Matcha Cake

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 05/05/2023 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 2 hours 35 minutes
Matcha cake made with rich matcha chiffon cake layers and whipped matcha ganache frosting is so soft, light and airy! This green tea cake recipe is incredibly delicious and will keep you coming back for more.
Matcha Cake

Matcha cake made with rich matcha chiffon cake layers and whipped matcha ganache frosting is so soft, light, and airy! This green tea cake recipe is incredibly delicious and will keep you coming back for more.

Someone lifting out a slice of matcha cake from a whole cake.

This matcha cake or green tea cake is so incredibly soft, has just the right amount of sweetness, and is filled with an airy whipped matcha ganache frosting and fresh strawberries. This Japanese-style matcha cake is an instant crowd-pleaser and the perfect cake for your next birthday party or event!

In this matcha cake recipe, I will show you how to make a matcha chiffon cake. If you are new to baking, this matcha chiffon cake is a good place to start since chiffon cakes are more forgiving than sponge cakes which depend entirely on egg whites to rise.

For this recipe, I made a matcha strawberry cake with matcha cake layers that are filled with fresh strawberries in between each layer. You can always customize it with your favorite fruits or jam flavors! If you love this matcha cake, check out my matcha tiramisu, matcha crepe cake, and matcha cupcakes for more matcha baking inspiration.

A matcha cake with strawberries served on a marble tray.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Soft, light, and airy. The individual matcha chiffon cake layers are incredibly soft, light, and airy yet filled with a rich delicious matcha flavor.
  • Double the matcha. This Japanese matcha cake is made with matcha green tea cake layers and matcha frosting for the ultimate matcha lovers’ experience.
  • Customizable. You can customize your matcha cake recipe by swapping the matcha frosting with your favorite frosting and/or swapping the strawberries with your favorite fruit or jam!
A slice of matcha cake with strawberries resting on a dessert plate.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a Japanese green tea powder made from finely powdered dried young tea leaves. It tastes slightly sweet and earthy. Matcha leaves are grown on green tea bushes and kept under shade. The shade increases the amount of chlorophyll content in the leaves, creating a bright green color packed with nutrients. Next, the leaves are picked by hand and their stems and veins are removed. The whole process to grind the leaves takes about an hour and is done in the dark to protect the nutrients.

Matcha powder has an addicting earthy, smooth green tea flavor. It adds deep complexity to baked goods and complements white chocolate beautifully. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality matcha with the richest bright green color, the most caffeine content, and the least amount of bitter flavor. Whereas culinary grade is the lowest grade matcha generally used for baking because the flavors are not as pure, have little caffeine content, and are more bitter. I like to use ceremonial grade for my baked goods for the best color and taste but you can always opt for culinary grade as well.

Kitchen Equipment

For this matcha strawberry cake recipe, you will need the following kitchen equipment. You will need an electric mixer to make this matcha chiffon cake.

  • Kitchen Scale: for every baking recipe, you will notice that the ingredients are listed by measurement and by grams. Trust me, you will want to follow the grams for the most exact foolproof recipe. I love my cute pink little kitchen scale that is incredibly accurate!
  • Fine Mesh Sieve. You will need a fine mesh sieve or sifter to sift the dry ingredients and to sift the matcha ganache.
  • Stand Mixer/Electric Hand Mixer: you will need a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to beat the egg whites and egg yolks and to whip up the matcha ganache. It may be difficult to use a hand whisk since you will need to whip these ingredients until they are very light and airy.
  • Mixing Bowls: you will need different-sized mixing bowls for different steps. I love using my nesting glass mixing bowls for baking because they come in 10 different sizes, are heat-proof, and are dishwasher-safe.
  • 6-inch cake pans: this matcha cake recipe will yield three 6-inch round pans or two 8-inch pans. It is important to use an aluminum cake tin without a non-stick coating so the batter can use the sides of the cake tin as a wall for the batter to crawl while it bakes.
  • Parchment paper: it is important to line the bottom of your cake pans with parchment paper so you can easily remove the green tea cake layers.
  • Cake strips: cake strips are a nice to have, but not a need to have a tool. Using cake strips is an easy foolproof way to create even cake layers without the hump in the middle. To use, simply soak the strips with water and wring out any excess water before putting them on the outside of your cake pans.
  • Cake turntable: for even decorating, use a cake turntable.
  • Off-set Spatula: for even layers of whipped cream or frosting, use an offset spatula.
  • Piping Bags with star tip: if you plan on decorating your cake, you will need a piping bag with a star tip.

