Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies

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These Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies are soft, sweet, and romantic in both taste and looks, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day. They’re all the sweeter for being both extremely easy to make and vegan.

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I originally experimented with them for St. Patrick’s Day but they came out looking way too delicate for a rather boisterous holiday.

Close up overhead shot of a matcha frosted sugar cookie on a baking sheet.

I asked my Facebook followers what they thought and the decision was pretty unanimous: these are Valentine’s Day cookies. And what makes them even sweeter is how easy they are. They’re also vegan.

Raw Cacao Butter

I threw a dinner party at the beginning of January and one of my friends requested a vegan dessert. I did a Chocolate Skillet Cookie with Macadamia Nuts and Vegan White Chocolate Chips.

Close up overhead shot of a cookie covered with pistachio pieces and surrounded by pistachios.

What I didn’t know when I embarked on that baking adventure was how hard it is to come by vegan white chocolate chips. There was no time to order from Amazon so that left me with having to make them myself.

It took me many failed shopping excursions before I finally found the essential ingredient, raw cacao butter, at Davis Whole Foods. Not knowing how much I would need, I bought two bags. Turns out, you don’t really need that much. I’ve hardly made a dent in the first bag.

Vertical side shot of frosted cookies on a baking sheet.

Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies

But I’m experimenting a lot with it and these Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies is one of the results. They are sugar cookies made out of a boxed cake mix.

A lot of cake mixes are accidentally vegan. I used European Gourmet Bakery Organics Vanilla Cake Mix, refined coconut oil, and chickpea brine. That’s it.

Close up detail of an unfrosted cookie on a baking sheet.

I used refined coconut oil because it doesn’t make your desserts taste like coconut. A cookie scoop (medium sized) was also used to make sure the cookies were uniform in size. I’m horrible at that so I needed a tool to help me out.

Matcha Frosting

The frosting is a mix between a vegan powdered sugar icing (nut milk + powdered sugar) and vegan buttercream frosting (nut butter + nut milk + powdered sugar). It actually takes more work than the cookie.

I wanted to use cashews because they are extremely creamy and don’t have a distinctive flavor.

You can just buy cashew butter if you’d rather avoid using a blender or food processor. But because I made my “butter” a thick liquid, you would have to add more cashew milk.

Close up overhead shot of a pistachio covered matcha frosted sugar cookie.

I wanted the matcha and raw cacao butter to be the focus of the frosting. Matcha has such an interesting flavor profile that I have a hard time describing. It’s musty to me, but in a good way, like smelling fresh green shaded moisture. There is a slightly bitter bite but also a velvety smoothness.

The raw cacao butter imparts a white chocolate hint or impression and also helps the glaze form into a glossy but soft delight.

Vertical side shot showing a hand sprinkling frosted cookies with ground pistachios.

Pistachio Topping

I sprinkled crushed raw pistachios on top. Mostly because I’ve been seeing it a lot on Instagram and wanted to join in on the fun.

But pistachios also happen to be a member of the cashew family, so it actually worked out nicely, theme-wise. It also tasted really amazing.

Close up overhead shot of pistachio covered cookie next to a spoon covered with frosting.

The one bad thing about these Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies was that nobody could agree on what they tasted like.

As the cook, I could taste a little of everything: cocoa, matcha, a slightly savory hint from the chickpea brine, and the vanilla cake flavor I love so much.

The one thing everyone could agree on though was that they were extremely delicious.

5 from 1 vote

Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies

These Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies are soft, sweet, and romantic in both taste and looks, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day. They’re all the sweeter for being both extremely easy to make and vegan.
Servings 19 cookies
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

  • 1/3 cup refined* coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoons chickpea brine
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box vanilla cake mix I used European Gourmet Bakery Organics Vanilla Cake Mix

Matcha Frosting

  • 1/2 cup cashew or other nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha, separated
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 2 and 1/2 tablespoons raw cacao butter, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 3/4 cups powdered sugar + 1/4 cup more if needed
  • crushed pistachios for sprinkled topping

Instructions

Sugar Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix together the coconut oil and chickpea brine with a hand mixer. Add the cake mix and beat until smooth.
  • Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until slightly golden. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Matcha Frosting

  • Combine the cashew milk and 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Add the cashews and blend until smooth-it will be a semi-thick liquid. Pour into a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a glass bowl, melt the cacao butter in 20 second intervals in the microwave. Once completely melted, add it to the cashew and matcha mixture. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla extract and another 1/2 teaspoon matcha powder and blend until smooth. 
  • Add the powdered sugar in 1/4 cup portions, blending between each. Keep going until the frosting is the right consistency, about 1 and 3/4 cups to 2. 
  • Frost the cookies. Pour a 1/2 tablespoon frosting on each cookie. Spread it out towards the edge of the cookie. The frosting should be thick enough that it sets but liquid enough that it forms a smooth glaze.

