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Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

Soft and fluffy Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes topped with a white cloud of vanilla whipped cream taste just like a Matcha green tea Frappuccino! These cupcakes are delicate with just enough matcha flavor without being overpowering or bitter.

A Matcha cupcake with whipped cream topping

I remember those hot summer days in college when I would order all these Starbucks Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino. Do they still have that? It was one of my favorite sweet drinks. And these Matcha cupcakes are just like those drinks in cupcake form!

This Matcha cupcakes recipe is one of the very first recipes I’ve developed before I even started this blog. I intended to open up a cupcake shop just like everyone and their grandmas, but that idea never came to fruition. And I’m glad it didn’t, since writing on this blog is way more fun!

What is matcha?

So, what is matcha anyways? If you don’t already know, matcha is green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. But not all green teas are matcha. Matcha is produced from a shade-grown leaf called tencha, that is specifically grown and processed for this purpose.

You can buy matcha at all Japanese grocery stores, as well as pretty much any Asian grocery stores, and even mainstream American supermarkets nowadays. You may find 2 to 3 types of matcha or matcha powder mix at the store:

  • Culinary matcha – this is the one we want for cooking and baking.
  • Ceremonial matcha – this is more expensive and usually reserved for drinking.
  • Matcha latte mix – this is not the one you want because it is usually presweetened and can contain creamer or dry milk. But you don’t need it because making a homemade matcha latte is super easy!

What does matcha taste like?

Good matcha should not be bitter or acidic. Matcha is like freshly cut grass, earthy with a hint of the ocean.

How to make Matcha Cupcakes

Easy matcha green tea cupcake batter

Making matcha cupcake batter

Making matcha cupcake batter (Photos 1 – 4)

  1. Add all the wet ingredients – buttermilk, oil, egg, vanilla extract – in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a hand whisk, beat until combined. You can use an electric mixer or a stand mixer, but it is not necessary.
  3. In another bowl, sift flour, matcha powder, baking soda, and baking powder together. Then stir in sugar and salt until well distributed. Add the flour mixture into the liquid mixture.
  4. Whisk until a smooth batter forms.
Dividing matcha cupcake batter for baking

Preparing to bake matcha cupcakes (Photos 5 – 6)

  1. Use a large cookie scoop to divide the cake batter evenly into 12 lined muffin cups.
  2. Bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

What type of frosting is best for matcha cupcakes?

Matcha is such a delicate flavor that you don’t want to overpower it with a too strong or too rich frosting. I opted for a light and fluffy whipped cream to top these cupcakes off and a dusting of matcha powder.

Making whipped cream and topping the cupcakes

Adding whipped cream to the cupcakes (Photos 7 – 9)

  1. Beat heavy whipping cream with sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Using a stand mixer or an electric mixer here would be wise, but you can certainly make whipped cream by hand.
  2. When the cupcakes are completely cool, fill a pastry bag fitted with your favorite piping tip and pipe swirls on top of the cupcakes.
  3. Finish off with a dusting of matcha powder.

My typical whipped cream recipe doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, but I increased the amount of sugar in this recipe just a little bit to make it sweeter, which pairs well with these cupcakes.

But I prefer buttercream frosting…

Even though whipped cream is my preference for these matcha cupcakes. If you want a richer frosting, I would recommend using a not-too-sweet buttercream and flavor it with matcha powder to amp up the matcha flavor even more.

Try one of these buttercream frosting recipes and add up to 1 tablespoon of matcha powder to it.

Do I need to stabilize the whipped cream to use as frosting?

I’ve successfully used whipped cream as frosting for cupcakes many times before without the need to stabilize it. See these Banana Split Cupcakes and these Pina Colada Cupcakes.

But if you want to stabilize your whipped cream, you can add ½ – 1 teaspoon of powder gelatin to the whipped cream.

  • Bloom the gelatin in a tablespoon of water
  • Microwave until the gelatin dissolves completely
  • Mix the gelatin mixture into your whipped cream when it is at soft peaks stage
  • Continue whipping until stiff peaks form

Matcha cupcakes on brown table top

Baker’s Tips

  • You can use either type of matcha powder in this recipe: culinary or ceremonial. However, it is more economical to use culinary matcha powder meant for cooking and baking.
  • Make sure your matcha powder is pure tea powder and not a matcha latte mix, which is usually already sweetened and can contain creamer.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, check out how to make homemade buttermilk.

Storing leftover matcha cupcakes

These cupcakes are best within 1 – 2 days, but you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Making ahead

The cupcakes can be made a few days ahead and stored at room temperature for 3 – 5 days without the frosting. They can even be kept frozen for up to 6 months, be sure to wrap them well. Simply thaw them at room temperature and add the frosting when you plan to serve.

