These matcha brownies are fudgy, chocolatey and bursting with the matcha green tea flavor you love. Easy to make, can be made ahead, delicious!
(Do you like putting matcha powder in everything? Try these matcha chocolate chip cookies. They’re so easy to make and are the perfect sweet treats. If matcha and cream cheese is your thing, you’ll love this rich and creamy matcha cheesecake.)
I love brownies and I love matcha so it was only a matter of time before these matcha brownies happened. And they’re all I imagined them to be.
And unlike other matcha brownie recipes, there’s no white chocolate here.
Just rich dark chocolate, fudgy chocolate brownie, full-bodied matcha.
Let’s get to it.
Why you’ll love this recipe
If you’re a fan of matcha like I am, you’ll enjoy making this recipe too.
- Classic brownie recipe. It’s based on my tried and tested brownie recipe so you can be sure it always comes out chocolatey, fudgy and chewy like a proper brownie should be.
- Vibrant green color. And because these are technically matcha swirl brownies i.e. we swirl the matcha cream cheese mixture on top, the brownies remain a bright, pretty green. (Fan of purple brownies? Try my ube brownies! It’s a reader favorite.)
- Freezes well. They freeze incredibly well too. So you can make a batch ahead of time and thaw when you need them.
How to make
There are two components to this recipe: the brownie batter and the matcha cheesecake mixture.
Ingredient notes and baking tools
You’ll need simple ingredients and pantry staples like all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Key things to note:
- Cocoa powder — I always use Dutch processed, unsweetened cocoa powder
- Espresso or strong coffee — I put coffee in my brownies because it enhances the chocolate flavor. You can skip this if you like and use water instead
- Cream cheese — for best results, use full-fat cream cheese, those available in blocks
- Matcha powder — I use culinary-grade matcha powder in baking. More info on baking with matcha below
As far as baking tools, you’ll need a 9×13 inch baking pan.
I also like using my electric mixer to beat the matcha cream cheese mixture.
First, preheat your oven to 350F, lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan, then line with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Set aside.
Place cream cheese and sugar in a bowl.
Beat until smooth and creamy.
Add matcha powder. Start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste. You’ll want this mixture stronger than how you normally like your matcha tea so that the green tea flavour shines through. I usually add 2 tablespoons (or equivalent to 6 teaspoons).
Beat until incorporated.
Once you’re happy with your matcha mixture, add egg and vanilla extract and continue beating until incorporated.
Set this aside while you work on your chocolate brownie batter.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder and baking soda…
Add melted unsalted butter.
Whisk until smooth.
Add espresso or strong coffee and continue whisking until batter is creamy and thick.
At this point, it would seem like the coffee doesn’t want to incorporate into the batter. Just keep whisking, it will come together.
Add the rest of your ingredients (except the flour).
Whisk until fully incorporated.
Add all purpose flour and gently fold until just combined.
Do not over mix.
Put them together
Now that you have your two mixtures ready, it’s time to assemble.
Transfer your brownie batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly.
Top with your matcha powder cream cheese batter and try to spread around.
Gently run a knife through the batter to create swirls and help further even out the cream cheese throughout the pan.
Gently tap the pan on your counter a few times to help the batter settle in.
Bake the brownies for 30-45 minutes or until it’s starting to brown at the edges but the centre still feels a little jiggly. You want a toothpick inserted in the middle to come out with minimal but slightly moist crumbs.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool on the counter. Then chill 2-3 hours (or overnight) until the brownies are set. You can serve the brownies chilled or at room temperature.
Brownie baking tips
Brownie recipes are some of the easiest recipes to make. I find them more forgiving than cookies and simpler than cakes.
Here are more baking tips to make baking them even easier.
- Use room temperature ingredients — they’re easier to incorporate and helps you avoid over-mixing the batter.
- Measure ingredients correctly — this is especially important with flour. Too much or too little flour can negatively impact brownies. I always use a kitchen scale.
- Don’t over-mix the brownie batter — over-mixing results to dry, crumbly brownies.
- Bake at the correct temperature — all ovens are different so it helps to use an oven thermometer to make sure you’re always baking at the correct temperature.
- Do no over-bake — it’s better to underbake than over-bake brownies. They will continue to cook as they cool.
Baking with matcha
Is it your first time baking with matcha? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is matcha and what is it made from
Matcha literally means “powdered tea.” Specially grown and processed green tea leaves are finely ground until they turn to the vibrant green powder we all know and love.
If you’re wondering what matcha tastes like, it really depends on the kind and the quality of the matcha powder you have.
According to matcha.com — “premium matcha tea can have a sweet, grassy (or earthy) flavour. People often describe it with some type of vegetal taste, mixed with an umami, or savoury effect on the palate”.
Good quality matcha doesn’t require any added sweetener. Lower grade matcha powders have a slightly bitter aftertaste and needs sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
Matcha is also known for its many health benefits. Check this out.
How to bake with matcha
It’s very easy to bake with matcha and incorporate it into your recipes.
I personally just either add and sift the powder directly into my dry ingredients.
Or dissolve it in milk and add that mixture to my wet ingredients.
