This easy matcha white chocolate cake has two layers of fluffy matcha sponge cake, frosted with a creamy white chocolate ganache.
I love matcha. The earthy green tea flavour is strangely addictive. This delicious matcha cake is the perfect simple treat. It’s also a great way to introduce friends and family to the exotic taste!
And who doesn’t love a bright green cake?
✏️ Recipe creation
Continuing with my matcha obsession, I wanted to make an easy matcha cake recipe. One that anyone could make for themselves at home. This recipe has only two cake layers and the frosting is a simple, two-ingredient, white chocolate ganache. No need to separate egg whites and egg yolks for fancy frostings or flavours.
It’s basically a standard yellow vanilla cake but with some matcha powder in it!
In parts of Asia, matcha is often paired with red bean paste or sesame. Personally, my favorite flavor combination for matcha is with white chocolate. That’s why I’ve used a creamy white chocolate ganache for this recipe.
This cake is great for dinner parties or as a unique birthday cake. Of course, being green it’s also fun to have on St Patrick's Day.
This cake recipe calls for the following ingredients:
- Unsalted butter
- Caster sugar (white finely granulated sugar)
- Plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- Baking powder
- Matcha green tea powder (culinary or ceremonial grade)
- Vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
White chocolate ganache:
- White chocolate
- Heavy cream
See the recipe card for quantities.
Instead of plain flour, you can substitute this for self-raising flour. If doing this, reduce the amount of baking powder to ½ tsp.
I usually use vegetable oil or sunflower oil for this recipe. Instead, you can use any neutral-flavoured oil, e.g. canola oil. If you want to change the flavour slightly, you can swap this for melted coconut oil.
- Room temperature ingredients mix together better than cold ones. Take your butter and eggs out of the fridge to come up to room temperature before you start baking. For me this takes about 30mins to warm up.
- I recommend sieving your flour, baking powder and matcha powder. This will give you a smoother batter.
- When measuring your ingredients, it’s best to use weights rather than cups. This gives a better accuracy to the recipe.
- I prefer using vanilla extract to vanilla essence. As it’s less processed, it has a purer vanilla flavour.
- Not all matcha powder is created equal. Good quality matcha, such as a ceremonial or culinary grade matcha powder from a good brand is key. Cheap matcha powders can be more bitter and be a less vibrant green. I like to use the Matchaeologist culinary matcha powder for this cake.
- Similarly, using high-quality chocolate makes a difference to your ganache’s flavour. I love using Callebaut white chocolate, but any good brand of white chocolate will work.
I use the following equipment for this recipe:
- 6inch / 15cm round cake pans (x2)
- Parchment paper (greaseproof paper)
- Electric hand mixer or stand mixer (or whisk / fork)
- Large mixing bowl
- Medium heatproof bowl
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Weighing scales
- Measuring spoons
- Wire cooling rack
- Cake turntable (optional)
- Offset spatula (optional)
- Cake scraper (optional)
I usually use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer for this recipe because it’s nice and easy. You can instead use a whisk, spatula and/or fork to make your batter. This might take some elbow grease, but it’s definitely doable!
As this is a very simple cake, I usually use a spatula or spoon to frost with the set ganache. If you’re after a smooth professional finish, assemble and decorate your cake using a cake turntable, offset spatula and cake scraper. Cover your cake in a crumb coat first, refrigerate for 15mins, then smooth on another layer of ganache.
I usually use two round 6inch cake pans for this green tea cake recipe. However, you can instead use two 8inch cake tins and bake for 5-10mins less time. Your cake will have thinner layers but still be delicious!
You can also swap these round cake tins for a loaf tin. My recipe for a matcha pound cake is coming soon if you’re a fan of matcha and loaf cakes though!
- Before I start baking, I like to prepare my cake tins first. Grease them with butter or cooking oil spray, then line them with greaseproof paper. I usually use the pre-cut circles that already fit the cake tin and then have greased sides as I’m lazy!
- Weighing your ingredients is more accurate, and digital scales are the best for this. I quite like KitchenAid or Salter scales.
- It’s best to use measuring spoons, as cutlery teaspoons and tablespoons aren’t actually the correct volume. I’d also recommend levelling off any heaped scoops for more accurate measurement.
