matcha tea cakes

After indulging in a round of excellent sushi, there’s nothing I appreciate more than the nutty finish of a palm-sized mug of green tea. From genmaicha to gunpowder, green tea chases spicy tuna like nothing else. It’s kind of like cappuccino after a great plate of pasta. It just works.

That’s why I decided to make these green tea cupcakes for our sushi soiree last Friday. I’ve tried a few recipes and wanted to share the best ones I’ve found. They’re moist and light and boast a shade of jade that commands attention rather than being unappetizing.

green tea matcha cupcakes

Photo by PoshMoggy

These little cakes would be a decadent enough item for a refined luncheon (such a funny word) or wild enough for a St. Paddy’s day green-themed party. Take your pick.

green tea matcha cupcakes

Photo by PoshMoggy

Matcha powder is just finely ground green tea leaves. It is used in many Japanese tea ceremonies and has made its way over here in green tea frappucino-type drinks. Since it’s so purely dissolved into the water and not steeped, it imparts antioxidants faster than you can say detox me baby. It’s pricey, but I found 40 grams of this brand in my local Asian grocery store for about 5$. A little goes a long way, too.

Green Tea (Matcha) Cupcakes

makes 12-14


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons matcha powder


  1. Prepare cupcake papers in a muffin tin.
  2. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs/egg yolks one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to batter and mix to combine.
  4. Whisk matcha into the milk. Add to the batter and mix until combined.
  5. Pour into cupcake papers.
  6. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a test comes out clean.

Matcha Frosting


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


  1. Whisk matcha in with cream to make a paste.
  2. Beat butter briefly, scrape bowl.
  3. Add the sifted powdered sugar and matcha paste. Beat until smooth.
  4. Spread on cooled cupcakes and decorate!

courtesy of Cupcake Bakeshop

5 thoughts on “matcha tea cakes

  1. L'aura L
    March 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Ooo, looks like a great recipe! I’ll have to try it out, thanks!

  2. March 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    These cupcakes look awesome, but so does the sushi! Do you have a quick and easy sushi roll-up ideas.

  3. Jen
    March 6, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Sushi is a lot easier than most people think. You do have to prepare the rice in advance, so it’s not really a “quick” meal, but it is definitely easy. A lot of people use a rice cooker, but this is my foolproof sushi recipe: (makes enough for 4 people)

    3 cups sushi rice (short grain white rice; we add 1/2 brown for a chewier texture), 3 1/4 c water, 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar, 1 T sugar, 1 tsp salt. Swish rice around in water and pour off. (Do this twice.) Bring to a boil with the water, then turn down and cook 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, gently heat rice vinegar in a saucepan and dissolve the sugar and salt into it. When the rice is done, fold this mixture into it with a rice paddle. Let cool significantly. Yields 6 cups sushi rice.

    You can look online for instructions on how to roll. All you need is some nori paper and rolling mats (cheap!) Get the freshest fish possible, preferably from a small fish place. Our favourite rolls consist of different combos of the following, thinly sliced: green onions, asparagus, fish, carrot, english cucumber, sesame seeds, bell peppers, and shitake mushrooms.

    OR, you can make “scattered sushi”/”sushi bowls” where you literally throw all the ingredients into a bowl, and then pick up little clumps and dip them in soy sauce/wasabi and eat! Good luck!

  4. sheri
    March 9, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Hey, Jen, those look so good, and so does the sushi! I have had a craving for Sushi in the past couple of days, as all the Mexican food I’ve eaten in the last 2 weeks has left it’s mark on my body, thus I am now craving healthier lower fat food. I’ll have to get Cam and Ang to make me some!

  5. Barbs
    March 9, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I like Japanese tea cakes so I’ll try this. At what temp should I bake them? I thought they were steamed.