While we were in D.C. in the spring, absolutely everything was cherry blossom themed.
Predictably, we came a week before the trees bloomed, but the city was still vibrating with expectation.
We passed cherry blossom smoothies, stopped for tapas at a bar that served cherry blossom sangria, and walked by a bakery serving up cherry blossom cupcakes on the way to Georgetown for a college visit.
You can tell what caught my eye.
(No, we did not wait in line to try the Georgetown Cupcakes. If you want to, order ahead on their website and skip the line!)
"Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" KT Tunstall
Adapted from Georgetown Cupcakes
Ingredients:For the cupcakes:
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)
Directions:Line a standard cupcake pan with 12 paper baking cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sift together the dry ingredients on parchment and set aside.
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.
Add the vanilla to the milk.
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.
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:
Combine the ingredients in a mixer and whip together at high speed until light and airy, approximately 3-5 minutes.
Frost each cupcake with a signature swirl of icing.