Espresso & Rum Chocolate Cloud Cake With Tonka Bean Whipped Cream
Cook time
Total time
An intensely deep dark chocolate cake with espresso, rum and hints of citrus. The crater that forms in the middle of the cake while cooking is the perfect place for a fluffy cloud of tonka bean whipped cream.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8-12
  • For the cake:
  • 250g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 125g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 6 large eggs, room temp (2 whole, 4 separated)
  • 175 grams caster sugar, divided
  • 1 capsule Nespresso Cubania
  • 3 tablespoons rum
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated candied orange peel, or zest from 1 orange
  • For the tonka bean syrup:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ tonka bean, finely grated
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 500ml thickened cream
  • 1 tablespoon tonka bean syrup
  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 180C. Line the bottom of a 23cm springform tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, then add softened butter and stir to melt the butter into the chocolate.
  3. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 75g of the caster sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the contents of the Cubania capsule, rum and orange zest.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining 100g of sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but not too stiff.
  5. Fold a dollop of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is risen and cracked and the centre is no longer wobbly. Cool the cake in its tin on a wire rack; the middle will sink as it cools.
  6. When ready to serve the cake, place the still tin-bound cake on a cake stand or plate for serving and carefully remove the cake from its tin. Don't worry about cracks or rough edges: it's the rustic, crater look you're after.
  7. For the tonka bean syrup: While the cake is baking, prepare the tonka bean syrup by placing all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Remove from heat, pour into a heatproof jar and cool completely. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
  8. For the tonka bean whipped cream: Whisk the cream until it's soft and then add a tablespoon (plus maybe a dash more if you wish!) of the cooled tonka bean syrup (it has to be cool, otherwise your cream may not whip up) and continue whisking until the cream is firm but not stiff.
  9. Fill the crater of the cooled cake with the whipped cream, easing it out gently towards the edges of the cake, making dips and mounds in the cream to give it a fluffy cloud sort of look.
  10. Serve immediately. Any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a day or two.
Again, don't be alarmed by the dramatic sinking of the cake as it cools! It's supposed to sink! :)

The citrus notes aren't very strong in the cake. If you'd like more of a citrus flavor, use a fresh orange. Otherwise, feel free to leave it out if you can't find/don't want to make candied orange peels.

If you can't find/don't want to use tonka beans, use a mixture of pure vanilla and almond extracts (equal parts).

Feel free to leave the rum out if you're serving children or anyone who does not consume alcohol.

Substitute 1-2 tablespoons espresso powder if you don't use Nespresso capsules. Try to avoid instant coffee granules unless absolutely necessary.

Don't worry about using tonka beans! They're only toxic in large amounts! :)
Recipe by sweetest kitchen at