** When I originally made this post, I put these adorable panda cookies on cupcakes that didn't turn out so well. I was unsatisfied with the cupcakes, so I just had to remake the cupcakes. As a result, I've edited this post to include a matcha green tea cupcake recipe I enjoyed and that is suitable for these cute little pandas.

I've been in love with these cute little panda cookies I found at the Sogo bakery chain from the Bay Area. I've searched for them elsewhere, and while I've seen other imitations, these are the cutest I've found. I also looked into trying to make them myself, but according to the employees of Sogo, they use a special machine.

Every time I go visit my parents, I pick up some cookies to take home. For a while now, I've been wanting to make some cupcakes with these cookies as toppers. In my mind, I always imagined matcha flavored because I think of the green bamboo that the pandas are always eating at the zoo.

So this weekend, I made some matcha cupcakes and whipped up some matcha whipped cream frosting. I used the recipe for the chocolate matcha swirl cupcakes, but without the chocolate part. The matcha whipped cream frosting I made came out a bit lighter than I wanted it to, so I put a few drops of green food coloring. But then the green didn't really match the cupcakes anymore. And it came out more like a seafoam green rather than a matcha green.

To make the frosting, I simply added 1 tablespoon of matcha powder and a few drops of green food coloring to the heavy cream and sugar before whipping it. Perhaps next time I'll stick with the original color. Or maybe I'll try a matcha buttercream to get a darker green.

Matcha cupcakes

Yields: Approximately 12 cupcakes

2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg white
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup low fat yogurt
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2.5 tablespoons matcha powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin baking pan with cupcake liners.

2. Use
a whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift
together. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk whole egg with egg white. Set aside.

3. Cut
the butter into pieces and place in an electric mixing bowl. Beat for 1
minute to soften. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar and beat at
high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in egg mixture, beating constantly for about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in a
third of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in half of the
yogurt. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour. On high
speed, beat in the rest of the yogurt and the vanilla. On low speed,
beat in the remaining flour.  Add matcha powder to
the yogurt batter in the mixing bowl.

4. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in comes out clean.

I constantly see giveaways on other blogs. I've been thinking of doing one for a while. So on my last trip home, I picked up some extra cookies. I know this is a small giveaway, but it's my first one, and I wanted to do a test run first.

Two lucky readers will get a chance to win a pack of cookies. A cookie pack has about 16 cookies. I'll do my best to ship these in enough padding that they reach the readers without getting crushed by the postal service.

The winners will be selected at random. The first winner will be selected from the comments on this post. Simply leave a comment and make sure to include a valid email address so that I can contact you.

The second winner will be selected from twitter. I joined twitter a few months ago, and really like how it works. I like having access to so many foodies and being able to ask questions and get instant answers. Add me to your twitter account and send me a message to let me know you've added me, and you'll be entered to win. Or, if you have already added me, simply send me a message to let me know you want to be considered in the drawing.

Sorry, international readers. This contest is only open to US readers. Hopefully I've remembered everything. I hope this contest goes well and I hope to hold other giveaways in the future. Deadline to enter is by June 25, 2010.


44 Responses to “Panda Cupcakes and a Giveaway”

  1. Kim — June 11, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Those pandas are so cute! too bad the frosting didn’t come out as you liked. at least the the cupcakes looked good :-)

  2. Ivanna — June 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Love reading your blog, especially your restaurant reviews! These panda cookies are too cute!

  3. Adrienne S. — June 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I have such a hard time making cupcakes…I always end up overfilling the tins or liners so I end up with batter everywhere and then they always turn out flat. I like that you added that cute little cookie, that would help disguise my flat cupcakes: )

  4. Rosa — June 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Want cookies!!! :)

  5. Sandy — June 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Those panda cookies are almost too cute to eat, but I’ll give it a try!

  6. Faye — June 11, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Oh please enter me for the panda cookies giveaway!
    How did you make the matcha frosting? Just whipped cream and matcha powder? The cupcakes in the picture didn’t look like a chocolate base – did you use w/ vanilla cupcake recipe?
    I still think the cupcakes look cute!

  7. Nicole Oandasan — June 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    these panda cookies are so cute!

  8. Nicole Oandasan — June 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    p.s. i follow you on twitter as @discojing ^_^

  9. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I think the panda bears could make anything look good =)

  10. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks! I love these pandas..wish I had my own machine.

  11. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Hmm, mine always turn out too puffy! I actually had to cut the tops off to make them flatter.

  12. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm


  13. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    You can eat them with your eyes closed =)

  14. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Yes, for the matcha frosting, I just added about 1 tablespoon of matcha powder into my whipped cream mixture. I also ended up having to add more sugar than usual to my whipped cream because of the bitterness of the matcha.
    No chocolate base in these cupcakes. I was originally going to take the matcha chocolate ones and just double the matcha and not do the chocolate. Instead I tried a completely different matcha cupcake recipe. The outside came out light brown instead of green (which is why they look like vanilla). Though the inside was green. Other than looking bad they didn’t taste great either. Oh well. I might edit this post with a better recipe later.

  15. Kirbie — June 11, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    These are definitely the cutest ones I’ve seen. Thanks for commenting.

  16. Vicki — June 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Panda cookies! Yum.

  17. Deborah — June 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Those pandas are absolutely adorable! Love the color on the icing, too. I love recipes that use yogurt, will have to try this one. Thanks :)

  18. Kirbie — June 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    They are like butter cookies. Definitely yum!

  19. Kirbie — June 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    I like the use of yogurt also. Makes me feel like it’s healthier.

  20. Kirbie — June 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Good luck in the random drawing =)

  21. Ciaochowlinda — June 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Your cupcakes look so cute I could hug them. But I’d rather eat them.

  22. Lily — June 15, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Eek! Kawaii! The little pandas are so adorable..I almost can’t bear to eat them…but I will ^-^. The frosting on the cupcakes is a cool shade of green, bluer than a pastel green and nice matcha cupcakes!

  23. Dina — June 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

    i haven’t tried matcha. this would be a fun use for it. the pandas are so cute!

  24. Kirbie — June 16, 2010 at 11:44 am

    They are quite huggable aren’t they?

  25. Kirbie — June 16, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I’m not quite sure how I got such a shade of green. Something about the matcha and food coloring I guess.

  26. Kirbie — June 16, 2010 at 11:45 am

    You should try matcha. I love the flavor. You can buy matcha powder at Japanese and chinese markets.

  27. Meryl — June 21, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Those Panda cookies are soooo cute, and they
    look delicious!

  28. Kat — June 23, 2010 at 8:14 am

    that’s are the best panda cookies I’ve seen yet

  29. Nicole Meyers — June 23, 2010 at 9:10 am

    the panda cookies are adorable my two and 5 year old would love them im going to try to find them online

  30. Kirbie — June 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    They do taste good! like chocolate and vanilla butter cookies!

  31. Kirbie — June 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I’m always searching for panda cookies. Most of the ones I see aren’t very cute, but I absolutely adore these ones!

  32. Kirbie — June 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Good luck with your search. Or if you are in the Bay Area, all the Sogo bakeries carry them.

  33. Kirbie — June 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Glad you liked the coffee cake. Thanks for visiting!

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  39. Dancingdog01 — July 2, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Love Theese!
    I Am Putting Them On My Youtube Channel : Dancingdog01
    Will give comments on what i recieve on the video :)

  40. Angela — July 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    super cute cupcakes!!! I was wondering if you used regular size muffin trays or mini trays to make these cakes? thanks

    • Kirbie replied: — July 25th, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

      I used regular size muffin trays for these

  41. Lisa Taylor — April 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    The Pandas are adorable!!

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