Matcha Cupcakes

July 17, 2010 at 4:25 am (Cupcakes, Flavors, Matcha)

So for my first foray into coworker-testing I decided to make matcha (green tea) cupcakes.  I started off really wanting to make this recipe from chockylit.  Unfortunately for me…it was June.  Pomegranate season is October-January so June was definitely not an opportune time for that recipe.  Instead I ended up pooling a number of different recipes to make Matcha Cupcakes with a Matcha Frosting and Chocolate Shavings .

So I picked my cupcake recipe based on the depth of color in the pictures I found online.  I wanted a strong matcha flavor and I was hoping that depth of color would correlate with depth of flavor.  Luckily I was correct and/or this particular recipe has a nice matcha flavor in the cake – strong but delicate, and with the frosting tasting rather like a matcha frap.  An important note on the flavor is that it’s highly dependent on the quality of the matcha powder you use.  That doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive thing you can find – it just means experiment with the type of tea if you don’t get the depth of flavor you want on the first go.  I used hamasa-en yuki matcha that I bought at Mitsuwa a Japanese grocery chain.  Your best bet for getting good matcha powder is a Japanese grocery store, and failing that a more generic asian market.  You can also buy matcha online – I haven’t done so, but Lupicia is a Japanese tea store that has an english website – their other teas are really good but I can’t comment on the matcha.

Green Tea Cupcakes (Makes 12 – ok technically it made 14)

  • 3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 5/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons matcha powder


  1. Line 14 muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. In a small bowl, add the flours and matcha powder; stir to combine; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  4. Add the sugar gradually and beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla.
  7. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overmix.
  8. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Remove cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack before icing.
  11. Ice with Matcha Frosting.

The frosting was a slightly more complicated endeavor than the cupcakes – I started off making the matcha buttercream frosting that was suggested with the recipe.  However, I’ve never been a huge fan of buttercream – I find it slightly too sweet for most things honestly.  So I adulterated the buttercream frosting with cream cheese until I had a taste I liked better.  Here I call fro 2oz of cream cheese – I probably used closer to 3, but it’s better to start with less and add more to taste.

Matcha Frosting

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons half and half or light cream
  • 1.5 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 oz cream cheese, room temperature


  1. Mix matcha in with the light cream to make a paste.
  2. Beat butter briefly, scrape bowl.
  3. Add cream cheese.  Beat until smooth.
  4. Add the sifted powdered sugar and matcha paste. Beat until smooth.
  5. Add extra sugar or cream cheese and extra matcha powder (loose) to taste.

After trying the cupcakes I felt that the matcha-matcha taste was a bit too one note, so I added chocolate shavings to the top, which balanced everything nicely.  In the future I would probably make them mini – partially because I prefer mini cupcakes which have a better frosting-cake balance, and where the addition of the chocolate shavings would have a more balancing effect.


Despite the flavors being very non-traditional in America these got rave reviews from the coworkers – and two recipe requests too!  People are still asking me when I’ll make them again ^.^.


More Cupcake Info

Hamasa-en yuki matcha

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