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
- 2 tsp matcha
- 1 Tbsp hot water
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ⅔ cup organic sugar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil any liquid oil works
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup pastry flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
Matcha Buttercream Frosting
- 1 tsp matcha
- ½ Tbsp hot water
- ½ cup vegan butter
- ½ cup vegan shortening sub 1:1 for vegan butter if needed
- 1 ¼- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar add more or less depending on preference
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.
I’m wondering if there is a way to make this into a cake instead of cupcakes? also..do you think I could successfully split the batter into two halves and do half with butterfly pea flower powder and swirl together to make an earth day cake?? I see your cookies but haven’t found anything like what I’m trying to make! Thanks 🙏🏻
I'm honestly not sure! It probably could be made as a small cake in an 8-inch circular cake pan, but it would change the baking time to around 30 minutes. For the butterfly pea powder I would assume swapping it 1:1 with the matcha would work. Hope that helps!
This was so delicious! Just the right amount of matcha flavor and the frosting wasn't too sweet but perfect (I used 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar). Loved how the flavors came out and brought these cupcakes to a dinner party. The only thing I wasn't able to figure out was why my frosting was a little soft and didn't hold shape well, even after putting in the fridge for 30 min. Will try again and maybe see if leaving it in fridge longer helps. Any tips to help that?
So happy you enjoyed them! With the frosting- it may just be the vegan butter you are using- some are too soft or just lead to a much softer frosting. I really like using Earth Balance or Country crock for vegan frosting. Alternatively, if you don't mind a slightly sweeter frosting, more powdered sugar does help firm the matcha frosting up. Hope that helps!
Ana Goldman says
These cupcakes are amazing! Making the Strawberry Lemon but need to make it into a 6 or 8 inch cake for my daughters wedding, any suggestions? Also making Matcha cupcakes and Cardamomn Rose cupcakes for their guests. Need to make 50 approx. Ill need to modify recipe to make more at one time or is there a recipe?
So happy you liked them! I, unfortunately, don't know how much batter you'd need for a cake- you want it to be at least 2/3 full of batter so I'd test it out and see. For the cupcakes, you can just double the recipe- the recipe card should have a button where you can increase the amount. Hope that helps!
Theresa M Nicholas says
It says Baking Soda in the ingredients but not in the instructions... also, shifting the matcha and then adding cold (should be room temp) almond milk makes absoultely no sense. Batter was clumpy. Haven't baked them yet but I'm annoyed.
Just finished these tonight and they are delectable!! I used gluten free 1:1 and they came out light and fluffy!! Your recipes are wonderful so easy to follow and the results are exactly as you cue!
Megan Horowitch says
Thank you so much and SO happy it came out light & fluffy with GF flour 🙂
Hi Chelsey, which gluten free flour did you use. Some have milk in it and I need a dairy free flour.