Matcha, Black Sesame and Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes


You’ll love this vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. Earthy, bittersweet matcha vegan cupcakes with a hint of nutty black sesame, topped with smooth, silky dark chocolate buttercream.


For the Cupcakes
  • 1.5 t ground psyllium husks (or 3 T ground flax seeds)
  • 5 t water (or 4 T of water if using flax)
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 3 T premium matcha powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • ¼ t salt
  • 100 ml unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • 2 T black sesame seeds
For the Frosting
  • 110g vegan dark chocolate
  • 100g vegan butter, room temperature
  • 100g vegan margarine, room temperature
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 t black sesame seeds


To Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/355f fan. Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases and set aside.
    In a small bowl whisk together the ground psyllium husks/ground flax seeds with the water. Set aside to thicken into your “egg” mixture.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together, the flour, matcha, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
    In the cup of a high-speed blender or food processor, add the soy milk, lemon juice, vegetable oil and thickened psyllium husks. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds. If you don’t have a food processor, use an immersion blender.
  3. The blended mixture should be thick, smooth and creamy, almost like mayo. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the caster sugar and lemon zest.
  5. Add the plant milk/vegetable oil mixture and beat well until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
  6. Add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing gently between each addition. Add the black sesame seeds and mix gently to combine. Do not over-work the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the 12 prepared cupcake cases and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes. When done, the edges of the cupcakes should be lightly browned and a bamboo toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean.
  8. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

To Make the Frosting

  1. Carefully melt the dark chocolate in short bursts in the microwave, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Tip the vegan butter and margarine into a bowl and use electric beaters or a whisk to beat until silky smooth. Add the sifted cocoa powder and beat again until smooth, with no lumps of cocoa. Working with a dessertspoon at a time, add the sifted icing sugar and beat well between each addition.
  3. Add the cooled dark chocolate and beat well until you have a beautifully fluffy frosting.
  4. To serve, put the matcha cupcakes in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Before you frost, they should be cool to the touch, otherwise the frosting will melt and become greasy.
  5. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and pipe onto the top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with a few black sesame seeds and serve.




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Here are a few tips on getting an absolutely perfect bake with these matcha cupcakes.

Start with the Psyllium Husks/Flax Seeds


These guys will act as your egg replacement and will help hold the whole batter together. Whether you’re using psyllium husks or flax seeds, you’ll need to grind them into a rough powder (you can do this in a blender or spice grinder) and mix them with water to hydrate. Set aside to thicken.

Dry Ingredients

Weigh out your dry ingredients in a medium bowl. You want to pick nice, premium-grade matcha with a nice bright green hue. Some matcha has a much more bitter taste and a brownish colour. Use the best matcha you can get hold of!


Wet Ingredients

This recipe works best when your wet ingredients are completely emulsified. This is why it’s best to use a blender for this stage. The mixture will thicken, almost like mayonnaise, when you blend it – this is good! It’ll mean a super smooth, even crumb. Oh and don’t forget to add your thickened psyllium husks – these guys are essential
Add the blended wet ingredients to the sugar with your lemon zest and beat until smooth.


Combine and Add Black Sesame Seeds

Add your flour mixture to the wet mixture a little at a time, you should end up with a nice green batter. Finally, add the black sesame seeds and mix. Don’t overwork the batter or you’ll end up with tough cupcakes!


Bake the Cupcakes

Divide the batter between 12 cupcake cases and bake until lightly brown and beautifully risen. Be sure to allow the cakes enough time to cool fully before frosting.


Frost the Cakes

Go crazy – frost any way you like! I use a piping bag but you can also apply with a pallet knife, to save time!


Finish and Serve

Sprinkle the top with black sesame seeds and hey presto! You’re all done!


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