Swirl Matcha Chiffon Cake

Create this light and fluffy matcha chiffon cake with an elegant swirl pattern!

Chiffon cakes are light, fluffy, airy and lower in fat than regular cakes since they are mainly composed of meringue. The meringue allows the cake to rise almost double in the oven! I prefer chiffon cakes because they are less dense. They may seem slightly difficult to make because handling meringue can be difficult, but after a few trials, one can get the hang of it real quick. I made a double-colored chiffon cake today, consisting of a matcha and original-flavored cake batter. I used a simple technique to create a leaf-swirl pattern using just a spatula!

When I started making chiffon cakes, I knew very little about the science behind it all so I often overworked my meringue or under/over-whipped it. Here are some tips that I recommend using when working with chiffon batters:

  • Whip egg whites until stiff peaks. Do not under or overbeat. It is more likely that underbeating may occur. Stiff peaks take about 5 min. of beating to form. Stiff peaks are achieved when the meringue looks glossy and the bowl can be turned upside down and the meringue does not move at all.
  • Adding a bit of cream of tartar or lemon juice (1/8 tsp- 1/4 tsp) helps the egg whites maintain its form to prevent deflating.
  • Preheat the oven before making the meringue so the meringue does not have to wait and sit out while waiting for the oven the heat.
  • Fold batters lightly and do not fold excessively. This can deflate the batter. For a chiffon cake, about 30 folds should combine the batter evenly.
  • Do not grease the pan! Even without grease, the batter should not stick to the pan and the batter needs to cling on to the edges of the pan in order to rise properly. If you grease the pan, the batter will deflate. Use a high-quality, durable baking pan.
  • Do not open the oven frequently while baking the cake. This alters the temperature inside the oven and can cause the cake to deflate.
  • Once the cake is baked, remove from the oven quickly!

With these tips, making a chiffon cake should be more simple. It takes a little bit of practice but is well worth it.

Swirl Matcha Chiffon Cake

yield: 6 x 3 in. pan


  • 1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk or milk (any percentage works)
  • 3 eggs, yolks and white separated
  • 3 tbsp. neutral oil (vegetable, canola)
  • 2/3 c. cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. matcha powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/3 c. + 1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 320 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, egg yolks, oil, and 1 1/2 tbsp. of granulated sugar.
  3. Sift the cake flour and baking powder in and mix until combined.
  4. Separate this mixture in half by pouring half of it into another bowl.
  5. In the other bowl, sift the matcha powder in and whisk until evenly incorporated. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl with an electric whisk, add the egg whites and cream of tartar and begin to whisk on max speed. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 c. granulated sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  7. Fold 1/2 of the egg white meringue into the first bowl of batter and pour it into a 6 x 3 ” springform pan. Do not grease the pan!
  8. Fold the other 1/2 of the egg white meringue into the matcha batter and pour in on top of the other batter. Tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles and to smooth the batter out.
  9. Using the handle end of a wooden spatula, make circular motions throughout the batter towards the rim of the pan. Make the circular motions around the whole cake to create the swirl-leaf pattern. Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles once more and bake in the oven for 10 min.
  10. After 10 min, remove the cake from the oven and lightly make 6 slits on the surface of the cake with a small knife.
  11. Turn the oven temperature down to 260 F and place the cake bake in the oven to bake for an additional 32-34 min.
  12. Once cake is baked, remove from the oven and allow it to cool upside down by placing the rims of the pan between two level-surfaced bowls for at least 15 min. This allows the chiffon cake to keep its height.
  13. Remove the cake from the pan, slice, and enjoy!

The cake tastes delicious by itself but can also be topped with some whipped cream. Store the cake in an airtight container and consume after 3 days of baking.

29 thoughts

  1. I am no Betty Crocker! I love baking and cooking new things… I will give it a try and see if my grandkids will love me more. Thank you for sharing.

  2. This matcha cake is SO SO beautifully patterned and looks absolutely fluffy/yummy! Would be wonderful with my hot cup of coffee. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I tried it tonight! I messed up a lot of things with it, including accidental turning off the oven in the middle of the process:), but it was still delicious:). And question to you – what’s the best way to store it?

    1. Great! I was primarily wondering about the fridge or not fridge but it looks like storing won’t be a problem:), especially when you share with somebody. Great recipe, I never thought I could make a chiffon cake, and that it does not require a huge effort!

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