Red Bean Cinnamon Buns with Matcha Cream Cheese Icing

Hey Everyone! If it isn’t obvious by now, I love baking with matcha green tea. We’ve made biscuits, cookies, slices, mochi etc here on AmbyCakes, but I wanted to do something a little different using my favorite Japanese dessert combination, sweetened adzuki beans and green tea, so I baked up some gooey, fluffy and delicious Red Bean Cinnamon Buns with Matcha Cream Cheese Icing. If you aren’t comfortable with sweetened red beans, feel free leave them, out, but I definitely want to encourage you guys into trying something new. 

Red Bean Cinnamon Buns with Matcha Cream Cheese Icing

I have added a REALLY approachable and easy to remember dough recipe that can be used for other types of yeast pastries as well. I also added less cinnamon and sugar since we have sweet anko (red bean paste) added to these pastries. The fresh spice really woke up the earthy sweetness of the anko paste so much, that I’m inspired to use this combination for future desserts. As a chef, it’s really important to elevate a star ingredient. Think of things like cinnamon and lemon zest (for my matcha cream cheese icing) as backup singers. Sorry, best analogy I can think of lol! 

For the matcha cream cheese frosting, it’s insanely simple and forgivable too. You can add as little or as much matcha as you’d like, although I do advice either sprinkling your cinnamon buns with extra matcha powder or adding a lot more than you’d think because the tangy cream cheese is a little competitive.

PLEASE use good quality Japanese Matcha powder. It may cost a few more dollars, but it’s going to be the polar opposite of the cheap stuff, plus with all of the added health benefits. Japanese matcha is harvested while shaded in a comfortably cool climate, but Chinese matcha, which is an army green/brown color, isn’t tended to with as much environmental detail, and is pretty much just green tea powder sold as matcha. A lot of people who dislike matcha have unfortunately only had this variety. So, give it a try!

Red Bean Cinnamon Buns with Matcha Cream Cheese Icing


My favorite brand (not sponsored) is by Maeda-en. It’s available locally to me so Ben and I picked it up one day, and have been using it ever since. We love this product a lot and trust it. Luckilyu, it’s also on Amazon. Order HERE  I hope you guys enjoy my crazy imagination and this recipe! 

Red Bean Cinnamon Buns with Matcha Cream Cheese Icing


Red Bean Cinnamon Buns with Matcha Cream Cheese Icing
Serves 8
An approachable yeast dough pastry with Japanese red bean paste, cinnamon, sweet brown sugar, topped with a bright and earthy matcha cream cheese icing.
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For Red Bean Cinnamon Buns
  1. 1/4 Cup Warm Water
  2. 3/4 Cup Milk
  3. 1 Packet of Yeast
  4. 1/2 tsp Sugar
  5. 4 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 2 Eggs
  7. 1/4 Cup Oil (I used canola)
  8. 1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
  9. 1 tsp Sea Salt
  10. About 1 TBSP Butter
  11. 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  12. 1/2 TBSP Cinnamon
  13. About 1 1/4 Cup Red Bean Paste
For Matcha Cream Cheese Icing
  1. 2 Packages of Cream Cheese
  2. 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  3. 5 TBSP Matcha
  4. 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (sifted)
  5. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  6. Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)
  7. tiny pinch of sea salt
  1. Heat water in a microwave safe cup and add milk, yeast and teaspoon of sugar. Set aside and allow to bloom (activate) while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  2. In a bowl or food processor with a plastic dough blade, add in remainder ingredients and then bloomed yeast mixture.
  3. Pulse until a dough ball is formed in your processor.
  4. Knead dough for 10-15 minutes. Dough should feel relaxed and softer.
  5. Set aside to proof in a large bowl with a warm, damp tea towel covering bowl for about 45 minutes to an hour. Dough ball will double in size.
  6. Roll out dough ball into a rectangle. I roll vertically, turn rectangle 45 degrees, and flip dough, then repeat about 8-10 times. Dough should still feel relaxed and not snap back at you when rolling.
  7. Spread TBSP of Butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and red bean paste to almost the edges of your dough rectangle.
  8. Gently roll tightly, tuck back toward you and roll forward until you have a large log.
  9. Portion cinnamon buns and pinch the bottoms to avoid all the yummies from leaking out.
  10. Place cinnamon buns in a baking pan, greased with a little butter, and dusted with a little extra brown sugar and cinnamon.
  11. Allow to proof again for another half an hour or so.
  12. Bake Cinnamon Buns at 180C/375F for about 25-30 minutes.
  13. Allow to cool before adding your icing.
For Matcha Cream Cheese Icing
  1. Make sure butter and cream cheese are soft and at room temperature.
  2. Simply combine all ingredients, adding in half of your sifted powdered sugar at a time, and set aside until you're ready to ice your cinnamon buns.
  1. For extra flavor, delicately dust a little brown sugar and matcha on top of your iced red bean cinnamon buns.
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