Green tea and lemon marble cake

I’ve had a terrible week with my baking adventures. First I burnt a cake but Yuye salvaged it, then I made chocolate brownie cookies that were all different sizes. At least my non-baked desserts turned out quite nicely. I blame it all on Yuye’s bad oven (but more probably my lack of skills).

Let me explain. Yuye’s actual big oven that’s attached to the cook top broke a very long time ago so he’s been using a tiny portable oven to bake his sandwiches in. Not too long ago, that decided it’s had enough as well. So I used a Myer voucher I had to buy him a shiny new one. For some strange reason, I’ve never really baked a cake in it since I purchased it at the end of last year.

If you haven’t used a portable oven before, let me tell you that it’s very difficult to control the heat. When a recipe says 180C, it’s probably only 160C according to my experiences. So when I tried baking this cake at 180C, it completely burnt the top beyond recognition. It didn’t help that there is no light in the oven for me to see what it was doing to the cake. Out of my anger and frustration, I stormed into Yuye’s room demanding a proper oven. In defence, he went over to the cake and salvaged the poor thing by scraping off all the burnt bits.

The cake itself was a little dense due to removing it from the oven before it was properly risen but other than that, it was actually quite tasty. I wasn’t planning to put it on the blog just because I thought there was no way I was putting something ugly up but Yuye convinced me to anyway. So here it is, in all its glory and well…burntness. To some extent. Hope that doesn’t deter you from trying this recipe out as it’s quite delicious with a cup of tea!

My matcha portion looks more brown than it is green because the powder is nearing its use by date. I should buy myself a new bag since I love matcha so much!

I have kept the recipe as originally written as unlike myself, most of you will probably have a conventional oven!

Green tea and lemon marble cake
Makes 1 9x5x4inch loaf
Adapted from Joy The Baker


• 2 cups plain flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 1.5 cups caster sugar
• 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 5 eggs
• Zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 tbsp matcha powder
• 130g plus 50g butter, melted and cooled slightly


1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Butter and flour a 9x5x4 inch loaf pan using the 50g of butter. Shake off excess flour.
3. Sift together the baking powder, flour and salt.
4. Melt the white chocolate chips over a pot of simmering water and set aside.
5. Whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl until pale and smooth.
6. Fold in sifted dry ingredients in 2-3 folds. Careful not to over mix. The batter will be thick and smooth.
7. Gently fold in the white chocolate and 130g butter.
8. Divide the batter into 2 bowls (roughly divided). Put lemon juice and zest into one bowl and matcha powder into the other. Gently mix together with a rubber spatula.
9. Pour the 2 batter mixtures a little at a time into the buttered loaf pan and run a spoon or spatula through it until you get a marbled effect. Careful not to over mix as the cake will just come out brown rather than marbled.
10. Bake the cake for roughly 55-60 minutes, sticking a skewer or knife into the centre and if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
11. Allow to rest in the pan for a further 20 minutes outside the oven and then cool the cake on a cooling rack. Serve with green tea for extra pleasure!

Question time: Have you ever used a portable oven before? How does it compare to a regular oven in your opinion?

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24 comments… add one
  • Rosa September 21, 2012, 4:40 pm

    A wonderful cake! It must taste divine.

    I love your teacups. Pretty.



  • Ames September 21, 2012, 9:21 pm

    I’ve only ever used a regular oven before so can’t make any comparison… I’m glad Yuye convinced you to post it – still looks lovely :).

  • yummychunklet September 21, 2012, 10:23 pm

    I’m in a baking mood, so I’ll be making this over the weekend!

  • Rocky Mountain Woman September 22, 2012, 6:37 am

    I’m ready for a little baking, this looks just perfect!

  • Ali September 22, 2012, 7:27 am

    It looks great! I’ve been in a baking mood of late, too. must be that time of year 😉

  • nipponnin September 22, 2012, 7:31 am

    Nice photos! I love the tea cups, you have great sense of style.

