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Cake/dessert recipes with regular coffee as ingredient?

NancyC Sep 7, 2012 08:12 PM

Wondering if there are any recipes like this? Everything I'm seeing is with instant coffee or instant espresso. I have lots of real coffee, which is both good, cheap, and has a nice story behind it (so it's easy to sell), but would have to actually buy instant coffee just to do a recipe.

Is it possible to mix boiling water with the coffee grounds (instead of putting it through the machine) to get a higher concentration, filter it and use that?

Searching Google doesn't give great results because coffee and cake comes up with mostly non-coffee-flavored coffee cake.

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  1. ipsedixit RE: NancyC Sep 7, 2012 08:20 PM

    Ice cream.

    17 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      KSlink RE: ipsedixit Sep 7, 2012 08:33 PM

      Coffee with coffee ice cream this morning...yum...:)

      Sorry, not an answer to the question!

      1. re: KSlink
        ipsedixit RE: KSlink Sep 7, 2012 08:39 PM

        American Affogato?

      2. re: ipsedixit
        NancyC RE: ipsedixit Sep 8, 2012 12:35 AM

        Should've specified...not ice cream, not pudding/mousse...something baked that could be made with liquid regular coffee rather than instant as an ingredient. Ideas?

        1. re: NancyC
          sunshine842 RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 12:49 AM

          I think it depends on the recipe -- you could always sub coffee for the some liquids, and it would give a coffee flavor...but it depends on the concentration.

          The real issue is that American style coffee (as opposed to much stronger brews outside the US) have a much higher water ratio than their global counterparts, so the flavor would be inherently weaker.

          1. re: sunshine842
            NancyC RE: sunshine842 Sep 8, 2012 02:38 AM

            But I'm only starting with coffee grounds, not brewed coffee. Wouldn't the strength depend on how I brew it? I have access to an espresso machine or a french press.

            1. re: NancyC
              sunshine842 RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 04:02 AM

              It still depends on the recipe -- some recipes call for instant coffee granules; some call for actual coffee.

              You have to read the recipe and see how it's made...it may be possible to substitute brewed coffee for water+granules, but the extra water may be too much liquid for other recipes.

              1. re: sunshine842
                jmcarthur8 RE: sunshine842 Sep 8, 2012 04:41 AM

                I agree with sunshine. It depends on the amount of liquid called for, and most baked goods don't call for much. Instant is basically brewed coffee that's been freezedried, so unless you have a way to dehydrate the coffee you've brewed, I can't see it working.

                1. re: jmcarthur8
                  NancyC RE: jmcarthur8 Oct 3, 2012 01:40 AM

                  Hi, perhaps I was being unclear. I don't mean I am looking at a recipe that calls for 1 tablespoon of instant espresso granules and randomly wondering if I can substitute a cup of brewed coffee for that. What I mean is, some recipes specify the instant espresso, then require to you mix it with a 1/4 cup (or whatever) of hot water, and then mix the resulting "espresso" in. And I'm wondering if there's really some big impact on flavor if I just used 1/4 of strong French press coffee instead. Or you know, actual espresso...? Recipes never say "instant or real." Is it because the amount they're mixing is higher concentration that what you'd actually drink? I rarely drink real coffee, and NEVER drink instant, so I genuinely don't know.

                  I guess the reason I asked about just mixing coffee grounds with water rather than using my machine is because that indicates how confused I am about the need for using instant.

                  1. re: NancyC
                    sunshine842 RE: NancyC Oct 3, 2012 09:50 AM

                    you can never mix coffee grounds with water and expect it to substitute for anything -- the result is gritty and bitter and extremely unpleasant.

                    And again -- it varies by recipe. For tiramisu, for example, you're dipping the biscuits in the espresso...so it's crucial to have the right amount of liquid. For a chocolate sauce, however, the instant granules add flavor -- BUT NOT LIQUID - to the sauce. Water will make chocolate sieze...so flavor without water is a good thing.

                    My most sincere recommendation is to just do what the recipe says -- it was written that way for a reason, and unless you have enough experience in the kitchen to interpret the amount of instant coffee and the amount of liquid and extrapolate that to how much coffee it would take -- you're going to set yourself up for failure.

