Matcha cupcakes combine green tea’s taste and calming energy with cake

Green Tea Cupcakes: Healthy Dessert Recipe

By: Jasmine Shea, MS

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

Wouldn't you like to have your cake, and drink it, too? Now you can! We're combining matcha green tea with our favorite cupcake dessert to bring you a drink, with added benefits, in cupcake form.

Cupcakes are great because they're like a personalized cake, decorated and served in a perfect portion for one. Cupcakes bring happiness and comfort to both everyday and special events. This makes them an ideal dessert for Mother's Day, for tea time, or even for cozying up on the couch with a cupcake in one hand and a hot cup of tea in the other. Sounds good, right?! No matter what the event, matcha green tea can bring its calming energy to the occasion.

What is green tea?

Like many black teas, green tea is made from the dried leaves and leaf buds of a Camellia sinensis plant. Because the leaves are not processed by fermentation—rather, they're steamed, pan-fried, and then dried—they maintain important molecules that contribute to the many health benefits of green tea.

You'll find a variety of green tea types, including Chinese green teas and Japanese green teas – all of which offer different flavors. You can also pull in various notes of the teas through preparation methods. Green tea today is most commonly consumed for its unique flavors, health benefits, and caffeine content.

Health benefits of green tea

Green tea’s compounds support a healthy heart, healthy cells and more

Because of the powerful anti-aging polyphenol compounds in green tea, it has been found to support cellular and cardiovascular health. This tea can also aid in your liver's natural detoxification process and help maintain already-healthy cholesterol levels. Green tea has been used in China and Japan for thousands of years, and it has been studied for benefits from immune system support to helping promote a healthy body weight.

Tea is also good for your brain, for several reasons. It contains caffeine, which has been shown to support various aspects of brain function, including cognitive function, reaction time, and memory. Caffeine can also stimulate the release of dopamine, one of your "happy hormones." It is responsible for those good feelings of pleasure, euphoria, and satisfaction—which we all want more of.

Another way green tea supports brain health is with the amino acid L-theanine. This compound supports mental relaxation and calmness, making it ideal for use in stress management. L-theanine also encourages a state of wakeful rest similar to meditating, and it helps maintain already-healthy cortisol levels.

What are tea cupcakes? Are they healthy?

If you've heard the term "matcha," you might know it is a fine powder form of green tea leaves. Matcha powder allows for a variety of uses, including baking desserts and making ice cream. Thus, matcha is essentially the same as green tea, just an additional step in the process that allows you to enjoy the tea in forms other than a drink.

What better way to enjoy this tea than with delicious matcha green tea cupcakes? In this recipe, you'll see how easy it is to add matcha to your cupcakes. This also leaves them with a subtly beautiful green color.

If you're a tea lover, matcha cupcakes are the perfect addition to tea time or to your Mother's Day celebration. Plus, all the health benefits of green tea are found in matcha (since the powder is made from the leaves). This means matcha cupcakes are the ideal companion for a tea party, and you can indulge in this dessert knowing you're enjoying cupcakes that are good…and good for you.

Do green tea cupcakes have caffeine?

Since green tea in its original form does have caffeine, matcha green tea cupcakes also contain small amounts of caffeine. While the caffeine levels will be much less than in a cup of green tea, the caffeine in matcha does not bake out. You can expect about 35 mg of caffeine per one gram (about half a teaspoon) of green tea powder.

If you are trying to avoid caffeine but want the antioxidant and cellular-health supporting power of this tea's polyphenols, consider adding Life Extension's Decaffeinated Mega Green Tea supplement to your diet. This gluten-free formula provides more of the polyphenol EGCG than the equivalent of several cups of tea.

What do green tea cupcakes taste like?

The best part of green tea cupcakes is the blend of your favorite flavors. The flavor of the tea is delicate and not overpowering. In matcha cupcakes, you'll get hints of green tea flavor from the matcha combined with the vanilla cake-like texture from the cupcake base. You'll also get additional sweetness from the simple frosting.

What is matcha made from?

Matcha is a powdered form of green tea leaves

We've learned matcha is made from green tea leaves that have been steamed, dried, and turned into a powder. This powder form makes it simple to bake with and allows for a lot of variety in your desserts. If a baking recipe has flour (another powdered ingredient) or coconut, you can expect that matcha will be the perfect addition. Matcha is a great flavor element for ice cream, as well.

Easy green tea desserts

The best green tea to bake desserts with may depend on what you are making. You'll find that the grades of green tea powder differ (and some can be quite pricey)! Ceremonial matcha powder is often the matcha you'll find in a cup of tea, and it is notable for its vibrant green color. Culinary matcha has a more subdued shade of green, but often more flavor, and it is the kind usually used in baking. The health benefits are about the same, no matter which matcha you select.

Looking for some ideas beyond cupcakes? Here are some easy green tea dessert ideas. Just add two tablespoons of matcha powder to any of your favorite recipes:

  • Fudge brownies
  • Coconut cupcakes
  • Vanilla sugar cookies
  • Waffles and pancakes
  • Cinnamon doughnuts
  • Blueberry muffins with white chocolate
  • Banana bread
  • Mochi

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How to make green tea cupcakes

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes are easy to make

Cupcake ingredients:

Frosting ingredients:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. butter, melted


  • 1 tsp. matcha powder (for dusting)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit and prepare a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Add olive oil, sugar, and eggs to large bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir in flour, salt, baking powder, and matcha.
  4. Slowly add almond milk until you achieve a thin, cupcake batter consistency.
  5. Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each just over half full.
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes (until edges are barely golden and a toothpick comes out clean). Let cool on a wire rack while you prepare frosting.
  7. In a bowl, add cream cheese, sugar, and butter for frosting. Use an electric mixer (or stand mixer) to beat until smooth.
  8. Spoon frosting into a piping bag or zip-top bag with a corner cut off, and pipe on top of cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle extra matcha as topping and serve.


Add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips or coconut to your cupcake ingredients for additional flavor. You can also serve these cupcakes without frosting for a dairy-free treat.

Nutritional Value

Total Servings: 12
Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories: 173
Protein: 3 g
Carbohydrates: 29 g
Fat: 5 g

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes.

Can I get enough theanine from green tea?

Supplements can help you get the benefits of green tea without the caffeine

When you're drinking a cup of green tea or taking a bite from a cupcake made with matcha, you're getting the naturally occurring amino acid in the tea. Theanine helps promote relaxation, better sleep, a positive mood, and even mental clarity and memory.

Between a busy schedule, the caffeine we're already intaking from that daily (or more) cup of coffee, and the amount of time we likely do not have to bake matcha cupcakes every day, we can often feel a little frazzled.

If you find yourself needing that extra boost of relaxation and calm, a theanine supplement is an easy and convenient way to combat that stressful day. This formula delivers L-theanine over a six-hour period to promote a prolonged state of wakeful relaxation, helping you manage your day from a more "zen" state of mind.

Of course—if you have the time—the act of baking, the smell of cake, and the satisfaction of accomplishment can help turn your day around, as well. Less stress. More cupcakes.

About the Author: Jasmine Shea, MS, is the author of over a dozen e-cookbooks and the founder of Your Dinner Is Planned: the fastest and most affordable way to prepare dinners. With Jasmine's passion for sharing cooking tips, she generates over one million impressions weekly with recipe and lifestyle content to show others that eating delicious food can be easy and fun!