Notes

*Refined coconut oil makes sure the cookies don’t taste like coconut.
You can use store bought cashew butter if you like, but it will be a lot thicker. Be prepared to add less powdered sugar or more cashew milk.
The frosting makes about 1 and 1/4 cups.
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Desserts

Looking for other Valentine’s Day recipes? I did these Love at First Bite Cookies for one Valentine’s Day and then of course, nothing says love like these decadent Death by Chocolate Brownies with Espresso.

These Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies are soft, sweet, and romantic in both taste and looks, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day. | Easy Vegan Cookie Recipe | Pistachios | Raw Cacao Butter | #vegancookies #matchafrosting | www.megiswell.com
These Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies are soft, sweet, and romantic in both taste and looks, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day. | Easy Vegan Cookie Recipe | Pistachios | Raw Cacao Butter | #vegancookies #matchafrosting | www.megiswell.com
These Matcha Frosted Sugar Cookies are soft, sweet, and romantic in both taste and looks, making them perfect for Valentine’s Day. | Easy Vegan Cookie Recipe | Pistachios | Raw Cacao Butter | #vegancookies #matchafrosting | www.megiswell.com

Join the Conversation

  1. Wow these cookies are beautiful! Especially with that nutty topping 🙂

    1. Thank you! The pistachios really helped-they were a little plain looking before I scattered the pistachios everywhere!

  2. 5 stars
    Meg these are SO. PRETTY! And look at you- being so helpful with the vegan dessert!!! I’m impressed that you tried so hard. I need to eat these now.. so you can just send me that 2nd bag of cocoa butter lol!

    1. Thank you Sarah! And it was frustrating some of the time but it definitely got my creative juices flowing, which is always a good thing. And seriously! I think I’m going to be posting recipes that use cocoa butter for a year.

  3. I just wanted to say how absolutely beautiful these cookies are, and how wonderfully you’ve shot them. The green and purple/rose of the pistachios is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s a wonderful flavour to accompany the matcha. I love that you broke with convention here too and let the green come from the nuts, rather than from the matcha. I adore matcha, about the amount necessary to create green desserts can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. And the aquafaba in the sugar cookies is a great idea too! While I do eat eggs, I still love experimenting with that ingredient. Brilliant stuff, all around. Cheers.

    1. Thank you so much Sean! Yes, I had a feeling that the amount of matcha I was using wasn’t going to scream green so I’m super glad I used the pistachios-the cookies were pretty boring looking without them. I eat everything but since I learned about aquafaba I’m much more likely to experiment with vegan desserts-I love the little bit of savory goodness it lends to desserts.

  4. The flavors in these are blowing my mind! So much going on, but I imagine it all coming together so beautifully. And your photos are gorgeous, I mean really stunning. I’m adding these to my must-try list. Pinned!

    1. Thanks so much Willow! I’m a big admirer of your photography so that means a lot!

  5. Okay first of all, these cookies (and your photos) are GORGEOUS! Oh my gosh, the colors, the shadows, love it! And the recipe sounds delightful. I’m going to try these this week!

    1. Yaas! Photography goals achieved. Thanks so much Kristine!

  6. 5 stars
    What gorgeous cookies! I agree that they are perfect for Valentines Day. I bet they melt in your mouth….

  7. Those cookies are GORGEOUS! I love the way pistachios photograph and the addition of the purple in there is so pretty. They looks delicious, almost too beautiful to eat!

    1. Thanks Sophia! The pistachios were super fun and made the cookies look so much better. I took a couple of pictures of the cookies before sprinkling them with pistachios but they just looked so boring.

  8. 5 stars
    These cookies are beautiful! I love the crunch from the nuts on top.

    1. Thanks Christine! And yes, the nuts take the cookies to the next level of awesome for sure!

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