These Vegan Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes are perfectly sweet with a subtle earthy matcha taste, loads of vegan matcha buttercream frosting, and a dusting of matcha powder on top for decoration! Plus, this recipe can be made in 35 minutes making it a truly easy vegan matcha dessert recipe!
If you've been following SGTO for a while, you know that, even though I may be a coffee addict, I LOVE baking with matcha. From my Vegan Matcha Black Sesame Sticky Buns to my Vegan Matcha Cookies I truly believe a little sugar makes matcha even better!
What does matcha taste like?
If you've never tried matcha before, it has a slightly grassy, mildly sweet, and pleasant bitter flavor. While these cupcakes are sweet, they do have a pretty distinct matcha flavor throughout the cupcakes and a very subtle matcha flavor in the frosting.
It definitely is a recipe for MATCHA LOVERS- so make sure you like the flavor of matcha before trying these!
Tips to make vegan matcha cupcakes
While these dairy-free & eggless matcha cupcakes are pretty straightforward, there are a few tips & tricks you're going to want to follow to make the perfect fluffy & tender cupcakes.
Always use high-quality matcha
The best type of matcha to use for these vegan matcha cupcakes is either culinary, latte, or ceremonial grade matcha. For a richer, greener color- make sure to use a high-quality matcha powder from a reputable brand.
Culinary grade will be the more affordable option, but ceremonial will give a richer color and flavor. I personally used Rishi Matcha for this recipe which is culinary grade matcha, however, I also recommend MyEncha.
I do not recommend using anything labeled "green tea powder", any powder with added sugar, or a matcha latte mix that tends to have dairy creamer in it.
Whisk sifted matcha powder in warm water first
Why do this step? Simply because it helps to remove any larger clumps of matcha. First, sift the matcha, Then add it to a small with the matcha powder and whisk together until smooth. I used a baking whisk but a bamboo whisk specifically for matcha( Chasen) would work even better.
Also, make sure the water is not TOO hot. Otherwise, the water may scorch the matcha powder and make it bitter.
If you can, use pastry flour
There's a reason I use pastry flour in most vegan cupcake & cake recipes on SGTO! Pastry flour leads to a lighter, fluffier, and more tender baked good because of the lower protein content in the flour. It can be subbed 1:1 for cake flour which has a similar protein content.
Don't overmix cupcake batter
This is SUPER important if you want light & fluffy cupcakes! Mix the batter JUST until all streaks of flour are gone and not any longer. If you overmix the matcha cupcake batter, it could end up dense and gummy from too much gluten forming.
Matcha buttercream frosting
Once the matcha cupcakes are in the oven, it's time to make the vegan matcha frosting!
Just 4 Ingredients:
- Vegan butter: I used Earth Balance buttery sticks
- Vegan shortening: I used Spectrum Organics which is ethically sourced palm oil. If you don't want to use shortening just sub 1:1 for more vegan butter. Shortening has a lighter smoother texture than vegan butter which is why I prefer a mix.
- Matcha powder: Make sure to mix it with water first!
- Powdered sugar
Steps to make matcha frosting:
- First, cream together the shortening and vegan butter until completely smooth & fluffy with no large clumps.
- Next add in the matcha and whip another 30 seconds.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until it reaches the desired sweetness.
- Then, whip another minute or two until SUPER fluffy!
Pro Tip: After whipping, the frosting may be a little soft. At this point, add the frosting to a piping bag and then add the piping bag to the fridge for 5-10 minutes to solidify a bit. I place my piping bag into a cup so it stands up straight and doesn't leak out. This is my favorite trick to piping perfect swirls of vegan frosting!
FAQ & Substitutions:
Is there a substitute for pastry flour?
Instead of the 1 ¼ cups of pastry flour, the recipe calls for, use 1 cup+ 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and then add in 1 Tbsp of cornstarch. This helps to create a homemade version of pastry flour! Basically, for every 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a recipe, replace 2 Tbsp with 1 Tbsp cornstarch.
How do I store matcha cupcakes?
Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 24-28 hours.
Frosted cupcakes must be stored in the freezer or the frosting will melt. In the freezer, they will keep up to 1 month. Before eating judge defrost at room temperature for about 30 minutes!
I don't recommend storing cupcakes in the fridge as it tends to dry the cake out, but if it's your only option they will keep for up to 5-7 days. Just keep in mind it does affect the moist texture!
I truly hope you love these Vegan Matcha Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream Frosting! They are moist, tender, full of earthy matcha flavor, and would be the perfect green tea cupcakes to bake up for any true matcha lover. Enjoy!
More vegan cupcakes & cake recipes you will love:
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Vegan Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes
First, make the matcha cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 9 cupcake liners.
- Whisk the sifted matcha powder and hot water in a bowl until no clumps remain. Then, add in the almond milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla bean paste. Gently mix together.
- Next add in the pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure to add the flour first and add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt on top. Mix together until no streaks of flour remain and a smooth green cupcake batter forms.
- Fill the cupcake liners with the batter until each liner is about ⅔ full. Gently tap the muffin tray on the counter before baking to remove any large air bubble that may have formed. Then, add to the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes until cooked through.
- Remove the cupcakes from the tray immediately (so they do not overcook) and place them onto a wire rack to cool.
Make the Matcha Frosting
- First, whisk together the sifted matcha and hot water in a small bowl until no clumps remain. Then, add the vegan butter and shortening to a large mixing bowl. Then, use an electric mixer to cream together until no clumps remain and fluffy. Next, add in the matcha and beat together for another 30 seconds.
- Gradually beat in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time to the desired texture and sweetness level. Once all the powdered sugar is in, beat together another 1-2 minutes until super fluffy.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag. If the frosting is too soft, add the piping bag to the fridge for 5-10 minutes to help firm. Then, pipe the frosting onto cooled matcha cupcakes.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- I used Rishi Tea Everyday Matcha Powder- Culinary Grade- for this recipe.
- If using all-purpose flour, use 1 cup+ 2 tbsp all-purpose flour(140 grams) and then add in 1 Tbsp of cornstarch. This helps to create a homemade version of pastry flour!
- Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for 24-28 hours.
- Frosted cupcakes can be stored in a closed container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Before eating judge defrost at room temperature for about 30 minutes! They will also keep in the fridge for 5-7 days, but this may dry out the cupcakes.