Sunday, February 27, 2011

Matcha (Green Tea) Cupcakes


So long no see to everyone! It has been one busy month, and hope things are finally settling down for me. Hope to be able to continue posting more yummy recipes here for all to see!
This weekend was a very special one: my baby sister came home this weekend for her spring break! She is going to school in NC and since that is a ways away from good ol’ Indiana, we don’t get to see her very often. However, this will be the last time we see her until August! Boo! That means we would not be able to celebrate her birthday in March with her. So, what do we do? We bump up her birthday celebration a little early to this weekend! Yay to that! Before she arrived, I asked her what her birthday cupcake request would be. She reply: “Make me something naturally green.” Green?? Green?!!?!?! That was my immediate reaction. BUT! Then I remembered seeing Japanese green tea (matcha) cupcakes, and thought this would be a perfect fit! I first looked through my recipe books for a match, but did not find any. I turned to the internet and found this lovely recipe at Food Mayhem and gave it a try. I followed the cake recipe directly, but modified the frosting recipe (I used the whole 8oz of cream cheese instead of leaving 2oz behind, and I only used 2 tsp of green tea).
Now just a little tid-bit about Matcha green tea: Matcha is a specific green tea used in Asian countries, especially in Japan. When I lived in Japan I participated in a Japanese Tea Ceremony and I was served Matcha tea with small sweet cakes. Matcha has a long history behind it, and if you want to read a little about it, I suggest this Wiki page.
So now onto the recipe! Hope you enjoy it, as my sister certainly did!

*Note: No, we did not eat the cupcake with chopsticks :P

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes
Makes ~18 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
4 teaspoons matcha powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream

Frosting:
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons matcha powder
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place muffin liners in regular muffin tin for 18-24 cupcakes.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together all purpose flour, cake flour, matcha powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
4. Alternating between dry mix and sour cream, stir into the wet mixture until just combined. 
5. Fill muffin cups so that the tin looks about 2/3 full.
6. Bake muffins for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let it cool for ten minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.
7. To make frosting, sift together confectioner’s sugar and matcha powder. Set aside. Using a heavy duty mixer with the whisk attachment, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add sugar/matcha gradually. Once all of the sugar/matcha is mixed in, increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes more. Frost with piping bag.

Adapted from Food Mayhem