These bakery-style matcha muffins are super soft, fluffy, and full of matcha green tea flavour. They're so easy to make with my top tips for big, puffy muffin tops!
Matcha muffins are a delicious and easy treat to make for any occasion whether it's for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. They're humble and unassuming with the most wonderful fluffy, cupcake-like texture once you take a bite.
The matcha powder gives these muffins a beautiful vibrant green colour and the earthiness balances out the sweetness. They're sprinkled with sliced almonds for an easy way to decorate them and give them some crunch and texture. They're perfect for when you want to make quick baked goods or a matcha treat without much effort.
Why you'll love this recipe
- These muffins are incredibly soft and fluffy!
- They're so easy to make! No electric mixer needed.
- They have a delicious matcha flavour and they're not too sweet so they're perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a snack.
- This recipe covers the top tips to get big and puffy muffin tops.
- The recipe makes a small batch of 6 muffins and can be easily scaled to make more.
How to get bakery-style muffin tops
There are a few main key things you have to do to get high bakery-style muffin tops.
- Chill your dough in the fridge for about 1 hour.
- Resting the dough allows the baking powder to get a head start and begin working on creating pockets of air in the batter. When the batter is exposed to the heat of the oven, it starts its second round of activation, creating even more lift.
- Resting also allows the flour to absorb the liquid ingredients and start gluten formation.
- Bake your muffins at a high temperature (400°F).
- The high heat will quickly activate the baking powder's second rise and also cause the outsides of the muffins to cook faster. The uncooked batter in the middle will then have nowhere to go but up.
- Fill your muffin liners at least ¾ full or even all the way full. Simply adding more batter to each liner means there's more batter to rise up and out of the pan for big muffin tops.
- All-purpose flour
- Matcha powder - Use a high quality ceremonial grade matcha powder for the best results. You can also use a culinary grade matcha powder as long as it's good quality and has a vibrant green colour rather than a dull brownish colour.
- Baking soda - Baking soda directly reacts with the acidic buttermilk to create lots of lift in your muffins.
- Baking powder - Too much baking soda can cause your baked goods to have a soapy taste so we need to use baking powder as well to get the lift that we need. The baking powder starts working while your batter is chilling in the fridge and then rise again during baking to create puffy and high muffin tops.
- Unsalted butter - Melt your butter in the microwave or on the stovetop before using.
- Granulated sugar
- Egg - Your egg should be at room temperature to prevent the melted butter from solidifying on contact with a cold egg. Take it out of the fridge ahead of time or submerge it in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes before use.
- Vanilla extract
- Buttermilk - Baked goods made with buttermilk are always super soft and because it's much more acidic than regular milk, it works with the baking soda to help your muffins rise a lot and become fluffy. This should also be at room temperature or close to it to prevent the butter from solidifying.
- Sliced almonds - For topping on top of your muffins! You can also use other chopped nuts or chocolate chips if you like.
How to make matcha muffins
Mix dry ingredients - In a small bowl, whisk together flour, matcha powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Mix wet ingredients - In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk until creamy and smooth. Finally, add the buttermilk and whisk again until combined.
Add the dry to the wet mixture - Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Lumps and some flour bits are fine and will make your muffins fluffier.
Chill batter - Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the batter in the fridge for about 1 hour.
Prep - Preheat the oven to 400°F and add parchment paper liners to your muffin pan but leave alternating spaces empty (you'll only have 6 liners in a 12-muffin pan) to allow space for airflow and big, puffy muffin tops.
Scoop out batter - When your batter has been chilled, use a large ice cream scooper to gently scoop out the batter. Try not to disturb the batter too much - don't press it or stir it around. It should be very spongey and you want to keep the air pockets intact.
Fill muffin pan - Release the batter into your lined muffin pan, filling them at least ¾ full or almost all the way full. The more you fill each liner, the bigger your muffin tops will be.
Add toppings - Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the batter, reserving a handful for adding later.
Bake - Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. About halfway through baking, sprinkle the muffin tops with more sliced almonds if they're looking bare.
Let muffins cool - Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before lifting them out and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Matcha muffins can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 4 days. They'll get drier the longer you keep them so reheat them in the microwave to soften them if needed.
These muffins freeze well. Store them in an airtight container, freezer bag, or wrap them well in plastic wrap and/or aluminum foil and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Tips & tricks
- Use room temperature ingredients. Take your egg and buttermilk out of the fridge ahead of time to let them come to room temperature. This prevents the butter from solidifying when it comes into contact with cold ingredients and helps create a smooth, homogeneous batter.
- Chill the batter. Resting the batter is key to helping muffins rise higher with puffy tops. Chill will give the baking powder time to start activating and give the flour time to absorb the liquids in the batter and form a strong gluten structure.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds on top halfway through baking. I found that since these muffins rise and puff up significantly, some of the sliced almonds you add on top before baking will get pushed out to the edges or under the muffin top. You can choose to add some more or add all of the sliced almonds on top of the muffins halfway through baking when the tops are puffed but still soft.
- Add other mix-ins. For other variations, try adding chopped nuts, berries, or chocolate chips to your muffins.
Frequently asked questions
Ceremonial grade matcha powder is a high quality matcha meant for drinking where the flavour shines on its own. It has a very vibrant green colour and tastes sweet and fragrant. Culinary matcha is a lower grade matcha that is meant to be used in baked goods where it is mixed with other ingredients and exposed to high heat. However, it's usually a brownish-green colour which gets even duller after baking and it can taste bitter on its own.
Absolutely, yes! I actually always recommend using ceremonial grade matcha for both drinking and for all baking. It gives your baked goods a vibrant green colour and the taste is sweet, strong, and more fragrant than culinary matcha powder.
Overmixed muffin batter can cause dense and dry muffins. But don't be afraid to mix your batter as you don't want undermixed muffin batter either without enough gluten structure. Mix until all the ingredients are combined with just a few small floury bits leftover.
If your muffins didn't rise, your baking powder or baking soda may be expired and no longer have enough leavening power, your oven may not be hot enough, or your batter was undermixed and flour didn't have a chance to develop enough gluten structure to hold the muffin together.
If your muffins sink after taking them out of the oven, they may be underbaked. The tops of the muffins should spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted should come out clean with a few crumbs. If the tops smush in when pressed or jiggle at all, they need to be baked for a few minutes longer.
More matcha recipes to try
- Matcha Mochi Cookies
- Matcha Madeleines
- Matcha White Chocolate Cookies
- Matcha Tiramisu
- Matcha-Covered Strawberries
- 180 g all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons matcha powder, ceremonial grade
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 95 g unsalted butter, melted
- 130 g granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 175 g buttermilk, room temperature
- sliced almonds
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, matcha powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar until combined. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk until creamy and smooth. Add the buttermilk and whisk again until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Lumps and some flour bits are fine and will make your muffins fluffier.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the batter in the fridge for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and add parchment paper liners to your muffin pan but leave alternating spaces empty (you'll only have 6 liners in a 12-muffin pan) to allow space for airflow and big, puffy muffin tops.
- When your batter has been chilled, use a large ice cream scooper to gently scoop out the batter. Try not to disturb the batter too much - don't press it or stir it around. It should be very spongey and you want to keep the air pockets intact.
- Release the batter into your lined muffin pan, filling them at least ¾ full or almost all the way full. The more you fill your liners, the bigger your muffin tops will be.
- Sprinkle sliced almonds on top of the batter, reserving a handful for adding later. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. About halfway through baking, sprinkle the muffin tops with more sliced almonds if they're looking bare.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before lifting them out and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.