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Matcha Strawberry Cupcakes

Get ready for a delightful twist on your classic cupcake.

Inside the earthy, matcha-flavored cupcake is a sweet filling of strawberry preserve. 

matcha and strawberry cupcakes on wooden plate

And swirled on top is some fresh strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream (a mouthful to say, but absolutely delicious) that actually tastes like strawberries!

I really love this recipe, and I think you will too.

Psst. Are you making afternoon tea? I’ve got a guide that has the most delicious treats to serve alongside these cupcakes with your afternoon tea. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

Why I love these cupcakes

  • They’re super moist and fluffy and stay that way for 4 whole days!
  • They have a surprise filling you don’t need to tell anyone about… everyone loves surprises.
  • You can easily customize the filling and the toppings to make them perfect for you. Don’t like strawberries? Use raspberries or blueberries instead.
  • The cupcakes are sweet, but not too sweet. So you can have more than one.

Ingredients for the cupcakes

  • Matcha, fresh strawberries, and strawberry preserve: The matcha brings a bright, earthy flavor and vibrant green color. While the strawberries are sweet and fresh.
  • Flour: I use a mixture of cake flour and all-purpose flour in this recipe. The all-purpose flour adds structure to the cupcakes, and the cake flour makes them light and airy.
  • Sugar: to sweeten the cupcakes and balance the earthy matcha flavor.
  • Baking powder: helps the cupcakes rise, creating a soft and fluffy texture. Don’t mistake this for baking soda! And make sure it’s in date (more on this later).
  • Salt: this enhances the flavors in the cupcakes, bringing out the sweetness and the matcha taste.
  • Butter and eggs: both these ingredients help bind the batter, and should be room temperature. room temperature eggs aerate a lot better so you get a lighter cupcake. Use unsalted butter (if you have salted, don’t add the extra salt).
  • Whole milk: Full fat milk gives the best rise, but you can also use low-fat milk or a non-dairy milk if it’s all you have.
  • Pure vanilla extract: Every baker’s secret ingredient. A hint of vanilla flavor really complements the matcha and strawberry flavors.

What type of matcha can I use?

There are three different types of matcha: ceremonial grade, culinary grade, and latte mix.

Ceremonial grade matcha is a high-quality matcha, primarily used for traditional tea ceremonies.

Culinary-grade matcha is a more affordable option and is the best option for use in this cupcake recipe.

Then there’s latte matcha mix, which is a pre-blended mix of matcha, sugar, and sometimes milk powder. Don’t use this for baking! The extra ingredients will mess up the flavor and texture of your cupcakes.

Matcha is pretty popular these days, so you should be able to find it in your local grocery store. But if not, you can order it online.

Pro tip: can’t get matcha? Try one of these matcha substitutes instead.

Instructions

Step 1: Make the cupcake batter

In a mixing bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and matcha powder. Mix well.

Add cubed unsalted butter to the dry mixture and mix until the butter is the size of small peanuts.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla extract (stop whisking when the mixture has tripled in volume).

Gradually fold the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients (do this in 3 batches), mixing well between each addition. Be careful not to overmix – stop as soon as there are no flour streaks left.

Step 2: Bake the cupcakes

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full with the batter.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack while you move onto step 4.

Hint: To avoid overfilling, consider using an ice cream scoop to portion the batter. This will help keep the cupcakes uniform in size.

Step 4: Make the Swiss meringue buttercream

For the buttercream, whisk egg whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl over simmering water until sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches 160 degrees.

Remove from heat and whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Add small pieces of softened unsalted butter one at a time, whisking well after each addition.

Switch to a paddle attachment, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth.

Tip: for this buttercream, it’s better to use a standing whisk because you need to do a LOT of beating.

Step 4: Fill and decorate

Once cooled, fill the cupcakes with strawberry jam or preserves using the cone method (cutting a cone shape out of the cupcake to fill it).

Don’t overfill the cupcakes with jam. About a teaspoon of jam is enough for each cupcake. 

This will prevent the jam from oozing out when you bite into it and help maintain the cupcake’s structure.

Then pipe the buttercream on top to finish off! Yum!

Cupcake baking tips

Amp up your cupcake game with these four insider secrets.

