This beautiful matcha chiffon cake bakes to a light and fluffy chiffon texture and gorgeous green hues. Makes a light dessert with a simple dusting of confectioner’s sugar and golden berries.


Guys, you know how much I love chiffon cakes and truth be told, a matcha chiffon has been on my to-do list for a long time!

You’re going to love the flavour combination here. Earthy, nutty matcha (green tea powder) and the subtle sweetness of coconut milk creates a rich and creamy taste that literally melts in your mouth.

What is matcha?

Matcha is the term used for powdered green tea or finely ground green tea leaves. In fact, the word matcha originates from the Japanese word ‘ma’, meaning rubbed or ground, while ‘cha’ translates to tea.

Matcha or green tea in powdered form is consumed differently than loose leaves or leaves packed into sachets or tea bags.

Matcha (green tea) chiffon cake with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar and golden berries

The powder is stirred with water or milk, preferably whisked with a matcha whisk, into a frothy beverage. The powder doesn’t dissolve but it’s so fine that it stays suspended, infusing the liquid with its flavour and colour.

What does matcha taste like?

The flavour of matcha is best described as bright, earthy, even vegetal or grassy with nutty notes.

Depending on the quality, premium grade matcha or green tea powder can taste fresh, with a subtle sweetness as well as umami-ness (savoury-ness). It is pleasing, and leaves a smooth mouth-feel and aftertaste.

A slice of matcha (green tea) chiffon cake with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar and strawberry slice on a plate

Food grade or culinary grade matcha has a similar taste profile but is mildly bitter, in a good way and not off-putting.

Nevertheless, I find that an appreciation of matcha is an acquired taste and you’ll come to love its endless nuances in flavour as you explore varying blends of matcha.

Where can I get matcha for baking?

For baking purposes, you can easily buy culinary grade matcha or green tea powder online or at baking supply stores at affordable prices.

Culinary grade matcha can vary in their qualities as well, depending on their origin and how the tea leaves were processed. So just be sure that you like the flavour of the matcha you are using.

If you regularly consume green tea as a beverage and enjoy making your own matcha latte or iced matcha bubble tea, then it will be worthwhile to get a premium quality matcha.

Matcha (green tea) chiffon cake with a light, fluffy and moist crumb

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Ingredients for matcha chiffon cake

Here’s what you’ll need for baking up this gorgeous matcha chiffon cake:

  • cake flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content than plain flour, and will yield a finer and softer cake crumb. Pastry flour can be used in its place. If you can’t find cake or pastry flour where you are, you can make it yourself with just 2 ingredients. Here’s how to make cake flour from scratch with plain flour and corn starch.
  • baking powder. The whipped egg whites in a chiffon cake provide most of the lift or rise during baking, but I like to add a bit of baking powder for a bit more lift.
  • matcha (green tea powder). This is the one I use for all my baking purposes.
  • salt. Everything always tastes better with salt, and this couldn’t be truer with matcha. Salt accentuates matcha’s nutty flavour while at the same time, muting its bitterness.
  • eggs. I use large eggs, 56 to 60 grams each.
  • caster sugar. Always try to use caster sugar, or sugars labeled as fine or extra-fine sugar. The finer the sugar particles are, the more effectively they’ll cut through the egg whites as they’re whipped up, hence trapping more air into the meringue.
  • coconut milk. Enriches the flavour of the matcha with a very light and creamy sweetness. There’s just enough to infuse a richness, but not overpower the flavour of the matcha. You can use dairy milk, almond milk or soy milk (unsweetened) in place of coconut milk.
  • milk. I use full-cream dairy milk. Can be replaced with water.
  • vegetable oil. Use a neutral-flavoured vegetable oil like canola, sunflower, or safflower oil. A good flavoured oil would be coconut oil, but avoid olive oil.
  • cream of tartar. Helps stabilise the meringue. Can be substituted with vinegar or lemon juice. To replace 1 part cream of tartar, use 2 parts vinegar or lemon juice.
ingredients for matcha (green tea) chiffon cake

How to make matcha or green tea chiffon cake: Step-by-step

Step 1. Make the batter

  • Sift together cake flour, matcha (green tea powder), baking powder and salt twice.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the oil bit by bit, and whisk until until well combined.
  • Add the coconut milk and full-cream milk. Stir with the whisk until well mixed. 
  • Next, add the sifted flour mixture in 2 additions. Stir with a whisk until all the flour is incorporated and no streaks of flour are visible. The mixture should be thick, smooth and free of lumps.

