An easy matcha pound cake using minimal ingredients and simple baking steps. This addition of cream cheese make this green tea cake extra tender. It can be kept at room temperature and transports easily for tea time, parties and edible gifts.
An Uncomplicated Indulgence
The recipe for this easy matcha cream cheese pound cake came about after spending the last several weeks staying indoors with a rambunctious toddler while juggling with making meals using the priceless ingredients we have in our pantry at the current moment. At the end of the day, I just want to sit down, take a break and have a sweet treat. Mind you, it took a whole month of recipe testing every single day for this final recipe which I'm sharing with you today so I really really needed that break! The result is the most tender matcha pound cake a girl could ask for 🙂 It has an excellent matcha flavor without the amount of work needed like the recipe for Japanese Matcha Cake Roll.
I developed this easy green tea dessert which can be kept at room temperature because both time and fridge space have become a scarce resource. In addition, I know many of my readers do not want to waste precious ingredients on a challenging new baking project that might not work out. I can assure you, I made this recipe simple to follow and very forgiving. We even bake this cake in an unpretentious loaf pan. Quick and easy but delicious!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Keeps well at room temperature, reducing need for fridge space.
- Transports easily for picnics, dessert tables and parties.
- Delicious matcha flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the cake.
- Addition of cream cheese makes traditional pound cake extra tender.
- Easy to make - just sift, cream and stir.
- Bakes in a simple loaf pan.
- Simple - doesn't need to be frosted.
What Is Pound Cake?
A classic pound cake uses the simple ratio of 1 pound each of: sugar, flour, eggs and butter, hence, its name. Because a pound cake is a type of butter cake, you'll find that it's richer and denser. It's one of those cakes that give off a very inviting and delicious buttery aroma. This cake is unlike my other recipes featuring a fluffy sponge cake body (Fluffy Chocolate Cake Roll, Carrot Cake Roll, Coffee Cake Roll or Japanese Strawberry Cake Roll).
How Do I Make Pound Cake More Tender?
Pound cakes can sometimes be dry and dense but this one is tender and buttery with added matcha powder for that undeniable earthy matcha green tea flavour. The main ingredients used in this cake are similar to those found in a traditional pound cake but doesn't exactly follow the exact ratio because I added a secret ingredient - cream cheese. Along with cake flour, instead of regular AP flour, both ingredients give it the most tender texture that a pound cake could have.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially cultivated green tea leaves. These tea leaves come from trees that are grown in the shade for several weeks before undergoing a special processing technique which involves stem removal and de-viening. It is then ground up into a fine green tea powder and consumed with water or milk, like in matcha latte. It is also a beloved flavor used in desserts because the earthy profile and astringency contrasts extremely well with the sweetness in desserts. Here are a few reader favorites for matcha desserts: matcha mille crepe cake, matcha macarons, matcha coconut cookie.
Where Do I Buy Matcha Powder?
Matcha powder is easy to find in Japan and other East Asian countries with a strong tea culture. Here in North America, it is usually sold in well stocked grocery stores selling Asian produce. Some specialty tea shops also sell matcha powder. Alternatively, Amazon offers a good selection to choose from, like this highly rated one with Japanese origins. If you still have difficulty finding matcha powder, consider this Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake which uses ingredients found at almost every grocery store.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Cake flour - cake flour is a low protein flour which will help make this pound cake lighter and softer than if using all purpose flour.
- Matcha powder - a regular culinary grade (vs. the more expensive ceremonial grade) matcha was used in this recipe so the sugar level is suited towards a matcha powder that has a slightly more bitter taste.
- Baking powder - this is the leavening agent. Traditionally pound cakes are naturally leavened by the air created in the batter when creaming the butter and sugar together. Adding baking powder helps by giving the cake additional lift in case there are any weaknesses in the batter and opens up the crumbs a bit more.
- Sea salt - if using regular table salt, use half the amount.
- Granulated sugar - this can be substituted with extra fine sugar (berry sugar/castor sugar) for a finer texture.
- Unsalted butter at room temperature - it's very important to have the butter at room temperature for it to cream properly with the sugar allowing the mixture to trap in air which will then help the cake expand when baking. This will give the cake a nice soft texture. To speed up the process of bringing it to room temperature, cut it into small cubes and microwave it on low for 6-8 seconds at a time. It should be soft enough to indent with your fingers but still holds its shape.
- Eggs at room temperature - Use large size. It's important for the eggs to be at room temperature as well. If cold eggs are added to the butter, it will make the butter solidify, the butter melts once baked resulting in unsightly tunnels and large holes in the cake. To speed up the process of bringing cold eggs to room temperature, soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- Cream cheese - use the brick type as cream cheese in a tub is too soft for use in this cake. It needs to be softened to a spreadable consistency, microwave it on medium at 8-10 second intervals.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so they can be easily incorporated into a smooth evenly textured batter. This will give the cake a nice soft texture and prevent tunnels and holes.
- Triple sifting the dry mixture will ensure that the leavening agent is dispersed evenly throughout the mixture, again, preventing holes and tunnels.
- After adding the dry ingredients to the wet batter, use the lowest setting ("stir" on some machines) to stir the batter until just incorporated. There will be some flour left on the side of the bowl, use a spatula to fold in the rest by hand. This will ensure the batter doesn't get overworked resulting in a tough cake.
- After transferring the batter into the cake pan, drop it on the counter several times to remove all the excess air in the batter.
