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 dynamites, bakudans and spicy tuna like nothing else on the market. 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. (I didn’t have our good camera at the party so if you’re disagreeing with that statement, please envision a grassy hue…there you go, perfect.) Keep in mind they also pack a punch of caffeine: not to be consumed while operating heavy machinery.

I didn’t have time to whip up the matching icing, so I used a container of leftover chocolate pudding, whipped cream and cinnamon. Accompanied by Mel’s mochi ice cream (new sen-SA-tions in and of themselves), these will heretofore be my chief post-sushi craving.

Because it’s crucial to understand the context of something as esoteric as the revered cake-in-a-cup, following are some pictures of the events leading up to said cupcake-mochi extravaganza:

Our resident fishmonger expertly skinning salmon; I’ll snare ya an skin ye biys!
The women slaving away for their sailors (though the personal pay off wasn’t half bad)
This was top-tier stuff

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. When it comes to green cupcakes, it’s really all in the decorating.

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. It looks like this:


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 responses to “matcha tea cakes

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

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