Matcha crêpe cakes are one of the hottest desserts. Kova patisserie in London's Soho has queues along the street for its matcha mille cake - named for its many layers. If you search online you'll see hundreds of matcha recipes for the crêpe cake.
The crêpe cake is very simple to make and looks stunning. You just alternate layers of pancakes and matcha cream, and set aside for a couple of hours in the fridge to chill.
The secret to a beautiful Japanese matcha dessert is cooking the crêpes very lightly. This isn't a recipe to show off your pancake flipping skills. Instead here we just cook on one side, and only over a medium heat. That keeps the crêpe layers from browning too much.
Don't worry if you make some mistakes. The batter below will give you a couple of extra crêpes when using a 10" crêpe pan. We used this 10" Netherton Foundry crepe pan.
For the Pastry Cream Serves: 8
For the Pancakes
For the Matcha Cream
- 2 tbsp matcha powder
- 40g icing sugar
- 250ml double cream
- Pastry cream (from above)
First make the pastry cream
- Measure the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour into a bowl. Whisk until it starts to turn pale.
- Heat together the milk and vanilla extract in a small pan. Just before the milk boils, remove from heat, and - with a whisk - mix 1/3 into the sugar/egg mixture. Add the remaining two thirds and mix well.
- Wash out the milk pan to remove milk solids from the base. Pour the custard mixture back into the pan over a medium heat. Whisk slowly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Pour into a shallow container, and cover with clingfilm. Place in fridge or freezer to chill whilst you make the pancakes.
For the pancakes
- Place flour, 50g icing sugar, 2 tbsp matcha powder, eggs and milk together in a blender. Blend on high speed until the ingredients are incorporated and there are no lumps. Transfer batter to a jug.
- Heat a little oil in your crêpe pan over a medium heat. Using kitchen roll, wipe the oil around the base of the pan so it forms a fine film, but there is no oil visible.
- Pour batter into the pan, and swirl until the pan base is coated with a layer of batter. Pour any excess back into the jug. Leave over a medium heat until just set. The pancakes should brown very little, if at all. Using a knife or spatula to help, peel away the edge of the pancake and tip out - turning the pan upside down - over a piece of kitchen roll. Repeat until you have used all the batter. You may need to oil the pan between every couple of pancakes.
- Leave to cool.
To assemble the crêpe cake
- Only assemble the cake when the pastry cream and pancakes are cold. The pastry cream may take up to an hour to chill completely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 2 tbsp matcha powder and 40g icing sugar, with 50ml of the double cream. When there are no lumps remaining add another 50ml double cream. Continue adding 50ml cream at a time until it has all been added. Make sure there are no lumps and the mixture thickens between each addition. Whisk in the chilled pastry cream and transfer to a piping bag. Trim off the tip.
- Layer the crêpes on top of each other, piping a layer of cream between crêpes. To finish, decorate with matcha powder. Over a bowl, spoon 1 tbsp matcha powder into a very fine sieve and shake gently over the top of the cake.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. This makes it easier to slice.
Nicola is co-founder and CEO at Sous Chef. She has worked in food for over ten years.
Nicola first explored cooking as a career when training at Leiths, before spending the next decade in Finance. However... after a stage as a chef at a London Michelin-starred restaurant, Nicola saw the incredible ingredients available only to chefs. And wanted access to them herself. So Sous Chef was born.
Today, Nicola is ingredients buyer and a recipe writer at Sous Chef. She frequently travels internationally to food fairs, and to meet producers. Her cookbook library is vast, and her knowledge of the storecupboard is unrivalled. She tastes thousands of ingredients every year, to select only the best to stock at Sous Chef.
Nicola shares her knowledge of ingredients and writes recipes to showcase those products. Learning from Sous Chef's suppliers and her travels, Nicola writes many of the recipes on the Sous Chef website. Nicola's recipes are big on flavour, where the ingredients truly shine (although that's from someone who cooks for hours each day - so they're rarely tray-bakes!).