Vegan Cupcakes With Matcha Buttercream Frosting

These vegan matcha cupcakes are insanely delicious, colorful, and packed with an energizing dose of antioxidants from the star ingredient: matcha.
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Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes With Matcha Buttercream Frosting | WorldofVegan | #vegan #matcha #dessert #cupcakes #vegetarian #dairyfree #green
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This recipe was generously sponsored by my friends at Ujido, and you can find the recipe below. Enjoy!

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so we’re thrilled to bring you the most delicious green cupcake recipe you’ll ever try. They’re made with a simple vegan chocolate cupcake base and topped with an insanely delicious frosting colored green with something way better than food coloring. The age-old antioxidant-rich green tea: matcha.

If you’ve never tried or perhaps never even heard of matcha, don’t let this recipe intimidate you! Read on to learn more about this incredible superfood, and then get your sweet tooth ready for these unbelievable cupcakes.

Vegan Matcha Cupcakes | | #vegan #cupcakes #matcha #dessert #worldofvegan #dairyfree

What Is Matcha?

We love matcha—not only for the incredible health benefits but also the delicious taste!

Matcha is the delicately ground powder of green tea leaves that can be dissolved in water and enjoyed as a beverage or used in recipes for a bright green, caffeinated, antioxidant-rich kick. Matcha has been a beloved ingredient for centuries, and a popular superfood all around the world. There are many brands of matcha, but their quality can vary greatly. In this recipe, I used Ujido matcha.

If it’s a new flavor for you, these cupcakes are a perfect way to get acquainted. It’s a very mild matcha flavor in this cupcake frosting. Plus, who doesn’t love cupcakes?

Matcha powder is traditionally a vibrant green color which reflects its high levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants. It also has a very nice, fine texture, which enables you to add it to recipes or sip on matcha tea without having to worry about tea leaves.

Matcha has numerous health benefits. It’s truly a magnificent superfood! Numerous studies have proven matcha to have astounding benefits. There’s nothing better than a healthy and tasty superfood!

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes With Matca Frosting | | #vegan #cupcakes #dessert #matcha #recipe #dairyfree #tea

Matcha Health Benefits

Some of the benefits matcha is known for include:

  • Contain upwards of 130 times the antioxidants of brewed green tea
  • Scores 1,573 on the ORAC antioxidant scale (this is a very high level compared to Goji berries: 253, Dark Chocolate: 227, Pomegranate: 105, Wild blueberries: 93, Acai berries: 60, Broccoli: 31)
  • High in chlorophyll
  • High in L-Theanine which reduces physiological and psychological stress & relaxes and refreshes the body
  • Natural source of caffeine
  • Can improve focus
  • Great source of EGCG (a cancer-preventative polyphenol)

Now that we know a little bit about all of the amazing benefits of matcha, let’s get these cupcakes baking in the oven!

And if you want to go all-out, you can serve these up with a frothy matcha latte made with your favorite plant-based milk and a touch of maple syrup. Cheers to that!

Best Type of Matcha

I used ceremonial grade matcha which is considered to be the highest quality and also has a slightly deeper green hue. Ceremonial grade matcha is made from the youngest tea leaves and is appreciated for being slightly sweeter, smoother, and less bitter. That said, you can also use culinary grade matcha which is less expensive and is intended for cooking.

Vegan Matcha Cupcakes With Ujido | World of Vegan | #matcha #vegan #cupcakes #dessert #worldofvegan

How To Use Matcha As Natural Food Coloring

We just love that you can whip up vibrant colorful foods using the power of nature. No artificial colors are used to make this beautiful green frosting. The color simply comes from the natural chlorophyll in the matcha tea which creates a deep green pigment.

A lot of food coloring is either not vegan or is made with artificial ingredients. But fret not! You can use matcha powder in many different types of recipes if you want a natural green food coloring.

To make your frosting a uniform green color, add all the matcha and mix until the green color is well distributed. If you’d like to create a white and green blended frosting effect (as pictured), keep half of the frosting white (as is), and mix a single teaspoon of matcha into to the other half of your frosting.

If you prefer a deeper green and stronger flavor feel free to add more matcha to the frosting. I recommend adding half of a teaspoon at a time and tasting as you go. The color of the frosting will be more vibrant if you add more matcha, and it will be so pretty!

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes | | #matcha #cupcakes #dessert #green #recipe #dairyfree

How To Make These Vegan Matcha Cupcakes

These cupcakes are super-easy to make. The only equipment you need other than your oven is a mixer to make the delicious and vibrant green frosting. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer—both will work perfectly.

Make The Cupcakes

Step One: Start by sifting the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl to prevent clumps. Set aside while you gently melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.

Step Two: Combine the apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract with the melted butter, then, creating a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the melted butter mixture. Add the room temperature water and gently fold all the ingredients together.

Step Three: Distribute the batter evenly in a lined cupcake pan and bake on the center rack of a preheated oven set to 350 degrees F for about 22-30 minutes. When a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, they’re done.

Step Four: Remove from oven and allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully. While you wait for them to cool completely, make the matcha frosting.

Vegan Matcha Cupcakes | | #vegan #cupcakes #matcha #dessert #worldofvegan #dairyfree

Make The Frosting

Step Five: Using soft, room temperature vegan butter, whip the butter with a stand mixer or handheld mixer for a couple minutes. Add the powdered sugar half of a cup at a time and mix until it begins to form a frosting. Add the vanilla extract and whip until the frosting is smooth.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting | | #vegan #frosting #dessert #recipes #dairyfree

Step Six: For a uniform green color, add all of the matcha powder and mix well until it’s uniformly green. For a blended green and white frosting (as pictured), separate half the frosting to keep white and mix a single teaspoon of matcha in the other half.

