Espresso Chiffon Cake


This espresso chiffon cake recipe was adapted adapted from Carol Bloom’s Essential Baker by Mandy Pan of Fresh From the Oven and Just Baking. While her version opts for a caramel glaze or a bittersweet ganache with heavy cream, but to keep it dairy-free, we recommend this vegan chocolate ganache to drizzle atop your chiffon cake.

Espresso Chiffon Cake with Bittersweet glaze

“As much as I love my trustworthy chocolate cake recipes, I decided it’s time to try my hands at making chiffon cake last week. But which recipe should I entrust my first chiffon cake experiment? In the end, I decided to go with Espresso Chiffon Cake … from Carole Broom’s Essential Baker …The final result was light and flavorful. But not too sweet. I like how the espresso aroma filled the room when the cake was out from the oven. The soft and airy texture was reminiscent of my childhood. This is the kind of cakes which I liked to buy from the Asian bakeries.

The effect is not unlike a woman who takes off her serious working clothes and puts on an elegant evening gown. The version of Espresso Chiffon Cake adorned with Bittersweet Ganache, albeit simple, was sophisticated and elegant. Not to mention, delicious…”

Special Diet Notes: Espresso Chiffon Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

Espresso Chiffon Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12-14
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ½ cup unflavored vegetable oil (canola or safflower)
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 2¼ cups cake flour (I used all purpose flour with no problem)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar, separated
  • 6 extra large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325º
  2. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and cut out a hole in the middle to fit the center tube of the pan. This cake is baked in an ungreased pan because greasing the pan would keep the batter from rising and gripping the sides of the pan as the cake bakes.
  3. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in the water, Add the oil, vanilla and egg yolks. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Over a large piece of parchment paper or bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Add 1 cup of sugar and salt and stir together.
  5. Make a well in the center of the mixture by pushing the dry ingredients towards the side of the bowl. Add the espresso mixture. Using a rubber spatula, stir together until thoroughly combined.
  6. Place the egg whites in the grease free bowl of an electric mixer or in a large grease free bowl. Using the wire whip attachment or a hand held mixer, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Slowly sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites hold glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks – about 5 minutes.
  7. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter in 3 to 4 stages, blending thoroughly after each addition. Transfer the batter to the tube pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.
  8. Bake for 1 hour, or until the cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (Mine took 45-50 minutes).
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and invert it over a cooling rack onto its feet or over a funnel or a thin necked bottle. Let the cake hang to cook completely. Don’t set the pan on a cooling rack on its base. This will cause the cake to collapse onto itself.
  10. Don’t shake the cake out of the pan before it is cool. Once the cake is cool. use a thin blade knife or flexible blade spatula to run across the outer edge and the inside tube to help release the cake from the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack, then reinvert onto a serving plate.
Note on keeping:

The unglazed cake can be kept in room temperature for 3 days and up to 4 month in freezer, when tightly wrapped in plastic. If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Once the cake is glazed, it can be kept, lightly covered with waxed paper and then tightly covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 1 day. (Mine was kept in refrigerator for 3 days with no problem)

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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