I just made a matcha chocolate cake for the Food Network, and it inspired me to make these matcha cupcakes! Did I also have some leftover matcha powder I wanted to use up? Maybe!!
I’m not actually the biggest fan of matcha as a drink. However, when green tea powder is used as a flavor in other types of food, I find I really enjoy it.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is made from special green tea leaves, that are ground down into an incredibly fine consistency. These leaves are specifically grown and processed to make matcha powder.
The leaves are grown in the shade the last 3 to 4 weeks before they’re harvested. This increases the amount of caffeine they contain, and also intensifies their color.
You can buy matcha at most grocery stores in either the tea and coffee section, or the international section. I get mine from Whole Foods, but you can also order matcha powder on amazon.
What Does Matcha Matcha Taste Like?
The first time I tried matcha, it was matcha soft serve! I liked it a lot more that I thought I would. Slowly I progressed to matcha pancakes, matcha croissants, and even matcha lattes.
Matcha has a uniquely earthy flavor. It’s rich and smooth, but sometimes it can have a bitter aftertaste. However, good quality matcha should almost have a sweet finish. A lot of it comes down to how the matcha is prepared, and its quality.
Ceremonial grade matcha is used in tea ceremonies, and is the highest quality. However, most matcha used for culinary purposes is a lower grade.
When matcha is being mixed with sweeteners in desserts, or with milk in lattes, the sugars can balance out any hint of bitterness. It leaves a wonderful flavor, that pairs well with so many different things!
Picking The Right Frosting For These Matcha Cupcakes
Baking with matcha is an entirely different challenge. There’s a delicate balance around adding just right amount of matcha. It’s also fun to pair matcha with additional flavors.
Of the many flavors that compliment matcha, I wanted to keep things simple with these cupcakes.
With that in mind, I thought a fluffy, whipped vanilla buttercream would be the perfect frosting to pair with the matcha in this cake.
This frosting is based on my American buttercream, but uses a lot more heavy cream. This helps it whip up, and allows more air to be incorporated into the frosting. The end result is a fluffy, less sweet frosting.
The vanilla frosting also looks beautiful on top of the naturally green cupcakes. Add a dusting of matcha powder, and you have an
Adding matcha to the buttercream also creates the most gorgeous shade of frosting!
Share Your Creations With Me!
Nothing makes me happier than when I get emails or DMs with photos of your baking. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your triumphs, or questions <3
If you try this matcha cupcake recipe, please let me know what you think of it. You can also tag me on social media @chelsweets, and use #chelsweets.
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp cake flour (135 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder (6 grams)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
- 1/2 tsp salt (2 grams)
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temp (123 grams)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (112 grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
- 2 large eggs, room temp (114 grams)
- 1 Tbsp sifted matcha (9 grams)
Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (217 grams)
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (454 grams) - or a 1 lb bag
- 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (58 grams)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (8 grams)
- Begin by preheating oven to 350°F (175°C), and place cupcake liners in baking pans.
- Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and matcha into a large bowl.
- Pour in the milk and oil, and gently stir until just combined. The batter will be thick, but that's how it should be!
- Next, add in the vanilla and eggs, and mix until the batter comes together.
- Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 way full. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling. If you want to accelerate the cooling process, pop the pans into your freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.
- Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
- If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 Tablespoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
- Place the buttercream in a piping bag fit with your favorite frosting tip, and pipe large swirls onto the fully cooled cupcakes.
- Garnish with a dusting of matcha powder.
This recipe can also be used to make mini cupcakes! This recipe makes about 40 mini cupcakes, which only need to bake for 8-9 minutes.
Amount Per Serving Calories 386 Total Fat 23g Saturated Fat 10g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 12g Cholesterol 67mg Sodium 190mg Carbohydrates 44g Fiber 0g Sugar 42g Protein 2g