Chocolate Cupcakes with Matcha Ice Cream and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Totally slammed and busy this weekend foraging for food or studying. A unique post from the archives.

I have been itching to utilize these two flavors together for some time now. Both flavors are slightly bitter and slightly sweet, so they compliment each other well.

I had to admit I had some trouble with the cake for a while, I wanted something chocolaty and moist, so it had the texture of a cake, but it couldn't get too soggy with the ice cream. Basically I had to find a balance between cake and brownie, and I think I accomplished it. It's chewy and dense, but also deliciously moist.

I've been giving the ice cream maker a workout, and with the heat starting to near hellfire temperatures, it just seemed like the natural step to take in cupcake development. The matcha ice cream was sweet, creamy, and slightly pungent. It's also $25 for 1 ounce (ouch). So if you can spare the expense for a flavor, go for it. Otherwise, I would suggest maybe buying green tea (ooh, or maybe mint!) ice cream and using that instead.

The frosting is a real basic chocolate buttercream, but it's a frosting and it completes the cupcake nicely. Plus, it's purty. Purty is good.

This is also a cupcake that may require a bit of patience, so wait for a day where you'll have a few blocks of time free. The end product is worth the wait though, and it's a fun activity to do with friends and family.

Overall, a tasty treat which has set the pace for many more tasty ice cream cupcake treats in the future!

Chocolate (Halfway-to-Brownie) Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes / 350 F oven

What You'll Need...
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of kosher or other salt
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup of milk

What You'll Do...
1) Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat the crud out of it until light and fluffy.
2) Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for thirty seconds after each.
3) Sift the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder together. Measure out the milk. Add some of the dry, then some of the wet, continuing to alternate between the two and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
4) Scoop about one heaping teaspoon into the cupcake papers. Spread it out a bit so it covers the bottom of each paper. You want only a small amount of rise there will still be enough room left over for the ice cream layer.
5) Bake for 12 minutes at 350 F. Let cool on a wire rack.

Matcha Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop

What You'll Need...
6 egg yolks
1 cup of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
pinch of salt
3 teaspoons of matcha powder
3/4 cup of sugar

What You'll Do...
1) Whisk together the matcha and the cream in one bowl. Whisk the egg yolks in another.
2) In a medium saucepan bring milk, sugar, and salt together over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture into the egg yolks while whisking like a crazy person to avoid cooking the eggs (mmm, scrambled egg ice cream!).
3) Return the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat. Constantly scratch the bottom of the saucepan to prevent sticking. It should thicken into a custard. When it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it'd done.
4) Pour the mixture through a strainer (to catch any solids, just in case) into the matcha and cream. Whisk until frothy and place into the fridge to cool completely. Then pour into your ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions.

Simple Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
What You'll Need...
1 cup of butter, room temperature
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

What You'll Do...
1) Beat the crud out of the butter. Add the sugar and cocoa powder in increments. Taste as you go in case you want to lessen or increase the amount of sugar or cocoa. I find frosting is finicky with people, so go by your own taste. Pipe onto frozen cupcakes.

How You'll Assemble...
1) Be sure the cupcakes are completely cool, and the ice cream freshly made or thawed if frozen. Scoop the ice cream onto the cupcakes and smooth with the back of a spoon. Place in the freezer, preferably in covered containers, but if not no worries, plastic baggies work to avoid a bit of freezer burn.
2) Pipe frosting on and serve or place back in the freezer. Garnish with come matcha if desired.


  1. Hi, I am a silent visitor of your blog, just love all your creations and this choclate cakes look yummmmmmm! I am drooling

  2. Hey, both of us had matcha and chocolate on our minds!

  3. I've never heard of matcha. I love the color contrast in this cupcake.

  4. i am SO interested in using matcha in cupcakes. i've never done anything with matcha, and i've seen a few recipes at that use it!

  5. thank you for the advice. i'll remember that next time.

    i knew i should've trusted my instincts... while i was adding the sugar to the frosting i was thinking "you can add more, but you can't take it out!"


  6. Matcha and chocolate? Aboslutely lovely. Since I can't bake worth a penny, I'm always glad to see the success of those who can manage. Though, I'm a bit spoiled where I am thanks to a kick ass bakery where they make lovely cupcakes. One would entice you—it's called Shanghai. Green tea cupcake with green tea-jasmine buttercream, capped with a white chocolate coin with the Chinese symbol for happiness. Killer with fresh peaches when they're around :)

  7. Hello Garrett,

    Chocolate cupcakes with matcha ice cream... and chocolate frosting! Sounds fab. Matcha tends to be paired with white chocolate, but I like it with regular (bittersweet) chocolate, too. Actually I was just eating milk chocolate flavored with sencha (green tea but not matcha)... and was thinking about doing green tea and chocolate ice-cream.

    Love the lead photo - it looks like a little witch with a hat on! Looks funky and yummy.

  8. Yum! I love green tea ice cream. I tried to get some at the local 63 flavor ice cream shop, but got distracted by black licorice ice cream. It was actually black. Say no more.


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