Green Tea (Matcha) Cake

Matcha cake by Jae-Ha Kim

My mother doesn’t like overly sweet desserts. Like many Koreans her age, she grew up in an era where you didn’t eat sweets after a meal.

Rather, you ate freshly peeled and beautifully sliced pieces of fruit. I still have fond memories of enjoying slices of Asian pears with delicate little forks. My son enjoys eating his fruit this way, too. Besides serving a practical purpose (no sticky fingers!), it’s fun! 🙂

But for her birthday, I wanted to make a cake that she would like. So I looked around and found a few recipes for matcha cakes, which are a particular favorite of mine. Made with matcha (finely milled green tea powder), the green tea pastries are less sweet and dense than my other favorite — Black Out Cake with chocolate ganache. For lack of a better description, matcha cakes taste light and refreshing.

I’ll admit that the recipe I’m posting below is a hybrid of several that I found online. I wanted to make Kitchen Tigress‘ version, but it looked too labor intensive.  i.e. I was too lazy to convert everything from the metric system that she utilizes to the, uh, cup and teaspoon method that I use.

But if you have a few minutes, check out her video on how to make a beautiful, bakery-worthy cake. I will be the first to admit that her creation looks way prettier than mine:

If you do end up following her directions, come back here and let me know how it turned out!

I found recipes for all kinds of frosting for the cake, including cream cheese and buttercream. I love the former and hate the latter. But both sounded gross for a green tea cake. I love the deceptively light taste of whipped cream frosting, so that’s what I decided on.

I had all the ingredients at home except for almond flour and, you guessed it, matcha. Both were more expensive than I had expected. I bought a 16-ounce bag of almond flour for $10. And 1.5 ounces of California matcha set me back $17 at a local health store. (I later scored a 2-ounce container of organic Japanese matcha for just $7 at an Asian grocery store!)

Anyhow, this is my adapted recipe for my Matcha Cake. My 7-year-old son didn’t care for it. I know this because he told me so. 😉

But, my husband and I loved it. And, more importantly, my mother really liked it and asked me to leave a couple pieces for her to snack on later in the week. And that, my friends, never happens.


4 egg whites, room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
4 TBS granulated sugar

4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 tsp matcha powder
¼ cup all-purpose flour

Cream filling:

1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp matcha powder (if you want a stronger taste, add a little more as you go)
1 TBS sugar or honey (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease two round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper, too!

Whip the four egg whites until it’s frothy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until it forms stiff peaks. Add the granulated sugar and whip. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the 4 whole eggs, powdered sugar and almond flour in a bowl until it’s pale yellow. Add the matcha powder and mix on low speed until combined. Sift the flour over the pale yellow egg mixture.

Fold half the egg whites mixture into the bowl with the pale yellow egg mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.

While you’re waiting for the cake to finish baking, whip the heavy cream until it has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. But don’t whip it so much that it turns into butter. Got that? 😛 Mix in the matcha powder.

Once cake is cool, put whipped cream filling in between the two layers. Top the cake with the remaining cream. Chill for at least two hours before serving.


© 2015 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved

Comments (31)

  1. Lauren Miller says:

    I made this last night and ate a slice for breakfast this morning. It was heaven! Thanks for sharing, Jae! ★

  2. secondcitymom says:

    Umm…that looks delicious. I think it would go great with my coffee!

  3. hennablossom says:

    Oh yuuuuuuum, wish we were there!

  4. applesandforts says:

    I need to try this asap!

  5. MABtv3 says:

    This looks yummy. I don’t like overly sweet either

  6. Cece says:

    This looks so good, Jae! I’m going to have to try making it!

  7. Shana says:


  8. softcurl says:

    I love match a flavoured anything – thanks! ^^

  9. sequinedstrawberries says:

    Oh! I’m going to try it!!

  10. Mark says:

    Delicious cake, Jae. It was light and my family really enjoyed it. I bought a big package of matcha, so I’m looking forward to sipping matcha tea as well!

  11. Rhonda says:

    This recipe was one of the easier ones to follow and was soooooooooooo delicious!! I made this two times already. I didn’t figure out the caloric intake but it tastes light and “healthier” than the other cakes I make. 😛

  12. Stef says:

    Great recipe Jae but it seems wasteful to use only the egg whites. Any suggestions for the yolks?

    • Jae-Ha Kim says:

      Thanks for all the input everyone! Stef, I would never waste the eggs! I save the yolks and scramble them up for breakfast. I also use them in quiches and casseroles. And when I make fried rice or ramen, I stir the yolks in for extra protein.

      FWIW, when a recipe calls for just the yolks, I do the same. I save the egg whites and incorporate them into other dishes. There’s no reason to waste any part of the egg–unless it’s spoiled!


  13. mywildbliss says:

    Gah, yum!

  14. chicagoagashi says:

    Hmmm. Maybe next time make cake balls with ruined cake? Or transform it into biscotti?

  15. lee.dae.ho_038 says:

    Wow! That frosting looks delectable! 잘 했어요!

  16. ladyd0nna says:

    Wow that looks so fluffy and delicious!!!! Green tea chiffon cakes are my fav ❤️

  17. r_kimmy12 says:

    Looks delicious 🙂

  18. mrsjennyl says:

    Looks so good!

  19. sookjinheo says:

    맛있어 보여요

  20. mzgloomy says:

    go to try the chiffon cake recipe there but replace the pandan with matcha powder. Its a no fail recipe…and it only uses 4 eggs.

  21. sashimidimsum says:

    I always gravitate to green-tea-something desserts. They’re so good.

  22. anja_mari says:

    You go girl!!!

  23. zach_brake says:

    Im a sucker for this stuff. So good!

  24. Wow, that looks amazing. Good enough that I would totally bust my “I’m too lazy and uninterested to cook” thing, and try cooking this. If I had an oven. I even have some matcha sitting in my fridge.

  25. amywb says:

    Looks healthy to me!!

  26. puppy_jones says:

    Ohhhh #drool

  27. yummycode says:


  28. Lisa Browne says:

    Sounds awesome!!!

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