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Vietnamese Coffee Cake

12 Servings

50 minutes Plus cooling

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This ultramoist cake gets richness from pairing warm, subtly sweet Chinese five-spice with cocoa powder. For an accompaniment, we took inspiration from Vietnamese coffee and created a rich, sticky sauce with sweetened condensed milk and instant espresso powder. The final flourish is a mascarpone-enriched whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.




Don’t substitute instant coffee for the instant espresso powder. Its flavor is less intense and less balanced. It also won’t dissolve as well.

50 minutes

Plus cooling

For the cake:

  • 160

    grams (1⅓ cups) cake flour, plus more for pan


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Marcy F.
December 25, 2022
Vietnamese chocolate cake
Have made this one regularly, sometimes for Christmas. The spice seems appropriate for the holidays! Trying it in a Bundt pan for first time today, wish me luck!
Zach J.

Has anyone tested this recipe at high altitude? Any recommendations for adjustments?
Standard adjustments (reduce leavening+sugar, increase flour+liquid) don't usually work well on items that get their most of their rise from whipped egg white and I usual avoid such recipes. But this looks too good not to try.

Zach J.

Finally tried this at 8000 feet with standard altitude adjustments and it came out perfectly without collapsing in the center! For others looking to bake this at altitude I recommend half as much baking powder, increase flour by 1T, decrease sugar by 2T, bake at 360F for the first 10mins then drop to 350.

Carly J.

This recipe is fantastic and everyone I've served it to loves it! The cake has such a nice light texture that allows the whole to not be too rich despite the decadent toppings. I like it with more cream on top, so I usually double the amount of cream topping.

Kelsey C.

Love this recipe! The sweetened condensed milk/coffee syrup is amazing - I may have made it on its own and used it as coffee creamer before 😁
I have also used gluten free flour and the cake still turns out great!

Sarah R.

This is a delightful cake. The cake itself, to me, is kind of “meh” all by itself. It makes me think of a red velvet cake with added Chinese five-spice. But with the sauce and the whipped cream drizzled on top, oh my goodness—now this is a cake. I’ve been heating the cake up in the microwave and adding the toppings straight from the fridge. I savor every bite.
I halved the recipe with no problems. I wouldn’t recommend halving the whipped cream. It’s a dream.