Check out our favorite tips and recipes for cooking and baking with coffee

Tiramisu, espresso brownies, spicy meat rubs…we love cooking and baking with coffee. In this blog, we share some of our favorite coffee-based recipes as well the dos, don’ts, and must-makes of cooking and baking with coffee. Enjoy!

Do use coffee:

As a flavoring in baked goods and desserts

We all know that coffee pairs magically with baked goods and pastry — it also tastes great in your tasty delights. From mocha muffins to light, airy tiramisu, here are some of our favorite mouthwatering coffee-based baked good, cake, and pastry recipes.

Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake: This elegant bundt cake, perfect for a late brunch or afternoon snack, is easy to bake and can be made with either brewed coffee or espresso powder. Espresso powder gives the cake a slightly stronger coffee taste; brewed coffee adds more caffeine. Click here for our espresso powder recipe.

Nigella Lawson’s One-Step, No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream: Impress your guests (and yourself!) with this spoon-licking-good coffee ice cream. All you need is heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, espresso powder, and espresso liquor.

Chocolate Coffee Toffee Crunch Muffins: Chocolate, coffee, and a muffin wrapped into one? Yum! This scrumptious breakfast treat is easy to make and even easier to eat. Consider yourself warned.

Tiramisu: This lovely, light tiramisu is made with real coffee — many recipes use instant coffee so we LOVE this real coffee recipe! We recommend using a stronger, smoother coffee, such as a Colombian or Peruvian coffee for this recipe — both have good body, a rich texture, and nice sweet tones that integrate beautifully into this delicate dessert.

As a syrup, vinaigrette, or spread

Coffee makes a wonderful base for rich, smooth syrups and spicy vinaigrettes. Here are some smile-worthy, antioxidant-packed coffee syrups, dressings, and spreads we suggested you try…and don’t be fooled by the flavor, they are good for you!

Coffee yogurt parfait: Healthy and delicious, this mighty cup only takes minutes to prepare and will leave you feeling satisfied and caffeinated.

Coffee vinaigrette: Pour this smooth vinaigrette over some spicy greens and add a touch of citrus for a health-boosting, calorie-burning, antioxidant-packed power lunch. We recommend using a brighter, medium / full-city roast coffee.

Coffee syrup: This recipe makes a flavor-packed syrup that can be used in cocktails, over ice cream, on pancakes, or in other recipes that call for both sugar and coffee.

Coffee butter: Give your toast, croissants, roast chicken, or any other dish that uses butter a little boost with this coffee butter.

In a savory dish, dip, or sauce

Coffee and meat or fish may sound like an unusual combination but it can be scrumptious! Adding coffee to a savory dish or sauce gives it an extra element of earth and spice that is difficult to replicate with a standard herb spice.

Coffee Rubbed Steak and Eggs: This is my kind of breakfast! Coffee-rubbed steak with eggs and some fresh greens… sign me up for two!

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Country Ham Hash with Maple Red-Eye Gravy: Coffee in your gravy? Yes! This mouthwatering, hearty recipe is ripe with winter goodies. Eat good, feel good, stay awake — this recipe reads like a list of my mid-winter goals.

Coffee Rubbed Burgers with Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce: Coffee rub + beef + BBQ. This unbeatable triad is the perfect pick-you-up on a lazy pre-game Sunday.

Coffee-Rubbed Salmon with Orange Salsa: This refreshing dish uses coffee grounds to create a crisp, spicy crust. Given there is orange in the recipe, we recommend using grounds from a brighter Central American coffee in this dish.

Don’t bake, cook, or cocktail-make with:

Instant coffee

When possible, bake with real coffee or espresso powder. Instant coffee, while easy, is generally a low-grade robusta that infuses your dishes and baked goods with a sharp, bitter taste. It might also give your guests the jitters. In nearly all cases, espresso powder or real coffee can be substituted for instant coffee.

Wet coffee grounds

If your recipe calls for coffee grounds, be sure to dry the grounds completely before incorporating them into your recipe. You can let the grounds dry naturally or spread them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for a few minutes to dry out. Wet coffee grounds aren’t optimal as they tend to leak coffee and absorb other flavors.

Old or stale coffee

Coffee is a food product and it stales — pretty quickly in fact. If you are using brewed coffee in a recipe, it is best to use freshly brewed coffee or chilled coffee that was placed in an airtight container and chilled right after brewing. Using old coffee in a recipe may give the final product a sour, bitter taste.

For more tips and recipes, check out our great coffee-based recipes.

Happy cooking, baking, and cocktail-making!

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