                    Most recipes don't call for very much instant coffee at all - I used to keep a small jar in the pantry just for dessert recipes -- the smallest jar would last me a year - making it a pretty insignificant investment in both time and money.

          2. re: NancyC
            ipsedixit RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 12:10 PM

            something baked that could be made with liquid regular coffee rather than instant as an ingredient. Ideas?

            Bread pudding.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              magiesmom RE: ipsedixit Sep 8, 2012 01:15 PM

              that is a good idea, thanks ipse.

              1. re: magiesmom
                ipsedixit RE: magiesmom Sep 8, 2012 01:29 PM

                It's such a good idea I might make some tonight.

                1. re: magiesmom
                  Emme RE: magiesmom Sep 9, 2012 01:06 AM

                  and you can just stir some ground coffee beans into the liquid. no need to brew...

                  1. re: Emme
                    ipsedixit RE: Emme Sep 9, 2012 12:27 PM

                    and you can just stir some ground coffee beans into the liquid. no need to brew...


                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Emme RE: ipsedixit Sep 9, 2012 02:39 PM

                      i have a couple of recipes i literally throw ground coffee beans (powder) in... honest injun.

                      1. re: Emme
                        sunshine842 RE: Emme Sep 9, 2012 02:48 PM

                        Sorry...but texturally? Nasty.

                        1. re: sunshine842
                          Emme RE: sunshine842 Sep 10, 2012 09:28 PM

                          never personally had an issue... but i understand.

          3. m
            magiesmom RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 04:05 AM

            Lots of brownie or chocolate cake recipes call for coffee.

            1. Jpan99 RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 04:47 AM

              Coffee Brownies

              These are more cakey than the traditional brownie, but they taste great.

              1 cup raisins
              3 cups flour
              1 tsp. baking powder
              1 tsp. baking soda
              1 tsp. cinnamon
              3/4 cup butter
              2 cups brown sugar
              2 eggs
              1 cup hot coffee
              1 cup walnuts, chopped

              Soak the raisins in hot water for 5 minutes, drain well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

              Sift the dry ingredients together. Cream the butter and sugar; add eggs and beat well. To the creamed mixture, add dry ingredients alternately with the hot coffee. Mix well then stir in the raisins and nuts.

              Turn batter into a greased 10x15-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 22-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.

              Make a simple icing with 2 cups confectioners sugar, 2 tsp. melted butter and enough water to make the icing of spreading consistency. Frost brownies while they are still slightly warm.

              1. m
                magiesmom RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 04:55 AM

                Mocha Pudding Cake from CHOW

                2 Replies
                1. re: magiesmom
                  scunge RE: magiesmom Sep 9, 2012 03:39 AM

                  Do you think carob powder would work instead of cocoa ?

                  1. re: scunge
                    magiesmom RE: scunge Sep 9, 2012 06:11 PM

                    Well, if you like carob ( which I don't), I think it would work . I'm assuming you don't eat chocolate? It should work in terms of texture, but this recipe is very dependant on the cocoa for flavor, so no vouching of that aspect.

                2. a
                  Ama658 RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 05:02 AM

                  Perhaps some of the following may help?

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/378023 (similar question, some decent Sounding links down the page...



                  http://www.oprah.com/food/Compost-Coo... (uses the grounds...


                  Tiramisu often calls for strong brewed coffee (if you are making it, you can just make it strong),and I think most brownie/ chocolate cake recipes you could sub strong coffee in for some/all of the liquid and it could enhance the chocolate flavor.
                  Have you considered doing an ingredient search on a sight like allrecipes looking for "brewed coffee" or perhaps google" brewed coffee baking recipes" as opposed to something like coffee cake?
                  Hope some of that helps!

                  1. m
                    magiesmom RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 05:33 AM

                    And look, from CHOW, recipes for coffee lovers!

                    1. chowser RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 06:55 AM

                      Hershey black magic cake is a great, easy cake to make.


                      FWIW, when a recipe is chocolate based and has water, I almost always use coffee instead of water. When it doesn't call for water, I add instant granules/espresso.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: chowser
                        Saluti RE: chowser Sep 8, 2012 03:53 PM

                        I do the same thing. A little bit of coffee really enhances the chocolate flavor.

