Simple Vegan Green Tea Cupcakes

by Sarah

in Cakes, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Egg-Free, vegan

simple vegan green tea cupcakes

I have long been a fan of green tea – whether the tea for drinking or any food that is green tea flavored.

This is my simple go-to green tea cupcake. The best part is – a lot of this cupcake can be make-ahead. For example – you can bake the stumps and freeze them for later use! If you’re ever missing cupcakes, just thaw overnight and frost to serve.

simple vegan green tea cupcakes

The little flowers can also be made ahead. I used royal icing to pipe the flowers almost a year ago, and keep them in a box for whenever I need them. They make cute decorations for cupcakes, and easily make a plain cupcake look fancier. Since royal icing is a bit of a pain to make, I recommend making a bunch of these flowers in one sitting to save for future use.

After you pipe the flowers, let them draw overnight, and store them in a box (does not have to be airtight). Although they take some time to make, the overall time saved by having home-made decorations on-hand whenever I want some pretty cupcakes fast makes the initial time spent making these flowers well spent. In case you were wondering if you can eat the flower, the answer is — yes you can, but it won’t taste very yummy. In general royal icing decorations are very pretty as the stiff icing allows you much control over the shape of your decorations. However they are for the most part not meant to be eaten – (they taste like cardboard!).

Happy Baking!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Vegan Green Tea Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Cake dry ingredients
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk
Cake wet ingredients
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon imitation vanilla extract
Green Tea Frosting
  • ⅔ cup Earth Balance vegan margarine
  • ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I used Spectrum)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp white imitation vanilla extract (keeps colors light)
  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 1¼ teaspoon green tea powder
Royal Icing for flower
  • Follow instructions here
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients in a separate small bowl and then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir to incorporate.
  3. Drop batter into cupcake liners. I use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to measure out about 1.5 tablespoons of batter per cupcake. Bake until inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  4. Cream Earth Balance and vegetable shortening together with an electric mixer. Add in all remaining frosting ingredients except the soy milk. Cream together, adding 1 teaspoon soy milk at a time (use how much soy milk you add to control the thickness of the frosting). Feel free to add more or less green tea powder depending on how intense you want the flavor to be.
  5. Once cupcakes are done, cool completely.
  6. Pipe frosting with a large star tip (I like the Wilton 1M, Ateco 826 and Ateco 829). Add Sprinkles of your choosing!
(Optional) Making the royal icing flower* (see note for video)
  1. Follow linked instructions from Wilton on making a simple royal icing.
  2. Swirl 2-3 drops purple food color gel into about ½ cup of your royal icing till it is the desired shade of lavender.
  3. Fill purple icing in a piping bag fitted with a comma shaped tip (e.g. Wilton tip 102).
  4. Cut a few small 1inch by 1 inch squares of wax paper, and glue to your flower nail with a glue stick.
  5. Pipe flower petal with the tip 102. With your dominant hand (right for me), make the shape of a bent "n" where the open ends touch by pressing on the icing bag to release purple icing and rotating the flower pin with your other hand to form the "n" shape of each petal. Make 5 petals, slightly overlapping each other. As you make each petal, rotate the flower nail clockwise so that you do not need to move your right hand as you pipe (or vice versa if you are left-handed).
  6. Mix 2-3 drops yellow food color gel into about ½ cup white royal icing to get the desired shade of yellow (feel free to add more or less color).
  7. Fit yellow icing to a wilton 3A tip. Make 2 yellow dots in the center for the "pollen"
  8. Remove the wax paper that has your flower on it from the flower nail, and let it dry overnight. Then store in a container (does not absolutely have to be airtight). These will be good pretty much forever! The flower is more for decoration, so pick it off when you are about to eat the cupcake.
The royal icing flower piping takes a bit of practice to get right! Don't feel discouraged if it didn't work great the first time - the more you do it, the prettier your flowers will be!

Here is a great video of how to make the apple blossom flower I found on youtube. I highly recommend watching it and re-reading the directions before you try the piping, it'll be much easier!

Royal icing dries very quickly. Make sure to cap the piping bag or the container the icing is in while you are not using it so the dried icing does not clog your piping tip or crust in the container.


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cali @ Cali's Cuisine June 15, 2015 at 6:04 am

These cupcakes are absolutely beautiful. I imagine they taste amazing!


2 Sarah June 15, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Thank you Cali!


3 Beeta @ Mon Petit Four June 15, 2015 at 11:29 am

These cupcakes look beautiful, Sarah! I love the decorated flowers – so clever to make them ahead and freeze! I also love the little pearl sprinkles, adds an elegant touch. I will have to make these for my vegan cousin when she visits! :)


4 Sarah June 15, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Thanks Beeta! I hope you cousin likes them!


5 Nagi@RecipeTinEats June 16, 2015 at 1:04 am

I love green tea flavoured ANYTHING!! well, being of Japanese background, of course I do! I can just imagine how yummy these are. They are just so gorgeous. I love the green frosting with the purple flowers!!

I seriously think you should open a Vegan bakery. You will be wildly popular! Pinning, of course! The vegan community needs to discover this!


6 Sarah June 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

Thanks so much Nagi! So happy you enjoy the vegan desserts!


7 Connie June 16, 2015 at 6:14 am

Oh my goodness! These cupcakes are too cute!!! And those royal icing flowers look amazing!! What a great idea to make a bunch of them all at once! (: I love green tea in everything too. I have a cup every day, and I sure do wish I could have this cupcake with it!


8 Sarah June 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

Thanks Connie! :) I drink green tea very frequently too!


9 Joanne June 18, 2015 at 5:39 am

Okay, SUCH a good idea to make a ton of those little flowers ahead of time. I feel like no baker’s home should be without them. And LOVE LOVE LOVE green tea! Definitely need to try these.


10 Sarah June 18, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Thanks Joanne! Hope you like them!


11 Sonali- The Foodie Physician June 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm

These look so pretty and delicious! Thanks for tips about royal icing :)


12 Sarah June 18, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Thanks Sonali!


13 Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness June 20, 2015 at 5:53 am

These cupcakes are absolutely gorgeous!! Also, I totally want to try making those flowers. SO cute :)


14 Sarah June 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Thanks Cathleen!


15 Amanda June 20, 2015 at 6:39 am

This is such a great recipe, love the green tea flavor!


16 Sarah June 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Thanks Amanda!


17 Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking July 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm

beautiful as always Sarah!! I’m a green tea fan 100%!


18 Sarah July 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

Thanks Natalie! I’m a green tea (or any tea!) fan too.


19 Anonymous May 5, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Do I need to alter any of the ingredients if I am folding in some anko (red bean paste)?


20 Sarah May 6, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Will you be folding the past into the cupcake stump or the frosting? If into the stump it should be okay as long as the red bean paste is not too liquid. I would mix it in with the wet ingredients before combining with the dry.


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