Coffee holds a special place in our hearts. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, Americans drink an average of three cups of the stuff every day. Sometimes, though, even three cups doesn’t seem to cut it. It’s at times like these that we need to get creative with our intake.
Fortunately, that isn’t so hard to do — coffee goes with virtually everything, so why not try it in your desserts, too? These six dessert recipes combine all your favorite flavors — graham cracker, chocolate, and Nutella, among others — with the taste of a delicious brew. Enjoy!
1. Coffee “S’mores” Pie
S’mores can’t get much better than they already are — but with coffee added, it’s a whole different ball game. Enjoy the flavors of your favorite campfire treat in pie form, with the added benefits of Nutella and a rich coffee ganache. This dish from Bon Appétit can be made 8 hours ahead of time. Keep chilled until serving. The recipe yields 8 servings and takes about 2 hours to complete.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 whole graham crackers, ground finely in a food processor
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons Nutella
- 1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
- 2 large egg whites
- ½ cup sugar
Directions: Graham Cracker Crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs and remaining ingredients in a small bowl to blend. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie dish; chill until crust is firm, about 30 minutes.
Coffee Ganache: Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl. Bring cream, coffee, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Strain cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl with chocolate and butter; discard coffee grounds. Stir until melted and ganache is smooth. Pour into chilled crust; smooth top. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
Meringue: Using an electric mixer with clean, dry beaters on medium speed, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until light and frothy. Add sugar in 4 additions, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Continue beating egg whites until stiff and glossy.
Spoon meringue over coffee ganache; swirl decoratively with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Using a kitchen torch, if desired, toast meringue until golden brown in spots.
2. Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Cream Filling
These tempting cupcakes could ruin anyone’s diet in one fell swoop — but of course, they’d be totally worth it. The sour cream in this recipe lends the cupcakes an irresistibly moist and fluffy texture. This recipe from Paula Deen of the Food Network takes an hour and 25 minutes to complete and yields 24 to 30 cupcakes.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
- 3 large eggs
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Coffee Cream Filling, recipe follows
- Coffee Buttercream, recipe follows
- Chocolate covered coffee beans, for garnish, optional
- 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup coffee-flavored liqueur
- 1 (8-ounce) container frozen chocolate flavored whipped topping, thawed
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin pans with paper liners and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add oil, coffee, and eggs. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.
Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each ⅔ full. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, for 16 to 18 minutes. Let them cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Spoon Coffee Cream Filling (recipe below) into a squeeze bottle with a long narrow tip. Insert the tip into the top of cupcake and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of filling into center of each cupcake.
Spread the Coffee Butter cream frosting evenly over the cupcakes and garnish with chocolate covered coffee beans, if desired.
Coffee Cream Filling: In a small bowl, whip the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add the liqueur and fold in the whipped topping. Cover and chill.
3. Nutella Iced Coffee Mini Cheesecakes
Yet again, Nutella succeeds in making an already-delicious food item markedly more amazing. Combined with the flavors of coffee and the rich, smooth taste of cheesecake — plus an unforgettable Oreo crunch — this dessert offers the ultimate combination of dessert flavors. This recipe from Yes to Yum yields 4 servings and takes about an hour to complete.
- ½ teaspoon coffee grounds
- ½ cup mini Oreos, crushed into fine crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons beaten egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons Nutella, divided
- 1½ tablespoons coffee
- ¼ cup dark chocolate melting wafers (or chopped dark chocolate)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare a muffin tin with four cupcake liners. Mix together coffee grounds, Oreo crumbs, and butter. Divide evenly between the four cups and press crust down firmly. Bake crust for five minutes.
To prepare the filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, greek yogurt, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl for 1½ minutes. Divide cheesecake batter by pouring half of the batter into a separate bowl. In one bowl, mix in two tablespoons Nutella. In the other bowl, mix in the coffee. Starting with the Nutella batter, fill each cup about halfway up. Fill the cups the rest of the way with the coffee batter.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cheesecake will be done when the center only jiggles slightly. Cool completely.
After cheesecakes are cooled, put a ½ tablespoon of Nutella in the center of each cheesecake. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for thirty second intervals, stirring after each one. Drizzle over cheesecakes. Chill cheesecakes in an airtight container until ready to serve.
No coffee dessert list would be complete without this layered triumph of taste. Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert dish combining the rich, velvety texture of mascarpone cheese with the tastes of coffee and cocoa. This recipe from AllRecipes.com takes 5 hours to complete, including chill time, and yields one 7-by-11-inch dish of tiramisu.
- 6 egg yolks
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Directions: In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7-by-11-inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.
5. Mocha Cupcakes with Kahlua Buttercream
Mocha cupcakes on their own are already tasty — but the sinfully delicious Kahlua buttercream frosting is what puts them over the edge in our book. Try adding a cookie crumble or chocolate covered espresso bean garnish for an added crunch and burst of flavor. This recipe from Obsessive Cooking Disorder takes about 50 minutes to complete and yields nine cupcakes.
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Kahlua
- 2 to 3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
- ¾ cup water
- Garnish: Cocoa powder, sprinkles, cookie crumbles, etc.
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
- 2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Directions: Mocha Cupcake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, eggs, Kahlua, and instant coffee power until combined. Whisk in half the flour mixture, followed by half of the water. Stir in all of the remaining flour and the water, mixing until batter is just uniform.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 18 minutes until done. Allow cupcakes to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Kahlua Buttercream: In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee powder in milk and Kahlua. In a large bowl, beat together butter, instant coffee mixture and confectioners’ sugar until frosting is smooth, thick and fluffy. Add additional confectioner’s sugar to thicken if necessary. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes on the day of serving and dust with desired topping.
6. Chocolate Espresso Caramels
These caramels are equal parts sticky, salty, and sweet — offering a complex and delicious taste to those bold enough to delve into making them. This one requires some kitchen chops, but makes for a wonderful change to your typical dessert menu. This recipe from Wanna Come With yields about sixty small caramels and takes 25 minutes to prepare, plus about 8 hours to set.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso or espresso powder
- 1 ⅛ cups sugar
- ½ cup plus ⅛ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
Directions: Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Combine the cream, vanilla extract, and espresso powder in a medium-sized saucepan and heat until scalding. Remove from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and allow to sit for a minute. Stir the chocolate until it has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, and then set aside.
Choose a large (3 to 4 quart) heavy-weight saucepan in which to cook caramel. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in this large saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Using a pastry brush and some cold water, brush down the sides of the pot to ensure any sugar crystals that may be clinging to the edge are melted. Do not stir the sugar at this point. Stirring may cause recrystallization. Instead, gently swirl the pan a few times.
Continue to cook the sugar until it’s amber colored and it begins to give off a bit of smoke; the bubbles should have reduced in size by this point too. Remove the pot from the burner and allow to sit and continue to caramelize off-heat until desired level of caramelization is reached. A lighter color will give you a sweeter caramel, while a darker color will give you a more bitter caramel.
Pour the cream mixture into the sugar and add your thermometer to the pot. Bring to a boil and add the butter. Continue cooking over high heat, whisking constantly until it reaches 248 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches temperature, you need to work quickly as the temperature will continue to rise.
Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Carefully pour the mixture into your pan. Allow to sit for at least a couple hours, preferably overnight. If you like, you can sprinkle a bit of fleur de sel on top of the caramel after it’s cooled for 5 or 10 minutes.
Once the caramel has set, cut it into squares or rectangles and wrap in pieces of parchment paper or wax paper.