                        This chocolate cake recipe from Ina Garten is really good and calls for regular brewed coffee.


                        1. re: Saluti
                          chowser RE: Saluti Sep 8, 2012 04:09 PM

                          Funny, that's the same recipe as the one I posted under Hershey's black magic cake, different name. I love it--so easy!

                          1. re: chowser
                            Saluti RE: chowser Sep 8, 2012 05:00 PM

                            That is funny. I guess we now know where Betty got "her" recipe :)

                            1. re: Saluti
                              NancyC RE: Saluti Oct 3, 2012 01:22 AM

                              Related to substituting coffee for water: can this be done with milk? Have seen a few mocha cake or muffin recipes that have some milk in them. I don't know the chemical effect of the milk in baked goods. Can I increase the coffee flavor by using that instead (I realize it's more watery, but I imagine some people substitute watery skim milk for whole with reasonably good results, no?)

                              1. re: NancyC
                                sunshine842 RE: NancyC Oct 3, 2012 09:54 AM

                                No. Milk adds some fat, liquid, and a small amount of protein. Water adds liquid and dilutes flavor (which is often carried on fat molecules -- fat doesn't have much flavor on its own - taste a big spoonful of Crisco to see that point -- but the fat molecules carry many flavor compounds.

                                and subbing watery skim milk for whole does not give you reasonably good results -- it gives you pretty mediocre results.

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  NancyC RE: sunshine842 Oct 4, 2012 07:58 PM

                                  I would've thought so too, but I frequently see comments on recipe blogs of that particular substitution.

                      2. biondanonima RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 06:02 PM

                        This German Chocolate cake from Bobby Flay calls for coffee: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo... I love this recipe, but mostly because the cajeta frosting is SO good. BTW, if you make the cake, use 3 9" pans, not two - it makes WAY too much batter for two pans.

                        You can also use sub coffee in any chocolate recipe that calls for water. There's a chocolate mousse recipe out there that just uses chocolate and water that might be interesting with coffee.

                        1. jill kibler RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 09:22 PM

                          Wacky cake requires 1 cup of cold water, and I often use cold coffee.


                          1. s
                            Skippy1414 RE: NancyC Sep 8, 2012 10:38 PM

                            I haven't tried these, but they look like they should work:


                            I think if you see a recipe that calls for cocoa to be dissolved into water, you can sub coffee for the water.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Skippy1414
                              bagelman01 RE: Skippy1414 Sep 9, 2012 04:29 AM

                              Since Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year is one week away) I have to bake traditional Honey Cakes (symbolizing the desire for a sweet new year) which I will freeze.

                              Almost every recipe calls for strong black coffee.

                              3 large eggs
                              1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                              1 fresh lemon rind, of grated
                              1/3 cup vegetable oil
                              1 cup honey
                              1 cup warm strong black coffee
                              3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
                              2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                              1 teaspoon baking soda
                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                              1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
                              1 cup dark brown sugar
                              1 teaspoon cinnamon
                              1/2 cup slivered almond

                              1-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
                              2-Place the eggs, lemon juice, lemon rind, oil, honey and coffee in a bowl of an electric mixer.
                              3-Mix on low speed until well blended.
                              4-In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, sugar and cinnamon with a fork until mixed.
                              5-Gradually add the flour mixture to the eggs mixture, mixing for about 5 minutes or until well blended.
                              6-Fold in the slivered almonds.
                              7-Pour the batter into the tube pan.
                              8-Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

                              1. re: bagelman01
                                magiesmom RE: bagelman01 Sep 9, 2012 06:18 PM

                                Here's another honey cake, my favorite, that uses coffee.

                                1. re: magiesmom
                                  NancyC RE: magiesmom Oct 3, 2012 01:19 AM

                                  Thanks to everyone for the replies. On this particular thread about honey cake, I've looked at the recipes and wonder why "warm" coffee is specified? As opposed to "boiling hot" I could understand so it doesn't cook the other ingredients while mixing, but "cold" should be ok too, right? The reason I'm asking is related to another thread I posted detailing the hoops I have to jump through to bake in my current living situation.

                                  Although I'm not much of a coffee drinker so I honestly don't know...if I brew some coffee then put it in the fridge overnight to use in baking the next day (or mix with other wet ingredients and refrigerate all of it), is there a big impact on flavor?

