A light, airy, green tea cake that has the best matcha frosting! This matcha vanilla cake will delight and surprise.
A green cake, a day late! But, St. Patrick’s Day is not actually the reason I made this cake. Today happens to be my Dad’s birthday! Or, what would have been his 63rd birthday. My Dad passed nearly 7 years ago, but I still make a cake every year to celebrate.
Last year’s cake was this lovely lemon cake – it was SO pretty and so luscious. If you need a spring-themed cake, I highly recommend it! Obviously, I highly recommend this cake too – if you like the taste of green tea, that is! I love it. My matcha no churn ice cream is still one of my favourites!
It’s a little funny that I’m celebrating my Dad’s birthday with a green tea cake, because I’m pretty sure he would have been fairly skeptical of it. Dad liked most sweet things (like Father, like daughter ;)) so I’m sure he would have come around after the first bite!
As much as I miss him, and as tragic as his death was, I have so many good memories of my Dad. You know when someone laughs so hard that they can’t breathe, no real sound is coming out, and their whole body is shaking in laughter? That was my Dad, when he heard something really funny or was trying to tell a funny joke that he just couldn’t get through without practically crying in laughter. This is how I like to remember him!
My Dad died by suicide, and I as write these words I cringe a little. It is very hard for me to talk about, but I am trying to do my best to make sure that we CAN talk about these things. I am trying to help change the stigma. The way my Dad died should not define his life. He was my favorite person in the whole world, and I will continue to remember and honor him as much as possible.
Thank you for reading this and sharing along with my journey!
So…should we talk about the cake!?
What goes into a matcha vanilla cake?
I am so happy with how the cake turned out. I like to use buttermilk in a lot of my cake recipes, as it helps to add just the right amount of fluffiness! I’m a big fan of buttermilk in general – I pretty much always use buttermilk for my pancakes, including these whole wheat blueberry buttermilk pancakes!
Along with buttermilk, using oil and 3 whole eggs ensures a nice, moist, cake. That’s right, I said it. MOIST.
To get that vanilla flavor in the cake, I strongly recommend you use vanilla bean paste. This is the one I use. If you can’t find vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract will work too, it just won’t have as much of a vanilla flavour.
How you make matcha frosting?
For the frosting, I like to use half vanilla and half matcha flavour. I use the vanilla buttercream in between the layers and cover the outside of the cake in matcha buttercream. Just writing these words is making me want to bake another cake and double the frosting. It’s so good!!!!
Oh, last note. I bake the cake in 2 cake pans, but I cut each cake in 2, to make a total of 4 layers. I like the way this looks, but you can definitely just keep it as 2 layers!
Hopefully you all had a festive St. Patrick’s Day weekend – and you don’t mind this little bit of extra green coming at ya!
I love matcha! If you do too, you’ve GOT to try my no-churn matcha ice cream. It’s terrific.
You might also like some of these other cake recipes from the blog:Print
Matcha Vanilla Cake
- Total Time: 1 hours 60 minutes
- Yield: 1 cake 1x
A light, airy, green tea cake that has the best matcha frosting! This matcha vanilla cake will delight and surprise!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp matcha powder*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup oil (grapeseed, canola)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp matcha powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 F, grease and lightly flour two 9″ cake pans. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and matcha powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed together, and smooth (about 3-4 minutes). Add the oil, and mix together for another couple of minutes. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste. Scrape down the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. With the mixer still on low, add half of the flour mixture to the batter, followed by the buttermilk, then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until there is no more flour visible.
- Pour the batter into the two pans, using a scale if necessary to ensure they’re evenly distributed. Bake the cakes until done, about 25 minutes; check to see if they’re done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, remove the cakes from the oven. If not, bake for an additional couple of minutes. Cool the cakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare the buttercream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium until light and fluffy. Add half of the powdered sugar, followed by half of the cream, all of the vanilla bean paste and salt. Add the remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream. Remove half of the frosting to another bowl. Add the matcha powder to the remaining frosting in the mixing bowl and mix on high until thoroughly combined.
- Assemble and frost the cake by placing one layer on a cake stand or cake circle, adding a layer of vanilla frosting, and placing the second layer on top. Use the remaining vanilla frosting to lightly coat the entire cake (this is your crumb coat). Ice and decorate the rest of the cake with the matcha frosting!
Cake will keep well at room temperature for 3-4 days. Leftovers can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Cake layers may also be prepared in advance and frozen for up to 2 months.
- I buy my matcha powder at Bulk Barn.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: cakes
- Method: oven bake
Keywords: green tea cake // matcha vanilla cake // green tea layer cake recipe // matcha cake recipe // matcha cake
So so sorry to hear about your dad, Katherine. That’s heartbreaking. Making a cake and remembering sweet memories is surely a lovely way to remember him. He sounds like he was a wonderful man.
