Coffee may have a comfortable reputation as a pairing with dessert, but it also makes for an exceptional dessert. And on that front, there is no shortage of recipes to draw inspiration from.
Here are a few coffee dessert ideas and some of our favorite recipes, to help you get the coffee-and-culinary-confection juices flowing.
Coffee brownies can take a variety of forms: some recipes will call for the coffee in the batter, keeping the coffee flavors front and center, and others will choose to make it an accent to a fudgy sheet of brownies as an icing. These brownies go for the former, taking a more literal approach to coffee brownies by asking that bakers simmer and stir eight cups of coffee into a concentrate that’s mixed with cocoa and added to standard brownie ingredients. These will come out moist and pack a punch—in taste and caffeine—with each brownie square.
Coffee S’mores Pie
Coffee crashes the s’mores party in this pie for the ages—or at least a hot summer night. The crust of this indulgent recipe is lifted by semisweet chocolate, heavy cream, and Nutella. That base is then layered with coffee ganache that’s characterized by two tablespoons of ground coffee, plus heavy cream, and bittersweet chocolate. Rounded out with a light and sweet meringue, the dessert bowls over the taste buds like a tsunami with chocolate and cream flavors before energizing with a lingering taste of espresso.
Tiramisu’s mix of creamy and nutty practically begs for the addition of coffee and is a staple among coffee-flavored desserts. This particular tiramisu recipe features a mascarpone cream complemented by four ounces of brewed espresso—plus, two tablespoons of dark rum. Each of the two sponge cakes in the dish are equally soaked with espresso, ensuring an aggressive coffee flavor up front that’s eased by the creaminess of the mascarpone. You’ll want a bold dark roast as the coffee of choice to pair with the cocoa sprinkled on top as a finish. For added coffee deliciousness, toss in a few chocolate-covered espresso beans.
An Italian highlight among coffee-based desserts, the affogato is both straightforward and scrumptious. A typical affogato (“drowned,” if you’re brushing up on your Italian) contains two scoops of ice cream—vanilla- or coffee-flavored—scooped into a demitasse and topped with a shot of espresso. Often, toppings are included to add heft to the dessert, everything from chocolate shavings to hazelnuts, espresso beans to wafers. It’s also acceptable to use a strong coffee as a substitute for the espresso.
Dark Chocolate Mocha Avocado Mousse
Those seeking a coffee dessert a little more unconventional or even, possibly, healthy, might have their interest piqued by this combination of avocado, chocolate, and coffee. A high-percentage-cocoa dark chocolate is melted and mixed with four avocados, cocoa powder, coconut milk, vanilla extract, and ground espresso to taste. Cream the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least an hour. The dessert will immediately be ready to eat—just make sure to consume it quickly, for the sake of the avocados. Overall: this mousse may sound complicated at a glance but is actually among the most simple coffee desserts.
Mocha Cupcakes with Kahlua Icing
So, the coffee isn’t enough and you also want a booze-y kick? These mocha cupcakes call for the usual ingredients for a chocolate cupcake base, plus three tablespoons of either ground espresso or instant coffee powder, and a heaping tablespoon of Kahlua. The cupcakes are then topped with a buttercream icing that contains two tablespoons of Kahlua. Sprinkle with coffee or chocolate shavings for a twist. This recipe is crowd-pleasing, versatile, and is counted among the easy coffee-flavored desserts.
While not everyone is a coffee drinker (hey, it’s their loss!), just about everyone will enjoy indulging in a decadent coffee-flavored dessert. We hope you enjoy some of our favorites noted here, but there are likely countless more creative confections that feature coffee. Your friends here at Victor Allen’s Coffee hope you get a chance to enjoy some of them along with a good cup of joe.