Coffeehouse Espresso Chiffon Cake with Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache


This espresso chiffon cake recipe was shared with us by Mandy Pan several years ago, when she wrote for a website called Just Baking. Mandy adapted it from Carol Bloom’s Essential Baker, and had this to say …

This Espresso Chiffon Cake is light and flavorful, but not too sweet. I like how a coffeehouse aroma filled my kitchen as it cooled on the counter top. The soft and airy texture was reminiscent of my childhood, and of the delightful sponge cakes I like to buy from the Asian bakeries. Drizzled with chocolate ganache, it’s the perfect combination of simplicity and elegance.

Espresso Chiffon Cake Recipe with Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache

Special Diet Notes: Espresso Chiffon Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose the ganache ingredients that suit your dietary needs. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone! See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?

Espresso Chiffon Cake with Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 14 servings
Espresso Chiffon Cake
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 6 extra large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 2¼ cups cake flour (see All-Purpose Flour Option below)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + ½ cup superfine sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache
  • 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) dairy-free milk beverage
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free buttery spread
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat your oven to 325ºF.
  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. Do not grease the pan.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup or medium bowl, dissolve the espresso powder in the water. Add the oil, egg yolks, and vanilla, and whisk until well combined.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add 1 cup of the sugar, and whisk to combine.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry mix, add the espresso mixture, and stir with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.
  6. Place the egg whites in a large, dry, grease-free mixing bowl. Beat with a mixer (with a wire whip attachment, if you have one) on medium speed until the whites are frothy. Add the cream of tartar, and with the mixer running, slowly sprinkle in the remaining ½ cup of sugar. 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 but gently after each addition.
  8. Transfer the batter to your prepared tube pan. Use the rubber spatula to smooth and even the top.
  9. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  10. 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 cool completely. Don’t set the pan on a cooling rack on its base. This will cause the cake to collapse onto itself.
  11. 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.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Ganache
  1. Melt the milk beverage and buttery spread together in the top part of a double broiler.
  2. Add the chocolate chips, and continue to heat, while stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is very smooth.
  3. Scrape the ganache over the cooled chiffon cake while warm. It will set up as it cools.
All-Purpose Flour Option: Substitute the cake flour with 2 cups all-purpose flour and ¼ cup cornstarch.

Cake Storage: The unglazed cake can be kept in room temperature for 3 days and up to 4 months 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, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/14 cake with ganache Calories: 359 Fat: 15.5g Saturated fat: 4.8g Carbohydrates: 49.3g Sugar: 30.7g Sodium: 92mg Fiber: .6g Protein: 6.3g

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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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