  • Wendy September 22, 2012, 7:02 pm

    Hello there! The cake looks great and I really want to bake it. But the problem is at which stage do you add the butter? There’s 130g and 50g, so 50g for greasing cake pan and the 130g melted butter? Do you whisk the 130g butter together with the eggs and sugar? Hmmm……

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake September 23, 2012, 1:03 am

      Hi Wendy! Thanks for the reminder, I was going to update this recipe but I totally forgot about it! Yes you are right, the 50g is for buttering the pan and remaining to be folded into the batter. I folded it in together with the melted white chocolate. 🙂

  • The Squishy Monster September 23, 2012, 5:54 am

    What a supermodel loaf! I could get lost in those swirls 😉

  • Choc Chip Uru September 23, 2012, 5:56 am

    Who can resist the matcha taste, this looks delicious and what perfect swirls 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  • kitchenriffs September 23, 2012, 12:28 pm

    One of the glories of photography is you can always throw out of focus the things you don’t want people to look at. 😉 I wouldn’t have known you burned the cake unless you told us – it looks fine. And sounds delicious! The oven in our range is a bit dodgy, too, and even though there’s nothing “wrong” with it, we’re going to give ourselves a new one for Christmas this year. Life is too short to cook with substandard stuff. We don’t have room for a double oven, so I’ve actually been eying those portable convection ovens so we can have a 2nd one. I’ve heard good things about the Smart Ovens (I think that’s their name) but have no actual experience. Anyway, I always stick a thermometer in my ovens just because they never seem to be accurate.

  • Nic September 23, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Just found your website and will be a regular visitor.

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet September 23, 2012, 10:54 pm

    Oh no you poor thing! I know how you feel, baking in a portable oven : ( I was doing that in HK too when I didn’t have a big oven >_< it's super hard to control the temperature and like you said with no light…you can't tell anything sigh not good!

    And even though you said it's burnt and it doesn't look good, I still think this cake looks delicious ~ and green tea and lemon are one of my favourite flavours so definitely going to try this recipe out soon!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Anne@FromMySweetHeart September 24, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Oh Jenny….I’m sorry you are having a frustrating time in the kitchen these days. I go through similar stages myself. But I have to tell you….this cake looks really beautiful to me! Matcha and lemon is such a great combination. But also…..your food styling and photography is some of the best I’ve ever seen! I am amazed and inspired! : )

  • Iron Chef Shellie September 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

    omg i had a disastrous cooking week not that long ago… mainly with baking too. This looks great though!

  • Charles September 27, 2012, 7:54 am

    Oh God… in my first apartment when I was at university, it had only a little “kitchenette” with a tiny little counter-top oven. Damn they SUCK! I tried making cakes and it just burned the outside and left the centre molten. Impossible to use! 😀

    Love the look of the marble cake – it’s lovely to see something different to the usual “chocolate/plain” combo so often used in marble cakes too!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook September 27, 2012, 2:21 pm

    I don’t bake enough to talk about an oven, but from my short baking history I can tell my oven acts a little bit different too. Now you made me think – how the baker write recipes? Of course according to YOUR oven right? (I know here you talked about original recipe because you know the problem) But what if that oven is brand new and mine is like really old… or vice versa. What if baker has an old oven and share the recipe in a cookbook… Hm.. I wonder if there is any rule about it – like piano, if there is any measurement or standard that we need to test to see the oven situation… My oven is opposite – it’s usually not enough heat, so when the cookies say 10 minutes, then mine is like 13-15 minutes (which make me worried especially I wrote cheesecake recipe recently). See.. thinking all this, baking make me scared!!! Anyhow… your marble cake looks beeeeeeeeautiful, and I know you make delicious cake so I trust everything you said about this cake. Now I want some…! 🙂 p.s. sorry to be chatty today. your post made me think…

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake September 29, 2012, 9:21 pm

      It’s perfectly okay to be chatty Nami, in fact, I love it when you’re chatty! 😀 I totally agree with you, I’ve thought about it as well in the past and so figured out that doesn’t matter what recipe it is or how professional, the recipe is still just a ‘guide’ and has to be adapted in some way to individual ovens/kitchen as well as personal tastes too. Some might not like certain things as sweet or salty and so forth. It’s quite a difficult task to write recipes!

  • Ally November 11, 2012, 1:23 am

    Hi, stumbled across your blog and wouldn’t mind trying this recipe out 😀
    May i ask where you purchased the matcha powder from? I’ve tried several local asian groceries and none have it 🙁

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake November 12, 2012, 10:20 pm

      Hi Ally, thank for visiting my blog! I buy my green tea powder from Chinese grocery stores, there should be some available, just not sure if there are the same brands…

  • Rosemary October 25, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Jenny, where did you get these cups and saucers? I’d love to have them myself! Thank you!

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake October 26, 2014, 11:40 pm

      I replied your other comment – they’re from Fujimart in Prahran Market. The last time I was there they still stocked it so should still be there. Glad you like them, I wish I had more of them!


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