Whipped cream is easy to make so I recommend making the whipped cream and topping the cupcakes the day of or just before you plan to serve, especially to save fridge space.

A Matcha cupcake with whipped cream topping

More matcha recipes

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!

A Matcha cupcake with whipped cream topping

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes

Soft and fluffy Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes topped with a white cloud of vanilla whipped cream taste just like a Matcha green tea Frappuccino! These cupcakes are delicate with just enough matcha flavor without being overpowering or bitter.
4.95 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Trang

Ingredients

Matcha Cake

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (175 g)
  • 2 tablespoon matcha powder (11 g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (141 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (175 g)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (105 g)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (236 g)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (47 g)
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon matcha powder

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup standard size muffin pan with cupcake paper and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.
  • Sift flour, matcha powder, baking soda, baking powder in another bowl, add salt and sugar and whisk until evenly distributed. Add the flour mixture into the wet ingredient mixture and stir until a smooth batter forms.
  • Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups using a large cookie scoop and bake for 17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
  • Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 10 - 15 minutes until cool to the touch before removing them from the pan and setting them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the whipped cream, beat together heavy whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  • Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with your favorite tip and pipe a swirl on top of the cupcakes. Dust some matcha powder on top. Keep refrigerated.

Video

Notes

  • Use culinary matcha powder for baking, make sure your matcha powder is pure tea powder and not a matcha powder mix used to make matcha latte.
  • The whipped cream will last as long as the cupcakes without any stabilizing agent, but make sure you beat until stiff peaks.
  • You can stabilize the whipped cream using ½ - 1 teaspoon of gelatin powder, bloom it in a tablespoon of water, microwave until completely dissolved, and mix this in with the whipped cream while it is at soft peak stage and continue beating until stiff peaks.

Nutrition

Serving: 80g | Calories: 278kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @WildWildWhisk or tag #WildWildWhisk!

Matcha cupcakes pin image

This post was originally published on 5/1/2017. The recipe has been updated and republished on 8/13/2020 with the latest improvements, extra tips, process photos and a video to help you in the kitchen.

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48 Comments

  1. Lorraine Seow
    August 25, 2020 /

    Hi Trang, is it possible to replace vegetable oil with butter? If yes, could you please advise the butter quantity? Thank you.

    • Trang
      Author
      August 26, 2020 /

      Hi Lorraine, you can replace but vegetable oil will keep the cake more moist, butter will give more flavor but the cupcakes may come out dryer. I would use 2/3 cup of butter and dial back the buttermilk to about 2/3 cup.

  2. Marie
    August 14, 2020 /

    5 stars
    These look amazing. Can’t wait to try them and your video is really helpful and super creative too.

    • Trang
      Author
      August 15, 2020 /

      Thank you! <3

  3. Maureen
    August 14, 2020 /

    5 stars
    These are so pretty! I also love to see what kind of vintage Pyrex you are using to mix up your wonderful recipes!

    • Trang
      Author
      August 15, 2020 /

      Thank you Maureen! The ones I have are these but I collected them in pieces from different thrift store trips 🙂

      • Maureen
        August 16, 2020 /

        5 stars
        I collected most of mine from garage or estate sales. I started a few years before the vintage Pyrex craze so I got lucky! I always love seeing the Pyrex in action!

        • Trang
          Author
          August 17, 2020 /

          I absolutely love them for the durability, but they are getting way too expensive to collect now.

  4. Mihane
    August 3, 2020 /

    5 stars
    This cupcake was SUPER fluffy! The most fluffiest cupcake I’ve ever eaten! I made this without the frosting because we didn’t have any heavy cream at the time, but tastes delicious without it.

  5. Joanne
    July 24, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Baked these for a party with a matcha-lover host – an excellent recipe! The cake is pillowy but sturdy enough to hold a generous amount of topping (I used a heavy cream cheese-based frosting).

    I also added an extra 1.5 tsp of matcha but even without I imagine the flavor is plenty!

  6. Maxi
    July 21, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Hey Trang, thanks for the recipe. It turned out great! But the story first… I’d been eyeing this recipe for awhile and when I finally started making it I realized I didn’t have whole milk or buttermilk — only oat milk and condensed milk. I added 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the oat milk . Then I realized I didn’t have any more white granulated sugar — only soft dark brown sugar. Since I had condensed milk, I only used a 1/2 cup of sugar.
    I couldn’t believe it worked! I also toasted then ground up some black sesame with honey into a sort of paste/butter and when filling up the muffin tin, sandwiched it in between two spoonfuls of matcha batter.
    The tops turned out crispy like muffins and the texture was really moist and perfectly sweet!
    I skipped the cream since hubby and I have been eating too many treats since quarantine. It was still a wonderful recipe and I’ll try it again (maybe even with the cream) when I have all the proper ingredients 🙂 Thank you!