Step 2. Make the meringue

  • Fit a stand mixer or handheld electric beaters with a whisk attachment. In a dry and grease-free mixer bowl, tip in the egg whites. Sprinkle over with the cream of tartar.
  • Whisk on medium speed (speed 4 on my Kitchen Aid). When the egg whites become frothy, add sugar bit by bit in a steady stream. Continue whipping until the meringue forms stiff peaks. This may take 5 to 7 minutes, depending on your mixer and speed.

Step 3. Folding the meringue into the batter

  • Lighten the batter by folding in ⅓ of the meringue. Do this gently with a whisk until well incorporated. It’s okay to have some meringue streaks in the batter (see photos below).
  • Add the next ⅓ of the meringue and again, fold gently to avoid losing those trapped air bubbles. Again, don’t worry about leaving some streaks of meringue unmixed.
  • Lastly, fold in all the remaining meringue – again, do it gently without over working the batter. This time, you want to ensure that the meringue is well combined. The final batter should feel light, look homogenous and have the same consistency throughout. There should no streaks of meringue visible.

Step 4. Baking

  • Pour the batter into the chiffon tube pan from one position, and let the batter spread to fill the pan. Gently level the surface with a spatula.
  • Run a bamboo or metal skewer through the batter to reduce large air pockets.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C (320°F) on the lowest rack for 50 – 55 minutes. DO NOT open the oven door. You can do so about 5 minutes before the end of baking, to test if the cake has baked through. The cake is done when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Note: A bit of cracking on the surface of the cake as it bakes is perfectly alright!

Step 5. Inverting and cooling

Once the cake is taken out of the oven, immediately invert the pan with it’s funnel over the neck of a bottle.

If your tube pan has ‘feet’ like the one I use, simply invert over a cooling rack. Chiffon cakes need to ‘hang’ until completely cooled.

Step 6. Releasing the cake

To release the cake, run an offset spatula gently around the sides of the pan, pressing against the pan as much as possible. Then invert the pan again so that the bottom is now facing up. 

Gently tap or push the pan’s base to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then run the spatula around the base to release the funnel. Once released, serve the chiffon cake upside down.

How to release a chiffon cake by hand (Video)

For clean and flawless sides all around the cake, use your hands to gently unmould the cake.

  • Start by pressing down your hand on the edges of the cake (gently) and nudging it away from the rim of the pan.
  • Keep nudging bit by bit, working around the edges of the cake. Then repeat, this time, nudging more of the cake deeper down the pan, away from the sides. Keep doing this until the sides of the cake are off the sides of the pan.
  • Then invert the cake pan and gently press on the base until it comes loose. Finally, gently press the cake away from the funnel to release it.

Tips for perfecting chiffon cakes

  • Know the internal temperature of your oven. I highly recommend using an oven thermometer so you can be sure if your oven is at the temperature you want. Ovens typically have ‘hot’ or ‘cool’ spots or may need calibration, meaning that the internal temperature reached is actually off by several degrees from the temperature you set.
  • Use a chiffon tube pan for best results. Chiffon cakes need to cling to the edges and funnel of a tube pan to ‘climb’, hence a chiffon pan without non-stick coating allows this to happen. Never grease the pan when baking a chiffon cake.
  • Start with all your ingredients at room temperature
  • Sift powdered ingredients together, unless otherwise instructed. This will give you a smoother and finer cake crumb. It also distributes the leavening agent evenly, (e.g. baking powder or baking soda), enabling the cake to rise uniformly.
  • Recognise when the meringue has reached ideal stiff peaks. The meringue should hold a firm shape from the base towards the tip of the whisk, and droop over slightly like a small hook at the tip. Slowly turn your bowl over to invert it. If the meringue shifts or slides a bit, it’s still not stiff enough. Once it stays fixed to the bowl in an inverted position, it’s good.
  • Use a whisk instead of a spatula. Folding the meringue with a whisk helps minimise loss of trapped air. Because of its inherent shape and design, it does a better job of incorporating the meringue and reduces air pockets in the batter.
Matcha (green tea) chiffon cake with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar and golden berries

Here are more chiffon cake recipes to inspire your next bake:

Tried this recipe? I’d love to see! Remember to share your pics on Instagram and tag @foodelicacy or #foodelicacy.

