These matcha white chocolate cookies contain green tea powder, which creates a vibrantly hued green sugar cookie dough packed full of white chocolate chunks. They boast a crispy outside and a chewy interior studded with pockets of melted white chocolate. The earthy, grassy, slightly bitter flavor of matcha is perfectly balanced by the creamy sweetness of white chocolate.
It's hard to beat the ease of a good cookie recipe. Pulled together in just minutes in the kitchen, using a handful of (mostly) common pantry items, drop cookies are one of those easy desserts that you can take from eager craving to happy reality in a short amount of time.
I acknowledge that matcha is not a common pantry ingredient for most, unless perhaps you've given up coffee or black tea and have made matcha a part of your daily routine. I'm still firmly in the coffee drinking camp, but lately I've been exploring matcha in baking.
These matcha white chocolate cookies are the most recent result of those experiments. The dough is a simple sugar cookie recipe, turned vibrant green with the addition of matcha powder to the dry ingredients. Coarsely chopped chunks of my favorite block of white chocolate are nestled throughout the dough, transforming into creamy melted pools when baked.
This is a simple matcha cookie recipe that shows off the bright, grassy color and earthy, slightly bitter flavor of matcha green tea powder. It's a unique and delicious taste that pairs well with the sweetness of the cookie dough and the milky taste of rich white chocolate.
- All purpose flour - Flour binds the batter together and provides structure. If you have a kitchen scale, I encourage you to weigh your flour (and other ingredients) for best results. Feel free to substitute all purpose flour with a cup for cup style gluten free flour if desired.
- Baking soda - For leavening, and to help the cookies to spread.
- Kosher salt - for enhanced flavor.
- Matcha powder - Matcha powder is the key ingredient in this recipe, providing the beautiful green color and unique earthy, grassy flavor. Note that there is a wide range of quality available. I recommend a high quality, latte grade matcha powder (affiliate link - this is the matcha I purchase) from a well reviewed company that is thoughtful with their grading system. It should have a vibrant green color and balanced flavor. Lower quality matcha is often a dull yellow green color, and more bitter in flavor. Learn what to look for in the About Matcha section below.
- Unsalted butter - Using unsalted butter allows you to control the total quantity of salt in the recipe. Salt content in salted butter varies from brand to brand.
- Granulated sugar - Granulated sugar provides sweetness and moisture, and helps the cookies to crisp.
- Egg - An egg serves as a binder and provides additional fat. Use a large egg that has been at room temperature. If you've forgotten to get it out of the fridge in advance, place it in a bowl and cover with warm water for 5 minutes.
- Vanilla extract - for added flavor.
- White chocolate - I use a block of white chocolate, chopped into chunks that are roughly twice the size as white chocolate chips. I prefer using white chocolate bars for baking as the quality is higher than most white chocolate chips (see Notes on White Chocolate section for more). Additionally, I enjoy having the white chocolate melt into pools rather than remaining in chip form.
See recipe card for quantities.
These step by step images will show you how to make matcha white chocolate cookies.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius, Gas Mark 4). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and matcha powder. Whisk to mix dry ingredients together. Set aside.
Hint: Be sure to sift your matcha powder through a fine mesh strainer to ensure there are no lumps.
Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the unsalted butter and sugar. Cream mixture on medium high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
Step 3: Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Step 4: Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost blended - a few streaks of flour should remain.
Step 5: Add chopped white chocolate (or chips) and mix on low speed until just combined.
Step 6: Using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 Tablespoons, size 40), scoop 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet (three rows of 3:2:3) Space them at least 2 inches apart.
Step 8: Bake one pan at a time on the middle rack for 10 minutes, until barely golden brown and beginning to firm up on the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly bang it on a countertop or the top of the oven to flatten the cookies a bit.
Working quickly, use a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down drinking glass that's slightly larger than the cookie to push each cookie back into a circular shape.
Step 9: Cool cookies for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough until all cookies are baked.
- Plain matcha sugar cookies - If you'd like, you can omit the white chocolate and bake these into simple matcha sugar cookies instead. Your yield will be somewhat smaller as you're reducing the total volume of ingredients by not using white chocolate chunks.
- Matcha chocolate chip cookies - Alternatively, replace the white chocolate with dark chocolate or milk chocolate from a good quality chocolate bar. As with the white chocolate, you can use chocolate chips, but you won't have the nice pools of melted chocolate, as chocolate chips also contain ingredients which prevent spreading.
- For a vegan, gluten free, paleo version, check out this matcha chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Bojon Gourmet.
Be sure to also check out my other matcha cookie recipe, these mint matcha chocolate thumbprints.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea, made by growing tea leaves and shading them during critical periods of their growth. Only the most tender leaves are carefully harvested, steamed, dried and stone ground into an incredibly fine powder. When you drink matcha, you consume the entire leaf. In contrast, most other steeped tea drinks have the leaves removed from the hot water prior to consumption.
