Recipe: Matcha-Vanilla Swirled Pound Cake

updated Feb 3, 2020
Matcha-Vanilla Sour Cream Pound Cake
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The second I sliced into this beauty of a cake, I knew I had a winner. With its golden crust, mesmerizing swirls, and drippy vanilla glaze, it’s possibly the most Instagrammable dessert to come out of my kitchen — but it’s also insanely easy to make.

That’s right — you don’t need to be a pro baker to make this stunning pound cake. In fact, you could nail this thing if it’s the first thing you’ve ever baked. All you need is a Bundt pan, a love of matcha, and a hankering for tender pound cake, and you’re ready to get started.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This Total Showstopper Is Stunningly Easy to Make

While the dips and divots of a Bundt pan yield desserts that look super intricate to make, it’s actually the opposite — the pan does all the work for you. All you have to do is mix up the batter, pour it into the well-greased pan, then pop it in the oven and let it do its thing.

The base of this cake is inspired by our classic sour cream pound cake, which, thanks to the creamy, tangy sour cream, comes out moist every time. To make this marbled version even easier, I skipped the sifting and used all-purpose flour instead of cake flour, meaning you likely have all the ingredients on hand (except maybe the matcha).

The swirling of the batters is where you get to give this cake its personality. Remember, it’s meant to be imperfect, so you can’t mess it up — everyone’s cake will be different, and that’s the beauty of it. After adding matcha powder to half the batter, you’ll add alternating scoops to the Bundt pan, then use a skewer or dinner knife to swirl the two batters together.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Case for Adding Matcha to Your Baked Goods

If you’ve never baked with matcha, you’re in for a treat. It adds an earthy, lightly toasted flavor to this cake, which keeps it from tasting too sweet (making it a great breakfast or afternoon snacking cake). It also adds a nutritional boost: Matcha powder is packed with antioxidants and amino acids. Of course, matcha also gives this cake its vibrant green hue.

When baking with matcha, you want to use a cooking-grade or culinary matcha powder, which has a slightly different flavor profile and is much more affordable than the matcha tea you’d drink. We like this brand, which is very affordable, and this brand for its bold flavor (read our full review here).

If you’re just not into matcha (or simply want to play around with other flavors), you can replace the matcha powder with unsweetened cocoa powder or any type of fruit jam. Regardless, serve this cake topped with whipped cream or ice cream, or toast leftover slices for breakfast. Then, stash leftovers in your freezer and thank me later.

More Ways to Use Your Matcha Powder

Matcha-Vanilla Sour Cream Pound Cake

Makes 1 Bundt cake

Nutritional Info


For the cake:

  • 16 tablespoons

    (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

  • 3 cups

    all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring the pan

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 2 1/2 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 6

    large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon

    pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup

    (8 ounces) sour cream

  • 2 tablespoons

    matcha powder, plus more for dusting on top of cake

For the glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon

    pure vanilla extract

  • Kosher salt


  1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Butter the Bundt pan, being sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle in a few spoonfuls of flour and tap the pan to distribute. Tap out excess flour.

  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.

  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the 2 sticks of butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fully combined, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

  4. Add half the flour mixture and mix on low. Add the sour cream and continue to mix on low. Add the remaining flour and beat until just incorporated. Pour half the batter into a medium bowl; set aside. Add the matcha to the batter in the mixer and beat until combined.

  5. Add the batters in alternating scoops to the Bundt pan. Swirl with a skewer or dinner knife.

  6. Bake until the top is deep golden-brown and a skewer or paring knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. If batter or wet crumbs cling to the blade, continue baking.

  7. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until a thick but pourable glaze forms.

  8. Remove cake from oven and cool 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and wiggle the pan gently until it lifts off of the cake. Allow the cake to cool for another hour. Pour the glaze over and dust with matcha powder.