Matcha crepe cake is a delicately layered dessert made with a creamy filling that melts in your mouth with each bite. The subtle earthy taste of Japanese green tea contrasts perfectly with the airy texture of the crepes, creating a truly decadent dessert experience that will leave you craving more. If you've watched the Great British Bake Off, you might remember this beautiful dessert appearing during Japanese Week.
This sweet dessert takes inspiration from traditional Japanese green tea desserts and is incredibly delicious. The taste and texture depend on the specific flavours and ingredients used. In general, each sheet is thin and slightly chewy, with a subtle sweetness that complements other flavours. With plenty of trial and error, we created the perfect matcha crepe cake recipe. We learnt from our mistakes and have shared with you how to avoid uneven layers and sogginess.
So, continue reading to learn how to make a matcha crepe cake. Our recipe is easy to replicate at home and comes with cheat steps to achieve amazing results and a consistently great flavour!
What is Matcha crepe cake made of?
Matcha crepe cake is made with thin layers of green-tea flavoured crepes made from flour, eggs, milk, sugar, butter and green tea with sweetened cream in between each layer. While the matcha crepe cake origin is unknown, it's commonly associated with French cuisine since the thinly layered pastry is a traditional French dish. Therefore, it's considered a Japanese take on a French dessert.
The mille crepe cake is a similar dessert that originated in France and is made with thin sheets of pancake and pastry cream. "Mille" is the French word for "thousand," but the term is used more loosely in the name of this dessert. The name "mille" is more likely used to describe the delicate and light texture of the dessert and not layers in a Japanese matcha crepe cake. Unfortunately, there aren't 1000 layers in this dessert!
Matcha crepe cake calories
Our entire matcha crepe cake has about 2300 calories. It has an average of 290 calories per serving.
Japanese green tea crepe cake ingredients
First, you'll need the correct ingredients before you know how to make our matcha crepe cake:
For the matcha mille crepe cake:
- Matcha (Green tea powder)
- Baking powder
For the whipped cream topping:
- Heavy cream
You can use any milk for matcha green tea crepe cake, such as dairy, almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk. The choice of milk can affect the flavour and texture, so you should experiment to find the one that works best for you. However, plant-based milk alternatives are typically used for vegan matcha crepe cakes.
We recommend using whole milk because you get a thicker batter, which means thicker layers that are easier to handle. But it's also alright to use reduced-fat milk for a thinner layer.
When making matcha mille crepe cake, it's essential to use high-quality ceremonial-grade matcha powder to ensure the best flavour and colour. Look for green tea powder that is bright green, finely ground, and has a sweet and slightly bitter taste. However, we note that ceremonial green tea powder can be quite expensive.
Alternatively, you can substitute it with culinary-grade matcha powder, a more affordable option with good flavour and quality for baking and cooking. However, the taste of your pastry might be more bitter than if you used ceremonial-grade powder for the matcha crepe cake recipe.
When choosing green tea powder for matcha crepe cake, check the ingredient list to ensure it contains only pure powder without added sugars or other ingredients. Also, store the powder in an airtight container away from light and heat to preserve its freshness and quality.
Cake flour is typically recommended in a matcha crepe cake recipe because it has a lower protein content than all-purpose or other types of flour. This lower protein content helps produce a tender and delicate texture in the crepes, which is desirable.
If you use all-purpose flour or other types of flour, such as bread flour with higher protein content, the matcha green tea crepe cake may turn out too tough or chewy. This makes it difficult to achieve the desired light and fluffy texture. The higher protein content can also cause the batter to become more elastic, making it harder to spread the batter thinly and evenly in the pan.
Additionally, cake flour is typically finer and more finely milled than all-purpose flour. Finer flour allows it to absorb moisture more quickly and helps to produce a smoother batter. Furthermore, this can contribute to a more delicate and tender final product.
Whipped cream is a decadent in-between layer that keeps the matcha mille crepe cake together. The ideal type of cream to use for whipping is heavy whipping cream, also known as heavy cream. This cream has a high-fat content of around 36%, making it easier to whip into a stable, fluffy consistency.
