White chocolate matcha mint buttercream on coconut cupcakes

Let’s face it, cupcakes, aren’t about the cake so much as the frosting. The cake is really just there as a foil for the tasty frosting (how else can you justify putting several tablespoons of butter and sugar in your stomach?). I’m guessing this is why frosting haters typically don’t like cupcakes.

Coconut Cupcakes

The other day when a craving for white chocolate matcha mint frosting popped into my head (no I’ve never tried this combo before), I decided to make cupcakes to serve the frosting on:-) Thus began the search for the perfect cupcake and frosting recipe to make my dream a reality. I remember seeing some yummy looking frosting recipes over at Tartelette’s blog, so I headed over in search of the perfect frosting recipe. What I found was a rendition of Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Mousseline Buttercream… Perfect!

Matcha Mint Buttercream

Now for the cupcake… I wanted something light and airy while still moist and tender. I thought about using a sponge cake batter, but they tend to be a bit less velvety than I wanted and I was also looking for something nice and white without much of an eggy flavor. After sifting through a bunch of blogs and cookbooks I found what I was looking for. The New Best Recipe cookbook has a recipe for an “all purpose birthday cake” that uses no egg yolks and is absurdly simple. The following is based off that recipe.

coconut cupcake (makes 12)
1/2 C coconut milk
3 egg whites (room temp)

1 C + 2 Tbs cake flour
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbs unsalted butter (room temp)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and move the rack to the middle position. Put cupcake liners into a muffin plan.

Combine the coconut milk and egg whites and whisk together.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix to combine.

Add the butter and beat until there are crumbly pebbles and no powdery ingredients left. Add half the milk/egg mixture. Beat for about 1 minute or until smooth. Scrape down the bowl and add the rest of the milk mixture, beating until combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake liners till they’re about 2/3’s full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer or small knife inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.

Once they’re out of the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool (if you leave them in the pan, the residual heat on the pan will overcook them).

White chocolate matcha mint buttercream

1/3 C sugar
2 Tbs water
2 large egg whites
2 sticks of butter softened but still cool(1 C)
4 oz white chocolate melted and cooled
1 tsp matcha powder
1-2 drops peppermint oil

Put the sugar and water in a small sauce pan and heat until it reaches 250 degrees F. Swirl if you have to, but don’t stir. Use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan if sugar crystals start forming.

Meanwhile beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the sugar mixture down the side of the mixer bowl (careful not to pour it on the whisk directly or you’ll splatter really hot syrup all over the place). Whisk until the egg whites have cooled off.

Add the butter 1 Tbs at a time. If the butter is too cold it will clump, but don’t worry, just turn up the mixer a little and it will smooth out. If the butter is too warm, it will look runny, but again don’t worry, by the time you’re done adding butter it will firm up.

Add the cooled melted chocolate, the matcha powder and a drop or two of peppermint oil (this stuff is potent, and you don’t want it to overpower the matcha) and whisk on high until smooth and fluffy. If it still looks too loose, put the whole bowl in the fridge for a few minutes then whisk it some more.

Spoon or pipe a good dollop of frosting on each cupcake and serve.

Update: I submitted this to Sugar High Friday… this month’s theme: Asian Invasion, hosted by La Petite Boulangette. Thanks for the tip Brittany!

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Great cupcakes. I especially love that you used no whole eggs in the cupcakes…very clever.

  • http://www.souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Great cupcakes. I especially love that you used no whole eggs in the cupcakes…very clever.

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    tht looks gorgeous. wierd…i think matcha’s been on everyone’s mind lately. i’m makin matcha buttercream this week too, can’t wait!

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    tht looks gorgeous. wierd…i think matcha’s been on everyone’s mind lately. i’m makin matcha buttercream this week too, can’t wait!

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Heh. You’re right…cupcakes are definitely about the frosting (or “icing” as we say in my neck of the woods) They look so good!

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Heh. You’re right…cupcakes are definitely about the frosting (or “icing” as we say in my neck of the woods) They look so good!

  • http://www.lipsmackinggoodness.blogspot.com/ Lori

    So funny, when I was making my coconut cake with matcha frosting I ate this mint leaf and then took a lick of the batter. OMG. I thought I have to make this with mint too the next time. And here it is. This will be on the counter here at my house very soon!

