Green Tea Cupcakes with Pomegranate Foam

Green tea cupcakes topped with pomegranate foam

Green tea cupcakes topped with pomegranate foam

This weekend I was tasked with providing a non-chocolate dessert for an Oscars party. With a pomegranate languishing on my counter, I headed to Foodily, a website and smartphone app that makes it easy to find recipes by ingredient. A featured recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop caught my eye: Green Tea Pomegranate Cupcakes.

Gabrielle enjoys a cupcake

Gabrielle enjoys a cupcake

I love green tea desserts, and keep matcha powder in my pantry the way I do sugar, flour, and other baking staples. Green tea cake, green tea ice cream, green tea cocktails… you name it, I love it. I was slightly weirded out by the idea of putting pomegranate seeds into my batter the way the original recipe did, and was also low on useable pomegranate seeds, so I omitted that step. I also made changes to the recipe: using white whole wheat flour (reducing the amount to avoid changing the texture), adding vanilla, and making a more complex flavor profile for the foam topping. I also added cream of tartar to stabilize the egg whites. The result: a perfect pairing of fluffy, earthy green tea cake cut with an airy topping with the tangy sweetness of pomegranate and a hint of orange. These little numbers got rave reviews, not only from Gabrielle, but from the rest of the group as well. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

dividerGreen Tea Cupcake Recipe with Pomegranate Foam

Green Tea Cupcakes with Pomegranate Foam

Green Tea Cupcakes with Pomegranate Foam

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

For green tea cake batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk

For pomegranate-citrus foam:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brewed green tea
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • splash Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • splash of vanilla

For garnish:

  • Whole pomegranate pips

Preheat your oven to 350°F, and dissect your pomegranate. Juice half the seeds for the foam topping, and set the rest aside for garnish. Refrigerate a bowl to make beating the egg whites for the foam much easier by the time you get to that step!

Cream the butter, then add sugar and beat until fluffy. One at a time, add your egg, then your egg yolk, then vanilla, beating between each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the dry ingredients: flour, matcha, baking powder, and salt. Add about half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring to combine, then about half the milk. Repeat, stirring just until combined. Do not overmix!

Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, or spray generously with non-stick spray. Divide the batter evenly amongst the 12 cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a skewer stuck in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Set aside to cool, and start work on your foam!

Take your chilled bowl and begin beating your egg whites. As soon as they begin to froth, add cream of tartar and continue beating until they form soft peaks. Beat in salt and vanilla. In a saucepan, combine juices, tea, sugar, and Cointreau, and reduce over medium heat (stirring frequently) until it becomes shiny and syrupy. Whisk this hot mixture directly into your egg whites, and continue to whisk until the mixture completely cools. Spoon this into a pastry bag (or gallon-sized ziplock bag with a corner cut off) and apply to the top of your cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, and serve at room temperature.

dividerI’m not a huge fan of frosting, so the foam topping was a great discovery for me! I’ll be using it to top other desserts in the future!




Leave a comment


  1. Looks delicious! I never thought to make green tea cupcakes before.


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