Matcha Cookies (Green Tea Shortbread)

My matcha cookies recipe has everything you love in a traditional shortbread with an added Asian twist. They are buttery, sweet, and subtly infused with the complex flavors of almonds and green tea. This easy-to-make green tea shortbread has a heavenly texture and unique flavor you are sure to love.

Stack of matcha cookies

Whether I’m satisfying my own sweet tooth or entertaining friends, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting dessert recipes to try. And since every culture has a slightly different spin on dessert, the possibilities are endless! We have Greek baklava, Persian pistachio brittle, or Turkish delights — just to name a few. 

Today’s matcha cookie recipe is inspired by the exciting flavors of Japan. The featured ingredient, matcha tea, is highly treasured in Japan where it has been used in ceremonies for centuries. This highly nutritious and caffeinated ingredient has been gaining a lot of popularity around the globe, for obvious reasons. 

These matcha shortbread cookies are a fun and delicious way to incorporate more delicate green tea goodness into your life, along with my mung bean cake or green tea ice cream. Not a fan of matcha? That’s okay — try out my Japanese jiggly cheesecake for a tea-free Japanese dessert.

black platter with matcha cookies

INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS 

  • Butter – Forms the foundation of the matcha cookie recipe, binding ingredients together and providing a rich, buttery flavor. Margarine or vegetable shortening are acceptable substitutes. 
  • Powdered Sugar – Adds sweetness while keeping the texture light. Granulated sugar can be used, but the shortbread will be more dense. 
  • Egg Yolk – Provides volume and richness to the matcha cookies and helps produce a cakey, tender bite. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – Regular all-purpose flour provides structure and is the best option for this recipe. Cake or pastry flour can be substituted 1:1 but may change the outcome slightly. 
  • Almond Flour – This flour is rich and dense with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. If you can’t find almond flour, coconut flour or another nut flour can be substituted. 
  • Matcha Green Tea – This powdered Japanese green tea has a unique flavor profile with subtly sweet, bitter, floral, and earthy tones.
  • Kosher Salt – Enhances flavor without making everything too salty. Sea salt is a good substitute.
  • Slivered Almonds – Add texture and nuttiness to the outside of the matcha shortbread cookies. It is okay to use your favorite nuts, such as macadamia nuts or pecans. You can also skip this ingredient if desired. 

HOW TO MAKE MATCHA COOKIES

1. Cream Butter and Sugar. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and powdered sugar together until light in color with a fluffy texture. Mix in the egg yolk until well combined. 

2. Blend Dry Ingredients. Use a medium mixing bowl to whisk together your all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt, and matcha powder.

3. Combine Wet and Dry. Next, add your dry ingredient mixture to the wet mixture and mix thoroughly until well combined. 

4. Roll the Dough. Scoop the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and work it into a log shape with a diameter of about 2 inches. Use the plastic wrap to tightly wrap the dough, then place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

5. Preheat Oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

6. Add Almonds. Roll your entire cookie dough log in the slivered almonds. Use ample pressure to ensure they stick to the dough. 

stack of matcha cookies on a plate

7. Slice the Dough. Cut the green tea shortbread dough into 24 slices using a very sharp knife, then arrange the slices on the cookie sheets.

8. Bake. Put the cookies in the oven and bake for about 9 minutes. Let them cool slightly before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

several matcha cookies on a platter

Why Do My Matcha Cookies Turn Brown?

Ideally, this matcha cookie recipe will produce cookies that are vibrantly green when they come out of the oven. If they start to turn brown, it is the result of an enzymatic process that will affect the appearance, but not the flavor of your cookies. 

The most likely culprit is an overly hot oven or longer than ideal cooking time. Be sure to have a properly calibrated oven and set a timer to avoid this problem. 

Is Matcha Good In Baking?

Definitely! Matcha powder adds color, nutrition, complex flavors, and a boost of caffeine to recipes like these matcha shortbread cookies. For baking, be sure to get the finely ground powder and not the granules, as it will incorporate more smoothly. Do not attempt to use regular old green tea for baking, though — it definitely needs to be fine powdered matcha. 

Why Are My Matcha Shortbread Cookies Hard and Chewy?

If your green tea shortbread comes out hard and chewy, there are a couple of likely causes. You may have overworked the dough when mixing, causing an overdevelopment of gluten, or your measurements might need to be slightly adjusted. Go a bit gentler on the dough next time and be sure to use the spoon and level method for your flour. 

ready to serve matcha cookies

Matcha Cookies (Green Tea Shortbread)

Soft and buttery with a slight crunch on the outside, these matcha cookies deliver the perfect balance of sweetness and green tea essence.
Servings: 24
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 9 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total: 49 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Beat together the butter and powdered sugar, until lightened in color, and fluffy in the bowl of your mixer. Add the egg yolk, and mix until combined.
  • Whisk together both all-purpose flour and almond flour, salt and matcha into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and mix thoroughly until combined.
  • Using a spatula, scoop the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and form into a 2-inch diameter log. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat (silicone baking mat).
  • Unwrap the cookie dough log, and roll it in the crushed almonds, pressing down to ensure that the almonds sticks to the surface.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut into 24 slices, and arrange on the baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies for about 9 minutes. Allow cookies to cool slightly and move to a cooling rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 72kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 138IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: desserts
Cuisine: Japanese
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
matcha cookies on a black plate

Kevin

I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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