Step Seven: Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, use a piping bag to pipe the matcha frosting onto the cupcakes. Feel free to use a knife to spread the frosting if you don’t have a piping bag.

How Can I Get the Swirled Frosting Rose Effect?

You’re welcome to smear the frosting onto the cupcakes with a knife, of course, but if you want to get fancy, here are some tips!

To get the rose frosting effect pictured, you’ll need a piping bag (I like these reusable silicone piping bags) and an extra large rose piping tip. This specific nozzle will enable you to transform your frosting into a lovely rose atop your cupcake by simply starting in the center of the cupcake and swirling outwards. A few quick YouTube tutorials will get you going in no time. That’s how I learned!

If you’d like to get a white and green swirl effect in your frosting, it’s easy. Instead of adding matcha powder to the full batch of frosting for a uniform green look, you can keep half of your frosting white and swirl the two together! To do this, simply smear the white frosting on one side of your piping bag and the green matcha frosting on the other half, and frost away!

Vegan St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes With Matcha Frosting | | #vegan #matcha #cupcakes #dairyfree #green #recipe

Perfect Treat For St. Patrick’s Day

These dreamy chocolate cupcakes pair beautifully with this vanilla matcha buttercream frosting that has just a hint of matcha flavor. Enjoy these wickedly delicious cupcakes to celebrate a vegan St. Patrick’s Day, or any time of the year!

You can even make a batch of these cupcakes ahead of the big St. Patty’s Day party if you’re tight on time. Your friends will seriously love them and they won’t have a clue that this recipe is vegan.

You can also add some vegan sprinkles for and extra festive touch!

Vegan Matcha Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day | | #matcha #vegan #cupcakes #green #recipe #dessert #dairyfree #worldofvegan

More Green Vegan Treats

Can’t get enough of matcha or looking for more green treats to serve for St. Patrick’s day? Here are our top picks:

Vegan Matcha Cupcakes

Author: Michelle Cehn | World of Vegan
5 from 6 votes
This delicious matcha buttercream frosting is perfect for piping on your cupcakes. It holds its shape beautifully! It's thick and deliciously sweet and creamy with just a hint of matcha flavor. 
Vegan Matcha Buttercream Frosting | St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes | | #matcha #dessert #cupcakes #green #worldofvegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • Handheld Mixer or Stand Mixer


Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, melted but not hot
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water, room temperature

Matcha Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with 12 liners. Set it aside.
  • To prevent clumps, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl and set aside. 
  • Gently melt the vegan butter until it is just melted (but not hot). Combine in a small bowl with the apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. 
  • Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients mixture as well as the room temperature water.
  • Use a silicone spatula to gently fold the ingredients together until combined. The batter will appear slightly bubbly. Use a whisk to gently mix out any clumps if needed. 
  • Distribute the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake on the center rack for 22 – 30 minutes. Check for doneness but inserting a toothpick into the center of a cupcake—if it comes out clean with no wet batter, they're done.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

For the Matcha Frosting:

  • Measure 1 cup of vegan butter and place it in a bowl. Let it sit on the counter to allow it to get to room temperature. If you're in a hurry, set it near the oven and watch it closely until it's softened to room temperature, but don't allow it to melt.
  • When the butter is soft, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer (a hand mixer will work too) and whip it for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the powdered sugar half of a cup at a time and mix until it begins to form a frosting. Add the vanilla extract and whip until the frosting is smooth.
  • If you’d like all your frosting to be a uniform green color, add all the matcha and mix until the green color is well distributed. If you’d like to create a white and green blended frosting effect (as pictured), keep half of the frosting white (as is), and mix a single teaspoon of matcha into to the other half of your frosting. Feel free to add more matcha if a stronger matcha flavor or deeper green color is desired.
  • Once the cupcakes are fully cooled you can use a piping bag to pipe frosting onto the cupcakes. This frosting recipe generously frosts 12 cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag, you may use a knife to spread the frosting onto the cupcakes.


Store the cupcakes in the fridge or at room temperature for up to a few days.


Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 3g | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Japanese
Keyword matcha buttercream frosting, matcha frosting, vegan matcha cupcakes
Vegan Matcha Cupcakes | St. Patrick's Day | | #vegan #cupcakes #matcha #dessert #recipe #worldofvegan

Vegan Cupcakes With Matcha Buttercream Frosting recipe and food photography by Michelle Cehn. Content copyright World of Vegan, all rights reserved. 

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Recipe Rating

  1. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    Wow. That color looks so good!! Can’t wait to try these out!

  2. 5 stars
    OMG I love these cupcakes! super cute and something I would make for a friends birthday or something! great recipe right here

  3. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    So green and pretty! As an avid Matcha drinker, these cupcakes hit the right spot 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Gorgeous green color from the matcha tea! The cupcakes are super yummy and I’m in love with the buttercream frosting! Keeping this recipe in my weekly baking rotation. Excellent when you have a craving for chocolate – mmmmm!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve made these a few times and am always in awe! They’re SO good, it makes me want to play with even more matcha recipes.

  6. 5 stars
    These cupcakes are soooo gooood and also a great way to impress your friends and family with your frosting abilities!

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