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Vietnamese Coffee Poke Cake

Sheet sponge cake soaked in a sweetened condensed milk coffee mixture. Topped with espresso whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder, this Vietnamese Coffee Poke Cake is great for all sorts of celebrations, even brunch! 
Yield: 9x13-inch sheet cake
Author: The Little Epicurean


Sponge Cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granuated sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

Vietnamese Coffee Mixture:

Espresso Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting


Sponge Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9"x13" baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer or hand held mixer, whip together egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until mixture has thickened and is pale in color. Add milk and mix until incorporated. Add dry flour mixture and mix until combined.
  • In a clean bowl, using a hand held mixer, whip whip egg whites to medium peaks. In three additions, gently fold whipped egg whites into batter. Fold until there are no longer any white streaks of egg whites. Be careful not to overmix. 
  • Transfer cake batter to prepared baking pan. Spread into an even layer. Bake for 35 minutes until top of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Leave cake in pan and let cool to room temperature.

Vietnamese Coffee Mixture:

  • While the cake is cooling, combine sweetened condensed milk with warm coffee. Stir in instant espresso powder until dissolved.
  • Using a fork (docker or skewers), poke holes throughout the cake. Pour coffee mixture over poked cake. Once all the coffee mixture has been added, let cake stand for about 30 minutes until all the liquids have been absorbed.*

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • In a chilled bowl, whisk together cold heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and instant espresso powder. Whip to medium stiff peaks. Spoon over coffee soaked cake. Use an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly distribute whipped cream. Dust sifted unsweetened cocoa powder over cake. Slice and serve immediately. 


  • Do not frost the cake until you are ready to serve. If you are making the cake ahead of time, store soaked cake covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.