This cake is absolutely stunning. It’s almost too pretty to cut into, honestly, but you know I would. Hugs, my friend! XO
Thank you for the words, Dawn. He was truly my favorite person! A big loss! I won’t lie, it was pretty hard to cut into the cake!!! But I’m glad I did 😉 XO
Wow, Katherine. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing about your Dad. I loved the story of how he laughed at everything – that laughter is just what makes life so great – the deep belly laughs! I’m glad that you still celebrate his life and I bet he would have loved this delicious cake! Sending you love today! <3
Those deep belly laughs are definitely a great part of being alive! Thank you Haylie – I just know it’s important to talk about these things! Thanks for the love my friend!!
I’m so sorry Katherine — that is such a tragic way to lose someone. And you’re right, how he died shouldn’t define him. I love that you bake a cake every year for him, and this year’s is a masterpiece! I’m so into matcha right now (I swear you and I are on the same wavelength! LOL), and I’d love a big slice of this!
It was definitely tragic, Marcie. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone! Haha, yes we are!! I am loving matcha lately – especially in baked goods! I’d love to share. Thanks my friend!! XO
I’m so sorry about your dad, Katherine. My heart aches for you and your family; he sounds like he was a wonderful person–again, like father, like daughter :). Good for you for trying to eliminate the stigma and I totally agree that how he died doesn’t change who he was. And I’m sure he would have loved this cake! I know I could go for a slice today! Sending love and hugs.
Aw, thank you for the sweet words Kelsie. He was a wonderful, wonderful person and Father and I miss him terribly! He would have been curious about the green tea flavor, but I think he would have loved it! Thank you my dear friend!!
Katherine – an unexpected death is so tragic. Thank you for sharing, and you are right, we all need to speak up when possible to remove the stigma associated with suicide. But I love love love the story of his laughter. It is so touching.
And, this CAKE! It is GORGEOUS, totally fitting such a wonderful soul your Dad is, and was. I’m with you on the use of buttermilk, it does add so much to baked goods. Thanks again for your story, and this recipe.❤️🥰
Thanks Laura. It’s difficult to talk about, but I’m trying to make it ok for people to open up!! I love to picture that great big laugh of his 🙂 I had so much fun decorating this cake! Buttermilk is just the best, isn’t it? Have a great week my friend XO
Now I love you even more, Katherine. What a beautiful tribute – I love that you celebrate his life every year with a cake and that you won’t allow the way he died to define his life or your relationship with him.
And this cake is an absolute stunner. I’d love to have a slice to help celebrate your dad!! xo
Aw, thank you Marissa, for the kind words about my Dad, and me, for that matter. I wish we could sit and share a slice together! XO
Your post today hits close to home for me Katherine. Two weeks ago I lost a friend of over 35 years to suicide. His family and friends had no idea he was suffering. I am struggling terribly with his loss. My husband and I loved him so much and he was a special person to our boys too. Thank you so much for sharing your loss today with us. I’m sure your father is still watching over you and your family and is so proud to see this beautiful cake as a tribute to his birthday. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
Again, I’m SO sorry Mary Ann, for your loss. Loss of any kind is not easy, but suicide is its own difficult beast. I hope that you can find comfort and solace in the coming days – and please feel free to reach out at any time! Thinking of you too XO
The most beautiful cake that I’ve seen all year!! Your cake baking and decorating skills are to be admired my friend. Love it!!!
WOW that’s so nice of you to say, Maria!! I so appreciate it. I find cakes to be so difficult. Have a great week!!
So sorry to hear about such a tragedy. But this cake is stunning
Thanks Patrick, I really appreciate that! 🙂
Katherine – I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story…for sharing the joy he brought to your life and still brings through the sweet memories of him. This cake and post are a beautiful tribute. You are in my thoughts and prayers. XO
Annie! Thank you. I have so many good memories of my Dad, and I love to think of them and share it with others. I appreciate your kind words, my friend! XO
This cake is absolutely stunning Katherine and a lovely tribute to your father. I am so sorry for your loss, but you’re right, the way he died will definitely not define his life. That is clear in the beautiful and happy memories you have of him. Thank you for sharing those with us.
Thank you Leanne, I really appreciate that. I have so many good memories of my Dad! I hope you’re having a wonderful week, my friend.
I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. They say time heals. Honestly I disagree with that statement – that’s not the time itself but how you face different events which ain’t (Sadly) always positive. And I also think this vulnerable post is a good way to deal with your loss. Needless to say, that’s a spectacular cake – love how elegant it looks.
I know exactly what you mean, Ben. It’s all about perspective, right? I appreciate your words, Ben! I do feel like a weight has been lifted by sharing my story. Thanks Ben!!
Your dad is so proud of this cake (from above) and you should be to. What a gorgeous cake! I think its so nice that you celebrate in his honor. I do things like that to, makes that special day not so lonely without our loved ones. Take care! 🙂
Aw, thank you Stacey. I like to think he is looking down on me and my baking, too! It’s nice to hear you do things like this too. Cheers, my dear friend!
