Goji berries, as they are most commonly referred to in the English-speaking world, are also known as Chinese wolfberries. And rightfully so, as you’d be surprised at how often these unassuming little red berries are used in Chinese cooking. In fact, they are a celebrated ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In many parts of Asia, dried goji berries are added to a variety of sweet and savoury dishes such as almond jelly, rice congee, herbal soups and herbal teas.
While the Chinese have been using these berries in their cooking for centuries, the rest of us are only now starting to realise the benefits of eating them. Frequently classified as a superfruit, goji berries are high in antioxidants and contain many essential minerals and vitamins, including vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C and E.
I don’t know about you, but dried goji berries taste much like tomatoes to me; a little sweet, a little salty, a little tangy. They also make an interesting textural addition to this green tea cake. Soaked in water to soften and plump them up, the berries are then folded into the matcha-infused batter for an extra sweet-savoury burst of flavour.
The cake bakes to a lovely brown on the outside, but slice it open and you will find pretty green speckled with dark red. Not overly cloying, it is much like a sweet bread rather than a cake. You might like to try toasting a slice and giving it a smear of red bean paste or strawberry jam. Other serving suggestions include a side of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Goji Berry Green Tea Cake
1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea) powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup raw caster sugar
1/3 cup dried goji berries (Chinese wolfberries), soaked in water for 10 minutes, drained
5 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 7x3x4 inch loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, matcha, baking powder and salt. Mix well, set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, combine eggs and sugar until pale and thick (ribbon stage). This can take several minutes.
- Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture and add the softened goji berries. Gently fold the mixture with a spatula until berries are evenly distributed, then fold in the melted butter. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared tin, evening out the mixture with the spatula as needed.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cake from tin and remove paper lining before leaving to cool on a wire rack.
27 thoughts on “Chinese Wolfberry (Goji Berry) Matcha Cake”
Sounds amazing, I love the colour of this! I’ve never tried goji berries before so I’ll have to keep an eye out for them :-)
Thank you, Sinead! I agree, the colour is the best thing about green tea-infused baked goods! Dried goji berries are quite easily available at most health food stores :)
wow! I adore the colour!
I like how you use green tea powder in this recipe plus the berries. Looks really good!
Green tea powder is one of my favourite ingredients! It’s very versatile and can be added to breads, cookies, cakes, ice cream… the list is endless!
this is beautiful! I am going to buy matcha this weekend and try this
That’s great! Best of luck in the kitchen! :)
hey, thanks for the like! I’m in awe of your photography, in all your recipes! and of course, the baked goods themselves -this one sounds right up my street :-)
No problem! I love your blog and all those beautiful pictures of Japan! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such kind words. I’m happy to know that you’re enjoying my photography and recipes! :)
Simply LOVE IT!!!
Oooh, looks tasty!
well, my 2nd visit here! I just can’t get this yummie out of my head haha
Ahahaha, maybe it’s a sign that you should make some and eat some! ;)
Looks delicious- and so beautiful! I love reading about new ways to use goji berries- thanks!
Thank you, dear! It’s always fun to think of ways to use goji berries. They have such a vibrant colour and unqiue taste. Plus it’s great that they’re packed full of nutrients!
makes me hungry!
Looks crazy good! So the matcha powder–do you buy that in bulk from a tea store? Thinking it would be awesome ice cream. Thanks for coming over to foodforfun for the (green, but not matcha) ice-cream shake:-)
Hi Liz! Matcha powder can be a little hard to find if you’re not living in Japan, but not impossible! Stores that specialise in teas will probably stock matcha because it is quite popular, but can be very pricey for just a small amount. But that’s alright because you only ever really need a teaspoon or two of the powder for anything at one time… the potency of matcha is out of this world! You can also try any Japanese grocery store in your area for the stuff. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t have any.
As for your ice cream idea, I could really go for some matcha ice cream right about now! ;)
Thanks, Angie. Plenty of Japanese grocers where I live, so I’m off to find matcha powder:-)
This is beautiful, and it sounds yummy! Great photos.
Yummy! I never thought of using goji berries in a sweet dish. My mom always made some sort of medicinal chicken soup (四物湯) with goji berries. Now I know of other ways to use goji berries!
Oh! Call me weird, but I really like those herbal soups with goji berries! When I was younger, I only knew them as a type of date (that’s what my mother always told me anyway). 10 years later and imagine my surprise when I discovered they’re actually the superfood, goji!
i love match!
beautiful color on the cake:)
Yummy! Looks so good <3