Espresso and Sambuca Ciambella

To me, espresso and sumbuca are a match made in heaven. My memory of this combination is that my dad frequently would pour the tiniest bit of sambuca into his espresso at the end of our meals on Sunday to have with his dessert. The smell of the coffee and anise from the sambuca as it cooks fills the kitchen and smells just so nostalgic to me. The cake is moist and really, not very sweet at all – top it with as much powdered sugar as you like to up the sweetness, if you desire, but for me, it is perfect as is for a cup of tea or coffee. I hope you love it!

Espresso and Sambuca Ciambella

  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 1/2 cups of espresso coffee (or very strong coffee), room temperature
  • 1 ounce of Sambuca liquor
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 packet Peneangeli Lievito* OR 1 tablespoon baking powder + 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • powdered sugar, for dusting.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour a bundt pan or ring mold pan.
  2. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add eggs and sugar. Beat with a whisk attachment (or electric mixer) for at least 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolves and the mixture has lightened in color.
  3. Add lemon zest, butter, espresso and sambuca. Mix to combine.
  4. In two additions, add the flour and mix until just combined. Add the Peneangeli Lievito and mix again.
  5. Pour into your bundt pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the cake. Cool completely and ensure edges have come away from the pan before inverting to plate.
  6. Dust with as much powdered sugar as desired before serving.

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