Mint Sponge Cake with Matcha Buttercream

A dreamy matcha sponge cake that taste as good as it looks. Recipe by Abi Balingit
Mint Sponge Cake with Matcha Buttercream

*Topped with a CUTE pandan jelly flower. Abi's recipe, inspired by our Kyoto Matcha, is light, delicate and filled with so many complimentary flavors and vibrant colors. The cloud-like texture of the cake and the whimsical presentation made this treat feel extra dreamy.

Abi's inspo:

"It’s no secret that I adore color! Getting to create a recipe centered around matcha inspired me to make a very green dessert. Dona's Kyoto matcha’s earthiness complements so many other flavors that I love. I find it so easy to add to any frosting, especially a Swiss meringue buttercream. Fresh mint is so bright and tastes delicious infused in a cake. My favorite Southeast Asian ingredient is pandan, which can be likened to a grassy vanilla. Pandan jelly using agar-agar gives another textural element that is delightful on top of the cake. Decorating with toasted black and white sesame seeds provides a nutty crunch that completes this not-too-sweet, balanced dessert."- Abi

Mint Syrup:

1 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup fresh mint leaves, packed


Pour water in a small saucepan and combine with granulated sugar. Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

Add the mint leaves, and simmer until the mixture reduces slightly and turns in a syrup, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the syrup cool for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the syrup to a glass jar and seal with a lid. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Mint Sponge Cake:

Nonstick spray
1 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
⅓ cup whole milk, room temperature
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
½ teaspoon cream of tartar


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Position the rack in the middle of the oven.

Combine fresh mint leaves and milk in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Once it reaches a simmer, turn off the heat and let the mint-infused milk cool to room temperature. Squeeze the leaves as you strain them out of the milk. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix cake flour, baking powder, and salt together until the baking powder is evenly distributed. Set aside.

Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl and the egg whites in a medium bowl.

In the large bowl, whisk egg yolks, milk, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and ¼ cup of sugar by hand. Slowly add in the flour mixture and continue to whisk until well-combined.

In the medium bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add in remaining ½ cup of sugar until stiff peaks form, another 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk-flour mixture in 3 batches. Pour the batter into the lined jelly roll pan.

Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top of the cake is lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Matcha Buttercream:


3 large egg whites, room temperature
¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Kyoto matcha


Set up a double boiler by simmering about 1 ¼ inches of water over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Then, set a glass bowl on top of the saucepan.

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the bowl and whisk frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 160°F. Carefully pour the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes a thick meringue with stiff peaks, about 10 minutes. Once the bowl is at room temperature, swap the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment.

On medium speed, mix in the unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Keep beating until the mixture is uniform and creamy, scrape down your bowl intermittently to make sure everything gets incorporated well.

Sift in the matcha and mix until your buttercream is glossy and smooth.

Pandan Jelly Flowers:

1 ½ cups young coconut water
1 teaspoon agar agar powder
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon pandan extract


Combine young coconut water, agar agar powder, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Cook and stir with a rubber spatula over medium-low heat until the mixture starts to boil, 5 to 6 minutes.

Let the mixture boil for another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in pandan extract. Immediately pour the mixture into an 8x8-inch square pan. Let cool to room temperature for about 20 minutes. Transfer to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours to completely set.

Cut the jelly into flowers using a 1-inch flower cookie cutter.


Brush the surface of the mint cake with mint syrup, a couple times over is usually a good cake soak.

Frost with the matcha Swiss meringue buttercream.

Decorate with the jelly flowers and ¼ cup of toasted black and white sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Cut into squares and enjoy!