- When using a stand mixer, I like to use the paddle attachment with a low speed for the batter as it helps reduce the chance of overmixing.
- It’s a good idea to scrape down the sides and bottom of the stand mixer bowl every so often so you get an even mixture.
- Leave your cakes to cool in the tin for at least 20mins before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. If they’re too warm, the sponges will break easier.
First, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F.
In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the oil, milk and vanilla until combined.
In a separate bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder and matcha powder, whisking together. Gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry mix, folding gently until combined.
Divide your batter between two greased and lined 6inch round cake tins and bake for 30-35mins until risen, springy and a skewer comes out clean. Allow cooling for 20mins before transferring to a wire rack.
Make the ganache while your cakes are cooling. Heat the cream over a double-boiler or in the microwave (15-30 secs at a time), until hot but not boiling. Pour the cream over broken up pieces of chocolate and let it sit for 10mins before stirring until smooth.
Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature for 20-30mins until cooled and set.
Once the cake sponges have cooled, turn one sponge upside-down and spread roughly ¼ of the ganache on top. Place the second sponge on top and cover the cake in the rest of the ganache.
Dust your frosted cake with matcha powder and enjoy!
Your matcha cake should last up to 4 days at room temperature stored in an airtight container.
If it’s quite warm where you live, you might want to store your cake in the fridge so the ganache doesn’t melt. They should last up to 5 days in the fridge, but might start to dry out!
You can also freeze your cake (frosted or unfrosted) for up to 3 months before defrosting and eating. It’s best to label your frozen treats with what they are and when they were frozen so you don’t forget about them!
💭 Top tips
- For a super smooth sponge batter, cream together you butter and sugar thoroughly.
- Slowly adding your wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in your cake batter also helps to reduce lumps.
- Recipes with raising agents (eg. self-raising flour, baking powder, etc.) don’t do well being over-mixed. You’ll end up with a dense sponge if you over-mix your cake batter. Try to mix sparingly once you add these ingredients!
- I always position my cake pans in the centre of the oven on the middle shelf when possible. This usually gives a more even bake. The baking temperatures specified in the recipe are also based on using this part of the oven.
- Don’t open the oven mid-bake. You may have heard this before, but it’s such an important factor that it bears repeating. We’ve all been there and nobody likes their cake layers with sinkholes!
- You’ll know your cake sponges are cooked once they’re risen, springy to touch and an inserted toothpick or skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake.
- Once your cake layers have baked, it's best to leave them in the cake tin to cool for 15mins before removing them from the cake pan onto a wire rack. This speeds up the cooling process and stops your cake from baking further trapped in the hot tin.
- To get smooth flat cake layers for frosting, you may need to cut off any peaked tops. You can use a knife or a cake leveller for this. Keep any offcuts and use them for decorating or turning them into cake pops or cakesicles!
Matcha is a fine powder made from the same plant as green tea. It is specially grown and processed from green tea leaves. This is made differently from what you find in your standard green tea bags. There are also different quality grades of matcha powder.
Matcha has an earthy taste similar to actual green tea. On its own, matcha is usually described as a bit bitter so pairs nicely with sweet flavours such as vanilla.
Yes! When baking with matcha powder, be sure to use food-grade at a minimum, or ceremonial-grade matcha powder for a more vibrant colour.
Matcha powder adds a delicious green tea flavour to your baked goods and will add a lovely green too.
As it’s a very strong flavour, you don’t need much matcha green tea powder to flavour your baked goods.
For drinking, use a ceremonial grade organic matcha powder. For baking, use a culinary grade or ceremonial grade organic matcha powder. I’m a fan of Matchaeologist brand matcha powders.
Good matcha powder is usually available in Asian grocery stores or you can purchase it online.
Yes! You can freeze your matcha cake wrapped in a layer of cling film and a layer of foil for up to 3 months.
Yes, you can make your matcha cake sponges ahead of time and freeze them.
Alternatively, you can make the cake layers and/or white chocolate ganache a few days in advance. Your cake layers should be stored wrapped in cling film at room temperature. Your white chocolate ganache should be in an airtight container in the fridge.
This could be caused by a few things. One issue could be that you've added too much baking powder. This may have happened if you used a heaped teaspoon instead of a levelled one.