    • Trang
      Author
      July 21, 2020 /

      You are amazing! That black sesame paste sounds like a wonderful addition too. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m so happy you guys enjoyed it 🙂

  7. Martina Lee
    June 30, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Made these for a friend’s birthday and they came out great! The recipe is so simple, took very little time to make, and they taste good! Love the soft and light texture in particular. My friend was very impressed and it made her day. Thank you for sharing the recipe Trang!

    • Trang
      Author
      July 1, 2020 /

      Thank you Martina! I’m so glad your friend enjoyed it for her birthday, you’re such a wonderful friend 🙂

  8. Michellee
    June 19, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Just made these for a friend and WOW they are so melt-in-your-mouth good!!!!! Not too sweet, the matcha comes right through and they are perfect for a quick breakfast snack haha! I used a Chantilly cream w/ mascarpone instead of normal whipped cream and it really upped the experience. I can’t wait to keep making this recipe. It’s definitely a new favorite!

  9. Elisa
    June 4, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Thank you so much Trang for sharing the matcha cupcake recipe. I love matcha. Your cupcake recipe is flavorful and moist. So good! This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you again for sharing it.

    • Trang
      Author
      June 4, 2020 /

      Thank you Elisa, happy to hear you liked it!

  10. Jennifer Song
    May 29, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Thank you so much Trang for developing and posting this delightful and easy to make recipe! This has quickly become my go to recipe for cupcakes and I love the matcha flavor in baked goods! I appreciate your hard work and recipes!

    • Trang
      Author
      May 29, 2020 /

      Thank you so much Jennifer! Your kind comment really made my day 🙂

  11. Kyla
    May 21, 2020 /

    hello, is the batter not liquidy?

    • Trang
      Author
      May 24, 2020 /

      Hi Kyla, I actually happen to remake this recipe today and the batter is not liquidy at all. It isn’t thick, and when you scoop it into the cupcake pan, it drips, but it is definitely not liquidy.

  12. Catherine
    May 19, 2020 /

    5 stars
    These cupcakes were amazing! I love matcha flavored desserts and have been on the hunt for a good cake/cupcake recipe. This recipe was perfect!! I upped the amount of matcha by 1.5 tsp because I wanted a stronger flavor and it worked perfectly. Instead of the whipped cream icing I went with a vanilla buttercream and lightly dusted some matcha powder on top. These were delicious, thanks for the amazing recipe!

    • Trang
      Author
      May 20, 2020 /

      Thank you so much Catherine!

      • Susan
        June 26, 2020 /

        Hi if I don’t have egg, is possible to do the cupcake??

        • Trang
          Author
          June 27, 2020 /

          Hi Susan, unfortunately I don’t think it will work, you need the egg to give the cupcakes structure.

  13. Jennifer
    May 6, 2020 /

    5 stars
    These are SO good. I love matcha everything. These have the perfect sweetness and matcha combined. I’m so glad I found your blog, and I’m looking forward to making lots of things using your recipe!

    • Trang
      Author
      May 6, 2020 /

      Thank you so much Jennifer! Glad you enjoy it!

  14. Katie
    April 26, 2020 /

    5 stars
    Great recipe! The store was out of baking powder and whipping cream. So, I substituted buttermilk + baking soda for baking powder and the cupcakes still turned out great! I tried substituting half and half + butter for the whipping cream, but it wouldn’t whip :'( So I had a frosting-less cupcake, but still tasty nonetheless and definitely better for my health xD

    • Trang
      Author
      April 26, 2020 /

      Aww, I’m sorry you couldn’t find whipping cream. If you still want to add frosting, you can check out my swiss buttercream or American style buttercream, they both aren’t too sweet. But I’m glad you like the cupcakes still 🙂

  15. Emily
    November 10, 2019 /

    5 stars
    I absolutely loved how they turned out! I made these for my mama because she loves green tea and she loved them. I’m not a baker so I wasn’t so sure if they would turn out well since a lot of things were new to me. Ofc they turned out good though! They would’ve been better if I could actually frost things properly but oh well, practice makes perfect😂

    • Trang
      Author
      November 10, 2019 /

      I’m so happy to hear that your mom loves them! As long as they taste good, that’s all that matters 🙂

  16. Alex
    March 16, 2019 /

    These cupcakes didn’t rise for me unfortunately. 🙁
    Not sure if it is because I used coconut oil as my vegetable oil or perhaps over mixed. I used an electric mixer.
    What is the consistency of the batter supposed to look like? Mine was quite runny.

