These matcha white chocolate cookies contain green tea powder, which creates striking green cookies with a crispy outside and a chewy interior. The earthy, grassy, slightly bitter flavor of matcha is perfectly balanced by the creamy sweetness of white chocolate.
This post was originally published in January 2022. It has since been updated with additional baking notes, clearer instructions and re-edited photos.
Matcha, a finely powdered Japanese green tea, may not be a common pantry ingredient, unless perhaps you've given up coffee or black tea and have made drinking matcha or matcha lattes a part of your daily routine. While I'm still firmly in the coffee drinking camp (proof: these bold coffee cookies), I've been exploring matcha in baking.
These soft matcha white chocolate chip cookies are the 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 an easy, chewy 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.
Drop cookies with unique flavor twists are a favorite of mine. You can explore the entire collection of cookie recipes here, including these dramatically grey black sesame cookies, punchy triple ginger molasses cookies and tropical mango cookies.
- Matcha powder - Matcha powder is the key ingredient in this recipe, providing the beautiful green color and unique earthy, grassy flavor. There are three main grades of matcha: culinary, latte, and ceremonial grade.
- 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 powder is often a dull yellow green color, and more bitter in flavor. Learn what to look for in the FAQ 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.
- Egg - Use a large, room temperature egg. 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.
- White chocolate - I use a block of white chocolate, chopped into coarse 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 (which often don't contain any cocoa butter at all). I like having the white chocolate melt into pools rather than remaining in chip form. You're welcome to use either here!
* See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
Learn how to make these matcha cookies! These photos provide visual cues. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and matcha powder. Whisk to mix dry ingredients together. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the unsalted butter and sugar. Cream mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Pour in dry ingredients and mix on low speed until almost blended - a few streaks of flour should remain.
Add chopped white chocolate (or white chocolate chips) and mix on low speed until just combined.
Using a medium cookie scoop,scoop 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet. 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 to flatten the cookies.
Working quickly, swirl a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down drinking glass around the edges of the cookie to push back into a circular shape.
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.
Hint: Be sure to sift your matcha powder through a fine mesh strainer to ensure there are no lumps.
If you'd like to try a different twist on these matcha and white chocolate cookies, consider these variations:
- Plain matcha sugar cookies - 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. Roll the cookie balls in granulated or sanding sugar before baking for extra crunch.
- Matcha chocolate chip cookies - Replace the white chocolate with dark chocolate or milk chocolate from a good quality chocolate bar. As with white chocolate, you can use chocolate chips, but you won't get nice pools of melted chocolate, as chocolate chips usually contain ingredients to prevent the chips from spreading.
- With nuts - Add a half cup of chopped macadamia nuts or pistachios when adding the chopped chocolate.
- Almond matcha cookies - For a flavor twist, omit the white chocolate and add ½ teaspoon almond extract along with the vanilla. The sweet floral almond flavor tempers the bitterness of matcha.
- Brown butter matcha cookies - For additional nutty flavor, brown your butter (and fully cool it in the fridge) prior to baking the cookies. You'll want to start with 2 extra Tablespoons of butter (28 grams) as butter reduces when browning.
Items below contain affiliate links.
Matcha powder - This is the latte grade matcha powder I use and recommend for baking.
Cookie scoop - To bake these cookies, I use this medium cookie scoop which measures out 1½ Tablespoons of dough. It's a size 40. I love using a cookie scoop for drop cookies. It keeps them uniform in size, which also helps them to bake evenly.
Baking pans - I bake my cookies on half sheet baking pans (18 x 13 inches).
Parchment paper is great for lining the baking pan. The cookies won't stick at all if you use parchment paper underneath. One roll of this 15 inch x 164 foot (38 centimeter x 50 meter) non-stick paper lasts a LONG time! If you have access to a Costco store, the price is often a bit better.
Round cookie cutters - Use a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down glass to swirl the cookies back into a round shape after baking. Do this as soon as you remove them from the oven while they are still hot and pliable. I've had this set for years, and I use it all the time.
Store: Store these green tea white chocolate cookies at in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Store baked cookies in the freezer for up to 3 months in a large zippered freezer bag or airtight container.
Make ahead: Although these are super easy to whip up, it's great to have extra cookie dough on hand. You can make the dough up to 2 days ahead and keep, well sealed in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.
To freeze unbaked cookie dough, place scooped dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Once frozen, transfer dough balls to a zippered freezer bag. Label the bag as follows: Matcha green tea cookie dough. Bake from frozen at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Store for up to 3 months frozen, unbaked.
The cookies will likely need an additional few minutes in the oven since the dough is frozen. I always recommend baking one or two cookies first as a test to confirm the correct bake time for the rest of the batch.
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.
There are three grades of matcha: ceremonial, latte, and culinary.
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 (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.
Purchase matcha in small quantities, vacuum-sealed to protect against oxidation. If you have leftover matcha, place it in a well sealed zippered bag with all extra air removed. Put the zippered bag inside an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. Do not expose to heat or sunlight. Opened matcha is best used within 1-2 months.
If you liked this matcha white chocolate cookie recipe, you'll also enjoy these cookies!
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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 white chocolate 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
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the unsalted butter and sugar. Cream mixture on medium 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 white chocolate chips)
- Using a medium cookie scoop (1.5 Tablespoons, size 40), scoop 8 balls of dough onto each cookie sheet (3 rows of cookies: 3 on each outside row, 2 in middle row) 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 large 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.
The Floured Table
Recipe Author: Kathleen Culver