• Coconut matcha cake with matcha cake pops (Chris Middleton)Source: Chris Middleton

Matcha green tea powder has a great flavour and colour. The cake pops add an additional fun element. 






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  • 2 quantities Coconut cake 
  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • roasted black sesame seeds, to decorate

Coconut cake

  • 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 90 g (3 oz/1 cup) desiccated (dried shredded) coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut milk 
  • 100 g (3½ oz/⅓ cup) Apple purée (see note)
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) butter, melted
  • ½ tsp liquid stevia 
  • pinch of salt
  • creamy natural yoghurt or cream, to serve

Matcha cake pops

  • 350 g (12½ oz) coconut cake trimmings 
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • ¼ tsp matcha green tea powder
  • 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp melted virgin coconut oil
  • 15–20 lollipop sticks
  • 2 tbsp roasted black sesame seeds

Coconut Swiss meringue buttercream

  • 150 g (10½ oz) egg white (from about 4-5 eggs) 
  • 260 g (1 lb 2 oz/3¼ cups) dextrose
  • 350 g (1 lb 9 oz) butter, cut into cubes and slightly softened (it should be 
soft enough to leave a dent from your finger when lightly pressed)
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • few drops natural coconut extract (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 5 hours

For the coconut cake, preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F (fan-forced). Grease a deep 18 cm (7 in) cake tin and line the base with non-stick baking paper.

Combine the flour, matcha, desiccated coconut and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Separate two of the eggs and put the whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the yolks, remaining eggs, coconut milk, apple purée, butter and stevia together and set aside.

Beat the egg whites with the salt just until firm peaks form. Fold half of the egg white and all of the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. Add the remaining egg white and gently fold into the mixture until combined. Pour into the prepared tin and spread evenly.

Bake for 35–40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. 

Trim the top of each cake with a long serrated knife. Set aside the trimmings for the cake pops. You will need about 350 g (12½ oz) of trimmings in total to make the cake pops.

For the cake pops, crumble the cake trimmings with your fingertips to resemble breadcrumbs. Beat the cream cheese, butter, rice malt syrup and matcha in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the cake crumbs and stir until well combined. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and refrigerate for 1–2 hours or until firm. 

Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl and melt over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly. 

Remove the cake pop balls from the refrigerator and insert a lollipop stick in to each ball. Dip about half of the cake balls fully in the chocolate to coat, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off, then sprinkle immediately with sesame seeds. Insert each cake pop stick into a foam block or place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until set. For variation, half-dip some of the pops in the chocolate and leave some naked.

For the Swiss meringue buttercream, put the egg white and dextrose in a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water) and whisk until the dextrose dissolves and the egg whites are quite warm. Test this by rubbing a little of the mixture between your thumb and forefinger – the mixture should be smooth, not grainy.

Beat the egg white mixture with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until you have a meringue that is thick and glossy, and the side of the bowl is at room temperature when you touch it. This will take about 10 minutes, depending on your mixer. 

With the mixer on medium speed, add the cubes of butter gradually, beating well between each addition, until the meringue is silky smooth. You may find that the mixture will separate and curdle at some point in the mixing process – do not panic, if you keep beating it should come back together. If the room temperature is too warm (around 18°C/64°F is ideal) and the mixture seems quite soft, pop the bowl in the refrigerator for 10–15 minutes to cool it down. 

Add the coconut cream and coconut extract (if using) gradually, beating on low speed until combined.  

Put a little dollop of frosting in the centre of a serving plate and place four strips of baking paper around the edge. This will help to keep the plate clean of any icing. Place one layer of cake on the prepared plate. Spread about 160 g (5½ oz/1 cup) of the buttercream over the cake, taking it just over the edges. Top with the second cake, placing it bottom-side up (to achieve a sharp edge). Spread the remaining buttercream over the top and side of the cake. Remove the protective strips of baking paper from under the edges of the cake and add the cake pops to the top of the cake. Decorate with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.

This cake can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Cover carefully with plastic wrap once the buttercream has set.


• Apple purée helps to add bulk to recipes that have had the cane sugar removed, as well as providing natural sweetness and fibre. Peel, core and roughly chop 4 large apples (about 800 g/1 lb 12 oz). Put the apples and a splash of water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes or until tender. Stir and mash the apples, still over the heat, until broken down – they should be mushy and quite thick. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. It is fine to have a little bit of texture, but if you prefer a smooth sauce, whiz in a food processor or use a hand-held blender and purée until smooth. The purée will keep for 3–4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It also freezes well for a couple of months – portion the purée into small containers or spoon into ice-cube trays, freeze and seal in an airtight container. Makes 600 g (1 lb 5 oz/2 cups).


This recipe is from Incredible Bakes (Smith Street Books). Photography by Chris Middleton.