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this Japanese matcha cake at your local grocery store or online!

Matcha Cake

  • Cake Flour: cake flour yields a more delicate and lighter consistency than regular all-purpose flour.
  • Matcha powder: When using matcha powder, ensure that you are using the best culinary or ceremonial-grade matcha powder that you can find. I love using Ippodo matcha for my matcha recipes. For this recipe, I used ceremonial-grade matcha for a deeper and richer matcha flavor with a more brilliant green color.
  • Baking Powder: baking powder acts as a side character rising ingredient that will ensure the matcha strawberry cake will rise to create a light and airy structure.
  • Large Eggs Separated: the egg yolks and egg whites will be separated to create the fluffiest meringue that binds the batter together, while also aiding in the rise of the matcha cake crumb.
  • Cream of tartar: cream of tartar stabilizes the egg whites and aids the egg whites to provide stiff peaks.
  • Salt: brings out the flavors of the other ingredients and balances the sugar as well.
  • Granulated Sugar: sugar sweetens the cake and helps the eggs froth up to create a soft and airy crumb.
  • Vegetable Oil: vegetable oil contributes to the moistness of the matcha chiffon cake layers.
  • Vanilla Extract: vanilla extract adds a hint of warm vanilla flavor.
  • Milk: whole fat milk adds moisture and fat that creates a moist and fluffy crumb.
All the ingredients to make a matcha cake organized and labeled.

Matcha Ganache

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: heavy whipping cream when whipped will turn into whipped cream that will create a light and fluffy ganache.
  • White Chocolate Chips: make sure to use high-quality white chocolate melting chips for best results. I recommend using Callebaut’s white chocolate chips or Ghiradelli’s white chocolate chips.
  • Matcha Powder: you will need to sift the matcha powder into your melted white chocolates to prevent any large clumps from forming.

Substitutions and Additions

This is your matcha cake recipe, you can customize it however you want! I’ve listed some substitutions and additions below.

  • Lemon juice: if you do not have the cream of tartar, you can alternatively add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice instead.
  • All-purpose flour and cornstarch: if you do not have cake flour you can substitute it with all-purpose flour and cornstarch. Just take out 2 tablespoons of flour from one cup of all-purpose flour and add two tablespoons of cornstarch powder to get one cup of cake flour
  • Frosting: instead of making a matcha ganache frosting, you can alternatively make a matcha buttercream, or matcha whipped cream frosting. Or you can alternatively make any flavored frosting you’d like such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, lemon, etc.
  • Filling: instead of fresh strawberries, you can use any fruit or jam that you prefer. Some other fruits that pair well with matcha are mango, pineapple, and lemon.

How to Make Matcha Cake

Here are the steps to make a strawberry matcha cake! I recommend reading the instructions and tips section once through before you begin.

Matcha Chiffon Cake

  1. Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottom of three 6-inch cake pans with round parchment paper.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, sift the cake flour, matcha powder, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  1. Make the meringue. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until foamy. Then add the cream of tartar and beat on high until the egg whites turn pale white and frothy. While the mixer is running, slowly add 1/3 of the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the egg whites reach stiff peaks.
Holding a mixer beater to show stiff meringue peaks.
  1. Egg yolk mixture. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg yolks, the remaining 2/3 of the sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Beat on high speed until fluffy, and pale yellow.
Egg yolks beaten together with wet cake ingredients.
  1. Add in dry ingredients and oil. Add in the dry ingredient mixture into the egg yolk mixture in 3 additions and gently fold to incorporate after each batch.
Folding together the dry and wet matcha cake ingredients.
  1. Add the oil. Take a few spoonfuls of the egg yolk mixture and mix with the oil. Then gently combine the oil mixture with the egg yolk mixture.
  2. Combine meringue. Fold the egg white meringue into the egg yolk mixture in 3 parts, gently folding the batter in an upwards motion in between each addition until no streaks remain.
  1. Bake. Divide the cake batter evenly into the 3 parchment-lined cake pans and gently tap the pan on your workspace to remove any large air bubbles. Bake cakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let matcha cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pan and releasing the cakes. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Cake tins filled with matcha cake batter ready to bake.

