Green Tea Ice Cream Cake

July is usually one of the busiest months for me. Apart from the fact that it's summer and I'm crazy about all things summer, it is also the month with so many birthdays. This particular friend of mine knows exactly what he wants for his birthday and that is a green tea ice cream cake, heck he sent me a reminder a few times starting from 3 months before his actual birthday, I couldn't even pretend to forget even if I want to.

It was simple enough that I actually wasn't worried about it. One of the hardest things I encountered when making cake for other people is to decide what cake to make, so many choices, so many combination, but yet only one that's supposed to be the right one, it's sort of the same as finding your soulmate... in a way (cheesy I know). So this time, I was so glad that I didn't have to go through that phase. The cake coincidentally falls into the theme of the month of July, National Ice Cream Month, how perfect!

Now, believe it or not, this is the first time I've ever made an ice cream cake. The reason? hmm.... I don't know, maybe I thought ice cream cake is just a boring cake with layer of sponge cake and ice cream alternating, nothing interesting? Besides, I don't normally eat that many frozen stuff due to my sensitive teeth, so it never occurred to me that making ice cream cake can be a challenging project especially if you're making your own ice cream.

It may look simple, but there were actually a lot of consideration going on to make this cake happens. Since this is my first time making an ice cream cake, I wouldn't know if the ice cream would be able to stand on it's own if I put it around the cake, would it melt under California heat, how do I decorate ice cream cake? The last question might be the most challenging one, I am so used to use fruits to decorate cakes, especially in the summer but I don't want the cake to be frozen if I decorate with it. Chocolate would be a good thing to use but again, it is so hard to work with chocolate during summer, unless you have a temperature-controlled kitchen. I did use white chocolate to decorate the sides, which was pretty messy too, but I've always wanted to brush something on chocolate and I'm loving the look of it.

There wasn't many interesting layer in this cake, I used two layers of matcha chiffon cake, and two layers of green tea ice cream. And since texture is so important to me, I was planning to put a layer of Valrhona crunchy chocolate pearl in the middle but it got left out! I was so in a rush to finish the layering before the ice cream melted and became a mess everywhere that by the time I finished the last layer, I remember the chocolate. It was too difficult to scrape the layer off to put the chocolate in, so I gave up that idea although I still think it would make a pretty awesome addition with the added crunch.

The green tea ice cream cake however, was delicious by itself! I used a recipe from "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz, it's pretty much a basic vanilla ice cream cake with addition of matcha. Luckily, the recipe makes enough for 8" round with enough leftover to enjoy on its own. I'm not usually a fan of matcha everything just because often times, I would buy a matcha cake or matcha ice cream that taste anything but matcha. Some of them have a fake or cheap matcha taste, some of them look so green but the matcha flavor is hardly there. I did however tasted a really good matcha ice cream in a cafe a few weeks ago with strong matcha flavor and was in love with it. I added a few more tsp of matcha powder than what the original recipe calls for and I think it's just perfect.

I'm submitting this green tea ice cream cake post to Matcha Madness event hosted by Catty for the month of July. You can go over to her site after the event ends to find out how mad people playing with matcha and you'll be surprised to find so many matcha goodness out there.

Green Tea Ice Cream Cake
Yield: one 8" round cake

Green Tea Chiffon Cake
4 eggs (separate the yolk from the white)
100 g sugar (divided)
75 g cake flour
10 g green tea powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
50 g milk
50 g vegetable oil

Green Tea Ice Cream
adapted from "The Perfect Scoop"

500 ml heavy cream
250 ml whole milk
150 g sugar
6 egg yolks
6 tsp green tea powder (original: 4 tsp)

Decoration (optional):
Heavy Cream, whipped
Matcha paste (made with matcha powder and a little water to form a paste)
  • To make the chiffon cake: Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare two parchment-lined 8" round pans
  • Whisk the egg yolk and 25 g sugar until it becomes a little pale.
  • Add the milk and the oil and whisk well
  • Combine together the flour, green tea powder, baking powder, and salt and sift them. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy, then add the remaining 75 g sugar gradually and continue whipping until it forms a glossy stiff peak
  • Add the flour to the yolk mixture and whisk well
  • Fold in the egg white in addition (about three), making sure there is no big lumps of meringue and don't overfold either.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake it for about 20 minutes or until done.
  • Let cool until ready to use
  • To make the green tea ice cream: Combine the sugar and the milk in a saucepan and bring it to simmer
  • In a large bowl, combine together green tea and heavy cream, whisking lightly, then put a strainer on top. Don't overwhisk it as you would have whipped cream instead
  • In another bowl, whisk the egg yolk and temper it with the hot milk, return it back to the heat
  • Heat the mixture to about 85 C on a gentle heat, stirring non-stop
  • Once the mixture reaches the temperature, take it off the heat on pour in over the strainer.
  • Whisk the cream+milk mixture vigorously until the matcha powder dissolves (it will be frothy)
  • Chill thoroughly and churn in the ice cream maker.
  • To decorate: Whip the cream and the matcha paste
  • Cover the cake with the matcha cream and decorate.
  • If you decided not to use the whipped cream to cover the cake, you can also cover the cake in green tea ice cream just like a mousse cake.
I followed the method stated in the recipe, but personally, I would do it differently next time. The matcha powder is harder to dissolve in a cold liquid. Even after you added the hot milk mixture, the matcha didn't dissolve completely. I whisked the mixture for quite a while until most of the green tea has dissolved and I warmed it a little.

