Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ultra Moist Coffee Cocoa Egg White Chiffon Cake - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

It has been a while since I have baked my last chiffon cake.

The chiffon cake that I baked prior to this was Ultra Soft and Moist Black Sesame Chiffon Cake at here and it was August 2019! Since then, I was distracted with other things such as my marathon training, Christmas and Chinese New Year baking. Next, the scorching summer came, then followed by global Covid-19 pandemic.

I will never forget the distressing moment of scavenging through the almost-empty supermarkets at the beginning of the pandemic. Free range eggs were like gold and I had to make sure that we will have enough eggs for our daily meals, not baking! Despite that there is a Covid-19 spike now in Melbourne, the supermarkets are actually not so haywire. A
nd I really hope that we will never experience this panic situation again.

Knowing that I don't have to worry about egg shopping any more, I'm beginning to use my frozen egg white stash that I have kept throughout the pandemic period. Frozen egg stash? LOL! Told ya. I'm a woman of backup!!!

This time, I would like to use my ex-precious egg whites to create another Egg White Chiffon Cake, just like my Ultra Soft Cranberry Egg White Chiffon Cake but a coffee-cocoa version.

moist soft coffee cocoa egg white chiffon cake
Proudly presenting my Ultra Moist Coffee Cocoa Egg White Chiffon Cake

Many readers like to ask me if they can modify my recipes by replacing or adding more or less some ingredients. I might reluctantly say yes for a few recipes but absolutely NO for chiffon cake recipes!

I always say...

Different ingredients such as banana, coconut milk, chocolate, cocoa powder and orange juice are different... in term of their viscosity, acidity, water adsorption, fat / sugar content and etc.

Any addition or substitution of these ingredients can change these fiddly soft chiffon cakes very dramatically.

So, this is what I would normally do... If I have tried any substitution with the recipe, I will mention in the recipe accordingly. If I don't, I can't guarantee that the proposed substitution will work. I hope that you can understand that the honest me prefer any substitutions to be truly tested and tasted before I will say YES that it will work.

Nevertheless, if you want to take a risk, please go for it! It's your cake, not mine.

In fact, this coffee cocoa egg white chiffon cake recipe is a good example for me to illustrate my proposition. Originally, I thought that I can modify my Ultra Soft Cranberry Egg White Chiffon Cake by simply adding coffee and cocoa powder in it. Nay! Not so easy!!!

Interestingly, the cake turned out to be really soft but very short with several large cake holes! Amazingly, the cake is very moist and actually quite good to eat! So, I have decided to improve it and also shared this recipe.

My trial baking...
This coffee cocoa egg white chiffon cake is very soft but won't rise very well.


These might be the possible reasons:

1. Not acidic enough?

I always believe that acidic ingredients will make egg proteins in the chiffon cake set faster and firmer than usual. I want my chiffon cakes to be soft, not firm! So, this is why I don't add cream of tartar to stabilise my egg white mixture and prefer to use Dutch processed cocoa which is neutral in pH.

However, if I'm baking with slightly acidic ingredients such orange or pineapple juice, I will adjust the flour amount and its protein content accordingly so that the gluten content in the ultra soft chiffon cake is kept as minimal as possible.

Unlike my Ultra Soft Cranberry Egg White Chiffon Cake, I'm guessing that the egg white mixture might be a little less acidic due to the missing slight sourish acidic cranberries.

2. The absorbing cocoa powder?

Well, coffee is slightly acidic but is it still not acidic enough? I reckon that the addition of cocoa powder might be the critical ingredient that changes the overall texture of the cake.

Cocoa powder is known to have strong liquid absorbing capability. It can absorb liquid strongly causing the cocoa cake crumbs to be heavier and denser. Thus, resulting most cocoa baked goods to be rise lesser with denser texture than the non-cocoa ones. 

Nevertheless, I chose not to decrease the cocoa content or increase the liquid content of this recipe any further as this egg white chiffon cake recipe has already been maximally packed with liquid. Instead, I chose to scale up the ingredients slightly so that the ultra moist cake can fill up the pan slightly more.

So please note that this Coffee Cocoa Egg White Chiffon Cake is NOT the tall, fluffy and well-risen cottony type of chiffon cake. Instead, it is the ultra moist type. Occasionally, it will have a few large cake holes but I think it's really ok. However, if you are after the cottony soft type of coffee chiffon cake, please stay tune as I will share such recipe in my next post.

3. The minimal added sugar to beat the egg white mixture?

I have tried to keep the addition of sugar as minimal as possible! Hence, please don't reduce the amount of added sugar any further because I have noticed that the minimal added sugar had actually made my meringue to have less strength than usual.

Due to this, I tried not to over-mix my no-egg and egg white mixtures, resulting some part of my cake to have swirls of darker tones. Despite all, I still think the cake tastes wonderful with rich coffee cocoa aroma, ultra moist consistency, yet light and bouncy soft like a tofu!

Finally, here's a video showing how I baked this cake. LOL!!! I must warn you... this cake can be quite fiddly to bake so please follow the recipe exactly.

