one of my dearest friends, jenny, was having a brunch birthday party yesterday and i was in charge of the cupcakes (because a birthday without cake is just wrong). i debated for awhile about what kind of cupcake to make...do i make a classic and decorate like wild? or do i make a fun exciting flavor that might be less about aesthetics? i decided to go for the second option.
jenny loves bubble tea, so i decided to go with that and see what i could come up with. i decided on a green tea cupcake with a tapioca green tea frosting.
after i made this choice, i needed to go on a wild hunt to find green tea powder (matcha) of some sort. after trying 3 other stores around town, the 4th was the charm...i finally found a small jar of organic powdered green tea from the food co-op on alberta street. i want to say that in this recipe, the green tea powder defies all of my rules of thriftiness because it costs $11 for a tiny little jar, but it was worth it for a friend's birthday. if you're interested in trying this recipe out, you might want to plan ahead and buy matcha online.
that being said, the cupcakes were sort of weird and different, but they were a big hit at the party! i think they turned out really well and were not very complicated to put together. definitely worth trying if you are a fan of bubble tea or sweet green tea! on with the recipe...
green tea cupcakes
makes about 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon (+ or -) green tea powder (matcha)
beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds between each.
whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to mixer bowl. Add the milk and vanilla. mix to combine.
add green tea, all powders are of different strengths so i suggest adding smaller scoops at a time until you get the desired flavor. if you add too much, i imagine it could make your batter taste bitter. my powder was not very strong, so i ended up using a teaspoon or more. also, keep in mind you are making a green tea icing, so you might want keep the cupcake a little more subtle for balance.
scoop into cupcake papers about half to two-thirds full (depending on whether you want flat or domed cupcakes).
bake for 22-25 minutes until a knife or toothpick comes out clean.
bubble tea frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
2-3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1+ teaspoon matcha green tea powder (see the above note on matcha)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons small dry instant tapioca (i just used the kraft brand, you can find this in any grocery store with the instant puddings)
4 tablespoons milk
in a small saucepan, combine the dry tapioca with the milk and bring to a quick boil. remove from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes until tapioca is softened (it will look sticky, but don't worry it will separate when added to the mix). set aside.
bring cheese and butter to room temperature and beat together until creamy.
add half of the sugar, the green tea powder, and the vanilla. beat until combined.
add the tapioca a bit at a time until you get the texture you like.
gradually add remaining sugar (more if you have to) until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.
annie loves them!!