• Matcha and Vanilla Cupcakes

Brew, Moo & The Primrose Bakery

Have you ever had something you really love discontinued? Maybe a favourite snack food or chocolate bar, a TV show or a magic hair serum that tames your not quite curly, certainly not straight hair. No? Just me then? … I thought not ;). We’ve all lost something we love – that’s what progress (and life, I dare say) is all about.

Let me tell you about how I created a cupcake that has filled the gap since I discovered my most favourite wee cafe of all time closed down without warning, leaving me without their secret recipe for the most perfect ginger and lemon cake I believe has ever been created and without their green tea vanilla “SmooTeas”. For we all know, the secret to eternal happiness is surely, baked into a cupcake somewhere out there…


So, we need to know a little more about this cafe, or tea shop, first before we delve into one of those cupcake-filledteacupss you see up there. It was called Brew and was just around the corner from the train station which I arrive at when going to “town”. It was an independent little place which sold homemade cakes, biscuits, sandwiches and the most innovative and thoroughly delicious array of tea drinks you could imagine. The staff were happy, young, funky as well as passionate and knowledgeable about their products. They never shooed you away nor gave you evils if you caressed an empty chai tea latte cup for several hours, using their wifi to write your latest blog. Sigh…

But perhaps the most special thing was that me and my bestest friend of all time used to meet there, take breaks from uni and much needed “tea and cake” breaks on day long shopping trips! Moo, the friend in question, introduced me to their green tea SmooTea one day and after that, I never ordered another drink. A blend of ice, a little honey, a relatively small amount of milk, real vanilla and the magic ingredient itself – matcha tea powder. You could have whipped cream on top – it wasn’t necessary.

It was creamy and nursery sweet enough. This was our thing, me and Moo. A little girly bonding over something sweet. But, as always, life got in the way. Moo moved far, far away (instead of 30 seconds away from my home) and has started a brand new life and soon, a spanking new career. I’m not sure how it happened but we’ve gone from daily contact to weeks without speaking – that pesky life thing getting in our way again. I miss her and long for these Brew days once again and I’m hoping she will read this post, know I’m bloo without my Moo and have made these cupcakes in her honour :)

So, turning to The Primrose Bakery Book (a constant source of comfort for me when life leaves me weary) revealed a recipe for green tea cupcakes. A-ha! An idea formed in my mind – having had a bag of matcha unused for a few months in my cupboard I thought, what the hell, let’s try and create my SmooTeas! Let’s Brew some tea in some scalded milk first…


Then, after standing at room temp for a few hours, let’s start our cupcake batter. We will need to reduce the sugar and replace about half of it with some lovely mild runny hunny to help with our Mission Recreation SmooTea!


Now stay with me as you behold the colour of batter, once the matcha milk, a little vanilla paste and the batter meet. It might be the colour of Kermit, if he was in army camo gear but it is all natural and the tea is all organic too. The bestest food “colouring” a gal could hope for :)


Once baked, the cupcakes retain this moss green colour with only the barest golden brown tinges at the edges of any cracks which appear. Oh how I love the Primrose method of making cupcakes – sifting plain and self raising flour together without adding extra raising agents. The texture of their cakes is so moist, so smooth, so full of air and always, always produce the most perfect dome shape to the baked cake. Well it pleases me, immensely.


So all that is left is to frost my Ode to the SmooTea cuppie. Again, inspired by the Primrose girls, I went for a basic buttercream this time but I changed the quantities of the ingredients significantly and added honey and vanilla and more matcha. Do feel free to fiddle to suit your cupcake requirements – in fact I have plans of making a matcha Swiss meringue buttercream for my next batch so don’t feel you must frost as I have! See – I even fiddle my own recipes lol!

To complete the full Brew and Moo experience, I baked my cupcakes in a set of silicone tea cup shaped cupcake cases that Moo gave me for Christmas as I don’t think there is a more fitting way to serve a tea flavoured cupcake than in an actual tea cup! Pink and white roses was required too as these were what I decorated my wedding cakes with (me, Moo and my other bridesmaid Hayls made 120 amaretto cupcakes for my wedding – I know, bananas!) and during my wedding planning, me and Moo of course needed a few pit stops at Brew.

So here we come full circle. May I present the green vanilla SmooTea cupcake. It tastes exactly as I imagine the drink would in cake form and it transports me back to happy days with my Moo. Here’s to a million more sweetpea, let’s not leave it too long until I can bake these for you for real.


