Espresso Chiffon Cake Recipe

by Whole Latte Love Updated: December 3, 2020 3 min read
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Looking to impress with a satisfying dessert? This spectacular Espresso Chiffon Cake delivers three layers of espresso & rum topped off with a mouthwatering fudge frosting. The espresso chiffon cake is easy to make, and if you love coffee, likely to become a new favorite!

Makes an 8-inch or 9-inch triple-layer cake.

Chiffon Cake Batter


  • 1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil (soybean, canola, blended)
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
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Espresso Chiffon Cake Recipe


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2

Line the bottoms of three 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with rounds of parchment or waxed paper, but do not grease.

Step 3

In a medium bowl, combine the oil, egg yolks, espresso and vanilla; whisk lightly to blend. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, 1 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.

Step 4

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until frothy. Raising the mixer speed to medium-high and gradually add the remaining half cup of sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form.

Baker’s Tip: Do not whip until stiff or the cake will shirk excessively upon cooling.

Step 5

Add the espresso-egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together just enough to combine. Add one-fourth of the beaten egg whites and fold them in to lighten the batter. Fold in the remainder of the whites just until no streaks remain. Divide the batter among the three prepared pans.

Step 6

Bake the cakes for about 18 minutes each, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pans. When cooled, run a blunt knife around the edge of the pans to release the cakes. Invert onto wire racks and remove the paper liners.

Step 7

To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Soak the cake with 1/3 cup of the Espresso Syrup (below). Spread about 1 1/3 cups of the Instant Fudge Frosting (below) evenly over the top of the layer. Repeat with the next layer, more syrup and more frosting. Finally, top with the third layer. Soak it with the remaining syrup and frost the tops and sides with the remaining frosting.

Espresso Syrup


  • 1/3 cup hot, freshly brewed espresso
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark rum


Step 1

In a bowl, stir together the espresso and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Step 2

Add the rum and let cool to room temperature (water can be substituted for rum). Worried about the caffeine? Use decaf espresso.

Instant Fudge Frosting


  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons half-and-half or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla


Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate then process until the frosting is smooth.