Regarding variations in whipped cream, here are some suggestions we recommend. Add melted chocolate or cocoa powder to the whipped cream to create a rich chocolate flavour. You can also add a bit of sugar to sweeten it up.
Fold in fresh diced strawberries or puree into the whipped cream for a refreshing twist to make strawberry matcha crepe cake. You can add green tea powder to the whipped cream as well.
Note that when adding additional ingredients to the whipped cream, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar to maintain the desired sweetness level. Also, be careful not to overmix the whipped cream, as this can cause it to become grainy and lose its fluffy texture.
For our recipe below, we will focus on the plain whipped cream variation.
How to make a matcha crepe cake
Here are the instructions for the dessert. The recipe yields one large crepe for the top and 13 smaller crepes for the layers.
Making the crepe layers
Making the batter
Firstly, add green tea powder, cake flour and baking powder in a bowl. Lightly whisk them until well combined.
Then, warm milk and sugar in a small saucepan to make the crepe batter. Heat on medium until the mixture is around 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). Take it off the stove. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Then, add your warm milk to the large bowl while whisking until the crepe batter is well-mixed.
Then, sift all the dry ingredients (matcha powder, flour and baking powder) into the batter. Use a fine mesh sieve to sift. Add melted butter and whisk the ingredients. Once they are well combined, sift the remaining dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Mix gently to remove lumps.
You might be wondering whether the order of these ingredients matters. They do, as it prevents lumps and results in a more even texture of the crepe batter. Once there are no lumps, stop mixing. Do not keep mixing, as the action creates a rubbery texture.
Refrigerate the batter for about 30 minutes. Once ready, cook the pancake on low heat in a nonstick frying pan. If you have a rubbery texture, rest the batter for at least two hours before cooking.
Cooking the crepe layers
We will make 1 larger crepe and 13 small crepe sheets for the Japanese matcha crepe cake.
For the larger layer, use a 12-inch nonstick frying pan on low heat, brush it with oil, and pour enough batter to cover the bottom. For the pans, it's essential to use a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan. The pan has a thick base so that the heat will spread evenly.
A 12-inch frying pan should take about ⅓ cup of batter for the larger sheet. We will make only one large crepe sheet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of milk if the batter is too thick. Swirl the pan to form a thin layer and cook the thin-layered pancake for 2 minutes without touching it. The outside edge should be slightly crispy. Flip the crepe carefully and cook the other side for 30 seconds. Transfer the pastry to the parchment paper.
For the thinner Japanese matcha crepe cake sheet, use a 10-inch nonstick frying pan on low heat and repeat the process with less batter. We will make 13 small layers.
For a 10-inch pan, use about ¼ cup or 60 ml of batter. Stir the batter before making each layer of pancake and thin it with milk if needed. Cook each layer for 2 minutes until the outer edge gets a bit crispy. Then, carefully flip the pancake and cook for another 30 seconds. Keep your heat at medium-low, and not high heat. The pan will steam the liquid in the batter, so the sheets will puff and become softer.
Please note that the batter will not spread evenly if your pan is too hot. In our experience, there will be holes in the layer if you do so.
Making the whipped cream filling
Prepare an ice bath and add heavy whipping cream to a smaller bowl to make whipped cream. Whisk the cream on low speed using a hand mixer until bubbles form. Slowly add granulated sugar and increase the speed to whip the cream until firm peaks form. The whipped mixture should be firm and glossy, with peaks that curl down slightly at the tips.
Storage and making in advance
If you want to make whipped cream a day before, you can do so. You must refrigerate it and use it for your Japanese matcha crepe cake the next day. If you keep it for more than 24 hours, it will separate. So, store it with a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and place the cream on the strainer. As it dissolves, any liquid will leak into the bowl underneath. You can throw the liquid away when you are ready to make your dessert.
