It seems we are all about the matcha over here lately. After I started making mint matcha tea for my morning walks, my mind immediately moved on to matcha desserts (because everyone begins their day thinking about dessert, right?).
Admittedly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of matcha when I first tried it, and Aaron is only now coming around to enjoying it. But I have to credit one of my favorite brands, REBBL, for turning this around. Their Matcha Latte Elixir, with its creamy coconut milk base and organic grade-A matcha powder, is what took me from, “I guess I might eventually learn to like matcha?” to “Ohhh, I get the hype now.” This was promptly followed by: “What the heck was I drinking before? Dirt?!” (I may have been drinking dirt.)
If you aren’t already familiar with matcha, it’s the very finely ground powder of young green tea leaves and not all of it tastes the same. There’s the cheap-o, dusty-tasting matcha, and then there’s the vibrant, high quality stuff. With matcha, it really is important to make sure you’re consuming premium, organic grade-A powder. It should have a naturally sweet flavor and a beautiful spring green color from the chlorophyll (great for supporting your body in cleansing and detoxifying). It’s also worth noting that there’s caffeine in matcha, but I find that it’s a very different sort of energy boost compared to coffee—it’s more of an alert and focused energy, not jittery or angsty. REBBL has a great matcha article on their blog if you’re interested in learning more about how it’s grown and ways you can use it at home.
That latte was what first made me love matcha, but Aaron, being the die-hard coffee-lover that he is, still needed a little more convincing. Enter: cake. I revamped my go-to vanilla cake recipe into a simple matcha cake using REBBL’s Matcha Latte Elixir and some good quality matcha powder, then paired it with a 2-minute lemon buttercream frosting. Not surprisingly, the matcha and lemon combination is straight up perfection.
If you’ve been on the fence about trying matcha or you’re like me and it wasn’t love at first sip, my advice would be 1) a coconut milk matcha latte is probably a good bet, and 2) a coconut milk matcha latte mixed into a cake is basically a sure thing. Even Aaron has been passing on the chocolate for dessert this week to eat matcha cake instead—more proof that cake is always the answer.
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) REBBL Matcha Latte Elixir
- 1 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy yogurt
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 5 tablespoons avocado oil, plus extra for greasing the pans
- 1¼ cups organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons matcha powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup vegan butter
- 2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
- zest of 1 organic lemon
- ½ teaspoon lemon oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch fine sea salt
- matcha powder
- organic lemon slices and zest
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 8-inch cake pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the REBBL Matcha Latte Elixir, yogurt, avocado oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. Sift in the flour, matcha powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl), cream the buttery spread until it's light and fluffy (about 20 seconds). Slowly mix in the powdered sugar on low speed. Once all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to medium-high speed and continue to mix for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and add in the lemon zest, lemon oil, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium-high speed for 20 more seconds, until the frosting is fluffy.
- Gently remove the cakes from the pans and spread a thin layer of frosting on the top of one of the cakes, then place the second cake on top. Spread a layer of frosting on top of the second cake and all around the sides of the cakes. Decorate with matcha powder, lemon slices, and lemon zest.
If you don't have avocado oil, you can replace it with melted (but not hot) coconut oil.
If you find that the frosting is too soft after you mix it, pop it in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm up.
The cake can be frosted in advance and stored in the fridge.
If you'd like to make cupcakes instead of cake, simply portion the batter into cupcake liners until they are about ¾ full. (I like to use an ice cream scoop to measure evenly.) Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.
This cake is egg-free and dairy-free, but not strictly vegan because REBBL Matcha Latte Elixir contains organic honey.
Cake adapted from my Vegan Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe.