Matcha Almond Tea Cake (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)


I would say that green tea is definitely an acquired taste. I suppose the same can be said for black tea and coffee and other bitter hot beverages. But I grew up drinking those and only came around to green tea slowly. I remember some awful cups of it served at mediocre Chinese restaurants in Toronto and I never saw the appeal. Then I received a gift of some lovely cherry-infused loose-leaf green tea from Harrods.  I was skeptical that it would be any tastier than the grassy stuff I’d had in high school, but to my surprise, I found it much more to my palate.  When I was sick one time in grad school, it was the only thing that eased my sore throat.  After that, I was much more willing to give green tea a chance.  It can still be hit or miss, though.  I’ve had some awful green tea, and I’ve had some wonderful green tea.  I suppose the same can be said for black tea and coffee and other bitter hot beverages!

I don’t remember when I heard of matcha green tea specifically, but I know it wasn’t more than a few years ago.  It started to pop up everywhere and in everything, as these food trends do.  I didn’t know at the time that matcha is tea used in the Japanese tea ceremonies.  It’s a powdery substance made from grinding high-grade tea leaves very finely, and it has to be whisked very briskly into hot water to dissolve, traditionally with a bamboo brush.  I only learned all of this last year when I went to purchase some matcha and discovered how expensive it is, although a little does go a long way.  It put me in mind of one of the more astonishing books I’ve ever read, Memoirs of a Geisha, and I had to go back and re-read it again.  As always, it drew me in so completely I could hardly put it down for two days.

This tea cake is actually another variation on my Almond Crusted Butter Cake.  It’s such a wonderful base cake recipe that I find myself adapting it in my head all the time.  And I thought that the light flavour of matcha would complement the almond very well.  The light sage green swirl looked absolutely gorgeous when I cut into the bread, that’s for certain.  It was really lovely on its own, but even better with a smear of butter overtop.

Matcha Almond Tea Cake (Low Carb and Gluten-Free)

Yield: 12


  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/3 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated erythritol (I used Swerve)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 20 drops stevia extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk


  1. Preheat oven to 300F and butter a loaf pan very well.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk matcha powder and hot water together until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add granulated erythritol and beat until lighter and well-combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at time, scraping down beaters and sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in stevia extract.
  5. Beat in half of the almond flour mixture, then beat in almond milk. Beat in remaining almond flour mixture until well combined.
  6. Remove half of the batter to another bowl. With one half of batter, beat in matcha mixture until well combined. With the other half of the batter, beat in almond extract.
  7. Alternate putting large spoonfuls of each batter into the prepared pan. Using a knife, swirl the batters together. Smooth the top.
  8. Bake 60 minutes, or until top is deep golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Serves 12. Each serving has a total of 7.1 g of carbs and 3.2 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 3.9 g.

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  1. JennM says

    Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my favorite books! I know Arthur Golden got a lot of things wrong historically speaking, but it’s still a wonderful read. :)

    The matcha tea cake looks lovely! I travel to Asia frequently–usually Taiwan and Korea–and there are always tons of pastries and sweets flavored with matcha in all the shops. The green color is so pretty!

  2. says

    Which unflavored whey do you use? I’ve seen several recipes which call for it and not sure if there is a preferred type. I like Optimum Nutrition’s flavored wheys best.

    • Carolyn says

      I use Jarrow Formulas. No rBST in the milk they use and no gluten. Not all whey proteins are gluten free. But use what you like best, I just happened upon this one on Amazon and it works well for the recipes where I don’t want a flavour from the whey. Vanilla whey tends to be extra sweet and the vanilla is a bit overpowering in some recipes.

  3. says

    Matcha tea is expensive, but I would love to get my hands on some and trying it in cooking and baking. Love the swirl in your tea cake so pretty!

  4. says

    So happy to see matcha recipe on your site. A lot of people get confused by green tea and matcha (it’s not like you can grind green tea leaves on your own) and they taste very different. I used to go to my grandma’s tea ceremony and hated bitter matcha served with super sweet Japanese confectionery (to balance out). Now as an adult I can appreciate it more. Your cake is beautiful and I’d love to have some slices!

  5. Kapu says

    Well, isn’t the point of eating low carb so that we can eat more? Cause I’m about to eat the whole loaf of my Matcha Green Tea Cake. This came out so good even though I didn’t have the timer on and it over cooked by 10mins. Can this be made as a round cake? You have perfected this for sure. Now I need to prefect my swirls.

    • Carolyn says

      Yes, I think it could be a round cake, but you’d need to adjust the cooking time and I am not sure by how much! Makes great muffins too.

  6. Rachel Horowitz says

    I was wondering if a different liquid could be used instead of the almond milk. I’m not a big fan, although I have cooked and baked with it once or twice. I made an almond cake (recipe from a Bob’s Red Almond Meal bag) that wasn’t bad, and used almond milk in chocolate pudding (wasn’t a big fan).

    This recipe looks promising — I bought a tub of Jarrow’s Whey Protein a while back, and have yet to open it … and I’m looking for a way to incorporate Matcha into my diet, because of the health benefits it offers.

  7. says

    I have always been a tea person, but I find the best way to ruin good tea is to have it be poorly prepared- something that is far too common in my neck of the woods. That said, I still love them all as long as I know they were made right. And I can’t think of any food that is better for a Spring tea party than tea bread!


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