Saturday, January 10, 2015

Green Tea Strawberry Coconut Cupcakes

I've been testing out flavor combinations lately—in preparation for the not-so-soon grand opening of my cupcake bakery. It'll happen one day. But for now, I'll just concentrate on creating and perfecting out-of-this-world cupcakes. 

My latest flavor test were these green tea strawberry coconut cupcakes...what a mouthful. They components are green tea cake, strawberry jam filling, strawberry swiss meringue, and a toasted coconut rim. In all honesty....these cupcakes are AMAZING! The cake isn't very sweet and the earthy flavor of matcha really shines through even with the tartness and sweetness of the strawberry swiss meringue. 

I contemplated for a while what kind of buttercream I wanted to use for these cakes. At first, I was going to just go for a simple American buttercream. However, I realized that it would be too dense and way too sweet for the matcha. I also thought of a french buttercream, but thought that it would be too rich and buttery. My final decision was a swiss meringue because of it's lightness and smooth texture. Swiss meringue buttercream also isn't very sweet and allows other flavors to shine through. 

Recipe Review:

Taste: I used two tablespoons of matcha, so the flavor really comes through, even with all the other components. The buttercream has a very nice strawberry flavor and isn't too sweet. 
Texture: The toasted coconut rim makes all the difference. It adds a wonderful crunch and is slightly smoky. The cake itself is very moist and fluffy. The buttercream melts in your mouth and is so light and airy. 
Appearance: See for yourself! Aren't these cupcakes just the cutest? I love the contrast of the light pink against the earthy green. These cupcakes kind of remind me of bird's nests. 
Level of difficulty: This is a fairly simple recipe. As with all my recipes that include swiss meringue, the only "difficult" part would be the time it takes to make the buttercream. 

Green Tea Cupcakes
Adapted from Billy's Bakery & Martha Stewart
makes 12 cupcakes 

3/4 cup sugar 
1 stick unsalted butter 
2 large eggs 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cup cake flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoons salt 
2 tablespoon matcha powder 
1/2 cup whole milk 
Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, about 5 minutes. Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed, until it is well combined. 

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and matcha powder. Alternate adding the flour mixture with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Be sure not to overmix!

Fill the liners until 2/3 full. Bake the cakes for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Make sure to rotate the pan halfway through the baking process to ensure even cakes. 

Toasted Coconut 

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Toast the coconut for 15 minutes, or until golden brown, while the cupcakes are baking. 

Once cooled, break up the coconut using your hands. You want the pieces to be small.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue
makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks + 6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup strained strawberry preserves

Slightly whisk the egg whites and sugar in a small bowl and place it over simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Heat mixture to 160°F, whisking constantly.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed until the mixture doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks. This will take about 10-12 minutes.

Once the mixture has doubled in volume and is cooled down, slowly add the butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. At first, the mixture will look curdled. Don't worry, this is normal. Just keep mixing and it will become smooth and creamy. Once it has all come together, add in the vanilla extract and strawberry preserves. Mix until fully incorporated. 

Hollow out the cupcakes using an apple corer or knife. (Or any tool you prefer.) Add about 1 ½ tsp of strawberry preserves into the center. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcake. I like to use an Ateco#827 tip. Put enough coconut to fill the cup of your palm and cover the outside of the buttercream. Let the excess fall off. 

These cupcakes are so delicious that my mom, who isn't even a big fan of sweets, couldn't resist inhaling an entire cupcake after dinner. She was instantly hooked. Like I said, the cake isn't very sweet and pairs wonderfully with the slightly sweeter strawberry buttercream. The toasted coconut ties the entire cake together. It's the perfect cupcake! The addition of the heart sprinkles makes it the perfect Valentine treat as well. So be sure to makes these for the special person(s) in your life :)

As always, happy baking! 


  1. Oh, those cupcakes look delicious! I think they can be a good addition to the lineup in your grand opening. So, what are your plans for the upcoming event? I think it would be more exciting if you could provide some fun activities to add in the program. Good luck!

    Clint Shaff @ Franchise Match

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