Double Espresso Coffee Chiffon Cake with Fat-Free Frosting
Prep time
Bake / Cook time
Total time
Soft, moist and delicious chiffon cake flavored with espresso, filled and frosted with a light, fat-free frosting that’s flavored with espresso to match.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 - 12
For the Cake:
Part 1: for the coffee batter:
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso (decaffeinated instant coffee will also work)
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (use a light oil such as canola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Part 2: for the meringue:
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup sugar

For the Whipped Fat-Free Espresso Frosting:
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a 10-inch ungreased 2-piece tube pan.
  2. Separate egg whites from egg yolks and place egg whites in a clean, grease-free mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add the instant espresso to the hot water and stir to dissolve.
  4. In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and 1 ¼ cups sugar.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the oil and dissolved coffee. Whisk well to combine.
  6. Add yolks and vanilla and whisk until smooth and well blended. Set aside.
  7. Using the wire whip attachment of a stand mixer, start whipping the egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Slowly add the cream of tartar. Do not add the cream of tartar all at once, rather, add it in small amounts so that it doesn’t clump and settle at the bottom.
  8. Still on medium speed, gradually add ¾ cups sugar to the egg whites. Continue to whip until medium to stiff, but not dry, peaks. The meringue will look glossy, not dry, but neither should it be too runny or soft.
  9. Gently fold a small amount of egg whites, around 1 cup, into the coffee batter to aerate and loosen up the batter.
  10. Add about ⅓ of the meringue into the coffee batter, cutting and folding with swift strokes to combine and taking care not to deflate the meringue. Turn the bowl clockwise each time the batter is folded over.
  11. Add half of the remaining meringue into the batter. Cut and fold to combine with the batter. Add the last third of the meringue and continue cutting and folding until well blended. Do not over mix.
  12. Pour the batter into an ungreased tube pan. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when lightly touched.
  13. Remove cake from oven to cool. It must be inverted immediately and suspended above table or countertop. There are two ways to do this: 1) if the cake has not risen above the level of the pan, you can turn the pan upside down and allow it to stand on the center tube. However, if the cake has risen above the level of the tube, I carefully insert a small glass bottle into the tube to suspend the cake. 2) some tube pans have three prongs on the outside edges of the pan; the pan can also be inverted by allowing it to rest on those three prongs. If the cake happens to be higher than the level of the prongs, rest each prong on a can to elevate the pan.
  14. Allow the cake to completely cool for at least 2 hours.
  15. To remove the cake from the tube pan, first slide a knife around the edges of the pan. Then gently push up on the flat bottom piece of the pan and push it up from the pan. Then run a knife along the center tube to loosen it from the center. Run the knife again along the bottom to separate it from the bottom piece. Gently invert the cake onto a cake plate.
  16. Slice the cake horizontally to make 3 layers using a serrated knife.
For the Whipped Fat-Free Espresso Frosting:
  1. Dissolve the espresso in 1 tablespoon of hot water. Set aside.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  3. Place the sugar in a saucepan on the stove top. Pour the water over the sugar. You can swirl the saucepan so the water is evenly distributed. Do not worry about stirring. Place a candy thermometer in the pan to measure the temperature of the syrup once it starts to boil. Turn the heat to high to bring sugar and water to a rapid boil. Do not stir the syrup.
  4. Meantime, start whipping egg whites on medium using a wire whip attachment. Once the egg whites start to take shape. Slowly add the cream of tartar.
  5. Back to the stovetop, when the syrup reaches between 240° F - 250° F, remove the saucepan from the heat. Switch mixer speed to medium low and, in a very thin stream, slowly pour ⅓ of the syrup into the egg whites. Pour the hot syrup in between beater and the bowl, avoiding the beater.
  6. Return the saucepan to the stove top. Turn the heat back on to bring the temperature of the syrup back up to between 240° F - 250° F. Meantime, continue beating the egg whites and increase the speed of the mixer back up to medium high, about 2 minutes.
  7. Once the syrup is back between 240° F - 250° F, remove from heat.
  8. Reduce mixer speed to medium low. Add half of remaining syrup very slowly in a thin stream to the frosting.
  9. Return the saucepan to the stovetop to bring the temperature of the remaining syrup back between 240° F - 250° F. Increase mixer speed to medium high while syrup is boiling.
  10. Once the last third of the syrup is back between 240° F - 250° F, slowly pour it into the frosting with the mixer speed on medium low. When all the syrup has been added, the bowl will be hot to the touch. Increase mixer speed to medium high and whip for about 5 – 6 minutes until frosting reaches stiff peaks and has tripled in volume.
  11. Slowly add the dissolved espresso, then the vanilla. Whip for about 1 – 2 minutes more until completely incorporated.
  12. Use frosting immediately. Fill cake layers and cover with frosting.
Do not use a non-stick baking pan and do not grease the pan. This will allow the batter to cling to the sides of the pan and make the cake rise.
Recipe by SugaryWinzy at