Green Tea Layer Cake


Do you guys know what I did on Friday night? I stayed at home and ate takeout Chinese food with my suitemates and the boyfriend. Then I baked a green tea layer cake in my pajamas. Thrilling, I know. Sadly, this is pretty typical behavior for me, and it’s a pretty big deal if I’m wearing something other than sweats and actually getting out of my apartment. As you can see,  my life is rather lame and boring.

Green tea cake, however, is not. It’s pretty fabulous. You know why? Because people are always so impressed with it and think it’s really something special, when in reality, it’s just a simple cake that’s super easy to make.  Also, it’s perfect for so many occasions; I’ve made it for birthdays, potlucks, and just for no reason at all. You can also make it into cupcakes or loaves or one large rectangular cake and it turns out great any way.

Plus, it’s pretty darn delicious, and it feels and tastes healthier than other cakes (even though it’s really not) because it’s so light and delicate. If you like green tea, you will heart this cake. I know that the combination of cream cheese and green tea might sound a little weird, but it’s just delightful. The original recipe calls for a measly amount of green tea powder and loads of sugar, so I always double the green tea and cut out 40% of the sugar, and it’s perfect.

Also, I love this cake because it’s attractive on its own due to the lovely natural green color, and doesn’t really need any other embellishments. I have no artistic ability whatsoever, and my attempts at making things look pretty often end up making them look worse (see above pictures). Luckily, the awful decorations did not deter from the deliciousness of the cake. I ate a huge slice and had to practice some serious self-control to prevent myself from devouring the entire thing 🙂

Green Tea Layer Cake

Source: adapted from allrecipes


For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons green tea powder (matcha)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon green tea powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, and green tea powder. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Beat in flour mixture alternately with yogurt, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before turning out of pans.

5. To make the frosting, sift together confectioners’ sugar and green tea powder. In a separate bowl, combine tea/sugar mixture with butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and milk. Beat with an electric mixture until smooth.

6. To assemble the cake, place one cooled cake layer on a serving plate and spread with a thin layer of frosting. Place the other cake layer on top of frosting and cover entire cake with remaining frosting.


Filed under Cakes/Cupcakes, Dessert

18 responses to “Green Tea Layer Cake

  1. YUM i LOVE green tea- actual tea, mochi, green tea ice cream, iced green tea lattes (starbucks of course) and now there’s this cake! I’m definitely going to try it 🙂 thanks!

  2. I know a lot of people are frightened by this much green, but i absolutely love it! this looks great!

  3. I have never used matcha before. Is matcha hard to find? Is it expensive?

  4. Deborah

    the best green tea cake ever 🙂
    it was delicious!

  5. Chanmi :)

    green tea + cake + white chocolate = :]

  6. Chanmi :)

    and don’t be hating our fridays! hehehehe

  7. hanjoon

    i was gonna suggest to make a teacup out of the chocolate pieces. white: cup, black: tea/coffee. but became 소심해 after you shut down the cheesy heart idea.

  8. Pingback: Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies | Blissful Baking

  9. Ann

    I made the cake EXACTLY and it turned out horrible ): It was barely tall, it was this poopy brown color, and overall does not look like yours. ): Im so sad!!! What did I do wrong!?

    • Hi Ann,

      I’m sorry to hear that the cake didn’t turn out for you. Did it taste okay at least? I’ve never had that happen to me before, so I’m not sure what went wrong. Overbaking, overmixing, and old baking soda can lead to a dense, flat cake. Is there a possibility you could have accidentally used baking powder instead of soda? Did you bake the cakes right away after mixing the batter? Also, did you use matcha powder or just regular green tea leaves? If you used the latter, your cake might not be as green. Also, if you overbake the cake, it can turn a brownish-green color. Next time, maybe try testing the cake for doneness at 16-18 minutes. I hope you try it again, this is a really lovely cake!

      • Ann

        Gosh I just don’t know what I did wrong. Yes I used matcha powder, baking soda, and there was no green in the cake! It was all so brown! So weird. and yes I put it in the oven right away.
        I put it in for 20 mintues.
        The edge was only half an inch thick too.
        Im so stumped on this cake. I really wanted it too look like what you have in the pictures.

    • Brenna

      Ann, whenever i’ve had a cake turn out like this, it’s because i forgot to add flour / didn’t add enough flour.

      Source: I’m a very forgetful person / get distracted to easily.

  10. Ann

    Maybe you can post a video or some more pictures of the process!

    • If the batter was green before it went to the oven, but turned brown after it was baked, then I think that your cake was overbaked. Try reducing the oven temperature slightly or bake for less time. The cake itself isn’t going to be a super vibrant green – that’s why I use a green tea frosting to make it a little brighter. There’s not a really a special trick to making this cake – it’s one of the most simple recipes I have. I’m completely stumped as to why yours didn’t turn out!

  11. Ann

    Ok maybe I will bake it for a shorter time. How long did you bake it for?
    and how tall were your cakes?

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