Green Tea Honey Vanilla Cupcakes
: Dessert
Servings: 12
: 318 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 110 g soft butter
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 100 g runny honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp matcha powder
  • 120 g plain flour
  • 125 g self raising flour
For the frosting
  • 75 g soft butter
  • 150-200 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 heaped tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • Milk as necessary
  1. Heat the milk to boiling then whisk in the matcha powder and leave to steep for a minimum of half an hour at room temp or overnight in the fridge.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy indeed.
  3. Add in the honey and cream that in well too before beating the eggs in (I beat them in at once, speeding right up to minimise curdling risk).
  4. Next sift your flours together and then sift onto the creamed mixture - beat in gently pouring the milk, matcha and vanilla; it should be incorporated within a minute.
  5. Scoop into paper cases in a muffin tray (I use an ice cream scoop as I'm OCD that way ;) ) then bake at 180˚C for approx 25 mins.
  6. The cakes will rise and brown a tiny bit but will have a wonderful natural green colour.
  7. Cool in the tin for 5 mins then place cupcakes on a rack to cool fully.
  8. For the frosting simply beat all the ingredients together until soft and fluffy - whipping them with a hand whisk or in a stand mixer for 5-7minutes gives the lightest texture you can imagine.
  9. Pipe or swirl as you please onto the cooled cupcakes. So pretty!
Recipe Notes

Adapted from The Primrose Bakery

Nutrition Facts
Green Tea Honey Vanilla Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 318 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 127mg 5%
Potassium 52mg 1%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Sugars 30g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 8.9%
Calcium 2.5%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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By | 2018-02-19T19:32:36+00:00 May 24th, 2012|Categories: Cupcakes, Home Baking, Sweet Treats, Weekend Baking|Tags: , , , , , , , |31 Comments


  1. Pamela 24/05/2012 at 21:40 - Reply

    Beautiful! Well done Jodie for such gorgeous cupcakes and a really heartfelt write-up for them. So sweet, am (nearly) tempted to ditch biscuits and get cake-ing!!

    • Jo Blogs 24/05/2012 at 21:46 - Reply

      Ditch biccies??? Noooo Pam! There is room for biccies AND cupcakes in every gal’s life! :D

      (And thank you :) x)

  2. frugalfeeding 24/05/2012 at 22:10 - Reply

    Oh my god, they are so wee and cute, Jo! so sorry that it closed down! I moved away from Bristol and I really miss my favourite – but I’m moving back later in the year, can’t wait to get back into it!

    • Jo Blogs 24/05/2012 at 22:16 - Reply

      Well, they still sell tea online but sadly their cakes have gone as have their SmooTeas! Lucky I have this recipe now to comfort me ;)

      • frugalfeeding 24/05/2012 at 22:18 - Reply

        That’s such a shame! Yes, it’s good that you have something to remember them by. You’ll have to find an even better place now!

        • Jo Blogs 24/05/2012 at 22:45 - Reply

          I’m trying Frugal but no joy yet! I’m still hoping they will reply to my email asking for the recipe for that ginger lemon cake – now that was magnificent and I just can’t get close to it, try though I do!

          • frugalfeeding 24/05/2012 at 22:47

            You’ll find one… If they do I look forward to seeing it :). I saw a ginger and lemon cake today and wanted to try it – I may post one very soon myself.

  3. NYinRome 24/05/2012 at 22:12 - Reply

    Aswww Jodie your a sweetie….muah! Love it all the recipe the setting and they story of how it all came about!

    • Jo Blogs 24/05/2012 at 22:16 - Reply

      I’m nothing, if not a big softie NY! :D

  4. NickkiT 24/05/2012 at 23:29 - Reply

    Aww Jodie what a sweet post! I really do hope your Moo reads this :-) Sorry your favourite tea shop has closed down, that’s such a shame. You did a fantastic job re-creating that drink in cupcake form! They are very cute :-) x

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 06:53 - Reply

      Thanks Nic, I’m so glad they turned out as they did. I’m such further tweaking could produce a healthy version of the cupcake without compromising flavour, form or texture. This post may be revisited at some point!

  5. Karen Farr 25/05/2012 at 01:43 - Reply

    I left my best friend behind 10 years ago when I moved to Scotland. Same as you, used to speak everyday but life takes over and that then moved to every few weeks, then months and now it’s mainly FaceBook. But when I do see her, it’s like we’ve never been apart! The best friendships remain even if the contact is less frequent. Bit sad as I write this as I do miss her, but times change. I’m sure your Moo will always be there for you, if not immediately on your doorstep! Oh, and nice cakes by the way.. xx

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 06:56 - Reply

      It’s hard isn’t it Karen? Good friends, ones you can really depend on when life gets tough or when you have to go celebrate something right now are hard to find!

