amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Matcha tea cake

POSTED ON May 4, 2014

tea + cake

tea + cake

Lately, Matcha tea has become part of my daily routine. I’m loving the creamy texture and rich grassy flavor—and find its perfect for a mid-morning boost. I should also add that I enjoy the extra caffeine—more than sencha but less than black tea. Matcha is known to promote a clear, calm and focused mind and unlike coffee or black tea, it provides an energy boost that doesn’t result in anxiety and nervousness.  To increase chlorophyll and create a deeper green color, the Tencha tea bushes used to make matcha are covered toward the end of their growth period. This process also enhances the levels of amino acids in the tea. Once dried matcha is stone ground to a fine, bright green powder, which is known for its high levels of antioxidants. Since the powder dissolves when whisked with hot water, you are drinking the whole leaf and receive more than triple the amount of health benefits you might from a cup of tea made from stepping tea leaves.

The process of making good quality matcha is long and labor intensive; and since you need a teaspoon to make about a 2 to 3 ounces you’ll find that it’s also expensive.

Rishi Tea came out with this Teahouse matcha green tea powder that I currently love. It’s slowly stone ground, foams well (with a bamboo whisk) and has a fresh, smooth flavor.

Now onto the cake—which I think may be the best gluten-free cake I have ever made! Flavorful, moist and velvety, this cake also holds together perfectly when sliced and enjoys a hint of texture from plenty of ground coconut. The success of this cake did not come from careful planning or recipe researching but from a tin of matcha that I purchased at the Rainbow co-op in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, it didn’t taste great so I casually tossed a very generous amount into the cake batter. I then gasped at the dark green color, doubting that it would be edible I threw it in the oven with my fingers crossed. It was late by the time it had baked, so I left it on a cooling rack and went to bed. In the morning I sliced and wrapped it to take on a car trip. Later that day (somewhere in Rhode Island), I took my first bite and was really shocked at how perfect it had turned out. Unlike many green tea desserts, the flavor of matcha really shines here and the generous amount of the powder together with the coconut milk creates a delectable, rich textured cake that I hope you’ll love as much as I do.


matcha tea cake



These gorgeous photos were taken by Stephen Johnson.

Matcha tea cake

Recipe updated August 6th 2015

Makes 1 8-inch loaf

2 tablespoons chia seeds

½ cup unsweetened full fat coconut milk

Filtered water

2 tablespoons matcha tea

1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

¼ cup coconut flour

1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour

¼ cup brown rice flour

2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder

½ cup almond meal

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons melted extra virgin coconut oil, plus more to oil pan

1 large egg, beaten

¼ cup mashed banana, from about ½ a banana

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and oil any exposed parts of the pan.

In a medium bowl combine chia seeds with coconut milk and a ¼ cup of water, whisk until combined and set aside for 15 minutes or until thickened.

Place matcha tea into a cup or small bowl and add 5 tablespoons water. Stir until smooth and set aside.

Place coconut in a food processor and blend until fine. Add coconut flour, oat flour, brown rice flour, baking powder and almond meal, and blend to combine. Set aside.

Add the dissolved matcha tea to the chia mixture along with maple syrup, coconut oil, egg, banana, vanilla and salt and whisk to combine. Add the ground coconut mixture and stir until combine. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 15 minutes then turn out all allow to cool completely. Store any left over in the fridge for up to 4 days.


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  • cheri says:

    Hi Amy, great info about this matcha, I had to give up drinking tea as the caffeine was too much for me, will definitely give this a try. As for this cake, it looks and sounds wonderful.

  • Anna says:

    Looks and sounds heavenly…but horrors! You must mean “aluminum free” baking powder, don’t you?

  • The cake looks lovely and absolutely perfect for spring.

  • shilpa says:

    Yes! This cake screams spring! I love that green. I can’t wait to try it!

  • I like to read your article. I really enjoyed …………

  • Veeganista says:

    I love Matcha! What a creative idea. I would have never thought to bake a cake using it. Looks delicious!! 🙂

  • Pamela says:

    Hello Amy,
    This genius tea cake become a staple in my baking cycle (along with your succulent orange raspberry muffins). I brought a tea cake to my parents on Christmas Day and my mother now requests I make one for them whenever I make one for myself which is easy at this recipe doubles easily.

  • joanne says:

    I love drinking matcha tea and have been looking for more recipes using matcha. I would love to try this one, but have a few questions..
    – There’s 1/4 cup coconut flour in your ingredients list, but no mention of it in the instructions. Error?
    – Instead of putting the 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut in the food processor to blend fine, can I just just coconut flour or is that different somehow?
    – Can I bake these as muffins instead of as a loaf cake?
    – Can this be put in the freezer if I make muffins?

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Joanne,

      THanks for reminding me that I need to test this recipe again! I plan to do it this week and will get back to you. Every time I’;ve made it its come out great but another reader had problems. The coconut flour does need to be added to the batter. You can’t subsitute the flour for the ground coconut as they work very differentlty. Coconut flour is very drying. Yes you could bake them as muffins but the baking time would be much less as they are so much smaller than a loaf.
      You could freeze them yes!

      I will update recipe if needed soon!



  • hannah-phoebe says:

    Hi Amy,

    i’d love to make this but – I notice you use a chia-milk mix AND an egg. Seeing as you often make vegan recipes I wonder whether that means this really needs the egg? or could i do a chia egg or more banana and veganise? xx

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Hanna-phoebe,

      Yes becuase its gluten free I add chia to help bind. I have made it without the egg and its ok but pretty moist and doen’t rise as much. You could add more baking powder and perhaps a little baking soda alonf with ground flax or something else to help reduce the moisture…espeailly if you added more banana. I would’t add veganise…..Let me know if you are successful. Happy baking !
      Amy x

  • Parisa says:

    I really liked this. Flavorful, not too sweet, and the perfect breakfast/snack/dessert. Did not last long in our household. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Elli says:

    Can I use dessicated coconut instead of dried coconut which has to be blended in a food processor? Would I have to use one cup of it, too?

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