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Posted:  |  Updated: 08/31/12 10:48 AM ET

Coffee Dessert Recipes: Cakes, Brownies And More

If you've ever had an incredibly rich brownie or slice of chocolate cake, chances are a secret ingredient was used in that recipe. Can you guess what it is? It may have been coffee. The nuanced flavor of java enhances countless baked goods and desserts, especially chocolate ones -- coffee and chocolate are highly complementary. Chocolate cake, brownies, bread pudding, mousse, tiramisu -- these are all desserts that benefit from a touch of coffee.

All of our recipes call for coffee, but in different forms. We've specified what you need in each recipe, whether it's instant espresso powder, instant coffee, espresso, brewed coffee or even coffee beans. Try one of these desserts when you feel like you need a pick-me-up -- and we won't judge if you drink a cup of coffee alongside dessert!

Also See: The Best Instant Coffee Taste Test

What's your favorite dessert made with coffee? Vote in the slideshow and let us know below.

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  • Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake

    This pudding cake just oozes chocolate -- it includes cocoa powder and chocolate chips. The addition of brewed coffee helps heighten the chocolate flavor. If you prefer, the recipe can be made with sugar substitute. <em>Use coffee.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake</a> recipe</strong>

  • Chocolate-Bread Parfaits

    This recipe is great for using up leftover bread, but it's also a good excuse for creating an easy chocolate dessert whenever the moment calls for one. The bread cubes are soaked in a melted chocolate mixture that includes espresso and rum. Layer the bread cubes into glasses with whipped cream and toasted almond flakes. <em>Use espresso or strongly brewed coffee.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Chocolate-Bread Parfaits</a> recipe</strong>

  • Frozen Chocolate-Chip Meringata

    This elegant cake features frozen whipped cream studded with chocolate chips, sandwiched between two discs of meringue. The finishing touch is a warm chocolate-espresso sauce, which contrasts nicely with the icy dessert. <em>Use espresso.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Frozen Chocolate-Chip Meringata</a> recipe</strong>

  • Chocolate-Espresso Cupcakes With Cocoa Whipped Cream

    Coffee brings out the flavor of chocolate in this recipe for cupcakes. Sour cream makes them extra moist and tender. Top the cupcakes with cocoa-whipped cream and garnish each with a chocolate-covered espresso bean. <em>Use instant coffee.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Chocolate-Espresso Cupcakes with Cocoa Whipped Cream</a> recipe</strong>

  • Red Chile-Spiked Chocolate Mousse

    Chocolate and chiles isn't a new combination, but it's one that still excites people when they hear it. This chocolate mousse features both red chile powder and instant espresso powder for a unique flavor combination. Using gelatin in the recipe ensures the mousse sets nice and firm during chilling. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Red Chile-Spiked Chocolate Mousse</a> recipe</strong>

  • Sicilian Granita

    Italians don't like to waste their leftover coffee -- instead what they do is freeze it to create a granita. Top the icy dessert with dollops of sweetened whipped cream and you've got a refreshing dessert with an energy boost. <em>Use espresso.</em> <strong>Get the Recipe for <a href="" target="_hplink">Sicilian Granita</a></strong>

  • Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake

    In this cake recipe, the coffee flavor carries through every component, including the batter, the streusel filling and the sugary glaze. Chopped hazelnuts also go in the streusel and serve as a garnish on top. The cake makes a terrific afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake</a> recipe</strong>

  • Coffee Panna Cotta

    This silky smooth Italian dessert would make a stunning dinner party dessert. Typically made with cream, this recipe instead takes a lighter approach and uses low-fat milk, vanilla yogurt and just a bit of cream. Coffee and brandy flavor the dessert as well as the serving sauce. <em>Use brewed coffee.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Coffee Panna Cotta</a> recipe</strong>

  • Fallen Mocha Souffle

    With only five ingredients you can make this dessert quickly and easily. Beaten egg whites help the souffle rise without the use of leaveners. Instant espresso powder brings out the chocolate flavor. The recipe is completely flourless, so the texture is as rich and dense. Serve with ice cream for a finishing touch. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Fallen Mocha Souffle</a> recipe</strong>

