This light and airy strawberry matcha roll cake is an easy but elegant spring treat! Delicate sponge cake is flavored with Japanese green tea powder, then filled with whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
Doesn’t this beautiful matcha roll cake just scream spring?
- Light and fluffy matcha cake
- Ready in just 30 minutes
- Gorgeous but quick and easy
This matcha swiss roll is divine! Whipped egg whites create a soft and fluffy sponge cake similar to a chiffon cake. It’s rolled up with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries, then dusted with powdered sugar.
What is matcha?
Matcha is an earthy, grassy, and sweet green tea powder with a vibrant green hue. It’s made from high-quality shade-grown green tea leaves.
Grades of Matcha:
There are two main grades of matcha on the market.
- Ceremonial grade: made from highest quality green tea, this grade of matcha is used for tea ceremonies. And it has a nice smooth taste to it.
- Culinary grade: This grade of green tea powder isn’t the brightest in color and taste a little on the bitter side.
Besides these grades, you can find something in the mid-range. Not as pricy as ceremonial grade matcha, mid-range everyday matcha powders have pretty decent quality when it comes to taste and color!
I don’t recommend culinary grade matcha for baking, because they produce cakes with a dull color and bitter taste.
Key Ingredient Notes:
This matcha swiss roll requires simple ingredients!
- Matcha powder – Avoid culinary grade matcha powder. You want a good quality matcha powder as it has a delicate, subtly sweet, and earthy taste with a bright green color! Lower-quality matcha powders have a dull, brownish-green hue.
- Cake flour – Skip all-purpose flour this time! Cake flour has a lower protein content, which means less gluten formation, and ultimately, a lighter textured cake!
How to make this recipe:
This matcha swiss roll recipe is a breeze to make!
First, mix the matcha powder with one tablespoon of water to create a smooth paste. This will prevent little lumps of matcha powder in your batter.
To make green tea cake batter:
Separate the egg yolks and the whites. Take your time so you don’t break the yolk. Even a small amount of fat can prevent the egg whites from whipping properly.
- Whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar until it’s pale yellow and doubled in size. Then mix in the prepared matcha paste.
- Whip the egg whites, gradually adding the remaining sugar, until stiff peaks form. Be sure to add the sugar gradually, one tablespoon at a time. This will prevent it from deflating the egg whites. Stiff peaks will be shiny, smooth, and stand straight up without collapsing. Then fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
- Sift in the cake flour and salt. Sifting the flour aerates it and removes any lumps of flour which makes it easier to incorporate.
- Be gentle when mixing the batter. Use a turning and cutting motion, instead of a whisking motion.
Whipping egg whites force air into them, creating tiny air bubbles that create a thick, foamy mixture. This lightens the cake without the need for a chemical leavening agent like baking powder.
To bake and shape the roll cake:
- Pour the matcha cake batter into the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. This won’t be long at all, since the cake is thin and light – about 8 minutes.
- Lay a clean kitchen towel flat on the counter and dust generously with powdered sugar.
- Carefully invert the cake onto the kitchen towel and peel off the parchment paper. Roll the cake up in the towel and let it cool. This will ensure the cake doesn’t crack later when you fill it with whipped cream.
To make the whipped cream:
- In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until frothy.
- Add the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip it or it will curdle, then turn into butter.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the matcha roll cake:
- Once the cake is no longer warm, unroll it and spread half of the whipped cream evenly over top.
- Sprinkle the strawberries on top and cover them with the remaining whipped cream.
- Carefully roll the cake into a log and dust with more powdered sugar. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Tips for Success:
- Use good quality green tea for the best taste and color. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive one, but it should be of good quality.
- Matcha powder is sensitive to heat, light, and air and loses its quality quickly. Once opened, green tea powder is best when used within a couple of months for optimum taste and color.
- Sponge cake doesn’t use a chemical leavening agent. It rises due to all the air in the whipped egg yolks and egg whites. That’s why it’s important to properly whip the egg yolks and egg whites separately.
- Make sure there’s absolutely no trace of oil or egg yolk in the egg whites, or they won’t whip into fluffy white stiff peaks.
- It’s essential to mix the batter gently to keep it airy and fluffy.
- Do not grease the pan! It can prevent the light batter from rising up the sides of the pan if it’s greased and slippery.
- This matcha cake roll is easier to slice and serve after it’s chilled for a few hours! Make it 2-3 hours ahead of when you plan to serve it for best results.
- You can prep the whipped cream up to a day ahead. Store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
- The refrigerator causes cake to dry out faster, so it’s best to enjoy this cake within 2 days of making it.
- This green tea roll cake needs to be refrigerated due to the filling. Store in a large airtight container if possible, otherwise wrap in plastic wrap.
- It will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator, but it’s best enjoyed within 2 days!
Japanese roll cake is a type of lightly sweetened sponge cake filled with whipped cream or custard cream, then rolled into a spiral. It is often less sweet than the American version of a swiss roll.
Matcha green tea powder infuses a cake with its earthy, sweet, and slightly bitter flavor. This matcha roll cake isn’t very sweet, which makes it a great dessert for those who appreciate less sweet treats.
If you don’t have cake flour, you can make it yourself! You’ll need to measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour, then remove 2 tablespoons of flour, and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift it and voila!
If you overmix the cake batter, the aerated cake batter will deflate, resulting in a dense and chewy cake. Be sure to fold the batter instead of folding it and stop right when everything is incorporated.
Strawberry Matcha Roll Cake
- 6 eggs
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar divided
- 1 tablespoon (5g) matcha powder Note 1
- 1 cup (125g) cake flour Note 2
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar for dusting
- ½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream chilled
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 7 oz (200g) fresh strawberries hulled and chopped
To make the sponge cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Line baker's half baking sheet (about 16.5 x 11.5 inches) with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix matcha powder with 1 tablespoon hot water until smooth.
- Separate egg yolks and egg whites. (Tip: Make sure there's absolutely no trace of egg yolk in egg whites, or it won't whip into fluffy white stiff peaks.)
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and ¼ cup of sugar until pale and tripled in size, about 2 minutes.
- Mix in the matcha paste.
- In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Add remaining ¼ cup of sugar one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Add half of whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold the batter with a spatula until almost smooth, and then add the remaining whipped egg whites. Carefully fold the batter until smooth.
- Sift in the cake flour and salt. Gently fold it until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly and smooth the surface.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, lay a clean kitchen towel on the counter and generously dust with powdered sugar.
- Once the cake is out of oven, immediately invert it on the prepared kitchen towel. Peel off the parchment paper and roll it with the towel and all. (This helps the cake roll without cracking by creating a muscle memory.) Set the rolled cake on a cooling rack and cool completely.
To make whipped cream:
- In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream on low speed until frothy.
- Add sugar and continue to whip on medium speed until hard peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the roll cake:
- Once cooled completely, unroll the cake and spread half of the whipped cream over the cake and sprinkle chopped strawberries.
- Then spread the remaining whipped cream over the strawberries and roll the cake into a log.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve! Refrigerate the cake, covered, if not serving right away.
Tips & Notes:
– This green tea roll cake needs to be refrigerated due to the filling. Store in a large airtight container if possible, otherwise wrap in plastic wrap.
– It will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator, but it’s best enjoyed within 2 days!
This recipe was originally published on May 13, 2015.