Friday, May 14, 2010

Mulberry Cupcakes & Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting

Lessons. They are imperative to learning and I think imperative to growing as a human being. The day I made these gorgeous looking (but not gorgeous tasting) cupcakes, I learned a very valuable lesson.
So, to further spread the knowledge, here is the lesson I learned: do not, I repeat DO NOT, substitute fat free half and half for milk. Half and half should be a usable substitute for milk, after all half and half is made of half milk and half cream. With that logic, it should actually make the cupcake better, because when does a cupcake ever suffer from more fatty goodness? Well, fat free half and half was all I had on hand and I guess it being fat free and all... well, let's just say it did not work.
On the upside, this matcha cream cheese frosting was fantastic! It was uberly tangy, like cream cheese frosting always is, and it was delightfully green (my ultimate favorite color). Basically though the cupcakes themselves turned out to be weirdly spongy and awfully dry.

* CORRECTION: apparently the wild berries at my house are NOT blackberries but instead mulberries! How exciting, so therefore these are Mulberry cupcakes and not Blackberry cupcakes :)

Mulberry Cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 regular or 34 mini cupcakes
Original recipe can be found here.

For the cupcakes:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 tbsn. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup mulberry coulis

For the mulberry coulis (makes 1/2 cup):
3 oz. mulberries
1 tbsn. sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla
1/8 cup water

For the matcha cream cheese frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (more if needed)
2 tbsn. matcha powder

To make the blackberry coulis, combine everything in a medium pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Once cool, puree in a blender or food processor. Strain to remove the seeds.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line your cupcake tin with liners, set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix again, remembering to scrape down the sides of the bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and blackberry coulis. Add half of the dry ingredients into the mixer bowl on low speed until just combined. Pour in the coulis-milk mixture and mix. Then mix in the remaining dry ingredients until just incorporated. Divide the batter among the cupcake tin and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth. Turn the mixer on low and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and matcha. Add more powdered sugar if needed until you get the right consistency. Beat on high until light and fluffy and everything is well incorporated. Frost the cupcakes when cooled completely.


  1. The colors are incredible! Bust that they didn't turn out though. Good to know about the ff 1/2 and 1/2. I always see it at Trader's and wonder if it would be good for baking.

  2. I didn't realize such a thing existed! Fat free half and half? Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

    Beautiful photos! Can you taste the matcha in the frosting?

  3. Oh my gosh, these are gorgeous. Great combination of flavors and colors.

  4. oh those are indeed gorgeous looking cupcakes! i love the creative flavor combo, too--i'm definitely going to have to try it.

  5. Aww, I've made that mistake before, too. At least the frosting was good! They're so pretty!

    I need to find some matcha... I see it in everything, but I can never find it!

    1. I sell Unicity products and we have a Matcha powder, you can get two types, one is for energy, and the other is for focus. I used it for some Matcha Pomegranate cupcakes, they were awesome!

      I can 'hook you up' if you're interested! (email me)

  6. Sarah - yes the matcha flavor was very prominent! especially the next day, i guess the time let it meld well :)

    Whisk kid - please get your hands on some matcha soon :) it can get quite expensive but it's totally worth it!!

  7. I say just scoop the icing off the top and eat it alone! At least that's what I would do. They certainly look gorgeous!

  8. @Sarah Most of the dairy-free half and half you see everywhere is fat free half and half. It's all corn syrup solids and artificial coloring. Ew.

    Matcha frosting. Why didn't I think of that?

    Thanks for sharing your (for the most part) success.

  9. Good to know! Still super-pretty. :)

  10. Matcha is Marvelous. I'll have to try these out. Thought you might be interested in my peanut butter chocolate cups with matcha whipped cream:

  11. Many folks wonder what Matcha Green Tea tastes like. It is an often misunderstood, highly complex, alluring flavor. Chlorophyll together with amino acids supply Matcha with its distinctive rich taste. It has an initial astringent, vegetal taste which then gives way to a lingering sweetness. When Matcha is whisked with water in the traditional style of Japan, it is actually a very full-bodied green tea. The high intensity of your first Matcha experience can be compared to the first time you red wine or dark chocolate. When Matcha is used as in ingredient in baking, cooking, or beverages, the taste will become more subtle. It can add the unique flavor, (and generally the color), of green tea to a variety of creations such as ice cream, cupcakes, smoothies, a latte, or various different sauces.

  12. very lovely...will make these next year!

  13. These cupcakes look great, very nice colors, and the flavor combo sounds very interesting.I've featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don't mind, but if you do, please contact me and I'll remove it. All the best.