Whipped Matcha Ganache Frosting

  1. Heat the heavy cream. Heat 1 cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam and simmer.
  2. Sift in matcha powder. Sift in the matcha powder and whisk the mixture until combined.
  3. Melt the white chocolate. Place the white chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl and pour the heated matcha heavy cream over the white chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for 5 minutes and then stir the chocolate until smooth and combined. Then, sift the matcha chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining clumps.
  4. Cover and chill. Cover plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the matcha chocolate to prevent a film. Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until cold or overnight.
  5. Whip. Once the ganache is cold and chilled, using a whisk attachment of your electric mixer, gently whisk the ganache on low and gradually working to high speed until the ganache is light and fluffy about 1 minute. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup of cold heavy whipping cream and whip on low speed and slowly increase to medium speed until soft peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape for another 1-2 minutes.

Assemble the cake

  1. Decorate. Using an offset spatula, layer the matcha ganache frosting in between each layer. Add fruit in between each layer if desired.
  1. Crumb Coat. Frost the top and edges of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set. Then finish frosting with the final layer. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.

Tips for the Best Matcha Cake

  • Add the sugar to the egg whites gradually. Adding too much sugar all at once to the egg whites might cause the meringue to collapse. Gradually add the sugar while the mixer is mixing one tablespoon at a time.
  • Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. You will know the egg whites are at stiff peaks when you remove the whisk and the tip of the meringue stands straight up and slightly droops over.
  • Whisk the egg yolk mixture until pale yellow. You will know when to stop when you lift your electric mixer and create ribbons with the batter and the ribbons hold for at least 2-3 seconds.
  • Mix the vegetable oil with a small scoop of batter first. This will allow you to incorporate the oil without deflating too much of the egg yolk batter.
  • Make sure to sift and fold the dry ingredients until JUST combined. Matcha powder needs to be sifted to prevent any unwanted clumps! Also, over-mixing will reduce in lower cake volume whereas under-mixing will result in a dense cake bottom.
  • Combine the meringue in 3 parts. The easiest and most foolproof way to not deflate your batter is to combine the meringue into your matcha cake batter in 3 parts. Make sure to gently fold the meringue in an upward motion and stop when you no longer see any streaks.
  • Remove air bubbles from the matcha cake batter. Shock the cake by gently tapping it onto your workspace from about 3 inches above your workspace. Do this before you place the cake into the oven to remove any remaining large air bubbles.

Tips for Whipped Matcha Ganache

  • Chill the matcha ganache before whipping. The key to a soft, and whipped matcha frosting is the temperature of the matcha ganache. It has to be cold! Be patient and wait for the matcha ganache to be cold before whipping.
  • Before whipping, use cold heavy whipping cream. For the whipped matcha ganache, it is best to use cold straight from the refrigerator. This will make whipping the matcha frosting so much easier and quicker.
  • Make sure the Japanese matcha cake is completely cooled before frosting. The matcha frosting is incredibly light and airy. If you frost the matcha green tea cake before it is cooled, the matcha frosting will melt right off.

Storage Instructions

Frosted matcha green tea cake. This matcha strawberry cake is best served on the same day. If frosted, you can store this strawberry matcha cake wrapped in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Unfrosted matcha chiffon: You can wrap and store the completely cooled unfrosted matcha cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Do not refrigerate the cake layers. The matcha green tea cake will start to dry out after a day in the refrigerator.

Matcha ganache. You can make the matcha ganache (before it is whipped) in advance and store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Add the additional heavy cream and whip it when you are ready to decorate the cake.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What is matcha cake made of?

This matcha green tea cake is made with matcha powder, cake flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, salt, milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil.

What does matcha taste like?

Matcha green tea has a complex flavor profile with mellow vegetal grassy notes, a naturally sweet nuttiness, and a touch of bitterness.

What type of matcha powder do you use for baking?

You can use any type of matcha powder for baking! Most people use culinary-grade matcha for baking since it is more cost-effective and has a lower degree of caffeine than ceremonial-grade matcha. However, I like to use ceremonial-grade matcha for a vibrant and richer matcha flavor.

What is the difference between a matcha sponge and a matcha chiffon cake?

A matcha chiffon cake is a rich and fluffy cake that contains both baking powder and oil. Whereas, a matcha sponge cake is more of a foam cake that is light and spongy and is made without butter or leavening agents.

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Recipe

A matcha cake with strawberries served on a marble tray.