It's also possible to make the layers ahead of time and assemble them the next day. After cooking the layers, stack a small piece of parchment between each piece. Then cover tightly and refrigerate. When ready to assemble the Japanese matcha crepe cake, reheat it with melted butter and heat on medium. You will need to reheat it to get the crispy texture back since refrigerating the dessert makes the layers stiff. You can set the dessert aside to cool for eating after you have heated it.
Finally, we can now assemble our matcha mille crepe cake with all our cooked sheets of crepe.
To assemble the dessert, prepare two strips of parchment paper in a cross shape on a working surface. Place the larger pancake sheet in the centre and use a spatula to spread a thin layer of whipped cream (about 3 mm thick) in the middle. Leave a 5 cm border around the edge of the matcha crepe cake. Add another crepe on top and repeat the process until you finish the final crepe.
Transfer the mille crepe to a shallow dish lined with plastic wrap. The wrap must be large enough to gather the plastic around the matcha green tea crepe cake. This step will make the pastry evenly round.
The trick is to begin at one corner and pull the plastic wrap clockwise. Make sure it goes tightly over the pancake edge so it's smooth and curved. Then, gather the remaining plastic in one hand above the centre of the matcha green tea crepe cake. Continue to wrap this way until you've gathered all the plastic in the centre. Smooth out any air pockets. Secure it with a clip and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
You can take out your matcha crepe cake when ready to serve. Unwrap and flip the dessert over onto a serving platter. If you like, dust it with more matcha powder using a fine-mesh sieve. Optionally, make a second batch of whipped cream to serve on the side. Slice the pastry into wedges while chilled and let it stand for about 5 minutes at room temperature before serving. Now you've learnt how to make a matcha crepe cake!
How to make vegan matcha crepe cake
You can follow the steps above to make a vegan matcha crepe cake. However, you must substitute dairy milk and eggs with plant-based alternatives such as flax egg and almond milk. Meanwhile, the whipped cream filling can be made using coconut cream instead of heavy cream. Use plant-based butter or oil for greasing the pan.
Follow the same layering and assembly instructions as the traditional matcha crepe cake recipe.
Matcha mille crepe cake cooking tips
To make a perfect Japanese matcha crepe cake, here are our tips.
Rest the batter
You will need to let the batter rest for fluffy, delicious hot Japanese matcha crepe cake. It must be in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to two hours.
This is because you would need a thin batter to make a light, delicate green tea layer cake. Resting the batter can result in thinner layers. Doing so allows the flour particles to absorb more liquid, creating a smoother batter. Allowing the batter to rest can also help prevent the pancake from tearing or breaking during cooking.
How to make thin and even crepes
You must have a smooth, light batter to make thin and even layers of a Japanese matcha crepe cake.
To make thin and even pancake layers, whisk the batter until it's smooth and delicate, then let it rest for about 30 minutes. Use a nonstick pan or skillet lightly greased with butter or oil. Then, pour a small amount of batter into the centre of the pan, quickly tilting it to spread the batter out into a thin, even layer. Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for 30 seconds.
To ensure even spreading, gently swirl the pan, or use the back of a spoon. Finally, trim any uneven edges with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. By following these pointers, you will be able to make thin, even layers that are perfect for stacking.
Why is my crepe cake tough?
If your Japanese matcha crepe cake is tough, it could be due to overcooking the crepes. To avoid this:
- Try using low to medium heat when cooking and keep an eye on them to prevent overcooking. You can also try using two frying pans simultaneously to speed up the cooking process and prevent the batter from sitting too long on the heat.
- Spread your batter thinly, as a thick batter can produce a tougher sheet.
- Give your matcha crepe cake at least an hour to set in the refrigerator, as this will help soften the layers and make it easier to cut and eat.
Avoid lumpy or runny cream
To avoid lumpy or runny cream, ensure the heavy cream is chilled. It should not be frozen, and ensure you're using a clean, dry mixing bowl and beaters. Warm temperatures or moisture can cause the cream to become runny. Over-whipping the cream causes the structure of the foam to break down and allows the air to escape. As a result, the whipped cream becomes grainy or lumpy, so be careful not to overdo it.
