Matcha brownies are loved by many because they are a simple yet decadent dessert. In contrast to many other chocolatey or fudgy treats, these green tea sweets are also relatively low-calorie.
To help you bake these healthy bites, we've asked around our foodie community of home bakers for their best recipes. This recipe is not only a ‘piece of cake’ to recreate at home, but is also healthier than the store-bought alternatives. Besides that, the taste is always better and fresher when making these fudgy bites from scratch.
In our recipe, we will be using brown butter and dark chocolate. However, we have also included options if you want to use other types of chocolate.
We also list some alternative ingredients you can use instead if you are on a vegan, gluten-free or even keto-friendly diet. So you can learn how to make matcha brownies with some small tweaks and get a similar taste and texture.
What are matcha brownies?
Matcha brownies are made of matcha powder, flour, chocolate, eggs, butter and sugar. The result is a delicious green square of dense chocolate cake flavoured with the earthy undertones of Japanese green tea.
Typical brownies usually have a lot of sugar added, resulting in a very sweet and crumbly taste. However, adding green tea provides the dessert with bars with a bittersweet flavour, resulting in a mellower and mildly sweet dessert bar.
Japanese green tea is versatile, so you'll see it in a plethora of baked goods. For example, you will see that it is used to make matcha bread.
Matcha brownies ingredients
To make the best matcha brownies, you will need the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter
- White chocolate
- Matcha powder
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
- All-purpose flour
The iconic and vibrant matcha powder is the product of pounded green tea leaves. In our matcha brownies recipe, we would recommend that you use matcha powder.
If you don’t have access to it, you can simply use green tea bags. Just open up the tea bags and grind them up into a fine powder. This alternative will render a milder green tea flavour. Therefore, we will instead be using the powdered version for our recipe.
Matcha powder comes in different grades depending on the quality of the leaves that are cultivated during production.
When choosing which one to use, we suggest that you use ceremonial-grade matcha powder. This grade does not have the typical bitterness that is present in normal culinary-grade powders and instead produces a smoother, nuttier and sweeter taste.
Ensure that you use matcha powder that is within the best-before date. Matcha that has expired or oxidised has a dull brown/grey appearance. Not only is the colour of expired matcha no longer a vibrant green but the taste will also have an unpleasant bitterness. Store your powder in an airtight and opaque container to prevent it from expiring prematurely.
You will need to use all-purpose flour to achieve a firm brownie shape and a pleasant, chewy taste.
We suggest that you don’t use cake flour, as it will result in a crumbly and dry texture. However, if you are gluten intolerant, you can substitute all-purpose flour with sweet rice flour. You will get a drier, less fudgy cake, which is still delicious nonetheless.
Using white chocolate is best for making this green tea dessert. The creamy white colour will allow the powder to retain its colour when you mix the chocolate and matcha to create matcha chocolate. Your white chocolate matcha brownies will look vibrant green and appetising.
Alternatively, you can use dark or milk chocolate if you have no white chocolate.
Using dark chocolate will enhance the bitterness and deepen the colour of your dessert and you will create brown butter matcha brownies. In comparison, milk chocolate will make it sweeter and lighter in colour. For vegans, look out for dairy-free chocolate as a substitute.
For your sweetener, you can use a mix of granulated sugar and light brown sugar.
Granulated white sugar will help the cake stay crisp and chewy. Whilst the light brown sugar will render your desserts slightly moist and increase the sweetness.
Darker brown sugar will make your brownie fudgier and much sweeter. However, you can choose how much of each sugar you use (or don’t use) depending on your preference.
If you do not want sugar, use honey or stevia as a sugar substitute. Stevia is a plant extract and a common replacement for sugar. Using stevia will make the dessert sweeter, so use about ¼ less than what you'll use if you put sugar.
How to make keto matcha brownies
The keto diet is all about high carbs and low fats. Therefore, you will need to replace all sugar and flour in our recipe to make a keto version. You will also need to replace the white chocolate with dark chocolate or another keto-chocolate alternative. Despite all these ingredient swaps, the recipe steps remain the same.
To make a rich flourless matcha brownie you will need to:
- Use about 1 cup of coconut sugar or Swerve sweetener (an artificial sweetener) to replace the sugar.
- Replace the all-purpose flour, with about 135g of almond flour. The taste and texture will not differ very much when using almond flour.
- Use dark chocolate due to its low sugar content instead of white. Ensure to use dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa to avoid being kicked out of ketosis.
- Use 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder along with dark chocolate.
Gluten-free mochi matcha brownies
For gluten-free mochi matcha brownies, replace all-purpose flour with 230g of glutinous rice flour. This will result in a spongier texture in comparison to all-purpose flour. With the leftover flour, try some of our gluten-free glutinous rice flour recipes.
How to make no-bake vegan matcha brownies
To make no-bake vegan matcha brownies, you'll need to replace several ingredients and use a microwave.
First, replace all-purpose flour with 30g of oat flour and 28g of coconut flour for the brownie layer. Next, we'll combine 90 ml of almond milk and 22 g of chocolate protein powder. Instead of butter and eggs, use 30g of unsweetened apple sauce. You can also use vegan butter.
