bubbles
Originally uploaded by Bake & Destroy!

Actually, these are Milky Green Bubble Tea Cupcakes with Green Tea Almond Glaze and Lychee Drops. But what are the chances someone’s going to be hunting down that recipe? Considering this entire recipe was one big happy accident, I’d say no one will be looking for it, but if you find it and give it a shot maybe you’ll like it. This is the kind of cupcake you can only make if you have access to a good Asian market or if you happen to have a friend who owns a bubble tea house. (Jason! Wooo!)

I set out to make Jason and his lovely wife Mandy some green tea cupcakes with lychee frosting, simple enough, right? He hooked me up with the lychee powder they use in their bubble teas and I figured Matcha green tea powder is available everywhere so no big deal, I’d make ’em Sunday night. Friday I got a crippling tattoo, so I spent Saturday hobbling around and complaining. The complaining continued that night when I wasted my time watching Diary of the Dead. No cupcakes for you, George Romero, because you really blew it. Sunday was spent running around in a panic, unable to find Matcha green tea powder. None of our Asian markets had it, Whole Foods was out and Trader Joe’s was out. I figured I could use bubble tea powder and worst case scenario, they’re gross and Jason can throw them at the gyro place in the same strip as his tea house.

I had to laugh when I looked at my recipe and it specifically said not to use sweetened tea powder because it “ruins” the cupcakes. Well, first I freaked out, kind of yelled at Tony about it, used it anyway, barely slept because they looked weird, apologized to Jason and then was relieved when he declared the finished product delicious and affirmed that they have been unable to get Matcha powder at BeBoBa as well. And now I’m laughing. So, 12 hours later, I had to laugh.
Let’s see, what other issues did I have before I start? Oh, the lychee powder turned into crunchy candy when I made it into frosting so I used drops of it over a glaze I made at the last minute. I think if I made these again I’d make the powder into a simple syrup and add it instead of milk to the frosting. It might be less crunchy that way. Of course, if Giada were tasting these she would note the crunch as one of the three taste and texture elements she always points out when she bites into anything. “They’re sweet, tender and there’s a little bit of crunch!” Oh, Giada, you and your boobs are so cute.

Prepare yourselves, because here’s the recipe!

For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs green bubble tea powder*
  • 2 1/2 Tbs buttermilk powder**
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup water

*For regular green tea cupcakes, use Matcha green tea powder.
**Or use 2/3 cup real buttermilk in place of the water and don’t use powdered at all.

Then you:
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line pan with papers.
2. In a small bowl, mix together flour, tea powder, buttermilk powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a larger bowl beat together sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately beat in flour mixture and water, making three additions of flour and two of water. Beat until smooth.
4. Scoop batter into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely.

(This glaze is adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)
For the green tea almond glaze you will need:

  • 2 Tbs. butter or margarine
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. green bubble tea powder*
  • 1 Tbs milk (possibly more)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • drop of vanilla extract

*or Matcha

Then you:
Use a fork to beat the butter into fluff, then mix in confectioner’s sugar and tea powder to form a crumbly mixture. Add 1 Tbs milk, almond and vanilla extracts. If it’s too thick to spread, add more milk a tsp. at a time.

For the lychee frosting drops you’ll need*:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 Tbs. lychee powder
  • 3-4 Tbs milk

*This makes WAY too much frosting to just put little drops on each cake. I would half this, maybe even only make a 1/4 batch if possible to just do drops. I’m going to try making a syrup out of the lychee powder next time.

Then you:
Cream butter and confectioner’s sugar. Sift the lychee powder and add to the mix. When incorporated, add milk and whip until fluffy.

To assemble:
Spread a thin layer of green ea almond glaze on cooled cupcakes. Add small drops of lychee frosting, polka dots or drop flowers would be cute. I’d stick bubble tea straws in too, but I’m a cornball.