matcha vertical swiss roll

matcha vertical swiss roll

prep 6 hrs          cook 12 mins          serves 6 - 8

filling and frosting

225 g (2 1/2 cups) icing (powdered or confectioner's sugar)

1 1/2 - 2 tbsp matcha (powdered green tea)

75 g (1/2 cup) softened butter

60 g (3/4 cup) milk powder

450 g (3 cups) cold cream cheese (Philly cheese is best)

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

1/2 tsp clear pandan flavour (optional)

Sift the icing sugar and matcha together at least twice. Set aside.

In standmixer bowl combine butter and milk powder and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until well mixed and creamy.

Add the cream cheese, vanilla and pandan (if using) and beat until smooth and fluffy. This will take barely a minute.  Beat in the sugar and matcha mixture in 2 or 3 lots on low speed. As soon as frosting is well combined and an even green colour, stop mixer. Do not beat beyond this point or the cream cheese will break down and the frosting will become runny. Transfer frosting to a covered container and chill until needed.

The following recipe will yield 3 cakes which require an extra large oven or 3 racks in a regular sized oven. If you have only one regular oven with two racks,or only one rectangular pan, follow the recipe amounts at the end of the post.

sponge cake

180 g (1 3/4 cups) plain or all purpose flour

20 g (7 level tsp) matcha

10 eggs (60 g or slightly over 2 ozs each)

200 g (1 1/3 cups) fine grain sugar

3/4 tsp cream of tartar

3 tbsp milk

2 tbsp light vegetable oil 

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp clear pandan flavour (optional)

Extra matcha for dusting

Preheat oven at 190 C (375 F). Grease and line two 25 cm (10 in) by 33 cm (13 in) baking trays or Swiss roll (jelly roll) pans and one 20 cm (8 in) round layer pan.

Sift together the flour and matcha three times. Set aside.

Combine eggs, sugar and cream of tartar in mixing bowl of a large standmixer (for sponge batters using more than 8 eggs, I use my Kenwood Major mixer). Whisk on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes using the balloon whisk attachment or until mixture is very pale and mousselike and ribbons of the mixture hold their shape on the surface of the mixture in the bowl, when dropped from the whisk.

Fold the flour and matcha mixture into the egg mixture in three lots, using the detached balloon whisk or a hand held balloon whisk. Do this lightly and quickly until well incorporated.

Combine the milk, oil, vanilla and pandan flavour in a cup and pour this mixture down the side of the bowl. Fold in with the whisk as above. 

Gently scoop 1 2/3 cups batter into the round layer pan and tilt gently to level batter. Divide remaining batter between the two rectangular pans and pans to level batter. Bang each pan sharply once on table or counter top to release large air bubbles and place pans in oven. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. After 12 minutes, check centre of each cake with a fine skewer. If done, remove from oven. Do not overbake or cakes will crack when rolled.

Cool cakes for 10 minutes then run a blunt edged knife around edges of cakes before turning out onto large sheets of parchment paper. If you use regular greaseproof paper, the skin of the cakes will stick and you may have difficulty rolling and frosting them. 


Gently peel off paper from cakes and leave until cold. Using a sharp serrated knife, trim of edges of rectangular cakes keeping them straight. Divide each rectangular lenghtwise into 3 equal strips (use a ruler if necessary) to make a total of 6 strips.

Remove frosting from fridge and transfer about 2 1/2 - 3 cups to a bowl. Work frosting lightly with a spatula cover until spreadable and cover each sponge strip with a thin layer of frosting. Use a tea strainer to dust each strip lightly with matcha. 

Starting from the short end of the first strip, roll up firmly like a Swiss roll. Spread a little frosting at the seam of the first roll and join to second strip. Roll up as before and apply frosting at the seam before joining to the third strip and rolling up to the end. Repeat  and join and roll with the fourth, fifth and sixth strip to form a large roll. Don't forget to spread a little frosting at the seam of the main roll each time, before joining to the next strip. Set roll aside.

Spread a layer of frosting on the round cake and place the roll, swirl side down onto the round cake. Trim off the edges of the round cake to fit the base of the roll. Wrap cake up securely in two layers of cling wrap and freeze cake for 1 - 2 hours. 

Unwrap cake and place on a flat plate. Slip small squares of parchment or greaseproof paper under perimeter of the cake (not too deeply or you will have trouble pulling them out after frosting cake) to keep plate clean. Cover cake with a thin layer of frosting. It doesn't have to be neat. Just be sure to cover cake entirely. Freeze cake for 1 hour.

Cover cake with a thicker, even layer of frosting. Neaten top and sides with a large pastry scraper. Using a tea strainer, dust top of cake evenly with matcha. Cover cake and chill for 6 hours or overnight before slicing with a large, sharp straight edged knife.

Recipe amounts for bakers with one regular oven and two racks or only one rectangular pan. Pan sizes are the same as above. No changes necessary for frosting amounts.

first batch (divided between one of the rectangular pans and the single round layer pan)

100 g (1 cup) plain or all purpose flour

12 grams (4 tsp) matcha

6 eggs

120 g (3/4 cup) fine sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp light vegetabl oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp clear pandan flavour

Follow method as above and transfer 1 2/3 cups batter to the round layer pan. Transfer remaining batter to one of the rectangular pans. Bake and assemble as above.

second batch (baked in the remaining rectangular pan)

80 g (3/4 cup) plain or all purpose flour

8 grams (3 tsp) matcha

4 eggs

80 g (1/2 cup) fine sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

11/2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp light vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp clear pandan flavour

Follow method as above. Bake in one single rectangular baking pan. Assemble as above.