Saturday, 24 May 2014

Matcha Azuki Bean Magic Custard Cake with Painted Designs

After seeing Susanne's chocolate pandan magic custard cake, I couldn't wait to try out the same trick on a pair that go well together -- matcha and azuki beans! Instead of dusting the final product with icing sugar like everyone else, I decided to decorate it by painting with milk powder based homemade paint like my painted swiss roll. Presenting possibly the world's first matcha azuki magic custard cake!

Dainty looking with a six-petaled Sakura painted on :)

I made this for my mum's birthday. It was a cosy celebration at a Japanese restaurant with the immediate family and we had the cake as part of the dessert course. Perfect flavor of cake to go with a Japanese meal and everyone loved the cake! Mum said the cake is not too sweet and dad who doesn't necessarily like all kinds of desserts liked it too. I made a small cake as mum can't really take much sugar.

I did not know what to expect since this is something no one else has tried before. I am pleasantly surprised that the matcha layer showed up most clearly in the middle! The bottom layer is a nice soft red bean kueh layer with azuki bean puree and whole beans, middle layer is a thin green tea souffle layer and top layer is a light matcha sponge. The custard layer seems to be missing from this experiment but I still ended up with three distinct layers! I made another one for a neighbor who was moving out too! Painted with a combination of matcha powder and milk powder.

I found the video tutorial by Baking Taitai very helpful so do check it out if you are a newbie like me.

Ingredients (makes one 4.5" round cake):
28g unsalted butter
120g milk
4g water
1 egg yolk
36g icing sugar
20g plain flour
12g Azuki bean puree (skins removed)
25g canned azuki beans
A few drops red liquid food coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg white
7g caster sugar
1/10 tsp cream of tartar
4g Matcha powder

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line the bottom of a 4.5" round pan with baking paper and grease the sides. Mine had a removable base so I wrapped the pan with aluminum foil.
2. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly. Warm the milk to lukewarm and mix in azuki bean puree and vanilla extract. Set aside.
3. Sift the flour and matcha powder separately.
4. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg white until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently and gradually fold in sifted matcha powder with a whisk to avoid lumps of green tea powder in meringue.

5. In another bowl, beat egg yolk and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add melted butter and water and beat for 2 minutes or until evenly incorporated. Mix in flour until evenly incorporated.
6. Use a hand whisk and gently whisk in milk mixture until everything is well mixed. Add in canned azuki beans. Add a few drops of red liquid food coloring until desired shade of pink is reached.  Final cake color will be similar to the batter so there is no need to over compensate for color lightening when meringue is added.

7. Fold in matcha meringue one third at a time. Batter will be curdy so fold until no big curds are seen.

8. Pour batter into 4.5" pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden. Cool cake completely before unmoulding and cutting it to flower shape with large cookie cutter.

Freshly unmoulded cake!

Just cut with cookie cutter! I can do with better cutting skills :p

9. You may wish to decorate the cake like I did by painting with milk powder based paint, either with a stencil or by free-hand painting. When the paint is dry, it will still look a little glossy. Be careful not to let it touch any surface or it may stick to it and peel off from the cake. This type of paint will not become runny and smudge after chilling in the fridge, unlike icing sugar based cake decorations.

Here's a closer look at the sliced section from the trimmings...


This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Bake For Happy Kids, and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House.

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. Hi Phay Shing,
    Wow! Such a lovely and creative cake you have there. Love your milk powder painting.Your neighbor is so lucky to receive such a lovely cake from you.

    Thanks for sharing this to LTU!

  2. Hi Mui,
    Thank you for your compliments and encouragement :)). Glad to share this easy recipe and design!

  3. Hi Phay Shing,

    Everyone seems to be baking magic custard recently... Yours look lovely with flowery designs.


  4. Hi Zoe,

    I noticed that everyone seems to be baking magic custard cake lately! I wasn't that curious to try until I had the inspiration from Susanne to try out a dual-flavored one because nobody has done this combination before. I thought matcha-azuki fans may be interested in this :).

    Thanks for your compliments!