This matcha green tea buttercream is light and creamy and full of delicious matcha flavor! The matcha powder is balanced with a hint of vanilla and it reminds me of my favourite matcha latte in buttercream form.
This frosting is perfect for icing your cupcakes and cakes, giving them a delicious twist! This matcha buttercream goes particularly great with a lemon, vanilla or white chocolate sponge. It’s also a lovely vibrant green, so it’s great to give your desserts and snack a St. Paddy’s day theme.
🍵 What is matcha?
Matcha is a fine powder made from the same plant as green tea. It is specially grown and processed from green tea leaves, made differently from what you find in your usual green tea teabags. There are also different quality grades of matcha powder.
Can you bake with matcha powder?
Yes! When baking with matcha powder, be sure to use culinary grade (food grade) at a minimum, or ceremonial grade matcha powder for a more vibrant colour. Matcha powder adds a delicious green tea flavour to your baked goods and will add a beautiful green too. My favourite brand is Matchaeologist – they make seriously delicious matcha!
Matcha has a slightly bitter natural flavour, which makes it amazing when you have it in a matcha latte with some vanilla syrup (my personal Starbucks favourite). It’s even better used in desserts and sweet treats. The earthy green tea flavour is balanced beautifully by sweet flavours.
As it’s a very strong flavour, you don’t need much matcha green tea powder to flavour your baked goods.
✏️ Recipe creation
As a self-confessed matcha addict, having the option to add a matcha flavor to my baked goods is kinda dreamy.
I wanted to create an American style buttercream, as it's so much easier to make without having to faff about with egg whites for some of the fancier styles of buttercream.
I first used this matcha buttercream on top of my best ever matcha cupcakes. It went so well I decided to make it into its own recipe to make it easier to add this frosting to other sweet treats.
One of favorite uses for this buttercream is to frost white chocolate blondies, or mixing it with offcuts of sponge cake and turning them into matcha cake pops and cakesicles.
🥘 Ingredients notes
- It’s best to start this recipe with room temperature ingredients. Using butter straight from the fridge will make it super difficult to beat it to a light and fluffy consistency and adding cold milk can cause your buttercream to break.
- I recommend sieving your powdered sugar (also called icing sugar) and matcha powder for this recipe – this will help give you a super smooth and silky buttercream.
- When measuring your ingredients, using weights rather than cups will give you more accuracy.
- Not all matcha powder is created equal. I’d recommend splashing out to get a ceremonial or culinary grade matcha powder, preferably from a good brand. Cheap matcha powders can be a lot more bitter and have a less vibrant green color. I like to use the Matchaeologist culinary matcha powder for this delicious frosting.
- I also prefer to use vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence, as it has a purer vanilla taste due to being less processed.
It’s best to store your matcha buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep for 3-4 days stored like this, but you may need to bring it back up to room temperature and re-beat it before using it.
It’s good to note that if you use slightly older buttercream, your cake / cupcakes may not last as long as usual.
Your buttercream frosting can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost, re-beat and use as normal per recipe.
💭 Top tips for success
- For a light and creamy green tea buttercream frosting, start by beating your room temperature butter until it’s pale and fluffy. It could just be me, but this always seems to take longer than I think. It should be several minutes of beating the butter if using a stand/electric mixer. This will go a long way in giving you creamy and light frosting.
- When using your buttercream, be sure the sweet treat that you’re frosting is completed cooled first. Otherwise, your matcha buttercream will melt straight off it!
Buttercream can be tricky, and it can split if you over-beat your frosting or if the temperature is too hot or too cold. For example, don’t add cold milk straight from the fridge to your buttercream!
I usually find it hard to rescue broken buttercream, but basically if it’s turned stiff and curdled, then it’s probably broken because the butter was too cold. Pop your frosting in a warm water bath or bain marie set up, gently warming until it starts to loosen up.
If it becomes thin and soupy, then your butter may have been too warm. You can try refrigerating your buttercream for 10-20mins before re-beating it.
🎂 Frosting uses
You can use this matcha buttercream recipe to frost your cupcakes or cakes. This recipe makes enough to frost 10 cupcakes (regular size).
To frost a 3-layer 6-inch cake, between the layers and covering the top and sides, you'll need to double this recipe (scale up by x2). Or to frost a 3-layer 8-inch cake this way you'll need to triple this recipe (scale up by x3).
I love this green tea buttercream swirled on chocolate cupcakes. Dust over some cocoa powder or green tea powder to decorate and you’ll get a cute and easy chocolate matcha cupcake. It’s also especially tasty to frost lemon, vanilla or white chocolate cakes and cupcakes.
I also love making frosted blondies or matchies (matcha blondies) using the matcha buttercream too!
For something a bit different, you can use this frosting between two cookies to make filled sandwich cookies. This would be a delicious matcha filling for a black sesame shortbread. You can even roll them in toasted black sesame seeds for the ultimate black sesame and match combo!
You can frost your baked goods with this buttercream by simply spreading the frosting with an offset spatula or knife.
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
To make vegan matcha buttercream frosting, i.e. dairy-free, you can swap the butter for a dairy-free baking block alternative. You must use the solid kind rather than a liquid.
You can also swap the milk for a dairy-free alternative, such as almond milk or coconut milk.
If you’re baking for vegans, be sure to then use your vegan frosting on a vegan cupcake or cake!
This matcha frosting recipe calls for semi-skimmed or whole milk to loosen the consistency of your buttercream and make it creamier. For an even more delicious creamy decadence, you can instead swap the milk for heavy cream. You may need to add a few extra tablespoon of cream to get a lovely spreadable but thick consistency.
I'm not really a salt fan, so I don't usually add any to my frosting and I use unsalted butter. However, if you like salt, stir in a pinch or two of salt to your frosting at the end of making it.
This recipe makes a gluten-free matcha buttercream frosting, but please check your ingredients for cross-contamination just in case. It's probably obvious, but make sure whatever you're frosting with this buttercream is gluten-free too!
🧁 Other goodies
If you’re looking for some sweet treats where you can use this matcha buttercream, check out my recipe for a lemon white chocolate cake or lemon loaf cake or why not frost these triple chocolate brownies with matcha goodness?
Well, if you love all things matcha, why not take a look at my easy recipes for a matcha white chocolate cake, matcha green tea cupcakes, matcha white chocolate cookies or the insanely delicious black sesame shortbread with a matcha chocolate dip.
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For an easy summary of how to make matcha buttercream, you can also check out my matcha buttercream webstory!
Matcha Green Tea Buttercream
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- Beat the butter (either by hand, using an electric mixer or stand mixer) until pale, light and fluffy. This could take several minutes.
- Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter and beat until combined, then repeat this with the remaining half of icing sugar and the matcha powder.
- Add in the milk and vanilla extract, mixing until only just smooth.
- Use to frost your cupcakes, cakes, brownies, etc. and enjoy!
- This recipe makes enough to frost 10 cupcakes (regular size).
- To frost a 3-layer 6inch cake, between the layers and on top and sides, you'll need to double this recipe (scale up by x2).
- To frost a 3-layer 8inch cake, between the layers and on top and sides, you'll need to triple this recipe (scale up by x3).
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.