Midnight Espresso Cake Recipe

16 Servings 70 minutes, includes cooking time

Don’t be afraid of the number of ingredients. This is easy and a REAL crowd pleaser. With no butter, eggs or oil it maintains your weight loss regime. Top with mashed cherries or strawberries for a low fat version or pour on the Cheap Trick Chocolate Sauce to totally impress. Perfect for a beginner baker. I put in a few tips to help you bake any cake quicker and with great results.

Tips for a perfect cake

  • Use a mesh strainer.
    This is a tip from Dessert Queen, Fran Costigan. Put all the flours, sugar, and powders in here to sift. Tap on the side to sift everything into your larger bowl. I have been able to make 2 cakes at once using this larger implement and you don’t have anything pop out the top like a regular sifter. It is much quicker as well.

After being sure that your oven is on and set to 350 degrees F, whisk the dry ingredients together. Dump the wet into the dry. Start mixing from the middle. This keeps you from whipping flour into the air.

After the wet is mixed fairly well into the dry, add the vinegar. The vinegar is an acid. The baking soda is a base. This is where most of the leavening, or puffing up will happen. However, the minute that vinegar hits the baking soda, the reaction starts to happen. The batter will begin to have a marble coloring. Mix until the marbling is done. Then, QUICKLY pour into the baking pan. Then, put immediately into the oven on the middle rack.

Turn the cake after 20 minutes to ensure you will bake it evenly. Ovens have different temperatures at different sections of the oven. You can purchase a few oven thermometers to check it out, or just turn dishes halfway through. The cake will be dark when cooked. Check with a toothpick. It should come out 95% clean. Wait 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges. Put a plate on top of the pan. Hold the pan and the plate and flip over the cake. The cake should come out easily if you oiled the pan. You can also shake the pan once and the cake should fall out.

You can top with mashed cherries or the Cheap Trick Chocolate Sauce. This cake is a 1/2 cup of mashed cherries and 1 cup of sauce. OR you can just eat the cake. Honestly, it is great all by itself.

Midnight Espresso Cake Recipe


  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C unbleached white flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ C Dutch processed cocoa powder
    ½ C light cane sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 C soy milk
  • ½ C apple sauce
  • 1 C maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil Bundt pan with a brush or rectangular 9×13 cake pan.
  2. In a large, metal mesh strainer, sift dry ingredients together into large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients, except for vinegar.
    Make sure the oven is hot and the Bundt pan is ready. Once the vinegar meets the baking soda the chemical reaction will begin the leavening action.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk to combine. Add vinegar. Whisk to combine and pour batter into pan. The batter will become marbled while vinegar mixes in. Put in hot oven immediately.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Spin pan halfway around in oven after for even baking. Bake 20 minutes. Check doneness with inserted toothpick coming out fairly clean. May take another 10 minutes.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before inverting pan. Let cool completely and serve with mashed fruit.

Note: Simply pour on the Cheap Trick Chocolate Ganache after the cake has cooled. 

Abbreviations: C = cup; oz = ounce; Tbsp = tablespoon; tsp = teaspoon

Copyright Marty Davey, 2013. All rights reserved.