Inspired by Vietnamese-style iced coffee (cà phê đá), this recipe combines dark, bitter coffee and sweet condensed milk in a two-toned loaf cake. To double down on the coffee flavor, a coffee-infused sugar glaze enrobes the cake. The glaze shatters into a delicate, bittersweet crunch with every bite, recalling sugar-dipped donuts. Have a slice with your morning coffee, or as a snack for a midday caffeine jolt.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, cubed & at room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 pcs large eggs
- 1 can (300ml) condensed milk
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tsp instant black coffee
Vietnamese Coffee Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2–3 tbsp condensed milk
- 1 tbsp instant black coffee
- 2 tbsp milk
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 330°F (165°C) with a rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of your loaf pan then dust with flour, shaking off the excess. Alternatively, butter and line your pan with parchment paper.
Mix dry ingredients: Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Make cake batter: Add butter and sugar into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl if mixing by hand. Beat the butter and sugar over medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, making sure the egg is mixed in completely before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract and condensed milk. Mix until well incorporated.
Fold dry ingredients: Reduce speed to low and slowly add the sifted flour mixture. Mix until smooth and just combined, switching to a spatula if needed.
Make coffee batter: Divide the cake batter into two separate bowls. Fold in 3 teaspoons of instant coffee into the first batter until well combined and light brown in color.
Make cake layers: Pour the plain milk batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the pan on the counter to level out the batter, then pour the coffee batter on top. To create marbled layers, run a barbecue stick or table knife through the batter.
Bake: Bake the loaf for 45–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze: While waiting for the cake to cool, make the coffee glaze by combining powdered sugar, condensed milk, and instant coffee in a mixing bowl. Add milk and mix with a spatula until smooth and thick.
Glaze cake: Once the cake is cool, spoon or pour the coffee glaze on top, letting it drip down the sides. We spread the glaze with an offset spatula to fully coat the cake, but you can leave the dripped-down glaze as is. Let the glaze set for a few minutes before slicing. Serve immediately, with leftover coffee glaze on the side if desired.