Go Back
+ servings
This Thai tea Vietnamese coffee cake combines moist coffee-flavored cake soaked with sweetened condensed milk and fluffy Thai tea buttercream. #thaitea #vietnamesecoffee #cake #dessert

Thai Tea Vietnamese Coffee Cake

This Thai tea Vietnamese coffee cake features the flavors of Thai tea (black tea and spices flavored buttercream) and Vietnamese coffee (moist, coffee flavored cake and sweetened condensed milk drizzle).
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, thai, Vietnamese
Keyword assam tea, black tea, buttercream, cake, cloves, coffee, layer cake, nut-free, star anise, sweetened condensed milk, swiss meringue buttercream, thai tea, vegeatarian, vietnamese coffee
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Calories 523 kcal


Vietnamese Coffee Cake

  • ½ cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 ½ tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature

Thai Tea Buttercream

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter room temperature, cut into tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground Assam black tea
  • ¼ teaspoon ground star anise
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves


  • ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk plus extra for serving
  • roasted coffee beans


Vietnamese Coffee Cake

  1. Combine the brewed coffee and espresso. Cool.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the butter until smooth, then add the sugar. Beat until very light in color and texture. Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, then the vanilla. Mix until combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the cooled coffee in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until smooth after each addition.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Using a spatula, stir ¼ of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites. Scrape into two greased and floured (or grease the pans and use parchment paper to line the bottom) 6” round cake pans. Smooth the tops.
  5. Bake at 350F until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert and unmold the cake onto a wire rack, then cool completely.

Thai Tea Buttercream

  1. In the heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks, fluffy and cooled.
  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. Add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, tea and spices until smooth.


  1. Level the tops of the cakes with a long, serrated knife. Place a dab of buttercream in the center of a cake stand/serving plate, then place one cake layer over the buttercream and press it down to help the cake stick to the buttercream and the plate. Poke holes all over the top of the cake so that the sweetened condensed milk can soak into it a bit.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the sweetened condensed milk onto the cake, leaving a bit of a border around the edge of the cake so the sweetened condensed milk doesn't ooze out. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream (I like to keep this layer thin so that I ensure I have plenty to ice the outside of the cake) on top of the sweetened condensed milk. Add the other cake, bottom up, so that you have a flat top. Poke holes in this cake as well, and spread on the rest of the sweetened condensed milk. Crumb coat the cake with the Thai tea buttercream, and refrigerate the cake for 10-15 minutes so that the buttercream can set up.
  3. Add the rest of the buttercream and use it to frost the cake more thickly. Sprinkle the top with coffee beans. You can serve wedges with more sweetened condensed milk drizzled over the top.

Recipe Notes

Vietnamese coffee cake from Sarabeth Levine's Sarahbeth's Bakery. Thai tea buttercream adapted from Martha Stewart.

You can double everything: just bake the cakes in three 8” round cake pans. Or if you are the kind of person who goes starry-eyed over the sound of frosting shots, then make double the amount buttercream I used (double the buttercream, keep the cake the same).