                                  1. re: NancyC
                                    sunshine842 RE: NancyC Oct 3, 2012 10:00 AM

                                    Yes. Old coffee is foul.

                                    Warm coffee is recommended because cold coffee will make things stiffen up. I would guess that you need the coffee to be warm to keep the honey smooth and workable (it gets like putty if it's cold)

                                    The bottom line is this, after reading some of your other replies. It's pretty apparent that you don't have an enormous amount of experience in the kitchen...and until you gain quite a bit more than you have now, you really, really need to follow the recipe as written until you become accustomed to how the ingredients work on their own and with each other.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      NancyC RE: sunshine842 Oct 4, 2012 08:04 PM

                                      I haven't really tried to explain the whole thing through these posts because I don't see why it should affect the answers.... but basically my living situation now is the reason I ask all these questions. I'm actually a very good baker. But until your situation involves your refrigerator and prep area being in one place and your oven in another place, and the storage place--yes, a third different place--being refrigerator-free, and 15 minutes of bicycling in 90-degree humid weather to get from one to another, and being REQUIRED to bake anyway because it's part of your job to find other people to do so but sometimes they fall through, and having only the limited ingredients that small-town Thailand can provide...you don't really know what's "apparent" and what isn't.

                                      Even though I tried to clarify, you STILL think that I am trying to substitute a cup of coffee in a recipe calling for a sprinkling of granules. I tried to break it down for you, and explain that I'm looking for the difference between 1/4 cup (or 2 tablespoons) of instant MIXED, WET espresso vs. the same amount of ACTUAL coffee made from beans that I have available to me, while instant is something I would have to spend money on.

                                      Sorry I obviously wasted so much of your time.

                                      1. re: NancyC
                                        sunshine842 RE: NancyC Oct 4, 2012 10:52 PM

                                        and we keep trying to clarify that **it depends** . You have to read the recipe and figure it out on a case-by-case basis, because there is no easy rule that will cover the variations.

                                        And yes, explaining your situation would have at least helped us understand what you're dealing with -- we collectively had no reason to know that you weren't working in a modern Western-style kitchen.

                                        1. re: NancyC
                                          Ama658 RE: NancyC Oct 6, 2012 11:34 PM

                                          A couple of thoughts:
                                          People regularly make coffee the night before then drink it as iced coffee the next day, for what it's worth. Also, you aren't sitting there drinking it - it's a flavoring :)
                                          I would say the warm coffee in the recipe is (just from reading the recipe) to keep from seizing up the honey (if it was cold) but also I find that often mixing HOT ingredients can, um, cook other ingredients a bit. If the eggs hit hot coffee, you might end up with some gross egg chunks :).
                                          You can always try subbing in brewed strong coffee- a little experiment, right? If a recipe calls for 2 T instant espresso in 1/4 c hot water, you would need to make a really strong cup of brewed coffee. I use about 1 heaped tsp, no more than two, in a mug when I mix it for other people. That would mean the equivalent of about 6 cups of espresso in the recipe, but concentrated into a smaller amount of liquid. Perhaps you could make extra strong coffee in your machine and then reduce it down to get to 1/4 cup? That would, I think, get you closest to the strong espresso flavor that would be called for.
                                          As far as just using grounds or grounds in water, I would think that wouldn't work too well. Adding grounds (unless called for) will add grit without infusing flavor (there's a reason for the heat/pressure involved in a proper coffee machine :).
                                          Honestly, go for it! I've lived and worked in places where I had to get pretty creative with substitutes (still do, actually...). Have fun and i hope you let us know what you figure out!

                                      2. re: NancyC
                                        chowser RE: NancyC Oct 3, 2012 10:11 AM

                                        I would do it. Just heat it in the microwave. The only reason I can think of to use warm water is if you're dissolving something in it. But, you do want room temperature, not cold out of the refrigerator if you're mixing it in w/out heating it up. In general, w/ baking, you want room temperature ingredients.

                                2. a
                                  AngelofMisrule RE: NancyC Jun 23, 2014 11:54 AM

                                  A great coffee cake that uses real coffee, and you can sub the buttermilk for sour cream if you don't have it.

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