I think it would be better to use the normal "creme-anglaise method":
  • Combine the cream and the milk together in a saucepan and bring it to simmer
  • Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and the matcha powder, and temper it with the hot milk
  • Bring it to 85C, stirring constantly
  • Strain to remove any lumps (if any) and chill thoroughly
  • Process in an ice cream maker


Miriam said...

Great recipe and great presentation!

Kaitlin said...

Beautiful work! I love the decorations on top and the brushed chocolate on the sides.

I have never tasted matcha. I am intrigued...

Swee San said...

It looks pretty!! the white chocolate garnishes completes it..

catty said...

oh my GOD will you make ME a green tea ice cream cake for my birthday??? Thanks for the submission too!!

Memória said...

What a lovely, lovely cake and gorgeous photos as well.

collin said...

Wow!!! Ice cream....I love it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will surely try this out.

Take the Ice Cream Personality Test and find out what ice cream flavor are you as per your personality. I have taken the test and have enjoyed a lot. Hope you too will enjoy it. Have Fun!!

Annette said...

This cake was sooo goooood!!!!

Unknown said...

So good, so different. You rock!!

Valérie I♥Cakes said...

Nice cake !!

Maria said...

I am a matcha-holic and this cake looks so delicious I feel like licking the computer screen!

liz said...

this cake looks delicious. i want to make this for my boyfriend's family and just wanted to know.. how could i prepare the ice cream without an ice cream maker?

Bertha said...

liz: you can freeze the batter and scrape it every 15 mnts or so, although it is very time consuming and you won't have the same texture though. What ice cream maker does is just incorporating air into the ice cream while freezing it. There is another method of making ice cream by folding whipped cream at the end, which is sorta like frozen mousse I would say. I have never tried it but this might be a better option for you.

Gourmet Tea said...

What a delicious cake I really want to taste on of it, Great picture its really lovely

Xiaolu said...

Lovely! I just discovered your blog and am amazed by your talent. I was wondering, how do you get the edges to be smooth? I assume you use a cake ring but do you also need to have a plastic liner to get that smoothness? Thanks!

Bertha said...

Xiaolu: Thanks! I used cake ring to assemble the cake and the ice cream. I never used any liner to do this, you can simply use a hairdryer or a torch to heat the outside of the cake ring and lift it up. I covered this green tea cake without green tea whipped cream after removing the cake ring.
I hope that helps :)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Great! I happen to have a cake ring -- thank you =D

Moon said...

Wow! Green tea ice cream cake is what I want for my birthday next week too! It looks delicious! I wish someone can make one for me too.

Green Tea said...

I've seen a few green tea recipes, but this one (along with the photos) takes the cake, excuse the pun!

Anonymous said...

I noticed there is a white layer around the cake ? Did u place something around the cake to keep it together ? Because the layers aren't visible around the cake ... ?

Please reply ,Thanks !:)

Bertha said...

anonymous: I put green tea whipped cream around the cake to cover the sides (see recipe). Hope it helps

xtinefung said...

Would you have to have the measurements converted to cups or ml for the ones that are in grams? I don't have a scale


xtinefung said...

Also , what kind of milk did you use for the cake ? :)
thanks again !

Bertha said...

Xtinefung: there are many websites to help you convert from grams to cups. I always use whole milk in all my cakes

Anonymous said...

Sorry bertha , one last question !
Did u use matcha powder or green tea powder for the whip cream and cake ?

Bertha said...

No worries. Matcha is powdered japanese green tea. As long as your powdered green tea is japanese kind, they are the same. Mine says matcha powder

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you decorated the side of the cake and how you would store the cake. Would it stay in the freezer and given time to warm up before eating? Thanks, im a big admirer of your blog :)

Bertha said...

Anonymous: I used green tea-flavored whipped cream to cover the sides. and yes it needs to be in the freezer so that the ice cream wont melt. You can cut it using warmed knife to get a clean cut. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

How did you spread the Icecream so it looks so neat and even in thickness!? It looks amazing, wow. Also, did you have to work with it quite quickly so it didnt melt onto the cake? Where did you get the green tea powder from? Thanks!

Bertha said...

Anonymous: to get it evenly, spread the ice cream immediately after it is done churning, so it will freeze up in the mold.

Yes, you need to do it rather quickly, especially during summer. but it doesnt take long either to do it.

I got my green tea powder from some Japanese store and online.

Serena said...

should I double the ingredients if I'm going to make a 9" matcha ice-cream cake?

Bertha said...

Serena: I think this recipe will make enough for 9" round. I had a little bit of ice cream leftover when making this cake.
If not, then just calculate the ratio of 9" and 8" and multiply that by every amount of the ingredients

Unknown said...

This green tea ice cream must be process in the ice cream machine or there are another ways? Please answer anyone, cause i need it asap thankyou

Bertha said...

Delfina: ice cream maker is pretty much a moving freezer, it makes the ice cream smooth and creamy and not becoming a block of ice.

Another way to do it is you can freeze the batter and take it out every 15mnts or so and mix it with a mixer for a few minutes before putting it back in the freezer. Do this repeatedly until you get a creamy smooth thick consistency

Anonymous said...

Can the cake mix be doubled? It's not that thick and I need to remake it tonight on account of other things not quite right. It tastes great though!

Bertha said...

Anonymous: Of course it can, although it is probably going to be to thick if you are using the same measurement of baking pans. Maybe try 1.5x recipe?