These light and fluffy muffins are flavoured with matcha green tea powder and white chocolate chips creating perfect balance of earthy and sweet. They make a great breakfast treat or snack anytime of day!
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What are Matcha Muffins?
Matcha muffins are simply muffins flavoured with Japanese green tea powder. Matcha has a distinct earthy, slightly bitter taste and is one of the most loved flavours for sweets and desserts in Japan. In fact, I would say that matcha is probably one of the most common flavours you can find here.
Because of matcha's bitterness, it pairs well with the highly sweet yet mild flavour of white chocolate. It's one of my favourite flavour combinations!
This muffin recipe is one of my go-to baking recipes and I make them often. It's quick, easy and fail free so if you're looking for soft, light and delicious matcha muffins, this is the recipe for you!
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea made by grinding young green tea leaves into a fine, brightly coloured powder. Growing green tea leaves for matcha requires special care, they are grown in shade which not only helps the plant develop more caffeine, but also develop more amino acids which contribute to its complex flavour.
There are different grades of matcha depending on its quality and usage. Usually the highest quality matcha is whisked with hot water using a special bamboo tea whisk called a "chasen" (茶筅) to make matcha tea. This way, the flavour of the matcha can be appreciated in its purest form. The "culinary grade" matcha is not so high in quality, but since it will be complimented with other ingredients it is perfect for baking and used in sweetened drinks such as matcha latte or matcha bubble tea with tapioca.
Regardless of the grade, you can tell a good quality matcha by the colour. Matcha powder should be vibrant green (not faded) and have a strong and fragrant aroma. Since matcha tends to deteriorate quite quickly, I recommend keeping it in the fridge or freezer once opened and using it within 4 weeks for optimum flavour.
Ingredients for Matcha Muffins
For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Cake flour
- Baking powder (I used Rumford)
- Baking soda
- Matcha powder
- Cinnamon powder
- Medium egg
- White sugar
- Plain natural yogurt
- Whole milk
- Vanilla essence
- Vegetable oil
See recipe card for quantities.
I recommend measuring out your ingredients in advance and leaving the egg, yogurt and milk out of the fridge for 30 minutes before making the batter. This makes it easier for the ingredients to incorporate into each other, resulting in a smoother batter that is less likely to be overmixed.
Instructions how to make matcha muffins
Here are my step by step instructions on how to make the best matcha muffins at home including process pictures with tips and tricks to get them perfect every time! For a simplified printable version of the recipe with ingredient quantities, see the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Combine the dry ingredients
In order to make light and fluffy muffins, it's important not to over mix. When we talk about over mixing, it refers to the flour coming into contact with wet ingredients and the more you mix it, the more the gluten develops which in turn creates dense and chewy muffins. This is certainly something we want to avoid! One way we can prevent this is to mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.
The first step is to sift the flour and matcha into a bowl and then add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Sifting helps aerate the flour and break down any lumps of matcha before combining them with the other ingredients.
Use a whisk to mix until everything is well combined and then make a "well" in the centre, we will pour the wet ingredients into the well later.
Mix the egg and sugar
Mixing the sugar into the egg will help it dissolve which will ensure it is mixed evenly into the batter. Whisking also incorporates air into the eggs which adds to the light and fluffy texture of the muffins!
Combine wet ingredients
In the bowl with the egg/sugar mixture, add the natural yogurt, whole milk, vanilla extract and oil. Mix until well combined.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and use a spatula to gently combine them. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the dry ingredients are incorporated and be careful not to mix too much! The batter should be slightly thick.
Once combined, add your chocolate chips! One tip to stop them sinking is to toss them in a very light coating of flour, but this is optional. I also save a few chocolate chips to sprinkle on the top.
Pour into muffin cases and bake
Lightly grease 6 muffin cases and fill each case ⅔ of the way up.
Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C (390°F) for 5 minutes. This high temperature will give the rising agents a boost helping form beautifully cracked muffin tops. After 5 minutes, lower the heat to 180°C (360°F) and bake for another 15 minutes.
Baking too long will result in dry muffins. Be sure to check them frequently and test with a toothpick to check they're done!
Alternatively you can divide them into 12 mini muffins, but be sure to adjust the baking time as smaller muffins cook faster. I recommend 180°C (360°F) for approximately 12 minutes.
Once cooked, leave to cool on a wire rack.
When they're cool, they're ready to eat!
If you're not big on white chocolate, you can also replace it with something else. Here are some ideas.
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- Cooked adzuki beans
- Dried strawberries
Note: This recipe has a reduced amount of sugar because white chocolate is very sweet. If you swap it for nuts, you might need more sugar to make them sweeter. Of course, this is all down to preference.
The sweetness of the white chocolate with the bitterness of the matcha works really well together! I hope you enjoy this muffin recipe with a Japanese twist!
You can keep these muffins in an airtight container for 1-2 days. Any longer than that and I recommend freezing them. You can freeze them for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before eating and heat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds if they seem a little dry.
If you love matcha, be sure to check out some of my other matcha recipes!
- Matcha and dark chocolate brownies
- Matcha and white chocolate cookies
- Iced matcha latte
- Homemade matcha ice cream