Awesome Green Tea Cakes
Sometimes, you just need a treat….
Drinking green tea is good for you. Study after study has shown that green tea is rich in compounds that boost the immune system, improve memory, slow aging and lower blood pressure, among a long list of other benefits. But if sipping the green stuff isn’t for you – or ever if it is – you can also get your green tea in a number of other tasty ways, including green tea cake.
Green tea has long been an ingredient in Japanese desserts such as ice cream. But Western cooks are learning that green tea works surprisingly well in baking, adding a delicate touch of flavor – and those healthy ingredients – to cupcakes, cheesecake and more.
What makes green tea so healthy? In all its varieties, tea is rich in compounds called catechins, along with a number of other antioxidants that protect the body against inflammation and promote cell health. But because Green tea undergoes less processing than the black tea we’re most used to drinking, it retains more of these key healing compounds.
Damage to cells creates conditions that can lead to a variety of health problems, including memory loss, impaired blood flow, and heart problems. But according to studies reported by institutions such as the Harvard School of Medicine and the National Institutes for Health, the catechins in green tea help to keep blood vessels supple, with benefits for the heart eh brain and the health of the whole body. It helps lower blood pressure and can reduce cholesterol. It can regulate blood sugar in people with diabetes, and it may even be helpful in preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Medical experts recommend drinking three to four cups of green tea a day to reap the maximum benefits. But green tea cake is a delicious way to get those magical catechins too. Green tea cam be added to just about any kind of cake recipe, but you can’t just drop a few tea leaves into the batter. To add green tea in baking, career cooks recommend either buying matcha, a green tea powder, or adding green tea leaves to melted butter, then straining the butter to remove bits of tea leaves.
Here are a few green tea cake recipes to get you started, courtesy of leading recipe banks:
Green Tea Layer Cake
From AllRecipes comes this traditional three-layer cake recipe that also adds a green tea infused frosting.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons powdered green tea
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
For the frosting:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons powdered green tea
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 Sticks butter pr light butter
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 – 9 inch round pans. Sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, and green tea powder; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, oil, and eggs until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before turning out of the pans.
To make Green Tea Frosting: Sift together confectioners’ sugar and green tea powder. In a medium bowl, combine tea mixture with butter, cream cheese, vanilla and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
To assemble the cakes: when the cakes are completely cooled, put one layer on a flat serving plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over it. Place the other layer of cake on top, and spread frosting to cover the top and sides of cake. Dust with green tea powder if desired. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Green Tea Pound Cake
An infusion of matcha turns this rich pound cake from Food.com a pretty shade of light green.
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
2⁄3 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup butter
1 tablespoon green tea powder (matcha)
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
Cream butter in a bowl.
Add sugar in the butter and mix well. Gradually add beaten eggs and stir well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and green tea powder together and add the flour to the egg mixture.
Pour the batter into a buttered loaf pan. Bake in preheated 340 degrees F oven for about 30-40 minutes.
Green Tea Cheesecake
Don’t feel like baking? Here’s a no-bake cheesecake recipe from AllRecipes that adds a bit of matcha for flavor and color.
1 (4.8 ounce) package graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons green tea powder (matcha)
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups whipping cream
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey
Combine the graham cracker crumbs with 2 tablespoons of sugar in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix until evenly moistened. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan lined with waxed paper; set aside.
Stir the tea powder into the warm water; set aside. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water; set aside.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks; set aside. Beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, and honey in a clean mixing bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time until evenly blended. Cook the gelatin mixture in the microwave until melted, about 45 seconds. Beat the gelatin and tea into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the whipped cream until smooth. Pour into the springform pan. Refrigerate 7 hours to overnight before unmolding and serving.
Green tea can add a nutritious boost to just about any cake recipe. With a little imagination and a few ingredients, you can have your cake and be healthy too.
Have you tried any of these? Let us know in the comment section below.