a really good matcha swirl cake

Matcha is everywhere these days – from lattes to mochi (sweet Japanese treats), this vibrant green powdered tea has taken over the world.


I wasn’t always a fan. I am now; it’s a welcome alternative to coffee, and the perfect mid-afternoon way to refresh and reset. Iced or warm, I couldn’t imagine my life without it. But my first experience was less than pleasant; I remember the thick, watery liquid coating the inside of my mouth with cloying bitterness.

Let me tell you what a well prepared, good quality matcha is not:

  • bitter
  • drying on the tongue
  • sticky in your mouth
  • lumpy or clumped
  • dull in colour

A pleasant matcha experience is characterised by:

  • an undefinable smoothness and sweetness
  • a delicate hint of umami (kind of savoury)
  • smooth in texture
  • bright in colour

Matcha’s delicate flavour pairs well with sweet foods. Like this pound cake, for example. A pound cake is just a sweet, loafy, sliceable cake that works well with hot drinks in general. But this pound cake is next level. I think you should make it.


To find measurements and ingredients, see Nami’s recipe on Just One Cookbook.

The important steps to this recipe are:

  1. Sourcing good matcha. I used SupaT; one of the best matchas around. However, you don’t need ceremonial grade tea for cooking. Many companies now sell both ceremonial grade and cooking grade, the latter being cheaper.
  2. Really declumping the matcha in some liquid before you mix it in. You want to avoid lumps at all cost.
  3. Creaming the eggs and butter gradually and thoroughly to avoid a split cake mix. I couldn’t find a whisk and made this cake entirely with a fork. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it worked. Use an electric hand mixer if you can.
  4. Not overmixing the swirl. Nami recommends swirling three times. I followed her advice and I think any more would ruin it.


You might be surprised by my recommendations, but this would go so nicely with:

  • a matcha latte or light green tea
  • some fresh berries & greek yoghurt
  • an elderflower lemonade


Make sure you are following me on instagram, where I post more food inspiration and recipes!

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