green tea cupcakes with black & white frosting

Halloween is just around the corner so there’s really no better time than now to indulge in a couple sweet treats. These little green tea cupcakes with black & white frosting not only look the part, but also satisfy my sweet tooth without giving me a cavity. I’m not usually a big fan of cupcakes, but it’s most because either they’re way too sweet or just way overloaded on buttercream frosting. These green tea cupcakes aren’t too sweet at all and I have to admit, the white chocolate cream frosting with black sesame powder is finger-licking good. Of course, one of the best parts about being the chef is that I get to eat any leftovers, so the final dollop of frosting left in the bottom of the bowl was all mine ;)

The little bit of ground almonds in the cupcake batter help keeps the cake moist and gives it some extra flavor. I love the vanilla in the cupcakes as well, so if you can’t find vanilla powder, substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. You can pick up a small bag of black sesame powder at Asian grocery stores as it’s quite commonly found in Asian desserts, but if you prefer to leave it out, you certainly can and the frosting will still be quite tasty. But I actually think the black sesame is an elegant complement to the matcha green tea and also helps give the cupcakes an added Halloween-ish feel. People tend to mistaken the black & white frosting as crushed Oreos, but they’ll be in for a sweet surprise =D

If you want these cupcakes to look even more ghoulish and spooky, you can top them with Halloween icing candy, candy tombstones, or gummy spiders. Go ahead and let these grown-up, sophisticated cupcakes bring out the kid in you this Halloween

SERVINGS 12 cupcakes



For the Green Tea Cupcakes:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
  pinch of vanilla powder, optional
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon packed matcha green tea powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk


For the Black & White Frosting:

1 1/4 cups cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons black sesame powder



12-cup muffin tin
12 paper liners
Stand mixer
Rubber spatula
Mixing bowls
Unlined baking sheet
Cooling rack
Small saucepan
Pastry bag fitted with a large tip



For the Green Tea Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and pinch of vanilla powder, if using. Set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and matcha green tea powder until well-combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the green sugar mixture and beat until light and fluffy, another 3 minutes, on low speed first and then increasing the speed to medium.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until well-combined after each addition, and occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Add 1/3 of the milk and beat until just incorporated. Repeat, alternating between flour and milk until everything has combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary and being careful not to over mix the cupcake batter.
  • Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full. Bake cupcakes until tops spring back when gently touched and tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-23 minutes. Let cupcakes cool slightly in the muffin tin. Once cool enough to handle, carefully remove cupcakes from the muffin tin and let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Black & White Frosting:

  • In a small mixing bowl, add 2 teaspoons water and sprinkle on the gelatin. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup cream and sugar to a simmer, whisking often to melt the sugar. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin until completely dissolved. Add in the white chocolate and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the remaining cup of cream to soft peaks. Scoop up 1/2 cup of the whipped cream and gently whisk into the white chocolate mixture.
  • Add back the lightened white chocolate mixture to the bowl of whipped cream and sprinkle on the black sesame powder. Gently fold to incorporate both the white chocolate and black sesame. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
  • Using a pastry bag fitted with a large tip, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. (Alternatively, top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons of frosting and use a small icing spatula to swirl the frosting over the top.) Enjoy immediately or chill in an airtight container up to a day.

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