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Devil’s Food Cake with Matcha Dressing


The Japanese matcha frosting on this indulgent chocolate cake gives the dessert an eye-catching colour and slightly sharp taste.

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The recipe comes from new cookbook My Asian Kitchen, by UK food writer Jennifer Joyce, which features simple recipes for dishes ranging from bao buns and gyoza to poke bowls, ramen and kimchi.

Of this recipe, she writes:

“I’ve cooked many chocolate cakes in my lifetime, but this one is the ultimate. My sister-in-law Amy divulged her family recipe to me and the cake has a springy moist texture and a pure cocoa flavour, but is not too rich.”

Devil’s Food Cake with Matcha Dressing

Serves 8
Preparation: 45 minutes, plus one hour chilling
Cooking time: 40 minutes


250ml boiling water
75g cocoa powder
350g plain flour
350g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
250 ml milk
125 ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

Matcha frosting
325g salted butter, at room temperature
650g icing (confectioners’) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp matcha powder
3 tbsp milk


Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced. Grease and line two 20cm or three 18cm round springform cake tins.

Pour the boiling water into a measuring jug and add the cocoa. Whisk the mixture smooth and let it cool while you measure out all the remaining ingredients.

Pour the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of a standing electric mixer or use a large bowl and electric hand mixer.

In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract.

When the cocoa mixture has cooled enough, whisk into the egg and milk mixture.

On a slow speed, add the liquid until combined. Beat for one minute on slow speed. Pour the mixture into the tins. It will seem very liquid-y, but will bake up very light. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes on the centre rack of the oven. Cool in the tins and then remove.

To make the matcha frosting, in the bowl of the standing mixer, whisk the butter on slow speed for six to seven minutes until pale and fluffy. It’s necessary that your butter is at room temperature to get a smooth, silky texture. Add the sifted icing sugar, two tablespoons at a time, keeping the speed slow. When finished, add the vanilla, sifted matcha and milk and keep beating until the mixture is very smooth. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.

Place one cake on a serving platter. Spread a thick layer of frosting to sandwich the two or three cakes. Ice the sides first and then the top. If you want to get a perfect finish, trying ‘crumbing’ the cake by spreading a thin layer of frosting around the outside and top of the cake until everything is smoothed at the same level.

Place the cake in the fridge for one hour to set. Remove and then ice the cake with more frosting.

Images and recipes from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99. Photography by Phil Webb, illustrations by Riley Joyce.

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