Katherine, so sorry for your tragic loss. What a beautiful way of remembering your father and sharing the wonderful memories of his life with us. So proud of your strength and courage in opening up and knocking down the social stigma. And what a lovely way to celebrate his birthday – so gorgeous! Sending you love and a big hug, my friend! XO
Thank you Kelly, I really appreciate that! It is a hard thing to talk and open up about, but I think it’s important. I can feel that hug!! Thanks dear friend XO
Cheers to your dad! I’m sure he’s so proud of you and would be happy for such a wonderful tribute 🙂 And for your cake! It’s absolutely gorgeous and so, so special!
Thanks Ros – I think he’d be proud too. I like to think of him looking down and seeing my baking 😉 Cheers to you!
I was blown away by your post Katherine, what a beautiful tribute to your father, he truly sounds like such a wonderful man, I’m so very sorry for your loss. And your cake is just absolutely stunning.
Thank you Catherine. He was a wonderful person and I miss him SO much. I appreciate your kind words, my friend!
Awwww Katherine! I love that you still make a birthday cake for your dad even though he has passed. That is so sweet of you and a great way to celebrate him. I have never had a cake with matcha powder in it and I want a slice of this! Sounds yummy….but really this cake looks AMAZING too!!
Thank you, Kelly! He is never far from my mind 🙂 I think you’d love a matcha cake – you should give it a try some time!! Cheers, pal!
I’m so sorry to hear about your dad, but I love that you choose to not let that define him or tarnish your memories with him! And I’m sure he would be thrilled with this cake, because it looks amazing!!!
Thank you so much Kirsten!! It’s a super tasty cake, I wish I could share. Thank you for your kind words, my friend!
Sorry to read your father’s story but I get an impression you are strong and deal with it healthy way. The cake is amazing and totally worth of sharing. I wish you have a sunny week end, dear Katherine !
Thank you so much, I am dealing with it the best I can! I hope you also got some sun this weekend XO
Katie…this is the most beautiful and delicious looking cake I have ever seen! Granny made the best cakes and now you are following along in her footsteps 💞. I wish I would have been able to have a piece, as I love green tea too. I’m not sure how big of a hit it would be with the girls!🤷♀️ I’m sure your Dad would have been as proud as a peacock of your cake! You shared such a nice, although sad story of Stephen. We think of him on every birthday and wonder why every June 1st. You are right, the word suicide does make one cringe. If only we would have known that these thoughts were rolling around in your Dad’s head. We all would have tried to make some sort of positive difference to changes his thoughts. I love your tradition of baking a birthday cake. We are proud of the amazing Mom and adult you have grown to be! Love you 😘
Ah, Aunt Linda! Thank you so much. Granny really did make the best cakes – I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top her carrot cake! If you like green tea, you would love the cake! My boys ate it, but I’m sure they were wishing it was chocolate or vanilla 😉 It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 7 years since Dad’s passing. I’m happy to hear you guys think of him as well, even though it is probably less than cheery thoughts sometimes. I very much appreciate your words! XOXO Love you guys too!
I’m sorry for your loss, Katherine. It sounds like your dad was wonderful man. I believe he will always be with you and looking out for you.
This is such a beautiful cake! It’s a lovely way to pay tribute to him. xoxo
That’s very sweet of you, Thao. I definitely like to think of him watching out for me from above 🙂 I think he’d be a big fan of this cake, too! Thank you my dear friend!
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Wow. Please tell me you are delighted with how this cake turned out. It is absolutely stunning.
very nice cake recipe its looking so good and yummy thank you for shearing keep it up.
Thank you so much!!!
This cake looks so beautiful <3 absolutely mouthwatering recipe. Thanks for sharing
This Matcha Vanilla Cake is absolutely stunning and sounds soooo delicious! I would love a slice of this right now. Big fan of matcha.
Yay, thanks Christie!! I love matcha too. I really think I need to make it more!!
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My first time doing this recipe. Is the batter really thicker than the usual batter (not runny)?
Hi Katherine, I am certainly late to this post.. but really I just wanted to say that when a person we love passes away/ dies..it really doesn’t matter how it happened. A cherished life is not with us in the present. When my favorite person passed away I thought she never said bye to me instead we laughed the night before but I realize how do you do life with someone and then say goodbye. I think you cannot. So instead my Grandmother whom we affectionately called Mommy just had a good laugh with me. But I too had a significant loss via suicide…a cousin. and at first it was hard to wrap our heads around it but I try to talk about him and the more I say the facts of how his life ending the less sting it has. We will never know what their last moments were like but I believe that anytime we have a chance to cry out to Jesus (whom I believe in- He hears us) and so I don’t refer to my loved ones as was.. I say they are – because while they are not here in my present they ARE in my future. I pray your Dad is in your future too. We are all just passing through
oh and by the by.. big fan.. Big BIG fan of Match ANYTHING