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Vietnamese coffee cake: A delicacy inspired by the world-famous drink

29/01/2024 5.104

In this article, you can delve into the captivating world of Vietnamese cuisine with our feature on the delectable Vietnamese coffee cake. Here, we uncover its history, key components, and irresistible flavors that enchant food enthusiasts globally.

Vietnamese coffee cake

Vietnamese coffee cake is indeed a delightful dessert that beautifully captures the essence of Vietnam's rich coffee culture. Infused with a distinct coffee flavor, this dessert is an ideal option for social gatherings with friends or romantic dates. In recent years, innovative twists on these special Vietnamese cakes have emerged, showcasing the adaptability and creativity of Vietnamese cuisine while honoring its cultural significance.

1. The story behind the creation of Vietnamese coffee cake

Vietnamese iced coffee, also known as "cà phê sữa đá", is a beloved beverage that has gained international acclaim for its unique flavors and brewing method. The unique flavor of Vietnamese coffee comes from robust, dark-roasted Vietnamese coffee powder brewed with a drip filter and sweetened condensed milk. The slow drip process ensures a rich and robust coffee concentrate that pairs seamlessly with the creamy sweetness of condensed milk when poured over ice.

With their love and passion for coffee, the Vietnamese people have also created a delightful dessert inspired by Vietnam’s signature drink: Vietnamese coffee cake. Its tastes are defined by the use of aromatic robusta coffee powder and fragrant condensed milk. This cake truly represents Vietnam's lively coffee culture, presenting a seamless fusion of bittersweet coffee notes, velvety textures, and a touch of indulgent sweetness. Its irresistible appeal transcends boundaries, enchanting dessert lovers worldwide.

Vietnamese coffee cake

2. A step-by-step guide to making Vietnamese coffee cake

2.1. Ingredients

To prepare a delicious and authentic Vietnamese coffee cake, you will need the following ingredients:


  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons unsalted butter

Coffee Cake

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup Vietnamese coffee 
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sweetened Condensed Milk Glaze

  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vietnamese coffee

*Note: The Vietnamese coffee in the recipe can be easily swapped for espresso or any strong brewed coffee.

Vietnamese coffee cake

2.2. Instructions

Among many Vietnamese coffee cake recipes, here is the simplest way to make a perfect and delicious Vietnamese coffee cake that you can try at home.

Step 1:

  • Heat the oven to 177°C. Butter a bundt or tube pan and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the streusel

  • Mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and instant coffee (the instant coffee is optional).
  • Add the butter into the mixture.
  • Use your hands to incorporate the butter; squeeze the mixture until it forms small clumps; then set it aside.

Step 3: Make the cake batter

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or a stand mixer to cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time.

Step 4: Make the streusel

  • Mix coffee, sour cream, and vanilla in a measuring cup.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Alternately adding the dry ingredients and the coffee mixture to the wet ingredients.

Step 5: Bake the cake

  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and even out the surface.
  • Spread half of the streusel on top of the batter.
  • Layer the remaining cake batter, then sprinkle the remaining streusel on top.
  • Bake for 60-70 minutes until the surface turns golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 6: Prepare the frosting

  • Combine sweetened condensed milk, icing sugar, and coffee in a bowl, and whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle the mixture over the cooled cake.

There you have it, you have completed the special Vietnamese coffee cake. Let's serve it and enjoy!

Vietnamese coffee cake

3. Other Vietnamese coffee desserts you should not miss

In addition to Vietnamese coffee cake, many other types of Vietnamese desserts are also infused with coffee. The unique flavor of coffee enhances a variety of cakes, appealing to a diverse range of customers. Here are some Vietnamese coffee cake recipes that you should not miss.

3.1. Vietnamese coffee flan

Vietnamese coffee flan is a delightful dessert that combines the bold flavors of coffee with the velvety texture of classic Vietnamese flan cake. It perfectly embodies Vietnam's dynamic coffee culture, presenting a fusion of smooth creaminess and an irresistible coffee-infused caramel topping. With its exquisite mix of sweet and bitter undertones, this dessert is a must-have for cake lovers in search of a distinctive and delightful culinary adventure.

Vietnamese coffee cake

3.2. Vietnamese steamed coffee layer cake

Unlike other Vietnamese coffee cake variations, this dessert is renowned for its unique jelly-like texture and rich coffee aroma. The cake features alternating layers of pandan and coffee-flavored tapioca flour, creating a striking visual appeal and a delightful blend of fragrant, earthy notes with a hint of sweetness. Its preparation involves a meticulous steaming process that results in a soft, gelatinous consistency, making it a beloved treat for Vietnamese households and a popular delicacy in local markets and eateries.

Vietnamese coffee cake

3.3. Vietnamese coffee-flavored candied coconut ribbons

Coffee-flavored candied coconut is a special variant of the Vietnam coffee cake that often appears during the ethnic group's Tet holiday. It combines the rich taste of Vietnamese coffee with the delightful aroma of coconut. The preparation process involves marinating coconut ribbons with rich coffee flavor, creating a perfect blend of these distinctive elements. This sweet treat is a precious gift in Vietnamese cuisine, renowned for its enticing aroma, chewy texture, and irresistible fusion of coffee and coconut, appealing to dessert enthusiasts of all ages.

Vietnamese coffee cake

3.4. Vietnamese coffee cookies

Renowned for their crunchy texture, robust coffee flavor, and perfect sweetness, Vietnamese coffee cookies are an irresistible delight for coffee and dessert fans. The recipe commonly integrates Vietnamese coffee powder into the cookie dough, infusing it with a strong coffee essence. Whether paired with a morning cup of coffee or enjoyed as an afternoon snack, these cookies offer a fulfilling take on the classic cookie experience, encapsulating the essence of Vietnam's coffee culture in every bite.

Vietnamese coffee cake

In addition to Vietnamese coffee cake, it is recommended that you try other unique desserts and beverages made from coffee that are exclusively found in Vietnam, such as Vietnamese egg coffee, Vietnamese coffee jelly, Vietnamese coffee ice cream, Vietnamese coffee cheesecake, and so on.

Besides, there are various other must-try Vietnamese dishes that showcase the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Some notable options include Vietnamese banana cake, Vietnamese honeycomb cake, Vietnamese cassava cake, Vietnamese mung bean cake, Vietnamese shrimp cake, Chung cake, etc. These delights will take you on an amazing culinary journey, enhancing your overall experience of Vietnam travel.

Vietnam also offers many stunning attractions waiting to be discovered. Within its plethora of renowned destinations, HanoiHo Chi Minh CityPhu QuocNha TrangHoi An, and Ha Long are absolute must-visit locations that should not be missed.

To ensure a fulfilling and enriching journey, you can choose Vinpearl as your accommodation. Located in prime locations, Vinpearl’s hotels and resorts are the perfect retreat, offering top-notch services along with luxurious dining options, spas, gyms, and swimming pools. Also, do not miss the chance to explore VinWonders during your stay for an added touch of adventure and entertainment. With impressive shows, vibrant festivals, and amazing waterparks, VinWonders promises you and your loved ones unforgettable moments of fun.

Vietnamese coffee cake

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Vietnamese coffee cake, with its special coffee flavor and diverse varieties, holds a special place in the heart of Vietnamese cuisine. Its unique texture and aromatic essence transcend mere taste, offering a glimpse into the vibrant and inviting coffee culture of Vietnam. Whether shared with friends or enjoyed alone, Vietnamese coffee cake promises an unforgettable experience, fostering a lasting admiration for the nation's culinary heritage.

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