Wake up from your winter hibernation with this easy, no-bake cheesecake! It’s layered with matcha and covered in a refreshing mint chocolate ganache—for those who like a side of caffeine with their sugar buzz.
Happy almost St. Patrick’s Day! I’m really excited to share this matcha cheesecake recipe because it’s not only delicious and perfect for the holiday, it’s packed with clean caffeine to snap you out of winter snooze mode.
I got the idea for this cake after watching one of those insanely addictive Tasty videos on Facebook. I was drawn to the matcha because I’ve been drinking it a lot after cutting back on coffee about a year ago. I’m also drawn to anything green. It’s been my favorite color in various shades for years—currently olive. The color green (aside from representing the luck of the Irish) symbolizes growth and renewal, so this is a great treat to celebrate the coming of Spring in addition to St. Patty’s Day.
I loved growing up in the Midwest watching the green buds form on the trees. Spring is such a beautiful, transformative time—it’s a good reminder that everything is temporary and we all have the ability to transform and grow.
Speaking of growth—my cake decorating skills!? This was my first time with the drip technique and it’s honestly way easier than you’d think. I chilled the cake beforehand to ensure the drips hardened quickly. I will say, the ganache cools pretty fast, so you need to work quickly to spread it evenly before it cools. I made a double batch so I could add more to even out the layer if I had to. There was quite a bit left over so I ended up eating ganache for breakfast that day, but there was a hint of espresso in it, so it worked.
Aside from satisfying your sweet tooth, this cake will also serve as your daily dose of caffeine. Plus, matcha gives you a clean buzz without the jitters! Did you know coffee can stimulate the production of cortisol, the hormone related to stress?
This is why I cut way back on coffee and turned to matcha to replace that need for a pick-me-up. It’s a good option for people sensitive to caffeine because its chemical makeup is naturally designed to slow down the release of caffeine into the body, giving you a less intense buzz without the crash. Science is cool.
There is a 1/2 tsp of espresso powder in the ganache, but it’s really only to bring out the natural flavor of the chocolate. It won’t give you the jitters—promise. I love the addition of the mint. It adds a very light, refreshing note to what is otherwise a pretty rich dessert. The cheesecake itself isn’t overly sweet because I didn’t want to overpower the subtle green tea flavor of the matcha, but the cream cheese and heavy cream make it quite rich. I’m not complaining, though.
We’ve had a bunch of guests comes through the house this week, so I was lucky enough to get lots of taste testers for this recipe. It got all thumbs up, so you should definitely try it out and let me know what you think!
LAYERED MATCHA CHEESECAKE + MINT CHOCOLATE GANACHE
For the crust
- 1 box vanilla wafers, crushed
- 6 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tsp ground ginger
For the filling
- 3 1/2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 2/3 cups vanilla yogurt
- 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5 tsp gelatin
- 2 tbsp water (to mix with gelatin)
- 2 tbsp matcha powder
- 3-4 tbsp hot water (to mix with matcha)
For the mint ganache | garnish
*Make a double batch for a thick layer of ganache
- 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate (1 Ghirardelli bar)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder
- 1/4 tsp mint extract
- extra vanilla wafer crumbs, to garnish
- fresh mint leaves, to garnish
*Let cold ingredients come to room temp for easy mixing.
For the crust
Put vanilla wafers in a food processor and pulse until crumbs form. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and ground ginger and mix until well combined.
Layer the bottom of an 8 x 3 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Dump the crumb mixture into the pan and form a crust by flattening it out with the bottom of a measuring cup or by firmly pressing down with your hands. Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For the filling
Add 2 tbsp water (room temp) to the gelatin in a small microwave safe bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Mix the softened cream cheese and sugar in a stand up mixer or with a hand mixer until smooth. Add yogurt, heavy cream, and vanilla and mix well. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for 15-30 seconds until liquid and stir. Strain gelatin into cream cheese mixture and combine until completely incorporated and smooth.
Divide mixture in half into two separate bowls. Add hot water to matcha and whisk to create a liquid consistency. Add matcha to one of the bowls and stir until mixture is completely green in color.
Take the white filling and add half to the chilled crust. Smooth out with an offset icing spatula (or the back of a spoon) and put in the freezer for 15 minutes. Then take the green filling and add half to make a second layer on top of the white layer. Smooth out and freeze for 15 minutes. Repeat process with white mixture and then green mixture.
For the mint ganache | garnish
Roughly chop chocolate and put in a heat safe bowl and set aside. Heat cream in a small saucepan over med-high heat and whisk in espresso powder and mint extract. Bring the cream to a simmer until bubbles appear along the sides of the pan.
Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute to soften. Whisk until chocolate is smooth and shiny. You can press a layer of plastic wrap against the top and set aside until you’re ready to use.
When you’re ready to decorate, pour 1/4 of the ganache into a ziplock bag fitted inside a tall glass and set aside. Take cake out of the freezer and remove the ring from the cheesecake pan by sliding a knife that’s been dipped in hot water around the edges. Transfer cake to serving plate and pour some of the remaining ganache over the top. Quickly smooth chocolate over the top with an icing spatula making sure to cover the top from edge to edge. Add a second layer of ganache if you made a double batch and want a thicker layer of chocolate, or if you need to even out the layer.
Take the ziplock bag filled with ganache and cut the very tippy tip off with a pair of sharp scissors. Go around the edges of the cake with the ziplock in a wavy motion to create a drip pattern and quickly smooth over rough edges with the spatula.
Store in the fridge for an hour before serving to unthaw.. Top with extra vanilla wafer crumbs and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
For more cheesecake inspo check out my spiced apple cheesecake with cinnamon whip cream!