Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Green Tea Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Frosting

The boyfriend and I were entertaining another couple last weekend, and we started planning the menu: Asian pork burgers with soy glaze and/or sriracha mayo and grilled chicken in an Asian-inspired marinade. Can you tell he loves grilling and loves Asian flavors? Anyways, I volunteered to come up with a similarly Asian-inspired dessert. I immediately thought of a box of matcha sitting on my baking shelf that I had ordered online, intending to bake something, anything green tea-flavored. Perfect! Green tea cupcakes! But then I needed a frosting flavor. I didn't want to go with matcha frosting, too...I wanted something that would complement and play off the green tea cupcakes. So I got thinking....

My favorite coffee shop in Rochester, NY is a little place called Java's. They have standard coffee house fare, but it's all just really good and in a fun, quirky environment. Being a non-coffee-drinker myself, my favorite drink on the menu is perfectly refreshing on a summer day, which is usually when I find myself at Java's. It's called a Kinky Reggae, and to the best of my taste buds' knowledge, it consists of a blend of iced green tea and pink lemonade, served nice and cold over ice. I know this is an unusual combination, but it's so good! And voila! I had my frosting flavor: pink lemonade!

These cupcakes turned out great! The cupcakes are a vivid green color (my Facebook friends had fun guessing what made them green!), and the grassiness of the green tea flavor is perfectly offset by the light sweet/sour flavor of the frosting. The only complaint that I have is that the frosting is ever so slightly grainy due to the pink lemonade powder, but that didn't stop me from wolfing it right down! This unusual flavor combination went over very well with everyone who tried it!

Green Tea Cupcakes with Pink Lemonade Frosting (adapted from Chockylit with an original frosting recipe)

  • 1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbl. matcha*
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbl. pink lemonade powdered drink mix

Cream together 1/2 c. butter with the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and egg yolk until incorporated. Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and matcha. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat just until incorporated. Mix in the milk. Finally, mix in remaining dry ingredients just until combined. *I bought my matcha from Amazon. If you don't want to do that, you could probably substitute 1/2 c. of very strong brewed green tea for the matcha and milk.

Portion the batter out evenly into greased muffin cups (I got 11). Bake for 22-25 min. at 350 degrees F, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Cream together remaining 1 c. butter with the pink lemonade mix. Beat in 1-2 c. of powdered sugar, or until desired sweetness is reached and frosting is a spreadable consistency. Frost your cupcakes using a knife when the plastic bag that you were using to pipe the frosting bursts. Enjoy!

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