  1. Room temperature rule: Bring your eggs, milk, and butter up to room temperature for seamless mixing and an irresistible cupcake texture.
  2. Perfectionism is key: Measure everything with accurate scales, or use the spoon and level technique. Making cupcakes is more a science than an art! Sift all the dry ingredients to get rid of any lumps.
  3. Gentle touch: Don’t overmix the batter! A light hand leads to fluffy, tender cupcakes that will have everyone begging for more.
  4. Patience pays off: Preheat your oven like a pro and get the perfect temperature for those cupcakes to rise and bake to perfection.
  5. Doneness detective: A toothpick is your best friend. If it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, your cupcakes are ready to shine!

Can I use a different frosting?

I went for Swiss meringue buttercream here because it’s light, airy, and slightly less sweet than American buttercream so it won’t overwhelm the matcha or strawberry flavors.

American buttercream is sweeter and denser (but much easier to make)

Want to explore more frosting options? Give cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, or ganache a whirl!

Variations

Customize your cupcakes with these four scrumptious ideas.

  • Fruit fusion: Add fresh berries or fruit puree to your batter for a burst of fruity goodness.
  • Spice it up: Warm up the flavors with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, making your cupcakes a cozy treat.
  • Chocolate lovers unite: Swap some flour for cocoa powder to craft dreamy chocolate cupcakes.
  • Extract excitement: Play with flavors like almond, lemon, or coffee extracts in the buttercream for a unique mix. Interested in trying more extracts? I wrote about the best alternatives for rum extract, which include a few delicious ideas, such as vanilla extract and coconut extract.
  • Snowy effect: Sprinkle coconut flakes (or one of these coconut flake substitutes)

In the mood for more matcha and strawberry combos? Check out my delicious layered matcha and strawberry smoothie recipe.

It’s so good!

Storage instructions

Room temperature storage: keep unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Refrigerator storage: store frosted cupcakes in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Don’t forget to bring them to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.

Freezer storage: freeze unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container, separating layers with a piece of parchment paper for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then bring to room temperature before frosting or eating. You can also freeze the Swiss buttercream in a separate airtight container for up to 3 months.

Make-ahead tips

You can prepare your batter in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to bake, stir gently and enjoy the convenience of having your batter ready to go.

You can make the frosting up to 3 days ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature and briefly whip it to achieve a fluffy consistency before decorating your cupcakes.

Creative leftover ideas

  • Cupcake Parfait: Repurpose your leftover cupcakes by layering crumbled pieces of cake with whipped cream and fruit to create a delicious parfait.
  • Cake Pop Revival: If you haven’t tried cake pops, you’re missing out. Combine crumbled cupcakes with frosting, then shape the mixture into balls, and dip it in melted chocolate.
  • Trifle Transformation: Turn your leftover cupcakes into a show-stopping trifle! Layer crumbled cupcakes, custard, whipped cream, and fruit in a glass dish for a visually stunning dessert.

Serving Suggestions

These are my suggestions for the best things to serve with your matcha cupcakes.

  • Chicken Katsu: The crisp katsu provides a rich contrast to the sweet and earthy notes of matcha strawberry cupcakes, balancing richness with the light, refreshing tea flavor.
  • Potato Pancakes: The crispy, savory edge of potato pancakes can complement the soft, sweetness of matcha strawberry cupcakes, offering a delightful textural contrast and a balance between savory and sweet.
  • Tuna Salad: The light, clean flavors of tuna salad with its mayonnaise or vinaigrette dressing can act as a palate cleanser between bites of the more decadent and sweet matcha strawberry cupcakes, providing a refreshing contrast.
  • Lemon Pepper Chicken: The zesty and slightly spicy flavor of lemon pepper chicken pairs well with the delicate sweetness of matcha strawberry cupcakes, as citrus notes can enhance the fruity and floral notes of the strawberries and matcha.
  • Chimichurri Steak: The robust, herby flavors of chimichurri sauce on steak offer a bold contrast to the gentle sweetness of matcha strawberry cupcakes, creating a satisfying balance between the umami and savory steak and the sweet, creamy cupcake.

Matcha Strawberry Cupcakes

Matcha cupcakes with strawberry jam filling and strawberry buttercream.
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour not self-rising
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Strawberry jam or preserves
  • Buttercream:
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter softened, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries pureed

Instructions

  • For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and matcha powder; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until the cubes of butter are peanut-sized or a little smaller.
  • In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  • Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, using the cone method, fill cupcakes with strawberry jam or preserves.
  • For the buttercream: Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition.
  • Switch to a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.

Notes

Because of the egg whites and jam in these cupcakes, it is best to store them in the refrigerator. Let them return to room temperature again before enjoying.
Wondering what’s best to cover your dough? Check out my full guide on using plastic wrap or a towel to cover dough.

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