I think homemade gifts are the best as they are thoughtful despite the fact that they don't look anything close to store bought. I find there's beauty in rustic, imperfect efforts; and family and friends seem to appreciate homemade gifts more. Plus, you can make them personalized.
Like this recipe I tried for a colleague and friend (who likes matcha green tea) for his office send off. After baking this simple-to-follow recipe twice, even though I still prefer chai, I'm now a matcha believer.
Here's the original recipe with a few notes from my experience.
Matcha Green Tea Cupcake
Total Time: 30 - 40 mins
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Yield: 24 cupcakes (I only got 21 cupcakes -- still not bad)
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk (I used almond milk instead)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
2 teaspoons almond extract
Green Tea Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea) powder
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 170 degrees C. Line a muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until thoroughly blended.
Whisk together the milk and oil, and add to the dry ingredients. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the matcha powder, almond extract and eggs and beat again for 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour the batter into the pans, filling three-quarters of the way full. Bake until cakes test done, about 15 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
For the buttercream: Place the butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add one-third of the sugar and blend well. Add in the remaining sugar one-third at a time, blending well between each addition. Add in the milk and matcha powder and beat until light and fluffy.
To assemble: Add the buttercream to a large pastry bag with a grass tip and pipe in small dollops to resemble grass. (I simply used a star nozzle for my first attempt and a round nozzle for the second. Not a fan of the grass-look of the original recipe.)
Let me know if you try it.
What's your favorite cupcake flavor?