Sweet Spring! 7 Desserts Celebrating Cherry Blossom Season in DC

The capital’s Tidal Basin erupts into a flurry of pink as the cherry blossoms bloom at the end of March and beginning of April. The rosy buds mark the start of spring in the region. To commemorate the return of warm weather, chefs work overtime to create sweet treats which draw inspiration from and pay homage to the much-Instagrammed floral display. Here are seven desserts that celebrate cherry blossom season in DC.

Wildfire
Sing it with us, “Tastes so good make a grown man cry/Sweet cherry pie, oh yeah!” Just to be clear, this sweet vee was inspired by the pies baked in Door County, Wisconsin, — not Warrant’s hair metal anthem. Each generously portioned wedge is packed with the red stone fruit swimming in a sticky filling. Vanilla ice cream is optional though we can’t imagine why you’d want a slice without a scoop. That’s sounds practically un-American to us. Make a reservation at Wildfire.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

Ted’s Bulletin–14th Street
There are fewer things that make our inner children happier than a pop tart. This seasonal, springtime-only version is packed with cherry filling and glazed pink. Pro tip one: ask the server to pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds, so it’s nice and warm. Pro tip two: Take a couple home, so your breakfast game will be on point the next morning. Make a reservation at Ted’s Bulletin.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

The Pig
The cherry trees speckling the Tidal Basin were originally gifted by the city of Tokyo in 1912. To evoke those roots, pastry chef Audrey Valero has created a Japanese-styled dessert: matcha pistachio cake topped with black sesame ganache. It’s accompanied by a quenelle of miso caramel ice cream. If that’s not enough, order an additional scoop of azuki bean ice cream. Make a reservation at the Pig.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

Centrolina
Even the Easter Bunny is envious of this egg. The three-foot-tall chocolate treat decorated with cherry blossoms towers over anything you can buy in the CVS candy aisle. The oversized oeuf will be displayed in the West Wing of the White House over Easter weekend while smaller versions will be used as a part of the annual Easter Egg Roll. Make a reservation at Centrolina.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

The Occidental Grill & Seafood
There’s something eternally comforting about a crisp. The crumbly top accented with cherry fennel pollen hides a gooey mass of sweet ‘n’ tart cherries. It’s topped off with a dollop of cream cheese ice cream, which adds its own tiny tang to the proceedings. Best enjoyed with a hot cup of black coffee or a cold glass of milk. Make a reservation at Occidental Grill & Seafood.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

Jaleo
Trust José Andrés’s crew to pair an unorthodox soup with an unconventional ice cream. We’re talking wild red berry soup with nutty, buttery Idiazábal cheese ice cream. Not exactly a classic combo. However, it totally works and reminds of us the interplay between quince paste and Manchego. Make a reservation at Jaleo.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

BlackSalt
Pastry chef Susan Wallace knows a thing or two about making desserts that deeply satisfy. Case in point is her served-warm cherry almond upside down cake. The springy sweet comes with cherry compote, crème frâiche ice cream, a scribble of caramel sauce, and a crunchy shard of almond brittle. Not included: a force field to prevent your dinner date from stealing a few bites. Make a reservation at BlackSalt.

Cherry Blossom Season in DC

If you’re celebrating cherry blossom season in DC, be sure to share your snaps of blossoms or sweet cherry-based treats with us on Instagram.

Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell

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