What’s important is you use a matcha powder you like and adjust the matcha flavour according to how strong you want your green tea flavour to be.
What do matcha brownies taste like
Matcha is a surprisingly delicious complement to the sweet chocolate brownie.
It cuts through all that sweetness and lends a slight bitterness and lots of umami. It’s what makes you want a second brownie slice.
And it’s definitely one of the most unique brownies you’ll ever make and taste!
How to choose matcha powder
There are two kinds of matcha powder — culinary grade and ceremonial grade.
Ceremonial grade matcha is more expensive, very fine and silky, and has a vibrant green colour.
It’s designed to be naturally sweet and strong and is usually the kind used in Japanese tea ceremonies.
Not very many people appreciate the strong matcha flavour though. It’s definitely an acquired taste.
Culinary grade matcha is a more versatile matcha powder that’s more commonly used to make matcha lattes and baked goods. This is the matcha flavour we’re probably more used to.
I used to think that I needed to splurge for the ceremonial matcha powder but after many recipes and years of baking, I realized that for the goodies that I make, culinary grade works just as well.
So don’t sweat it. Just make sure the matcha powder you use for baking is the matcha powder you enjoy drinking.
I would recommend buying pure matcha powder though, and not those already sweetened with sugar.
I personally like Elan Organic Matcha Powder which I can usually get at Costco for a steal.
To get that vibrant green tint to your brownies, make sure to:
– Use fresh, high quality matcha powder. They have a more vibrant colour that tends to shine through in baked goods. And remember that matcha powder that’s been sitting in your cupboard starts to lose their lustre after a while, resulting to brownies that are more brown than bright green.
– Making a 2-batter brownie also results to that lovely green colour. If you just add matcha powder to the cocoa mixture, you will taste it but the colour will get lost in all that brown. Mixing it with the cream cheese for a nice cheesecake layer ensures you get pretty green swirls all around.
In my experience, two things significantly affect the chewiness and fudginess of brownies:
1. Brown sugar. In this recipe, there’s ½ cup packed brown sugar and I’ve found that adding it helps create that sticky, fudgy texture.
2. Bake time. Remember it’s better to under-bake than over-bake brownies. Use the baking time in this recipe (or any brownie recipe) as a guide and then start testing your brownies about 10 minutes before the end, or just when they start pulling away from the sides of your pan.
The tester or toothpick you insert in the centre must not come out clean. What you want are bits of crumbs (not wet batter) sticking to it. The brownies will continue to cook as they cool.
Brownies will keep in the fridge for up to a week but the best way to store them is to freeze them.
Cut the thoroughly cooled brownies into individual pieces, wrap each one in plastic wrap (wrap them snugly), then with foil. Place each one in a freezer safe container or Ziploc bag.
When you’re ready to eat or serve them, just bring them out and thaw at room temperature. They’re good slightly chilled too.
Brownies stored in the freezer will keep for 1-2 months.
The best way to get perfect brownie slices is to chill the brownies first.
Once they’re set, use a sharp knife or bench scraper dipped in hot water and slice.
Other matcha recipes
Here are other recipes you can make using matcha powder:
Enjoy and happy baking!
Fudgy Matcha Brownies
Matcha Cream Cheese Mixture
Chocolate Brownie Batter
- Preheat your oven to 350F, lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan, then line with parchment paper with a slight overhang on each side. Set aside.
Matcha Cream Cheese Mixture
- Beat 1 block of cream cheese and ½ cup granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Add matcha powder. Start with 1 teaspoon and add more to taste. See notes.
- Beat until incorporated.
- Add 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract and continue beating until incorporated. Set this aside while you work on your chocolate brownie batter.
Chocolate Brownie Batter
- In a large bowl, whisk ¾ cup cocoa powder and ½ tsp baking soda until combined.
- Add ¾ cup melted unsalted butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add ½ cup espresso or strong coffee and continue whisking until batter is creamy and thick. See notes.
- Add the rest of your ingredients (except the flour) and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Add 1⅓ cup all purpose flour and gently fold until just combined. Do not over mix.
Assembly and Baking
- Transfer your brownie batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Top with your matcha powder cream cheese batter and try to spread around.
- Run a knife through the batter to create swirls and help further even out the cream cheese throughout the pan.
- Gently tap the pan on your counter a few times to help the batter settle in.
- Bake the brownies for 30-45 minutes or until it's starting to brown at the edges but the centre still feels a little jiggly. You want a toothpick inserted in the middle to come out with minimal but slightly moist crumbs.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool on the counter. Then chill 2-3 hours (or overnight) until the brownies are set. You can serve the brownies chilled or at room temperature.
- The yield depends on how big or small you cut your brownies. These matcha brownies are very rich and a little goes a long way.
- You’ll want your matcha cream cheese mixture stronger than how you normally like your matcha tea so that the green tea flavour shines through. I usually add 2 tablespoons (or equivalent to 6 teaspoons).
- When you add the espresso or coffee to the brownie batter, it would seem like the coffee doesn’t want to incorporate into the batter. Just keep whisking, it will come together.
- See post for complete step-by-step photos and lots of baking tips and FAQs.
Nutritional information are estimates only.