Matcha Chiffon Cake

4.94 from 16 reviews
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Yield: 10 servings
This matcha coconut milk chiffon cake combines the earthy, nutty taste of green tea and the richness of coconut milk for a delightful flavour duo. With beautiful green hues, this cake is light and airy, soft as cotton and tastes wonderful!

Ingredients

For the batter

  • 80 g cake flour
  • 12 g matcha or green tea powder, (2 US tbsp)
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 45 g coconut milk
  • 25 g full-cream milk
  • 60 g vegetable oil

For the meringue

  • 5 egg whites
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 120 g caster sugar

Instructions
 

Make the batter

  • Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). Position the oven rack on the lowest in the oven. Have a 20-cm (8-inch) chiffon tube pan ready. DO NOT GREASE.
  • Sift together cake flour, matcha (green tea powder), baking powder and salt twice.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until thick and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the oil bit by bit, and whisk until until well combined.
  • Add the coconut milk and full-cream milk and stir with the whisk until well mixed.
  • Next, add the sifted flour mixture in 2 additions. Stir with a whisk until all the flour is incorporated and no streaks of flour are visible. The mixture should be thick but still liquid, smooth and free of lumps.

Make the meringue

  • Fit a stand mixer or handheld electric beaters with a whisk attachment. In a dry, grease-free mixer bowl, pour in egg whites and sprinkle cream of tartar over.
  • Whisk on medium speed (speed 4 on my Kitchen Aid). When the egg whites become frothy, add sugar bit by bit in a steady stream. Whip until stiff peaks form. This may take 5 to 7 minutes, depending on your mixer and speed.
  • Add ⅓ of meringue (whipped egg whites with sugar) to the batter. Fold in gently with a whisk until well incorporated. Fold in another ⅓ of the meringue and again, do so gently. Lastly, fold in the remaining meringue. The final batter should feel light, and have no visible streaks of meringue.
  • Pour into the chiffon tube pan from one position, and let the batter spread to fill the pan. Gently level and smooth the surface. Run a bamboo or metal skewer in an ‘S’ fashion through the batter to reduce large air pockets.

Baking and cooling

  • Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until done. DO NOT open the oven door. Only do so about 5 minutes before the end of baking, to test if the cake has baked through. It is done when the top of the cake springs back when lighty pressed with your fingers, and when a bamboo or metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Note: Cracking on the surface of the cake as it bakes is perfectly alright!
  • Once the cake is out of the oven, immediately invert the pan with it’s funnel over the neck of a bottle. Allow it to ‘hang’ until completely cooled.
  • To release the cake, run an offset spatula gently around the sides of the pan, pressing against the pan as much as possible.Then invert the pan again so that the bottom is now facing up. Gently tap or push the pan’s base to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Then run the spatula around the base to release the funnel. Chiffon cake is served ‘upside-down’.
  • How to release the cake using your hands (see video in the post): For clean and unruffled sides all around the cake, use your hands to gently un-mould the cake.
    Start by pressing down your hand on the cake (GENTLY) and nudging it away from the sides of the pan. Keep nudging bit by bit, working around the edges of the cake.
    Then repeat, this time nudging more of the cake deeper down the pan, away from the sides. Keep repeating until you've released the cake totally from the sides of the pan.
    Then invert the cake pan and gently press on the base until it comes loose. Finally, gently press the cake away from the funnel to release it.

Notes

It is recommended you use weight measurements indicated in the recipe, as volume measurements (cups, tablespoons) may vary. For example, matcha or green tea powder is listed by weight as well as its equivalent in US tablespoons. However, if you are in Australia, 1 tbsp = 20 ml, while in the US and UK, 1 tbsp = 15 ml. The difference could throw the recipe out of balance, with unintended results.

Shop this Recipe

Chiffon Pan 20-cm/8-inch
Culinary Matcha Powder
Coconut Milk

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 123mg, Potassium: 82mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 195IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Course: Breakfast, Snacks and Treats, Tea
Author: Celia Lim
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and tag @foodelicacy on Instagram and hashtag it #foodelicacy so I can see!