  6. chefconnie 25/05/2012 at 02:18 - Reply

    This happens to everything my husband likes. PB Max candy, those dried chocolate covered strawberries from costco and you name it. Your cupcakes are lovely.

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 07:07 - Reply

      Aw I feel your hubby’s pain Connie! Some folk are just real unlucky like that. And thanks for commenting, welcome to Jo Blogs :)

  7. rosesandtomatoes 25/05/2012 at 02:36 - Reply

    I have a friend that I have known since I was 12, she lived across the road in a rural part of Louisiana. She and I are very different from each other but we used to bad together as teenagers :). I guess I still am very rough around the edges and she has gone on to be the “nice” person. We get together on FB ALL the time and I send her “bad” stuff and she just tells me you are sooooo bad but I know that she really does like it, she just can’t show it. But, as far as the whole post goes, YES I know about things that just aren’t anymore….it makes me sad. I could write a whole long post about things that used to be that are….just….gone. And we can’t get them back. Like being able to let the kids out of the house and be gone all day exploring (or getting into trouble). The neighbors call and tell Mom what you have been doing (bad) and then having to pick out your own “switch” from the bushes to get a punishment. BUT I am 55 and that is just the way is was back then. This is a wonderful post and I absolutely love your page…everything. Wish I was so creative !!

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 06:59 - Reply

      Hi there and thank you for stopping by to make a comment Rose :). I think just being yourself, whomever that might be is the biggest challenge of life. To find someone who accepts you for that is pretty special.

      Thank you for the positive comments about my blog too – its a labour of love for sure :)

  8. The Patterned Plate 25/05/2012 at 06:07 - Reply

    What a lovely post!! And those cupcakes, all girly and pretty…thoroughly enjoyed it! And am sure Moo knows, cupcakes or not :-)

  9. Minnie Napier-Wright 25/05/2012 at 09:22 - Reply

    Moo calling…. Good Morning to the beautiful Jo. I have just read your blog and I am all teary eyed! Its really beautiful and I could not have expressed how I feel any better. I really miss you and of course our trips to Brew. It is so sad that it has gone, we shall have to find a new place for girly catch ups. I am looking forward to trying these cupcakes too- they look amazing! How fitting that our friendship is summed up in cake form! Come and visit me soon….. Xxxxxxx

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 15:02 - Reply

      Helloooo Moo! Oh I miss you, my true other half! I’ll come down the instant you have a free few days – I might be busy with my new job coming up but at least I’ll have proper annual leave and *shock horror* a proper salary! So plenty of time for chat, cake and shopping with my Moooo! Mwah xxx

  10. piesandeyes 25/05/2012 at 13:14 - Reply

    These are great! I understand about memory places closing! One of my favorites was bought out by a big chain and it was never the same after that! Keep those memories going, they are good for inspiration!

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 15:04 - Reply

      Glad you like Pies, they really are creamy sweet deliciousness themselves :). The good thing about memories are they are calorie free though ;)

  11. Cas 25/05/2012 at 22:15 - Reply

    cuuttteee, naw, aren’t you guys just way too sweet… haha. Nice looking cupcakes btw jodie! :) lots of love to Moo too! xxx

    • Jo Blogs 25/05/2012 at 22:49 - Reply

      Awww! It’s one of the Mini Moos! Hewwo Cas! Boys may come and go but friends, and cupcakes are forever :D

  12. Jayne 26/05/2012 at 17:36 - Reply

    Brilliant as always Jo. I love the ‘crinkly’ cups :-) x

    • Jo Blogs 26/05/2012 at 17:45 - Reply

      Aw thank you Jayne :D. They are pretty awesome aren’t they? I need to buy more so I have enough for a full batch of cupcakes :)

  13. Ellen of Indigo Scones 27/05/2012 at 22:19 - Reply

    You! This is so lovely. And am I really behind or did this site redesign just happen? It’s so gorgeous!!

    • Jo Blogs 27/05/2012 at 22:32 - Reply

      Not that behind Ellen – I only did it between this post and my previous flatbread one :). It “feels” like me now – previously it was tidy and minimalistic, two things I’m not always so good at in real life ;)

  14. sylvia 03/06/2012 at 11:16 - Reply

    Hi Jo. I am so glad that you love my Minnie. It took a lot of cupcakes to make her!
    Moos Mum. Xx

    • Jo Blogs 03/06/2012 at 12:57 - Reply

      Awww Moo’s Mum! Indeed, I bet Moo was made from many cupcakes – your chocolate fudge cupcake recipe is the bees knees! Xx

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