Almond Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream

Buttery Matcha.

You all know how much I love matcha and It's so fun to bake with. I've been drooling over matcha pictures on instagram everyday and decided it was time to make matcha frosting. I know some people don't like frosting but it's my favorite part of any cake or cupcake!

I'll be honest, I don't have every baking tool in the book so sometimes things get a little messy. I finally upgraded with a simple ice cream scoop to help eliminate mess! I originally got it to make cookie dough placement easier (and future ice cream making?!) but found it to be very useful for this batter as well. I filled each liner up with about two scoops. Some liners were a little over 3/4 way full and those are the cupcakes that had a bit of a top. I don't mind this, it actually means more area for frosting! BUT if you're the type of person who likes to have very neat, not overflowing cupcakes I would suggest using a scoop and a half or one heaping scoop! After I had the desired amount in the liner I took a chopstick into the center of the batter and swirled it in circles. This helped the batter settle. 

Ah, matcha buttery frosting. YUM! I decided to use almond and matcha as a combination of flavors because I kept seeing this combo EVERYWHERE. Thinking about the heavy, full flavor of matcha and the fragrance of almond I wasn't sure if they would be good together but I as wrong! The almond flavor in this cupcake is very light and airy which goes so well with the heavy butter and matcha frosting. In my recipe, I talk about "pours" for the almond emulsion. My emulsion is very thick and comes out slowly so when I say pours I mean it literally. Each time I tipped the bottle over my bowl a drop came slowly out. I did it 3 times. You are welcome to do more or less based on how much you enjoy the fragrance and taste of almond!

Ok, so I originally wanted to do a frosting rose on top of the cupcakes. As you can see that didn't happen. I love watching cupcake and cookie decorating videos and I've been wanting to try this one method of making the rose. I thought I had the right tip but when I started piping got this short thin piece of frosting and decided to improvise. One small note, as I started piping I put too much frosting in the bag so my hands were gradually warming up the frosting. You can see in the photo below thinner and thicker lines. I put mine back in the fridge to cool it off before I continued.  

You're probably wondering about these pizza slices. My original plan was to create matcha frosting because the pastel green was perfect for spring. I then put one of these pizza sprinkles, yes they're sprinkles from Tiny Kitchen Treats, on top and I LOVED how it looked! Does an almond cupcake with matcha buttercream and a pizza sprinkle make sense? Who knows, but it sure looks cute! 

So what's the verdict? Matcha donuts are good. Matcha scones are better. Matcha buttercream is queen! 

As many of you may know, matcha is in powder form because it consists of the ground up leaves. This is said to increase the health benefits because you're ingesting the actual leaf instead of brewing it and throwing it away. In powder form, it is also much easier to incorporate into your cooking and baking! So these cupcakes a kinda healthy, right ? ;)

The almond cupcake recipe was adapted from this  one

The almond cupcake recipe was adapted from this one

Chocolate Honeybush Cake w/ Honey Buttercream Frosting

Honeybush. 

Robert's (my guy <3) mother is from South Africa and she introduced me to rooibos tea and the traditions surrounding it. She recently mentioned honeybush which I had never tried but was interested in. Along with the Persian Plum Rose , Blossom sent me a sample of Honeybush as well. 

I used one of my favorite recipes for chocolate cake and adapted it to make it extra honeybush infused! 

This tea was fascinating, it almost looks like mulch and smells very earthy. From the scent, I did not expect the taste in the cake. 

While I was mixing the cake and also while I was baking it, the brewed honeybush had such a strong aroma it was filling the apartment. It was wonderful!

Honeybush infused milk. 

Hot honeybush tea. 

Two layers of honeybush goodness. 

I decided to top this off with a honey buttercream frosting that I've made before and is SO good.

Cake:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk infused with honeybush
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup hot Honeybush
  • pinch of salt

Frosting: 

2 sticks of butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons honey
1 cups powdered sugar* 

What I like to do is mix the honey and the butter then gradually add in powdered sugar little by little until I like the consistency of the frosting. So it may be less than 1 cup or more based on preference. Don't forget to taste test too because frosting gets sweet fast!
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Cake Instructions

1.  Prepare the honeybush infused milk by heating the 1 cup of milk. Do not let it boil. Drop 2 tablespoons or more of honeybush into the tea depending on how strong you want it. Let it sit for several minutes. Pour the milk through a strainer and let cool. 

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together. 

3. Add in eggs, yogurt, vanilla and honeybush infused milk.

4. Boil water and pour one cup of boiling water in a cup. Place 1-2 tablespoons of honeybush in a teabag and place in boiling water. Let it brew for a few minutes then pour hot, brewed tea into cake mixture. Gently mix. 

5. Pour batter (will be thin) into two 9 inch pans that are greased and floured. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

6. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, frost with honey buttercream. I used a thin layer to make them almost "naked" but feel free to use more!

    You can find the honeybush I used in this recipe here! Do you have a favorite tea infused sweet?!

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