This brownie version has the perfect balance between the coffee bitterness of espresso and the sweetness of dark chocolate. Each bite envelops the palate with a velvety texture and leaves behind a long, rich coffee-chocolate aftertaste. It also has a hint of earthiness from the cocoa and a slight caramel undertone from the sugar, a combination that is simply divine.
Be sure to try serving them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or caramel sauce. The contrast of hot and cold and the combination of flavors will be memorable.
So if you love coffee, chocolate and you want to add a little exoticism to a classic brownie, this recipe is for you.
⏱ Cooking time — 1 hours and 50 minutes overall. Includes 20 minutes of preparation and cooking + 1 hours 30 minutes unattended.
For 9-12 servings:
- 215 g (7 ⅗ oz) unsalted butter
- 170 g (6 oz) dark chocolate
- 320 g (7 ⅗ oz) granulated sugar
- 80 ml (5 ⅖ tbsp.) freshly brewed coffee (8 g / 1 ½ tsp. of ground coffee)
- 4 eggs
- 60 g (2 ⅛ oz) cocoa powder
- 130 g (4 ⅗ oz) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
🥣 Directions👉 Jump to Short Version of Recipe
To start, brew 8 g (1 ½ tsp.) of ground coffee in any way you like.
This can be espresso, filter coffee or just coffee poured over boiling water. Even though these brownies are called espresso brownies, the method of brewing the coffee will not make a big difference.
Preparation of the oil mixture
Melt 215 g (7 ⅗ oz) unsalted butter in a saucepan over a low heat.
Carefully pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl.
Then add the 320 g (7 ⅗ oz) of granulated sugar. Stir until completely combined.
Add 170 g (6 oz) of dark chocolate to the mixture and continue to stir. If the chocolate doesn’t want to melt at this stage – no problem, we will fix this problem later.
Adding cocoa and coffee
Using a fine sieve, sift 60 g (2 ⅛ oz) cocoa powder into a bowl.
Stir the mixture, pour in 80 ml (5 ⅖ tbsp.) of freshly brewed coffee and stir again until smooth.
If the chocolate is still not completely melted, place the bowl on a boiling water bath for 30-60 seconds. This will help warm the mixture slightly and melt the remaining chocolate.
Adding the rest of the ingredients
Stir 4 eggs into the mixture. Use a whisk to beat the yolks and mix until smooth.
Combine 130 g (4 ⅗ oz) wheat flour and ½ tsp. salt and add to the mixture.
Mix the mixture well, moving the spatula from bottom to top so that all the ingredients are well combined.
Preparing the mold. Filling and baking
Prepare a square baking dish about 20 x 20 cm.
Cut a piece of parchment paper and fold it so that it covers the bottom and sides of the mold. This will make it easier to remove the cakes later.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared mold.
Tap the bottom of the mold on the table to release air bubbles, then place it in a preheated oven at 180 °C (350 °F) and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Depending on the mold and oven you use, the baking time may vary. I baked the brownies for 30 minutes and you can appreciate their texture in the photo below.
For a more moist texture, you can limit yourself to 25 minutes of baking.
After baking, remove the brownies from the oven and transfer the mold to a rack to cool.
When the brownies have cooled completely, remove the baking paper and let them rest on the rack for another 1-2 hours.
Finally, transfer the cakes to a cutting board and cut into portioned pieces.
How does the espresso (or filter coffee) influence the flavor of the brownies?
Espresso or filter coffee enhances the depth and richness of the chocolate flavor in the brownies. It doesn’t necessarily make the brownies taste like coffee, but it gives them a more intense, deeper chocolate note.
Can I use instant coffee instead of espresso or filter coffee?
Yes, you can use instant coffee dissolved in a small amount of hot water. However, the depth of flavor may vary slightly.
Will the caffeine in the coffee affect me?
There’s a small amount of caffeine in the brownies from the coffee, but it’s usually minimal. However, if you’re highly sensitive to caffeine, you might consider using decaffeinated coffee.
Can I add coffee-flavored liqueur to the recipe for extra flavor?
Yes, coffee-flavored liqueurs like Kahlúa can be added for an extra layer of coffee flavor. Just adjust the liquid ingredients slightly to account for the added liqueur.
How do I store my espresso (or filter coffee) brownies?
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For a longer shelf life, refrigerate them for up to a week.
Can I top the brownies with a coffee-flavored frosting?
Definitely! A coffee-flavored buttercream or ganache can elevate the coffee notes and add a delightful creaminess to the brownies.
My brownies don’t have a strong coffee flavor. How can I intensify it?
To intensify the coffee flavor, you can increase the amount of brewed coffee or espresso, add coffee extract, or incorporate finely ground coffee beans or espresso powder into the batter.
Can I make these brownies gluten-free?
Yes, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Just make sure all other ingredients, including any added flavorings or toppings, are also gluten-free.
Can I freeze these espresso brownies?
Yes, once cooled, place the brownies in a single layer in a zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Can I use cold brew coffee in this recipe?
Yes, cold brew is a concentrated coffee and can be a good substitute for espresso or filter coffee. It might give a slightly different coffee flavor profile but will still enhance the chocolate flavor.
What other flavorings can I add to complement the coffee-chocolate combination?
Vanilla extract, cinnamon, or even a touch of chili powder can add interesting layers of flavor to the brownies.
I ended up with a crusty top on my brownies. Is this normal?
A thin, crackly crust is often desired in brownies and can result from the sugar content. It’s perfectly normal and adds a delightful texture contrast.
How do I ensure the brownies are moist and not dry?
Avoid overbaking. It’s better to err on the side of slightly underbaking for moister, fudgier brownies. The presence of the coffee also helps in keeping them moist.
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Espresso (or filter coffee) Brownies
- 215 g unsalted butter
- 170 g dark chocolate
- 320 g granulated sugar
- 80 ml freshly brewed coffee (8 g / 1 ½ tsp. of ground coffee)
- 4 eggs
- 60 g cocoa powder
- 130 g all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- Brew 8 g of ground coffee according to the chosen method.
- Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the sugar and chocolate in a large bowl. Stir until smooth.
- Strain the cocoa through a fine sieve into a bowl, pour in the coffee and, if necessary, further melt the remaining chocolate in the water bath.
- Stir the eggs into the mixture, then add the flour and salt, mixing until smooth.
- Prepare a 20×20 cm mold and line it with parchment.
- Pour the batter into the mold, remove the bubbles and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 180 °C (350 °F).
- After baking, leave the brownies to cool, then remove the parchment and let them cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours.
- Transfer the cooled brownies to a cutting board and cut into portions.