Green Tea Muffins with Sweet Azuki Beans: A vibrant grab-and-go breakfast that'll make your mornings brighter

Meg and Zenta Tanaka’s Japanese-inspired recipe is a simple way to have your morning coffee and matcha, too.

Meg and Zenta Tanaka’s Japanese-inspired recipe is a simple way to have your morning coffee and matcha, too

(Credit: Meg Tanaka and Zenta Tanaka)

We wholeheartedly invite you to ogle at these vibrant Green Tea Muffins with Sweet Azuki Beans because honestly, have you ever seen a grab-and-go breakfast this gorgeous? The simple, Japanese-inspired recipe comes to us from Meg and Zenta Tanaka’s cookbook Cibi, and it’s antioxidant-heavy matcha powder that gives the muffins that vibrant green hue. While some ingredients, like the sweet azuki bean paste*, may not be available at your local supermarket, you’ll be able to pick them up from most East Asian grocery stores. Now you can finally have your morning coffee with a little matcha on the side, too.

Green Tea Muffins with Sweet Azuki Beans

By Meg and Zenta Tanaka

We have served these muffins at CIBI every weekend since we opened. Two classic Japanese sweet ingredients — matcha (green tea) powder and sweet azuki beans — give these muffins their distinct flavour and the unique green colour that has caught the eye of many of our customers. Over the years, they have become the finishing note of our leisurely Japanese weekend breakfast experience. They are great with both green tea and coffee.

*If you cannot find sweet azuki bean paste, you can use 50 g (1¾ oz) of couverture white chocolate.


  • 50 g (1¾ oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 80 g (2¾ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz, ⅓ cup) full-cream (whole) milk
  • 135 g (5 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3 tbsp matcha (green tea) powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 120 g (4½ oz) sweet azuki bean paste*
  • Flaked almonds, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a six-cup muffin tin with butter.

Melt the butter in a microwave or using a hot water bath (the aim is to melt it, not cook it). Set it aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and egg and beat at high speed until the mixture is smooth and pale, about 3–5 minutes.

Add the melted butter and beat until well incorporated. Pour in the milk and beat again for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Sift the flour, matcha and baking powder into the mixture, then stir with a spatula until smooth and shiny.

Pour the batter into the muffin tin, half-filling each cup. Add 2 tablespoons of azuki paste to the middle of each muffin. Divide the remaining batter between the cups, pouring in just enough to cover the filling.

Sprinkle almond flakes on top of each muffin and bake for 20–25 minutes, until they are nice and fluffy and a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Aim to take them out of the oven just before they start to turn golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.

Excerpted from Cibi: Simple Japanese-Inspired Meals to Share With Family and Friends by Meg Tanaka and Zenta Tanaka. Recipes Copyright © 2018. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.

Servings: Makes 6 muffins


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