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Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies

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Salt pickled cherry blossoms are added to these Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies, adding a nice touch of saltiness and subtle floral and tangy flavors in each bite.

cherry blossom shortbread cookies

Celebrate the arrival of spring this year with these crispy, tender, and buttery Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies. These cookies are also perfect to celebrate the cherry blossom festival (Hanami) around the corner.

Around this time, the streets and parks are covered with pink cherry blossom trees in Japan. Although I can’t see them due to where I live, I still want to celebrate their beauty by sharing this recipe.

Ingredients to Make Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are so easy to make. You will need these ingredients to make them.

  • Unsalted butter. These shortbread cookies are eggless, so the butter is important to bind the ingredients together and bring out the delicious buttery flavor.
  • Confectioners’ sugar. Instead of using granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar has a tiny bit of cornstarch in it to keep it from clumping and that plus the powdery consistency of confectioners’ sugar keeps the cookies soft and tender.
  • Vanilla extract. This adds the subtle and delicious flavor of vanilla to baked goods.
  • Cake flour/all-purpose flour. This provides the structure in the shortbread cookies. You can use both all-purpose or cake flour for shortbread cookies. I personally like to use cake flour because it gives light, crisp, and tender textures to the cookies. If you use all-purpose flour, I find them softer and chewier than the ones made with cake flour.
  • Salt. To enhance the flavor.
  • Salt pickled cherry blossoms. These are cherry blossoms that are preserved with salt. However, it is not as simple as sprinkling salt over them. To make these, tender young buds are soaked in ume plum vinegar for several days before being dried completely. Then, they are packed in jars or packages with salt.
salted cherry blossoms

Where to Purchase Salt Pickled Cherry Blossoms

I guess you should start looking at the salt pickled cherry blossoms before making this recipe. It is best to start searching for the product at pickle-specialized stores in Japan. For those living outside of Japan, I do not think your local Japanese grocery store might have them. So, I suggest getting them online on the link I have provided.

Using Salt Pickled Cherry Blossoms in Baked Goods

Since these cherry blossoms are packed with salt, they taste terribly salty when you eat them as they are. You should remove the salt before using them so that you can taste the real cherry blossom flavor.

The saltiness still remains a lot when you just rinse them just like my Cherry Blossom Tea recipe. Therefore, you should make sure to soak them in lukewarm water for 30 minutes prior to using them in baked goods. Then, drain the water and pat them dry with a paper towel before using.

The soaked cherry blossoms still taste a little bit salty. The soaking process does not eliminate the saltiness completely. I use them in my cookie dough and for decoration. They will add a nice touch of saltiness with subtle floral and tangy flavors that go nicely with shortbread cookies.

cutting shortbread dough into slices
cherry blossom shortbread cookies
cherry blossom shortbread cookies
cherry blossom shortbread cookies

More Cherry Blossom Recipes

Check out also these cherry blossom recipes!

More Shortbread Cookies Recipes

While you are here, don’t forget to check out other shortbread recipes on my blog!

cherry blossom shortbread cookies
5 from 1 vote

Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies

Salt pickled cherry blossoms are added to these Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies, adding a nice touch of saltiness and subtle floral and tangy flavors in each bite.
Author: Jaja Bakes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 16 cookies
Tap or hover to scale!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Additional Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour


  • 1/3 cup (75 gr) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (30 gr) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (90 gr) cake flour/all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 oz (15 gr) salt pickled cherry blossoms, divided


Make The Dough

  • Divide the cherry blossoms into two groups; 5 gr good flowers (16 flowers) with nice shape petals for topping on the cookies, and 10 g damaged flowers for blending in the cookie dough.
  • Soak the damaged flowers with lukewarm water for 30 minutes to remove the saltiness.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until incorporated.
  • Scrape the bowl down and sift in the flour. Mix with a spatula until the dough starts to come together. It will look crumbly at first, but the dough will come together as you continue mixing.
  • Drain the cherry blossoms and squeeze out the water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Mince the flowers finely and add them to the dough. Use a spatula to mix them until well incorporated.

Shape The Dough

  • Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 1.5-inch/4 cm diameter. If the dough is too sticky to handle, refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes until it becomes a little bit firmer to handle.
  • Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 2 hours.

Bake The Cookies

  • Soak the good flowers with lukewarm water for 30 minutes to remove the saltiness prior to baking.
  • Drain the good cherry blossoms and pat dry gently with a paper towel. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350F/180°C and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Take out the dough from the refrigerator. Slice the dough with a sharp knife into 1/4-inch or 5 mm thick slices. Place the cut dough on baking sheets, spaced at least an inch apart.
  • Gently press down a reserved good cherry blossom onto each cookie slice.
  • Bake for 13-16 minutes or until the bottom edges of the cookies are golden brown in color.
  • Transfer to a wire sheet to cool completely.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 64kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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