirl of icing, and top with a fondant cherry blossom. For the fondant cherry blossom, roll out pink shades of fondant, and cut out cherry blossoms using a mini flower cookie cutter. Add a candy center if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Image by Dayna Smith