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This vegan matcha cake recipe is an absolutely delicious, easy-to-make matcha dessert that you can whip up in no time! It’s moist, fluffy, and rich in matcha flavour, a great cake to bake for all matcha lovers! It’s perfect for a weekend treat and afternoon tea too.
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Have you ever had a matcha cake before? If you haven’t, you are missing out! Matcha cake is one of the most delicious desserts in the world, in my opinion. And this recipe I’m introducing to you today in particular, is also vegan. That’s right: you can make this incredibly delicious cake without eggs or dairy!
If you love matcha desserts, this recipe is right up your alley. The fluffy cake is full of earthy matcha flavour, topped with strawberries (which add an extra burst of flavour) and frosted with creamy matcha buttercream. Mmm, delicious. And the sprinkles of matcha powder on top add extra flavour and a pretty look to the cake, which I quite like!
Did I mention that you don’t need to be an expert baker to make this cake? The recipe is honestly super easy to follow and can be ready in as little as 2 hours. You’re welcome! Let’s make this delicious vegan matcha cake today.
This recipe is:
- Can be gluten-free
What is matcha and what does it taste like?
If you are not familiar with matcha, matcha is a type of green tea that has been used in Japan for centuries. The leaves are ground into a fine powder, which is traditionally used to make “Omatcha(matcha drink)” in Japan. But in the modern age, matcha is added to food and drinks to boost the nutritional value of meals and the beautiful green colour!
Matcha is also known for its antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation in the body. Matcha tastes exactly like green tea but slightly more intense – mild, slightly bitter and earthy with a lovely green tea aroma.
Main ingredients and substitutions
Matcha powder: The main ingredient for this cake recipe is matcha! Use high-quality Japanese matcha powder for the best result if you can find one. Don’t confuse it with “green tea powder”! Green tea powder is a powder form of brewed and dehydrated green tea, so it has a less intense taste and colour. If it says MATCHA green tea powder, it should be good!
Plain flour: The base of this matcha cake is plain flour. If you are gluten-free, feel free to use a 1:1 gluten-free blend to make it gluten-free.
Vegetable oil: I used vegetable oil to make the cake soft and moist! You can also use other neutral oils such as sunflower oil etc.
Cacao butter: I added cacao butter to the matcha buttercream to add a subtle white chocolate flavour to it and it turned out quite well!
*I use bone char-free sugars for all of my recipes. I cover the topic in my article Vegan Baking 101. Go to the “Is sugar vegan?” section to learn more!
Recommended equipment for this recipe
Cake tin: For this cake recipe, I used a 16cm (6in) cake tin! You can use a square tin as well as long as the dimension is the same.
Cake stand: A cake stand comes in handy when frosting the cake! I have one that rotates which is extra useful when smoothing out the frosting the top and side of the cake.
Spatula: Use a long spatula to frost the cake!
*The ingredient list and measurement for this recipe can be found in the recipe card at the bottom.
How to make this easy matcha cake
Step 1: Make vegan buttermilk and mix the dry ingredients
The first thing to make for this recipe is buttermilk! It’s super easy. All you need to do is mix the soy milk and apple cider vinegar. That’s it! It’ll curdle nicely after a few minutes and voila, vegan buttermilk ready to be used! Set aside.
Now let’s mix the dry ingredients! In a large mixing bowl, mix the plain flour, cornflour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and matcha powder until very well combined and there are no streaks of matcha powder in the mixture. If your matcha powder is lumpy, sift it with a small sieve before mixing in.
Step 2: Add the wet ingredients and make the cake batter
The next step is adding wet ingredients to the dry mixture! Add the vegetable oil and vegan buttermilk from earlier to the dry mixture and mix with a large wooden spoon or a silicone spatula until they are just combined. Be careful not to over-mix! As I always say, over-mixing will form too much gluten in the batter and can make the cake tough and dense. Until just combined is key!
Step 3: Bake
Prepare two 16cm(6inch) cake tins lined with parchment paper or greased with vegan butter or oil. Lining or greasing is very important as it prevents the cake from sticking to the tin and makes it so much easier to remove the cake!
Pour half of the batter into each tin and smooth out the top evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 22-23mins until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Once the cakes are baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature in the tin. Be careful not to burn your hand with the hot tin!
Once they are cooled, carefully take them out of the tins and transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Step 4: Make the matcha buttercream
While the cakes are cooling down, let’s make the matcha buttercream for frosting! In a large mixing bowl, beat the vegan butter with an electric mixer until it’s creamy and pale in colour. Feel free to use a handheld one or stand mixer.
Add the matcha powder and 1/3 of the icing sugar at a time and beat further until it’s creamy and fluffy! Add the melted and cooled cacao butter and whip it further.
Step 5: Assembly
Once the cakes are completely cooled down, let’s assemble the cake! Cut the dorms on top of the cakes to flatten the top a little, and place one of the cakes on a cake stand. Place half of the matcha buttercream and smooth out evenly with a spatula.
Place the other cake on top and top with more buttercream, and smooth it out again. Decorate the cake with fresh strawberries, slice and serve. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
Sift the matcha
Matcha powder sometimes can be lumpy depending on the brand. If your matcha powder is lumpy, use a small sieve and sift it before mixing with other dry ingredients so that it will combine well!
It’s a little tricky baking with matcha powder – baked goods with matcha powder can go brown when they are over-baked, not so good! To get that vibrant green colour from matcha, try not to overbake the cake. 22 mins should be perfect!
How to store
Once you frost the cake, it’s best to serve it on the day you make it. With the cake on a cake stand, always place a glass lid and keep it in a cool place, preferably in the fridge.
Do not keep them in the kitchen or in a room if the room temperature is too hot, this will not only melt the buttercream but make the cake go bad and can make you sick in the worst-case scenario.
If you want to keep the cake longer, wrap the cakes in cling film before frosting and store in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. For the buttercream frosting, place them in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days as well.
Q and A
My cake is dense and not fluffy, what did I do wrong?
If your cake is not fluffy, I can think of 2 possible reasons – one is that the baking powder or soda you used was not fresh and didn’t have leavening power. To test if your baking powder/soda is fresh, take a small amount on a little plate and drop some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If it bubbles up, they are good! If not, toss it away and buy a new one.
Another reason could be that you mixed the cake batter too much and overdeveloped gluten in the batter. To avoid this, use a large wooden spoon or a silicone spatula to mix the batter, mix gently and stop when the dry and wet ingredients are just combined. If you mixed your batter with a whisk until it’s silky smooth, you are over mixing!
My cake turned brown!
As I mentioned earlier, baking with matcha can be a little tricky! It’s normal for the outside of the cake to look brown but if the inside is also brown, you probably baked it for too long or the oven temperature was too high.
Try baking at 180°C(350°F) for 22 mins as instructed in the recipe card! If your cake is still brown, check the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer. It might have a higher temperature than it says!
Want to master the basics of vegan baking?
Check out Vegan Baking 101 – the beginner’s guide to vegan baking for you to become an excellent vegan baker and familiar with the basics of vegan baking, ingredients, and techniques with useful tips!
You will LOVE this vegan matcha cake because it is:
- fluffy and moist
- beautiful with matcha green tea colour
- super easy
- perfect gift for your matcha loving friends and family
Want more recipes like this?
Try my other delicious cake and matcha recipes you might enjoy!
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like this recipe! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe, friends!
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