If you prefer the familiar spongy taste that eggs give, blend in a mix of crushed flax or chia with water in a 1:3 ratio. The ideal ratio is to substitute one egg with 1 tablespoon of (15 ml) ground flax, plus 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of water.
Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients remain the same. Combine the flour, protein powder, chocolate, apple sauce, and milk to make a smooth dough for the brownie layer, then scoop the mixture into muffin cups. Microwave the mixture for 15 minutes. Next, combine the flour, protein powder, and matcha powder for the topping. Finally, add this on top of the muffin cups. You can now enjoy your no-bake desserts.
If you're ready to make the best matcha brownies, check out these cooking tips to achieve perfection!
Sift, not fold, your batter
Combining your heavy and light ingredients by just dumping them into a bowl and mixing them together will probably result in an inconsistent batter. Matcha powder tends to form clusters. These clusters can ruin your dessert by creating random spots of dryness and bursts of overwhelming flavour.
Therefore, we suggest sifting your ingredients beforehand because it ensures the green tea powder, flour, baking powder, and sugar are free from large clumps. In addition, you will also get a fluffier and softer matcha dessert. After you do that, you can mix the ingredients evenly.
Bake on the middle rack
Ensure to place your matcha brownies on the middle oven rack. The middle rack is the optimal spot where airflow is circulating throughout. The heat is therefore evenly distributed, giving you an evenly baked dessert.
If you place these sweet treats elsewhere, the tops and bottoms might burn while the inside remains undercooked. This tip applies when you're making cakes and matcha cookies too.
Don't overbake them
If you overbake your desserts, they'll turn out dry and crumbly. So you'll want to monitor your sweet treats as they bake in the oven. Aim for 165 to 170 degrees Celsius (330-340 degrees Fahrenheit) for fudgy middles and bake for 20 minutes.
However, if you want them baked completely and more cake-like, go for 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit) and a longer time of 30 minutes.
The shorter your baking time, the denser and fudgier your desserts will become. The way to test whether you've got a cake-like texture is to observe when the squares start pulling away from the pan's sides. Take them out once this happens.
You have probably seen those beautiful matcha swirl brownies on social media. It's easy to add this little detail to your dessert:
- Firstly, pour half of the batter into a baking pan.
- Then, pour your matcha mixture on top of the batter into the pan. Smooth it into an even layer.
- Take a spoon and add spoonfuls of the remaining batter.
- After this, insert a knife into this layer and pull it in and out at differing angles. Then, turn the pan around and continue carving large circles for the marbled look.
For a green tea dessert with more oomph, sprinkle toppings after about 15 minutes when the slices are cool enough to touch. You can add a layer of chocolate or cream cheese frosting.
Alternatively, try a layer of black sesame paste for a flavour that pairs well with matcha. Spread it thickly over your dessert.
If you want a healthier dessert, top your dessert off with shredded coconut or almonds. However, if you're not counting calories, go for mini marshmallows, Oreo bits, white chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips for a fun twist.
How to store
Can you store these delicious treats for another time? Yes, you can.
After they cool, if you do not want to serve them immediately, wait to slice them. Wrap them in cling wrap, then place foil over them.
You can cut them or keep the entire piece in an airtight container in the freezer. It's best to leave them unsliced, so air does not get in between the slices. You can keep them for up to 3 months in the freezer. Remember to thaw them overnight before you slice and serve these desserts.
Although you can keep your fudgy treats for a while, remember that green tea powder oxidises quickly once exposed to air. It will turn dull and grey, and your dessert will also become bitter. So, try to consume your baked goods whilst fresh.
Healthy Matcha Brownies Recipe
- 113 g unsalted butter
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- 130 g all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsps matcha powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 100 g light brown sugar tightly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift the flour, matcha powder, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Mix until ingredients are combined and set aside. Then microwave the white chocolate and butter at 300 watts for about one and a half minutes. Stir it together so it's smooth, and place it back in the microwave oven until everything melts.
- Whisk the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Add the white sugar, brown sugar and the vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is uniform in colour. Pour this mixture into your matcha mix and fold everything together. Make sure the final mixture is smooth without lumps.
- Place the brownie batter into a pan and use a spoon to level the top. Then bake at 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 18-20 minutes if you want the cakes fudgier. Place the pan to cool on a cooling rack before removing your green tea dessert from the pan. After 15 minutes, cut your matcha brownies into squares or bars, and serve!
- Line your baking pan with parchment paper.
- Set up your oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to about 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Make sure you sift the matcha powder and flour to avoid clumps.
- When adding sugar and eggs, beat the mixture until it is creamy. Beating adds air to the dessert so the flour can rise nicely.
- When you have taken out the dessert bars, make sure that you remove them from the baking pan. The residual heat from the pan will continue to cook your dessert. You might get overcooked bits if you leave them to cool on the pan.
- Once you've sliced them, smack your tray hard on the counter to eliminate air bubbles. This step creates a fudgier texture, so it tastes chewier when you bite into your dessert.
- For a cakier texture increase the temperature to 180 degree Celsius (or about 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 minutes.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
If you've enjoyed baking our matcha brownies recipe, you should follow us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks to discover more yummy recipes that you can follow along with at home.