- Line the cake pan with parchment paper for a clean release and cleanup.
- Serve it dusted with powdered sugar, with ice cream or adzuki red bean paste.
- If you like the taste of cheesecake-like cakes and want to avoid baking, make sure to try this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.
How to Store & Freeze Matcha Pound Cake
- This delicious unfrosted cake keeps very well at room temperature. Store it in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days for the most tender pound cake texture.
- If placing in the fridge, bring it back to room temperature before serving, about 20-30 minutes.
- This green tea cake also freezes wonderfully for enjoyment at a later time when you want a quick treat from the freezer or have unexpected guests. Once it cools down completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 1-2 months for maximum freshness. The night before serving, take it out to defrost in the fridge.
- Bonus tip: you can cut the cake up in slices and freeze for single servings, it will defrost more readily. (Freezing the whole cake will keep it more moist.)
Step By Step
Sift together cake flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Sift 3 times to ensure leavening agent is evenly dispersed throughout dry mixture. Stir to incorporate. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and room temperature butter together on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
Add softened cream cheese (spreadable consistency) into mixture.
Beat on low until incorporated. Do not over beat.
Add room temperature eggs one at a time.
Beat until it looks smooth and creamy.
Pause mixer, add dry ingredients into the wet batter in 3 separate additions.
Stir batter on the lowest setting until almost all of the dry ingredients inside bowl are no longer visible.
Turn off mixer, take the bowl out and scrape down the sides, gently folding in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand. This will ensure that the batter doesn't get overworked resulting in a tough cake.
Swipe some of the batter onto the pan to help the parchment paper stay in place.
Transfer batter into pan, bang the pan on the counter several times to remove excess air.
If desired, place a thin strip of cold butter into the center of the cake. This will create a beautiful center crack once baked.
Why Does My Pound Cake Have a Crack?
It is normal for pound cakes to have a crack after baking because it is a denser cake and the exterior finishes cooking first forcing the batter to rise, creating a crack on the top. You can add thin strips of cold butter into the batter to force a beautiful center crack in the cake.
Can I Make This Into a Birthday Cake?
Definitely! This is a sturdy cake that will support heavier frostings like buttercream. Although, it's pretty delicious on its own already 🙂 To bake it in another type of cake pan, just make sure there is enough heat reaching the center so shallow round cake pans for layer cakes will work.
Can I Substitute Matcha with Cocoa Powder to Make a Chocolate Version?
Although it might seem intuitive to do so, it actually doesn't work as well to simply sub in cocoa powder. I tried 🙂 After a lot of recipe testing, I created a new recipe for a chocolate cream cheese pound cake that includes two extra ingredient to make the flavors pop!
I have enjoyed making and eating this matcha pound cake at home with Bibi these past few weeks. I keep the cake on the kitchen counter and take a small slice from it whenever I need a little pick-me-up. Sometimes when I'm really lucky and have time to steep some light green tea, I'll enjoy the two together for a true afternoon tea break. It is sweet quiet moments like these that help me catch my breath after cooking endless meals and (deep) cleaning my home over and over again. After so much recipe testing where I made this cake many many times, I'm finally happy with the results. The effects its had on brightening my day has been worth the effort. I really hope you and your loved ones enjoy it as well.
Sending you all positive vibes. Stay safe and take good care.
- 160 grams cake flour
- 3 tbsp matcha powder
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 180 grams granulated sugar
- 160 grams butter at room temperature (unsalted)
- 135 grams cream cheese (note 1)
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- Pre-heat oven to 325 F
- Soften cream cheese in the microwave on medium for 10 seconds. It should be at a spreadable consistency.
- Sift together cake flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Sift 3 times to ensure leavening agent is evenly dispersed throughout dry mixture. Stir to incorporate. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat sugar and room temperature butter together on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
- Add softened cream cheese into mixture, beat on medium-low until incorporated. Do not over beat.
- Add room temperature eggs one at a time and beat on medium-low until it looks smooth and creamy.
- Pause mixer, add dry ingredients into the wet batter in 3 separate additions. Beat on the lowest setting ("stir" on some machines) until almost all of the dry ingredients inside bowl are no longer visible.
- Turn off mixer, take the bowl out and scrape down the sides, gently fold in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand.
- Transfer batter into an 8.5" X 4.5" loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bang the pan on the counter several times to remove excess air.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until the cake springs back in the center when gently pressed and a skewer inserted comes out clean. The cake will look golden brown.
- Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, keep cake at room temperature for 2-3 days in an air tight container. If placing in the fridge, let it come back to room temperature before serving, about 20-30 minutes.
- Serve it alone or with ice cream or Azuki bean paste. Enjoy!
1. Cream cheese in block form not cream cheese spread as it will be too soft for use in this cake.
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Jade Leaf Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder - Authentic Japanese Origin - Culinary Grade - Premium 2nd Harvest [3.53oz]
USA Pan 1140LF Bakeware Aluminized Steel Loaf Pan, 1 Pound, Silver
Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers
Joseph Joseph Spatula with Stand
PaperChef Culinary Parchment Multipurpose Non-Stick Paper, 205 sq ft
Dr. Oetker Baking Powder, 0.5oz.(Pack of 6)
Amount Per Serving Calories 389Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 14gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 130mgSodium 289mgCarbohydrates 39gFiber 0gSugar 23gProtein 5g
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although indulgewithmimi.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.