Learn how to bake with matcha powder. This post shares the best type of matcha powder for baking and some of my favorite matcha flavored recipes.
Since starting this blog back in 2009 I have made countless recipes with matcha powder and I especially love baking with matcha. I love the beautiful natural green color and all the benefits associated with matcha green tea.
When I first began baking with matcha powder, I could only find matcha powder at Japanese markets. But in the last few years, the popularity of matcha has grown (especially in the U.S.) and matcha powder is much more easily available. I can buy matcha powder at Whole Foods, Costco and Amazon.
As matcha powder has become more easily accessible, I’ve seen a growing confusion in what type of matcha powder should be used for baking. When matcha is mixed into dessert batters and then placed into the oven to bake, the beautiful green often browns from exposure to the oven. However, it is possible to produce desserts that are both a beautiful shade of green and have a deep green tea flavor. So today I’m sharing my favorite type of matcha powder to use for baking.
What is Matcha Powder?
Matcha is a powdered form of specially grown green tea leaves. Green tea leaves that are used to make matcha go through a special growing and harvesting process. Weeks before the leaves are harvested, they are tented from the sun. This increases chlorophyll production which causes the leaves to become a darker shade of green. Once the leaves are picked, they are cleaned, steamed and dried. They are then stone ground until they become a fine powder.
Matcha Grades and Best Grade for Baking
Matcha is usually available in three grades.
Ceremonial grade– This is the highest quality available and used traditionally for tea ceremonies in Japan. It is made from the highest quality leaves and buds. Tea made with this powder has a very smooth taste. The powder itself also has a very vibrant green color.
Ceremonial grade matcha powder is the most expensive but it is my top choice for baking. Because of the vibrant green color of the powder, even after baking, the green color still comes through in baked goods. A 1-oz canister will cost around $20, but keep in mind that because matcha is so concentrated, you only need to add a little to your baked goods so one small canister can last for several recipes.
Premium grade– This is the next highest quality of matcha powder available. The taste is still quite excellent and the color is still a vibrant green, though not quite as concentrated as the ceremonial grade.
This is the type of matcha I buy most often for consumption. I use it for drinking, making lattes or for making desserts that don’t require baking. A 1-oz canister will cost around $10. Baked goods made with this powder will still retain some of its green color, although the color will be slightly more yellow from exposure to heat in the oven.
Culinary grade– This is the cheapest matcha powder available and usually the most commonly sold at markets. While this matcha powder is more affordable, the flavor is more bitter and the color is a duller shade of green.
I don’t recommend using culinary grade for baking. Your baked goods will have some green tea flavor but they will brown and lose their green color when exposed to heat in the oven.
Maeda-En Matcha Powder
My favorite brand of matcha powder is Maeda-En which offers all three grades of matcha powder and can be purchased at Asian grocery stores and on Amazon.
Universal Quality* is their premium grade of matcha powder. I purchase this for everyday use. It can be used for drinking, in smoothies or lattes, and for desserts that don’t require baking.
Ceremonial Quality* is their ceremonial grade of matcha powder. I use this for baked goods as it produces desserts that have a beautiful shade of green and a deep matcha flavor.
So, if you’re feeling inspired, I’ve gathered up some of my favorite matcha dessert recipes for you to browse. I hope you find some new recipes to try!
From molten lava cakes to single-serving mug cakes, I’ve made lots of matcha cakes over the years. Here are a few of my favorites!
Matcha Green Tea Molten Lava Cakes | Matcha green tea is mixed with white chocolate to create delicate cakes with a molten lava center. It’s an easy dessert to make for a dinner party or date night.
Matcha Green Tea Yogurt Cakes | You only need one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep time to make these soft and fluffy yogurt cakes.
Matcha Chiffon Cake | Chiffon cakes are one of my favorite cakes because I love the light and soft texture. The cake has a golden-brown crust, but once you cut into it, the green matcha cake is revealed.
Matcha Green Tea Pound Cake | For a less sweet cake, I like to make this matcha pound cake. It’s baked in a loaf pan for easy slicing and serving.
Green Tea Muffins with Blueberries and Pomegranates | These muffins have less sugar and butter than other muffin recipes and are loaded with superfruits like fresh blueberries, and pomegranate seeds. Plus, the matcha powder adds a healthy boost and a beautiful color.
Matcha Mochi Cake– Inspired by Hawaiian butter mochi, this easy mochi cake is flavored with matcha powder. The cake is chewy and delightful.
Matcha Cookies and Brownies
Like the cake recipes, adding matcha to cookies and brownies is so easy and a fun way to put a twist on classic cookie recipes. It’s a great way to add a natural green color to baked goods without all the artificial ingredients.
Matcha Green Tea Mochi Cookies | These matcha green tea cookies are crispy and chewy with bite-sized mochi pieces sprinkled throughout.
Matcha Macarons | Homemade macarons are a fun kitchen project and these are my Asian-inspired ones made with matcha powder and red bean paste, which is common in Asian desserts. Or skip the red bean paste and use the macaron shells to make Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches instead.
Single Serving Matcha Cookie | This crispy, chewy cookie is big enough to share and only takes about five minutes to prep and 10 minutes to bake. Don’t want to turn on the oven? I’ve also got a single serving microwave matcha cookie.
Soft and Chewy Green Tea Cookies | I love soft and chewy cookies and these ones are so easy to make.
Matcha Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies | I love baking with matcha all year, but I especially like it during the holidays because it gives holiday-themed cookies a natural green color. For non-holiday cookies try my Spring Green Tea Shortbread Cookies or Matcha Green Tea Sugar Cookies.
Green Tea Almond Russian Tea Cakes | These are another favorite holiday cookie and are a twist on traditional Russian tea cakes. They also remind me of almond green tea cookies sold at Chinese bakeries.
Crispy, Chewy Matcha Green Tea Cookies | These easy-to-make cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and are ready to go in the oven in about 15 minutes.
Matcha Green Tea Swirl Brownies | These fudgy brownies are swirled with matcha cream cheese which gives the brownies a pretty marbled look.
Other Matcha Desserts
So, these next recipes aren’t baked, but I couldn’t resist sharing some of my other favorite matcha desserts like matcha jello, chocolates, and ice pops.
No Churn Matcha Cookies and Cream Ice Cream | I love to make no-churn ice cream and this version is flavored with matcha powder and crushed Oreos.
Matcha Chocolates | Japanese green tea chocolate can be expensive if you buy them so I make them at home instead. They’re really easy to make!
Matcha Jelly | I love jello desserts and these homemade matcha jellies are easy to make, can be made ahead and are so pretty when you serve them.
Microwave Matcha Mochi Cups | These cut matcha mochi cups are gluten-free and easy to make in the microwave. They’re a single-serving chewy cake that I like to serve in little teacups. Or, if you want a bigger mochi cake, check out my Matcha Mochi Cake and Green Tea Mochi recipes.
Matcha Mochi Popsicles | These ice pops pair matcha with bite-sized mochi and are a fun summer treat.
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