Growing up, my Vietnamese dad always mixed sweetened condensed milk in his coffee. I didn’t put two and two together until I was older and had my first taste of proper Vietnamese coffee and realized that was the flavour he’d been trying to recreate all along. It’s a creamy drink – served hot or cold – made with sweetened condensed milk and strong brewed coffee that’s typically made using robusta coffee beans (fun fact: it has double the caffeine!). Water is poured into a coffee filter called a phin, which can be found at most Asian grocery stores along with Vietnamese coffee. The process requires a couple more steps than traditional drip coffee, but it’s so worth it.
This Vietnamese coffee cake is a delicious take on the traditional coffee cake. It’s a tender cake, flavoured with intense coffee and warming cinnamon, topped with crunchy streusel and a rich sweetened condensed milk glaze for the perfect treat.
Sweetened Condensed Milk Glaze
The Vietnamese coffee in the recipe can be easily swapped for espresso or any strong brewed coffee.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a bundt or tube pan and set aside.
For the streusel, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and instant coffee (optional). Work the butter into the mixture with a fork. You’ll want to squeeze the mixture with your hands to form small clumps. Set aside.
To make the cake batter, in a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
In a measuring cup mix together the coffee, sour cream and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the coffee mixture into the wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry.
Transfer half the batter to the prepared pan, smooth out the top.
Sprinkle half of the streusel over top. Top with the remaining cake batter and finish with the remaining streusel. Bake for 60-70 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 20-30 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake cools, make the icing: Combine sweetened condensed milk, icing sugar and coffee in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle overtop of the cooled cake.
Slice and enjoy.