Confused by the different grades? Ceremonial matcha vs. culinary matcha? There are three main grades of matcha.
- Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest grade, ground from premium first harvest leaves. The best leaves from the first harvest are tender and produce a very smooth, non-bitter matcha powder. Ceremonial grade matcha is used in tea ceremonies and in tea preparation. People commonly whisk it into hot water and consume it plain (as opposed to mixing it with milks or in baking). Ceremonial grade matcha is generally the most vibrantly green in color.
- Latte grade matcha is the middle grade, ground from high quality first harvest leaves. It has a slightly bitter taste. Pairing this matcha with different milks (often foamed) creates a green tea latte beverage. Latte grade matcha is often a bright green, slightly less vibrant than ceremonial grade.
- Culinary grade matcha is the third grade of matcha. It is ground from premium second harvest leaves. It is most commonly used in baking, desserts and smoothies. It has a paler, slightly more dull green color than latte grade matcha.
To learn more about matcha and matcha grades, explore more here - Encha Matcha - Japanese green tea powder (not sponsored - I just think they make great matcha.)
Note that I use latte grade matcha in my baking, rather than culinary grade matcha. I prefer a smoother, slightly less bitter profile with a strong leaf green color.
I purchase matcha in small quantities, vacuum-sealed to protect against oxidation. If you have leftover matcha, store it in the refrigerator in a well sealed zippered bag with all extra air removed. Do not expose to heat or sunlight.
Notes on White Chocolate
In this recipe I use high quality white chocolate without hydrogenated oils and fillers. Not only does good white chocolate taste a hundred times better (my opinion), but also it melts more easily and has a smoother, creamier consistency. If you can't source white chocolate in bar, block or feve form, it is possible to substitute white chocolate chips. Please review the ingredient notes above regarding white chocolate; you can find some quality white chocolate chips. You'll want to read the label on the bag carefully. It's worth the extra time.
For example, the white chocolate block I use here contains only sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, soy lecithin, and natural vanilla. The ingredient list on several bags of grocery store white chocolate chips I looked at (called "white baking chips" because they can't be classified as chocolate) included the addition of palm kernel oil and palm oil, but no cocoa butter.
To learn more about often maligned white chocolate, check out this article from Serious Eats. As a dark chocolate aficionado, I confess I dismissed white chocolate for a long time until I realized I'd mostly been eating low quality white chocolate and judging it unfairly. I've since used it as a top layer in these raspberry white chocolate blondies, these no bake carrot cake bars, and as a crisp, white coating on these strawberry rhubarb ice cream bars.
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I use this medium cookie scoop which measures out 1 ½ Tablespoons - it's a size 40 - to portion out these cookies. I love using a cookie scoop for drop cookies. It creates uniformly sized cookie dough balls, which helps them to bake evenly.
Another tip for uniform cookies is to use a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down glass to push the cookies back into a round shape. Do this as soon as you remove them from the oven while they are still hot and pliable. Place the cookie cutter or glass over the top of the cookie and carefully scoot it in gentle circles so the cookie edges become round again. I've had this set of round cookie cutters for years, and I use it all the time.
Store baked matcha cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months. Prior to eating, defrost at room temperature.
You can also freeze the scooped cookie dough to bake at a later date. Store in a very well sealed container in the freezer. I recommend you bring the dough balls back to room temperature on a cookie sheet before baking.
These cookies will continue to bake with the residual heat from the pan after you remove them from the oven. They won't look fully done - they will flatten somewhat and firm up as they cool.
Matcha White Chocolate CookiesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 315 grams (2½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons) all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 6 grams (1 Tablespoon) Matcha powder, sifted
- 226 grams (8 ounces, 1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 300 grams (1½ cups) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 180 grams (6 ounces, 1 cup) white chocolate, chopped into chunks (or substitute with chips)
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius, Gas Mark 4). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and matcha powder. Whisk to mix dry ingredients together. Set aside.315 grams (2½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons) all purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal), 6 grams (1 Tablespoon) Matcha powder, sifted
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the unsalted butter and sugar. Cream mixture on medium high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.226 grams (8 ounces, 1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, 300 grams (1½ cups) granulated sugar
- Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.1 large egg, room temperature, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost blended - a few streaks of flour should remain.
- Add chopped white chocolate (or chips) and mix on low speed until just combined.180 grams (6 ounces, 1 cup) white chocolate, chopped into chunks (or substitute with chips)
- Using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 Tablespoons, size 40), scoop 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet (three rows of 3:2:3) Space them at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake one pan at a time on the middle rack for 10 minutes, until barely golden brown and beginning to firm up on the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly bang it on a countertop or the top of the oven to flatten the cookies a bit. Working quickly, use a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down drinking glass that's slightly larger than the cookie to push each cookie back into a circular shape.
- Cool cookies for 10 minutes on the pan before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookies.
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