Serves a Crowd

Vietnamese Coffee Cake

February  3, 2016
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Have you ever tried a Vietnamese-style coffee? See, think about heaven. Double that. That's what it is. Basically, it's freshly brewed coffee with sweetened condensed milk. I mean, if you've never tried it, you are in for a huge treat, my friend, especially if you are a crazy coffee lover, like I am. That being said, I made this coffee cake with a coffee brigadeiro (hence the condensed milk) on top. I also added a bit of cardamom to the batter, because I'm nosy and I love the cardamom-and-coffee combo. You can leave it out, however, if you want (but not really). This cake is insanely moist, full of strong flavors, and crazy addictive. —Laura Biscaro

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Laura Biscaro is a recently graduated chef and a blogger based in Brazil.
WHAT: Finally: A coffee cake actually made with coffee! (And spiced, too.)
HOW: Bake up a coffee- and cardamom-scented cake, moist from butter and yogurt. Once cool, drizzle a sauce of sweetened condensed milk and coffee over the top and serve with—what else?—coffee.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The coffee flavor in this cake is rich and caramelized, with depth and complexity from the cardamom and an extra spike of sugar from the brigadeiro. The cardamom flavor is very strong in the batter but subtler when baked; still, follow the instructions and start with less than a teaspoon if you're not accustomed to the spice. We'd recommend drizzling, rather than spreading, the sauce, since it's quite sweet. —The Editors

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10 people
  • For the cake
  • 210 grams (1 1/2 cup or 7.4 ounces) plain flour
  • 105 grams (3/4 cup or 3.7 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee, ground into a fine powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (or a little less, if you're not used to the flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 90 grams (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 210 grams (1 cup or 7.4 ounces) brown sugar
  • 113 grams (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) butter, unsalted and room temperature
  • 285 grams (1 1/4 cups or 10 ounces) plain yogurt, full fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • For the brigadeiro
  • 395 grams (one 14-ounce tin) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tablespoons strongly brewed coffee (I used some homemade cold brew)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup or 2 ounces) heavy cream (optional)
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat your oven to 180° C/350° F. Grease and line the bottom of a 24.5-cm/9.5-inche round cake tin. Set aside.
  2. Into the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large bowl, if mixing by hand), mix butter and both sugars for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing very well between each addition. Meanwhile, mix in the ground instant coffee with the yogurt, until it's somewhat dissolved. In another bowl, whisk both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cardamom. Set both aside.
  3. Add half of your dry ingredients into the butter, on low speed, and mix. Then add half the yogurt, mix, then the remaining flour and yogurt, and mix until combined. This process assures that your batter won't curdle. Pour it into the prepared tin and bake it for around 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. While your cake cools, make your brigadeiro. In a saucepan, combine the condensed milk, the coffee, and 1 tablespoon of butter. On medium-low heat, keep mixing it with a wooden spoon until it thickens and kind of peels off from the bottom, then turn off the heat. You could leave it like that, but I add a bit of heavy cream to make it more loose—but that's up to you, really. Pour the brigadeiro on top of the cake and it's ready to serve.

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