Vanilla and Hojicha Cake Recipe

Prep Time:
20 Minutes
Cook Time:
45 Minutes
Makes a two layered 9-inch cake

Hojicha is a green tea roasted over charcoal, and it gives these tender cake layers a deliciously toasty and slightly smoky flavor, which is balanced with a vanilla and silky buttercream.

Recipe By: Kristina Cho of Eat Cho Food

Featured Products: Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware 10-PC Set



  • 1 1/2 cups sugar 
  • 3 cups flour 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp hojicha powder 
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 2 tsp baking soda 
  • 2 tsp salt 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract) 
  • 2/3 cup oil 
  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • 1 cup berry preserves 
  • Strawberries and mint for decoration 

Vanilla Buttercream: 

  • 2 vanilla bean pod 
  • 6 sticks softened butter 
  • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste 
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Lightly butter or oil just the bottoms to help the parchment paper stick and press out any air bubbles. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine sugar, flour, hojicha powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  3. In another large mixing bowl, whisk to combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil. Once smooth, add half of the try ingredients. Whisk until nearly smooth, add the remaining dry ingredients. Whisk until there’s just a few dry bits left, the batter will be thick at this point. Add the boiling water and continue mixing until the batter is loose and smooth. 
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Tap the pans on the counter a few times to knock out any air bubbles. Bake until the centers are set, 28 to 30 minutes, turning half way through. 
  5. Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire cooling rack to fully cool. Level the cakes with a sharp bread knife if needed. 
  6. While the cakes cool, prepare the buttercream. Split the vanilla bean pods with a sharp paring nice and scrape out the seeds with the dull side of the blade. In the bowl of an electric standmixer, add the softened butter and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the vanilla bean seeds and past and continue mixing for another minute. Reduce the speed to low and add a cup of the powder sugar at a time until incorporated (helps avoid sugar flying everywhere). Increase the speed up to medium-high, add the heavy cream and continue mixing until light and fluffy. 
  7. To assemble the cake: Place a cake board or plate on a rotating cake stand or lazy susan. Smear a dollop of buttercream in the center of the cake board. Place a cake layer on the cake board. Smear buttercream over the cake layer. If adding the fruit preserve, filling a piping bag or resealable bag with buttercream and snip the end off. Pipe a ring of buttercream around the edges to keep the fruit preserve in. Spread the fruit preserve up to the edges of the buttercream. Add the remaining layer of cake and spread buttercream over top and the sides. Top with fresh strawberries and mint leaves. 
  8. Serve at room temperature or store in a cake box and chill in the fridge for up to 2 days before serve (allow time for the cake to get back to room temperature). 


Kristina Cho