1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare cupcake wrappers and place in cupcake tray. In bowl of electric mixer, cream butter until smooth then add the sugar gradually. Continue to beat until light and fluffy.
2. During this time, prepare the other ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl sift the flour, baking powder, matcha powder and salt. Measure out milk and add vanilla extract, stir to combine. Once the butter/sugar mixture is light and creamy add egg(s) one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. To this batter, add a third of the dry ingredients, then half of the wet ingredients, then another third of dry, last half of wet ingredients, and then the remaining third of dry ingredients. In between, scrap the bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing. Mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Do not over-mix.
4. Scoop batter into cupcake wrappers to about 2/3’s full and bake cupcakes for about 22 minutes. Let them cool in the tray for about 8-10 minutes then remove and place on a rack and allow them to cool completely.
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream:
• 3 egg whites
• 144 g caster sugar (or fine sugar)
• good pinch or two of salt
• 263 g softened butter at room temperature
• a punnet of strawberries (fresh or frozen) pureed (seeds can be sieved out but optional)
5. Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk continually until sugar completely dissolved (about 6-8 minutes).
6. Transfer the hot mixture to your stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture completely cooled down. This can take as long as 10 minutes.
7. Turn down the speed to medium and start adding the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mix after each addition and scrape down with a spatula. The mixture may appear curdled along the way but do not panic, this is normal. Just keep beating and the mixture will become smooth again. Now add the strawberry puree a couple of tablespoons at a time until you get your preferred taste and colour.
8. Once you have your desired buttercream flavour switch to the paddle attachment and mix the buttercream on medium speed for about 5 minutes to ensure there are minimal air bubbles.