  • http://www.lipsmackinggoodness.blogspot.com Lori

    So funny, when I was making my coconut cake with matcha frosting I ate this mint leaf and then took a lick of the batter. OMG. I thought I have to make this with mint too the next time. And here it is. This will be on the counter here at my house very soon!

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com/ veron

    You had me at matcha! Seriously, those cupcakes look adorable and there’s nothing like matcha and white chocolate as a combination!

  • http://kitchenmusings.typepad.com veron

    You had me at matcha! Seriously, those cupcakes look adorable and there’s nothing like matcha and white chocolate as a combination!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That buttercream frosting sounds amazing!!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    That buttercream frosting sounds amazing!!

  • http://thepielady-brittany.blogspot.com/ Brittany

    These look awesome (the color alone of that buttercream is worth raving about!)…have you thought about submitting this for this month’s Sugar High Friday? The theme is Asian Invasion…I think you have like 3 hours left in the deadline : /
    Super unique cupcake idea!

  • http://thepielady-brittany.blogspot.com/ Brittany

    These look awesome (the color alone of that buttercream is worth raving about!)…have you thought about submitting this for this month’s Sugar High Friday? The theme is Asian Invasion…I think you have like 3 hours left in the deadline : /
    Super unique cupcake idea!

  • http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ Aran

    Those cupcakes look fabulous! Coconut and matcha? I’m there!

  • http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/ Aran

    Those cupcakes look fabulous! Coconut and matcha? I’m there!

  • http://www.tartelette.blogspot.com/ Tartelette

    Oh you know I am loving that one :) Matcha and coconut are perfect cupcake companions!

  • http://www.tartelette.blogspot.com Tartelette

    Oh you know I am loving that one :) Matcha and coconut are perfect cupcake companions!

  • http://www.thelittledish.com/ michelle

    coconut, white chocolate, matcha AND mint. what a creative combination. my first inclination would be to think that it’s too much going on, but they look really delicious so i’ll trust you on this one. can’t wait to try.

  • http://www.thelittledish.com michelle

    coconut, white chocolate, matcha AND mint. what a creative combination. my first inclination would be to think that it’s too much going on, but they look really delicious so i’ll trust you on this one. can’t wait to try.

  • http://chocolat-vanille.blogspot.com/ Inne

    yum! I love anything matcha. Interesting combination with the coconut and mint.

  • http://chocolat-vanille.blogspot.com/ Inne

    yum! I love anything matcha. Interesting combination with the coconut and mint.

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  • http://twitter.com/curiouslystrong CuriouslyStrong

    I made these cupcakes for the fundraising efforts for the Japan tsunami earthquake victims and everyone love them ^_^ thank you for the recipes.

  • MizzBee13

    I made these last weekend! This is the silkiest butter cream I have ever had in my entire life! However, there was so much of it, that I will actually use some of the frosting as a cupcake filling too next time I make them.(which will be soon, they are in high demand!) I had already piled the frosting high on the cupcakes but there were still 8 tablespoons or so left. Never mind that they disappeared by the spoonful into my own mouth! ;o) And with the 5 left-over egg yolks I made your chocolate pudding which was also a huge success!! Thank you for your blog!

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  • Brit

    hey mike, I’ve made these delicious cupcakes and buttercream plenty of times and they were great and my family loves them. But for some reason, the buttercream is sort of a “hit and miss” thing for me. Sometimes it’ll be great, but sometimes the butter just doesn’t mix in and even after refrigerating it just doesn’t work. I still don’t know what I’m doing right or wrong…sigh. But the recipe is awesome :)

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      There’s a couple things that could be happening. The first is the temperature of the butter. It should be soft, but still cold (i.e. not room temperature, but not rock hard). If that’s not it, then it probably has to do with the freshness of your eggs. Fresh eggs do not form a stable meringue. You should be able to see this after you’ve added the syrup (if it looks grainy, the eggs were probably too fresh).

  • Periphery L

    Hi!
    How can I mix in matcha powder into the cupcake mixture but keep the color bright green? I often end up getting dark, burnt color whenever I make matcha cakes…

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Periphery, that’s because when you bake anything with sugar in it in the oven, it will brown. Even without matcha in the batter, if you compare a finished cake to the original batter color you’ll see it’s browned on top. Because cakes have sugar in them it would be next to impossible to prevent the cake from browning. You’d have to use such a low temperature that the leavning in your cake would fall before the cake was cooked. If you really must have a green top, you’ll need to cut the browned part of the top surface of the cupcake off. But that’s going to lead to its own set of problems.

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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