If your cream is too runny or thin, it can make your Japanese matcha crepe cake soggy and ruin the texture. To fix the runny cream, place it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it down, then re-whip it until it thickens.
On the other hand, if your cream is too thick or lumpy, you can add a small amount of cold heavy cream and whisk it in gently until it reaches the desired consistency. Avoid adding too much liquid, which can make the cream runny again. Ensuring that your cream is the right consistency prevents you from ending up with a soggy matcha crepe cake.
How to get even layers
A rotating cake turntable can be very helpful to get even layers on your Japanese matcha crepe cake. Start by placing one layer of the pastry on the turntable, then add a thin layer of whipped cream using an offset spatula, spreading it evenly to the edges. Continue to add layers and cream, rotating the turntable as you go.
Be sure to spread the whipped cream in an even layer each time, as uneven layers can cause the dessert to be lopsided. The turntable allows for easy and even spreading of the cream and helps to keep the layers aligned. Once all the layers are added, wrap the dessert in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set. This will help it hold its shape and make it easier to slice into even portions.
How to store green tea crepe cake
Cover your green tea crepe cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. The dessert can last 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Do not leave it at room temperature - it will become stale and spoil.
The dessert can last up to 1-2 months in the freezer if you place it in an airtight container and then store it in the freezer. To serve the matcha crepe cake, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Matcha Crepe Cake Recipe
- 2½ tbsps matcha (green tea powder)
- 1 cup cake flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¾ cups whole dairy milk
- 2 tbsps white refined sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ tbsps unsalted butter (melted)
- 2½ tsps vegetable oil
For the Fresh Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsps sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
Making Green Tea Crepes:
- Add green tea powder, flour, sugar, and baking to a bowl. Whisk until well combined.
- Next, warm the milk and sugar in a saucepan. Heat on medium until the mixture is around 60 degree Celsius. Take it off the stove. This mixture will form your crepe batter.
- Beat eggs in a large bowl, and add the warm milk mixture into the bowl. Using a fine mesh sieve, sift half of the dry ingredients (from Step 1) into the milk and egg mixture. Whisk all the ingredients while you adding melted butter. Once the wet mixture is well combined, sift in the remaining half of the dry ingredients. Mix gently to remove lumps.
- Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-low heat and grease lightly with oil. This pan is for one large layer.
- Pour ¼ cup of batter into the centre of the pan and quickly swirl to spread the batter out into a thin, even layer.
- Cook for 2 minutes seconds or until the edges start to lift and look crispy. Use a thin spatula to flip the layer over and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer the layer to a large parchment paper.
- Repeat Step 5 to 7 in a smaller, 10-inch nonstick pan on medium-low heat. This makes about 13 smaller layers. Use about 60 ml of batter per layer, and thin it with milk if needed. Cook for about 2 minutes on one side, flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds. Once done, transfer each layer to the parchment paper.
Making Whipped Cream:
- Add whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar to a large mixing bowl.
- Using a mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
Assembling Matcha Crepe Cake:
- Prepare two long strips of parchment paper and lay them down in a cross pattern on a surface. Use a rotating cake stand if you have one.
- Place the largest layer on top of the crossed strips.
- Spread a small amount of whipped cream in the centre of the crepe, leaving a border around the edge.
- Repeat with the remaining layers, alternating crepes and whipped cream layers and ending with a layer on top.
- Chill the matcha mille crepe cake for at least 2 hours, then dust with matcha powder if you like and serve.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
We hope you enjoyed trying our matcha crepe cake recipe. Add sliced strawberries between the layers of whipped cream to add a fruity twist. This creates a strawberry matcha crepe cake, which is a refreshing treat for a hot day.
Similarly, another variation is to add a layer of sweet red bean paste between the layers for a traditional Japanese flavour. Additionally, you can also experiment with different types of fruit, such as blueberries or raspberries.
If you're looking for a new dessert to impress your friends and family, this recipe is a must-try for its rich, aromatic flavour and visually stunning presentation. For more beautiful desserts, follow us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks. You might find your next culinary inspiration there.