Matcha Cake

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Matcha Frosting 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Matcha cake made with rich matcha chiffon cake layers and whipped matcha ganache frosting is so soft, light and airy! This green tea cake recipe is incredibly delicious and will keep you coming back for more.
Servings: 6 servings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Matcha Chiffon Cake

Matcha Frosting

Instructions

Matcha Chiffon Cake

  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Line the bottom of three 6-inch cake pans with round parchment paper.
  • Mix dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, sift the cake flour, matcha powder, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Make the meringue. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until foamy. Then add the cream of tartar and beat on high until the egg whites turn pale white and frothy. While the mixer is running, slowly add 1/3 of the sugar one tablespoon at a time until the egg whites reach stiff peaks. To test, when you lift the whisk the egg whites are smooth, moist, shiny, and the tips will stand straight up.
  • Egg yolk mixture. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg yolks, the remaining 2/3 of the sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Beat on high speed until fluffy, and pale yellow.
  • Add dry ingredients to egg yolk mixture. Add in the dry ingredient mixture into the egg yolk mixture in 3 additions and gently fold to incorporate after each batch.
  • Add the oil to egg yolk mixture. Take a few spoonfuls of the egg yolk mixture and mix with the oil. Then gently combine the oil mixture with the egg yolk mixture.
  • Combine meringue with egg yolk mixture. Fold the egg white meringue into the egg yolk mixture in 3 parts, gently folding the batter in an upwards motion in between each addition until no streaks remain. Be careful to not over mix and deflate the batter.
  • Bake. Divide the cake batter evenly into the 3 parchment lined cake pans and gently tap the pan on your workspace to remove any large air bubbles. Bake cakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let matcha cakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the pan and releasing the cakes. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

Matcha Ganache Frosting

  • Heat the heavy cream. Heat 1 cup of the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam and simmer.
  • Sift in matcha powder. Sift in the matcha powder and whisk the mixture until combined.
  • Melt the white chocolate. Place the white chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl and pour the heated matcha heavy cream over the white chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for 5 minutes and then stir the chocolate until smooth and combined. Then, sift the matcha chocolate mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining clumps.
  • Cover and chill. Cover plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the matcha chocolate to prevent a film. Chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours until cold or overnight.
  • Whip. Once the ganache is cold and chilled, using a whisk attachment of your electric mixer, gently whisk the ganache on low and gradually working to high speed until the ganache is light and fluffy about 1 minute. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup of cold heavy whipping cream and whip on low speed and slowly increase to medium speed until soft peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape for another 1-2 minutes.

Assemble the cake

  • Decorate. Using an offset spatula, layer the matcha ganache frosting in between each layer. Add fruit in between each layer if desired.
  • Crumb Coat. Frost the top and edges of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set. Then finish frosting with the final layer.
  • Chill. Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Add the sugar to the egg whites gradually. Adding too much sugar all at once to the egg whites might cause the meringue to collapse. Gradually add the sugar while the mixer is mixing one tablespoon at a time.
  • Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. You will know the egg whites are at stiff peaks when you remove the whisk and the tip of the meringue stands straight up and slightly droops over.
  • Whisk the egg yolk mixture until pale yellow. This will make the strawberry matcha cake extra light and fluffy.
  • Mix the vegetable oil with a touch of batter first. This will allow you to incorporate the oil without deflating too much of the egg yolk batter.
  • Make sure to sift and fold the dry ingredients until JUST combined. Matcha powder needs to be sifted to prevent any unwanted clumps! Also, over-mixing will reduce in lower cake volume whereas under-mixing will result in a dense cake bottom.
  • Combine the meringue in 3 parts. The easiest and most foolproof way to not deflate your batter is to combine the meringue into your matcha cake batter in 3 parts. Make sure to gently fold the meringue in an upward motion and stop when you no longer see any streaks.
  • Remove air bubbles from the matcha cake batter. Shock the cake by dropping it onto your workspace from about 3-4 inches above your workspace. Do this before you place the cake into the oven to remove any remaining large air bubbles.
  • Chill the matcha ganache before whipping. The key to a soft, and whipped matcha frosting is the temperature of the matcha ganache. It has to be cold! Be patient and wait for the matcha ganache to be cold before whipping.
  • Before whipping, use cold heavy whipping cream. For the whipped matcha ganache, it is best to use cold straight from the refrigerator. This will make whipping the matcha frosting so much easier and quicker.
  • Make sure the Japanese matcha cake is completely cooled before frosting. The matcha frosting is incredibly light and airy. If you frost the matcha green tea cake before it is cooled, the matcha frosting will melt right off.

Nutrition:

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 260mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 207mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 1937IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 3mg

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