Espresso Bundt Cake

There is nothing like the scent of freshly brewed espresso. I grew up in Italy, and what woke me up every morning for school was not an alarm clock but the smell of espresso brewing on the stovetop. My dad owned a small business, he was a greengrocer, so he’d be the first one up in the morning, early and ready to hit the ground running. He’d brew a pot, and the smell would engulf the entire house. We didn’t have a fancy machine, in fact, I still don’t. I use an old-fashioned Bialetti Moka pot, and the smell it produces and the gurgling sounds it makes immediately take me back to those good old days.

Even as little kids, my sister and I couldn’t get our day started without our espresso-stained hot milk! On Sundays, my dad would go to the local panificio, or bread shop, and buy us ladies in the house a freshly baked jam-filled cornetto.

Much like my love for lemon-flavored anything, I have an equal passion for coffee-flavored anything. Coffee gelato is a favorite of mine, and coffee desserts are right up there, too! So this espresso bundt cake hits the spot. This cake is called a ciambella in Italian, which is just a cake with a hole in it! It is also known as an old-fashioned bundt cake. Like most of my recipes, this cake is easy to prepare, delicious, worthy of sharing with friends over coffee, and perfect for a hostess gift when going to your next outing like a baby shower or summer BBQ. 

You will need freshly brewed espresso. If you don’t have an espresso moka pot, I suggest getting one. The stovetop kinds are inexpensive and will turn you into an immediate barista! Get a milk frother, and you might never enter a Starbucks again! 

Espresso Bundt Cake

Ingredients for the Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour – sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar 
3 large eggs
1/2 cup extra light tasting olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 cup freshly brewed espresso, cooled

Ingredients for the Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar
3 – 4 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso (hot or cold)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray a Bundt pan with non-fat cooking spray, set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and baking powder, set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, or hand-held mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until they are light and frothy, about 3 minutes. 
  4. Reduce the speed to low, and slowly stream in the oil. Once the oil is incorporated, add the cooled espresso and mix well.
  5. Still with the mixer on low, add the flour and baking powder mixture. Mix well but do not overbeat.
  6. Add batter to prepared pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 40 minutes. Test cake with a toothpick for doneness. Invert cake on a serving plate and cool cake completely before glazing. 

Directions for the Glaze 

Mix the sugar with a few tablespoons of the brewed espresso. If the glaze is too thick, add another teaspoon of coffee, likewise, if it’s too thin, add some more sugar. Drizzle icing over cake. Allow at least 1 hour for glaze to harden before slicing and serving. 

A few basic ingredients are all you need. Start by brewing some espresso, you will want it cooled off by the time you add it to the rest of the ingredients. 
(Photo credit: Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures.)
As the eggs and sugar are being whipped, prep the rest of the ingredients: Espresso, oil and flour with baking powder.
(Photo credit: Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures.) 
Here is the cake, ready for the oven. Place pan in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.
(Photo credit: Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures.)
Here is the cake unglazed. You could just dust the cake with some confectioners sugar, but of course, an espresso glaze adds even more coffee flavor! (Photo credit: Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures.) 


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What to Pack for Italy

Cosa Mettere in Valigia per l'Italia

Everyone is always asking me what they should pack for Italy,
so I’ve created a quick reference guide that you can use for your next trip.

Hint: You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do!

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