    • Trang
      Author
      March 17, 2019 /

      Oh no, I’m sorry it didn’t rise. Hmm if you use the same amount of coconut oil, I would think it should work but I’ve never made it with coconut oil before. Overmixing can put too much air into the batter, the cupcakes will over-rise and then collapse in the oven, that sounds like it could be the problem. I can’t remember exactly the consistency of the batter since I haven’t made this recipe in a while… Some cupcake recipe can be quite runny when made with oil. If you try this recipe again, try it without the electric mixer, I always make cupcake batter by hand, also to be on the safe side, reduce the baking soda by half to reduce over-rising. I hope you try it again, and let me know.

      • Jessica Gregory
        March 4, 2020 /

        Bad leavening was probably the culprit.

  17. anne
    March 3, 2019 /

    This recipe is excellent – thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
    I’m just wondering.. Would I be able to substitute the Matcha powder for Lavender (for the cake) and earl grey tea (for the frosting)? I was thinking of using this recipe to make lavender cupcakes with earl grey whipped cream frosting, since the Matcha cupcakes were so, so good. I tried a different lavender and earl grey cupcakes recipe, but it didn’t turn out great.

    • Trang
      Author
      March 3, 2019 /

      Are you planning to put crushed lavender into the batter? Lavender is very strong, so I would be careful not to use too much. I don’t really know how much to use, but definitely not a straight substitution with the matcha powder. I believe there is lavender extract if you want to make it with an extract. You may have to test it out to see what the perfect amount is either way. As for the whipped cream, you could try steeping the earl grey tea in hot cream, then you must let it cool and refrigerate until cold before whipping. Come back and let me know if it works!

  18. Yuri
    January 22, 2019 /

    5 stars
    Hi, my first time checking your website so I decided to make this recipe and I just Loved it!!!!! The cupcakes are so moist and the flavor of the matcha is perfect!! Well maybe because my sister brought me the matcha I used from Japan!! I think I`m gonna use this recipe for all the recipes, so I just have to change the flavor… Do you think I can do that? For example for the red velvet I added the vinegar and change the matcha for the chocolate??

    • Trang
      Author
      January 23, 2019 /

      I actually have a red velvet recipe if you want to check that out. The vinegar is not there to impart any flavor, it’s used in conjunction with baking soda to create lift/rise in the cupcakes. You can use the recipe and change to your liking if it’s just something simple like changing out the matcha powder for some other powder. Just keep in mind that each powder for flavoring has different strength and taste so what you get with the matcha powder may not be the same for others. For example, if you are to use it to make a chocolate cupcakes, it would be very bland because you’ll need a lot more cocoa powder to get a deep chocolate flavor. Feel free to browse around though, I have a lot of different flavor cupcakes if you’d like to try. 🙂

  19. Vanessa N.
    December 24, 2018 /

    4 stars
    Solid recipe! I used cake flour and a buttermilk sub (whole mik and vinegar). My cupcakes have a nice, moist crumb and rose well. I will probably increase the matcha next time because I like a stronger matcha flavor. Overall, I was pleased with my results and will definitely make these again.

    • Trang
      Author
      December 26, 2018 /

      Excellent, thanks for the feedback Vanessa!

      • Vanessa N.
        January 1, 2020 /

        5 stars
        I made these again yesterday. I used AP flour, whole milk + lemon juice, and increased the matcha by 1-1.5 tsp. They were perfect! Everyone gobbled them up. Going to make another batch soon.

        • Trang
          Author
          January 2, 2020 /

          Thanks Vanessa! I’m happy to hear everyone loved them 🙂

  20. November 29, 2018 /

    Hi Trang, can I substitute butter milk with whole milk? Thanks!

    • Trang
      Author
      November 29, 2018 /

      Buttermilk is usually thicker than whole milk, so I wouldn’t substitute directly. You can try one of these:
      1. You can try adding lemon juice or vinegar to whole milk to make a buttermilk substitute, usually 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk.
      2. Try mixing half milk half plain yogurt or sour cream.
      I think one of these will make good substitute but keep in mind I haven’t used them before, so forgive me if they don’t work perfectly.

  21. Kimberly Arcosa
    September 2, 2018 /

    Can I use cake flour for this with the same measurement?

    • Trang
      Author
      September 2, 2018 /

      Yes Kimberly, you should be able to.

  22. Chris
    March 16, 2018 /

    Can you use this to make a cake?

    • Trang
      Author
      March 16, 2018 /

      Hi Chris, you sure can. Although I’ve never made a cake with this recipe so I don’t know what size it will be, but probably a small 2-layer cake. You will need to adjust the baking time when baking in a larger pan. It will take longer so just watch it so it doesn’t burn.

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