Matcha Vanilla Bean Cake with Coconut Buttercream Icing

by Kris on January 21, 2012

A year ago today, Munchin with Munchkin was born! Sick of forgetting the recipes I had created, I sat down at my computer and began to write them out. With a BFA in photography, I thought how hard could food photography be? I quickly discovered, food was a challenging subject.

I started with my eggplant parmesan. With my studio lights in a different country, I relied on the natural light from my kitchen window. Without a reflector, I used a cereal box wrapped in tin foil to bounce light. By the time I was done, dinner was cold. I wondered, would all of my suppers be microwaved leftovers from now on?

When I finally created my first post, I was overwhelmed by anxiety. Who would read this? Would anyone actually make one of my recipes? What if a recipe fails? Will people leave mean comments? Is this a waste of my time? I don’t have a culinary background, what am I doing??

When I hit that publish button, I had no idea what I had started. Little did I know, people would pay attention. I would gain readers from around the world and meet other food bloggers just like me! I would even be published on other sites and be nominated for a Canadian Weblog Award!

I can’t believe what a positive outlet this blog has become. Thank you all so much for the endless love and support. It’s you, the readers, who make it all worth while.

I would also like to thank my fiancé, Greg. When I burned a pot of rice and nearly broke down, you ran to the local Indian restaurant and saved the night. When I need an unusual ingredient you hop in the car and drive around the city, just so I can get agar, amchar masala or hibiscus petals. You reassure me that my photos are awesome, even when they are declined for “composition” on various food porn sites. Lastly, you always tell me my food is delicious, even when I know it’s not. So thank you Greg, I couldn’t do this without you.

To celebrate my blog’s birthday, I made a matcha vanilla bean layer cake with coconut buttercream icing. This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s book, How to Cook Everything. Munchin with Munchkin has been such an incredible learning experience and I am excited for what the future has in store.

So thank you again for the support.

Much love,


Matcha Vanilla Bean Cake

  • 2 cups cake flour (plus more for dusting the pans)
  • 2 ½ Tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ Tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. matcha powder
  • 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tsp. vanilla beans
  • ½ Tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup light coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350

Grease two 9 inch cake pans. Place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and grease the paper. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and matcha powder. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes.

One at a time, beat in the eggs. Add vanilla beans and extract and stir to combine.

With a spatula slowly fold in the flour mixture in small batches alternating with the coconut milk. Mix just until it is smooth.

Split the batter between the two cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick; if it comes out clean is is done.

Let the cake cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Coconut Buttercream Icing
1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
8 Tbsp. light coconut milk
2 Tsp. vanilla extract

With an electric mixer, whip butter until smooth.

Gradually add the powdered sugar in small batches, alternating with coconut milk. Blend well between each addition.

Stir in the vanilla.

If the icing seems too thick, add more coconut milk. If it seems too thin, refrigerate it; it will thicken as it cools.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie Mullen January 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

Congrats on your 1st year munchkin!


munchinwithmunchkin January 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

Thanks mum!


laurencw January 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

Happy 1st birthday lady love, you rule, your blog rules, i love your photos and food.
if anyone says different they maaaad.


munchinwithmunchkin January 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

Thanks Lauren! Love you


Terri January 21, 2012 at 10:27 am

I want to try this as soon as I pick up the matcha powder. Looks so yummy!


munchinwithmunchkin January 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm



Marissa January 21, 2012 at 11:06 am


Super proud of you and can’t wait to see what other recipes you have in store. And to try this cake :D

love and hugs from o-town,


munchinwithmunchkin January 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks Missa! You’re the best. :)


Dienna January 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Happy first anniversary to you!


munchinwithmunchkin January 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Thank you!


krayl funch January 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Happy birthday ! Congrats. Looking forward to the coming year.


munchinwithmunchkin January 22, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Thank you! Me too! :)


Spectra January 22, 2012 at 3:49 am

Happy Anniversary :D These photos are so deliciously beautiful, they hurt to look at. The red striped straw in bg is a stroke of brilliance, and so nolstalgic. I was wondering how you got to be such a great photographer…now I see. I need to buy a ‘real’ camera in my future, could you suggest something that is for a non-BFA photographer? And affordable to a non-millionaire?


munchinwithmunchkin January 22, 2012 at 10:58 am

Thank you! I would suggest looking at a Canon Rebel T3. They’re a great starter DSLR and relatively affordable.


Spectra January 24, 2012 at 5:48 am

Thanks – I’ll go online and check around.


rachel @ sweettarte January 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

Happy blogiversary! What a lovely cake!


munchinwithmunchkin January 22, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Thanks! The applesauce cake on your blog looks yummy! Great photos too


Sarah January 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Happy blog birthday! Your photos are great – I especially love your visual index. Just started blogging myself and my challenge is 1) I’m not a photographer, 2) my kitchen is black granite with a black backsplash. But it’s fun nonetheless. I’ll check out your stuff our more frequently now, best of luck in your second year!


munchinwithmunchkin January 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Thanks! Do you have a north or south facing window in your kitchen? Natural light is a food blogger’s best friend! I wouldn’t worry about the black counters/backsplash. You can do some great moody photos with it, and if you want a change, you can always use light coloured material for a background. Good luck!


Sarah January 27, 2012 at 2:18 am

Nope, we face east and west. But your suggestion made me think about staging some shots out on the deck to get that natural light. Thanks again!


Energi January 23, 2012 at 3:06 am

Amazing! I must do me a Matcha dessert soon.


sweetsimplestuff January 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Happy blog birthday to you! Love your recipes and photos.


midnitechef January 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Happy Blogging Birthday!

p.s. there are food porn sites now?


munchinwithmunchkin January 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thanks! Food sites like tastespotting, foodgawker, etc are sometimes called food porn.


midnitechef January 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I knew what you meant by ‘food porn’ I’m just surprized that there are sites dedicated to this topic, must be a lot of hungry people on the web :)


Heidi @foodiecrush January 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I’m always in need of a good cake and frosting recipe, and since German Chocolate Cake is my favorite, this vanilla version with coconut milk is going on my hitlist! Congrats on the year anniversary!!


munchinwithmunchkin January 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Thanks Heidi! German Chocolate is one of my favourites too. :)


susan April 21, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I am going to try this buttercream using coconut milk! looks perfect!


Kris April 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thanks Susan! I’m dying to try your GF chocolate chip cookie skillet. I might make it next time I go camping, I think it could work well on a campfire. Maybe top it with some marshmallows and make a smores cookie skillet.. I need to go camping asap!!


Kelley May 30, 2012 at 1:27 am

My brother-in-law made this for me for my birthday, and it was AMAZING. It was seriously one of the yummiest cakes I’ve ever had. Thanks for the recipe!


Kelley May 30, 2012 at 1:28 am

Also, inspired by your lovely photography, I made little flags to decorate the top of the cake. :)


Kris May 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

You made my day Kelley! I’m so happy you loved your birthday cake! Happy belated! :)


Sara July 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This. Is. LITERALLY. The best cake in the world.


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