  • Vietnamese Coffee Sundaes With Crushed Peanut Brittle

    A Vietnamese coffee typically blends very strong coffee with sweetened condensed milk. This recipe turns the drink into a sundae with the addition of ice cream. Plus there's peanut brittle to crumble on top for extra texture. <em>Use instant coffee.</em> <strong>Get the Recipe for <a href="" target="_hplink">Vietnamese Coffee Sundaes with Crushed Peanut Brittle</a></strong>

  • Boot Tracks

    You don't need an oven to make these chocolate cookies, just a waffle iron. The batter includes instant espresso powder and cocoa powder for great flavor. Dust the waffles with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate for even more decadence. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Boot Tracks</a> recipe</strong>

  • Dark Roast Crème Brûlée

    This lightened version of the famous French dessert uses low-fat milk. Dark roast ground coffee adds an intensity that turns this dessert into an extra special treat without a unique flavor. Bake the ramekins in a water bath to ensure they come out silky smooth. <em>Use coffee beans.</em> <strong>Get the Recipe for <a href="" target="_hplink">Dark Roast Crème Brûlée</a></strong>

  • Jumbo Brownies

    This recipe doubles a standard brownie recipe and bakes it in a 9-by-9-inch square to create jumbo brownies that might require a fork and knife to eat. Mix-ins include chocolate chips and chopped walnuts, but you can omit either if you prefer. A few spoonfuls of brewed espresso adds flavor. <em>Use espresso.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Jumbo Brownies</a> recipe</strong>

  • Chocolate-Espresso Cream Pie

    This is the classic chocolate ice box pie made with a chocolate wafer press-in crust and filled with a rich chocolate pudding that's been infused with espresso flavor. Top the pie with lots of whipped cream for an elegant finishing touch. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Chocolate-Espresso Cream Pie</a> recipe</strong>

  • Baby Tiramisu

    Have a hankering for tiramisu? You don't need to make a huge recipe to satisfy your craving. Instead try this "baby" version, which uses just 12 ladyfingers soaked in espresso, ricotta cheese and melted chocolate to make six dainty servings. <em>Use espresso or strongly brewed coffee.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Baby Tiramisu</a> recipe</strong>

  • Coffee Crème Caramel

    This classic French custard dessert gets a coffee lovers' upgrade with the addition of ground coffee simmered with the custard base, which is later strained. You can also use instant coffee in a pinch. <em>Use coffee beans.</em> <strong>Get the Recipe for <a href="" target="_hplink">Coffee Crème Caramel</a></strong>

  • Bittersweet Chocolate Glazed Espresso Brownie Bites

    A little bit of instant espresso powder takes these brownies over the top in flavor. Spread the brownies with a rich chocolate glaze, cut them into tiny bites and stud each with chocolate-covered coffee beans to let everyone know what to expect. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Bittersweet Chocolate Glazed Espresso Brownie Bites</a> recipe</strong>

  • Affogato With Amaretto And Amaretti Cookies

    An affogato is a beverage of espresso topped with ice cream, but this version takes it into complete dessert territory by making it into a sundae. The dessert is topped with Amaretto liqueur, amaretti cookies and shaved chocolate. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Affogato with Amaretto and Amaretti Cookies</a> recipe</strong>

  • Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes With Mocha Sauce

    The famous molten chocolate cake is really just a mini under-baked cake with an oozy center. Instant espresso powder adds an oomph that elevates the chocolate flavor. Reserve a bit of the cake batter and mix with hot water to use as a finishing sauce. <em>Use instant espresso powder.</em> <strong>Get the Recipe for <a href="" target="_hplink">Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mocha Sauce</a></strong>

  • S'Mores Cupcakes

    These playful cupcakes truly capture the flavor of s'mores with a graham cracker crust, chocolate cake and billowy, marshmallowy frosting. To give the cupcakes an authentic s'mores appearance and flavor, broil them briefly to brown the tops. <em>Use brewed coffee.</em> <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">S'Mores Cupcakes</a> recipe</strong>

  • WATCH: Paula Deen's Coffee Chocolate Mousse

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_hplink">Coffee Chocolate Mousse</a> recipe</strong>


Filed by Joseph Erdos  |