Another reason could be that you opened the oven partway through baking. This would have caused your oven temp to drop rapidly and sinkhole your cake.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making your own simple matcha cake, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
I like to use the thick creamy white chocolate ganache as soon as it sets. I spread on a nice thick layer inside and coating the cake. Then I create little swirls or swipes in the ganache covering to decorate.
Instead, for a lighter and fluffier frosting, you can whip your ganache. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer (whisk attachment) on high speed, whip up your set ganache until it’s fluffy and almost doubles in size.
You can then spread this on your matcha for a thicker frosting layer but lighter taste.
I love using white chocolate ganache for this cake, as matcha and white chocolate is a match made in heaven. For a zingy flavour twist, you swap this for a lemon frosting, like my no-cream lemon white chocolate ganache.
Another option is to use milk chocolate ganache or chocolate buttercream to frost your cake. Check out these chocolate cupcakes for a great chocolate buttercream recipe. Double the frosting batch size for use on this matcha cake.
Vanilla cream cheese frosting is also a winner with matcha! Why not use a half batch of frosting from my walnut banana cake.
For an even lighter flavour option, you can simply frost your cake with whipped cream. Beat heavy whipping cream until light and fluffy and use to replace the ganache in this recipe.
To add an extra boost of matcha flavor, you can swap the white chocolate frosting for matcha buttercream. It adds so much yummy matcha flavour, perfect for super fans!
Even if you're changing the frosting, it could be really tasty to use a white chocolate ganache cake filling. Simple make a ⅓ batch size of ganache per this recipe and spread between your cake layers.
I usually decorate this matcha cake quite simply with a generous smothering of ganache and a dusting of matcha powder. You can also drizzle melted white chocolate over the top too.
For a more professional finish, decorate your cake using a cake turntable, offset spatula and cake scraper. Cover your cake in a crumb coat of ganache first, refrigerate for 15mins, then smooth on another layer of ganache.
You can then decorate by piping swirls of your ganache on top of your beautiful cake. I like using a Wilton 1M tip for this. Sprinkle over white chocolate shavings for an even more delicious cake.
To make a gluten-free matcha cake, swap the plain flour for gluten-free flour. I recommend using a gluten-free plain flour blend, such as King Arthur's measure for measure flour or Freee from Doves Farm.
You should also add ½ teaspoon of xantham gum to the matcha cake batter if your flour blend doesn’t already include this in the ingredients.
For gluten-free cake success, add an extra 1 teaspoon oil and 1tbsp milk to the batter. Beat your batter really well and let it stand for 30mins before pouring it into your cake tins and baking. You might need to bake your cake for an extra 5-10mins.
🧁 Other goodies
Looking for some other goodies to make?
You can also add a matcha flare to any of your bakes with this easy matcha buttercream!
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Easy Matcha White Chocolate Cake
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White Chocolate Ganache:
- 375 g (3 cups) white chocolate
- 170 ml (¾ cups) heavy cream e.g. double cream
- Preheat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350°F
- For the sponges, cream together the butter and sugar, either using a spatula, electric hand mixer or stand mixer, until light and pale.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the milk, oil and vanilla extract until fully combined.
- In a separate bowl, sieve together the flour, baking powder and matcha powder. Whisk together until evenly mixed.
- Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, folding gently together until only just combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between two greased and lined 6inch cake tins and bake in the oven for 30-35mins until risen and skewer comes out clean from the middle of the cakes.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the tins for 15mins then remove from the tins and transfer to a wire rack while you make the ganache.
White Chocolate Ganache:
- Heat the cream over a double-boiler or in the microwave (15-30 secs at a time), until hot and steaming but not boiling.
- Break the chocolate up into small pieces in a heatproof bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Let it sit for 5mins and then stir until smooth.
- Allow the ganache to cool uncovered at room temperature for 20-30mins until cooled and set.
- Once the cake sponges have fully cooled, turn one sponge upside-down and spread roughly ¼ of the ganache evenly in a thick layer on top.
- Place the other sponge on top to sandwich the layers and cover the top and sides of your cake in the remainder of the ganache.
- Dust your frosted cake with matcha powder and enjoy!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.
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