Music: Bensound

moist soft coffee cocoa egg white chiffon cake
If you are picky like me...
you might see some swirls of darker tones in this cake.
moist soft coffee cocoa egg white chiffon cake
... but I think that it's ok!
The cake is super moist yet "light" with bouncy soft tofu-like texture.
It's really nice with its rich coffee cocoa flavours.

"Mum mum, can you please don't give this cake away?"

My son thought I was giving some of this cake to my colleague... LOL!

In the end, I kept all of the cake for our family and we finished all eventually ^-^


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I'm an everyday working mum who loves to bake and share my recipes but baking and sharing take time! Yet, I will try my best to share at least one recipe in every one or two weeks and so every LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW from you are great motivation for me.

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The cocoa chiffon cake is delicious but if you prefer to bake the well-risen and ultra soft chiffon cakes, I promise that I will have more recipes to share in the near future and will definitely share an Ultra Soft Cottony Coffee Chiffon Cake next week. Please stay tune! 

Here's my recipe.

Make one 20 cm chiffon cake

For the cocoa no-egg mixture:
20g instant coffee granules (mine is decaffeinated)
30g boiling hot water
80g milk
70g neutral tasting vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
100g plain / all purpose flour with 8% protein
20g cocoa powder - I used the Dutch processed one which is neutral in pH.
1/4 tsp salt

For the egg white mixture:
360g egg whites (about 10)
120g caster sugar
- please do not reduce this essential amount of sugar any further!

Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F.

For the cocoa no-egg mixture:
Dissolve coffee granules with hot boiling water. Set aside to cool slightly. Add coffee mixture into milk and whisk well to combine.

Using a hand whisk, whisk coffee-milk mixture, oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until mixture is combined. Sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt and whisk gently until the batter is smooth and combined.

For the egg white mixture:
Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites in the lowest speed for at least 10 mins to stabilise the mixture. Increase beating speed to the next higher speed. While beating, add sugar gradually. Increase beating speed to another higher speed and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. The meringue should be very smooth with tiny bubbles. Do not over-beat the mixture.

Using a hand whisk or a spatula, gently fold in the egg whites into no-egg mixture in 3-4 batches. It is ok to mix in the 1st batch of egg white more vigorously but the subsequent portions must be folded in very gently. Make sure that the white is not visible after folding. Do not over-mix the batter because this egg white mixture with minimal added sugar is not strong enough and can't be mixed excessively.

Pour batter into an un-greased 20 cm chiffon tube pan. Give the pan a gentle tap and use a skewer to draw a zigzag to remove air bubbles on the surface of the batter.

Chiffon baking options:

Basic: Bake at 160°C for 50 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. IMPORTANT: This cake has to be baked for at least 50 mins in total. Do not under-bake the cake!

With slits: This chiffon cake baking strategy will help the cake to rise uniformly rising with minimal cracks. The cake will also have a deep flavoursome top and surrounding crust.

Bake at 160°C for at least 15 mins or until a "skin" has formed on the cake surface and just before the cake surface starts to crack.

At the 14th minute, remove the cake out from oven. Cut 6 or more slits on the cake surface and place the cake back into the oven immediately. Continue to bake at 140°C for another 50 mins or until it is thoroughly baked. Increase oven temperature to 160°C and bake for another 10 mins until the top skin of the cake is nicely browned. 
Do not under-bake the cake!

Please do not bake this cake with too low oven temperature or a tray of boiling water (also known as steam bake). Detailed explanation is at here.

After baking, drop the cake from a 20-30 cm height immediately onto your tabletop to minimise shrinkage. Then, invert the cake immediately to cool on a wire rack.

Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan before removing it from the pan. Important: Do not unmould the cake by pressing it! To unmould, please use a blunt thin plastic spatula or knife to run along the cake's edges and gently push the cake out from the pan. The cake is fragile and so it is easier to slice with a serrated knife. Enjoy!

Store any uneaten in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. I promise... this cake will stay very moist and soft even after its 3rd day of bake. However, do not keep the cake for too long because this ultra moist cake can get mouldy easily!

Happy Baking
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  1. Hi Zoe - thank you SO MUCH for your very detailed recipes!!! I am wondering if you have done any tea chiffon cakes (like Earl Grey etc).

    1. Hi Rang rang, I have not publish any tea chiffon cake except the green tea one which is like of averag-ish. Cheers!

  2. I've been wanting to try making a chiffon cake for the longest time. I keep remembering those pandan and orange ones. This is perfect timing. I will try it and let you know how it goes.

  3. Hi Zoe! I’ve been following your recipes for chiffon cakes and it’s all really yummy! Thanks for the wonderful recipes. However, I’ve always had a problem with the texture of part of the chiffon cake. The bottom (previously top in oven) is always denser, though the taste of it is still very yummy. Was wondering if you’re able to advise what could have possibly gone wrong?

    1. Hi Ying, Not sure why. I'm guessing that your top heating might be too strong causing the cake to rise too quickly, collapse and becoming denser after cooling. Or maybe your egg white mixture is not beaten optimally :p

  4. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. My fussy kiddos love it! I love that it doesn't taste too eggy. Very soft and addictive. We finished almost 3/4 of the cake in a couple of mins.