Espresso Powder For Baking – How To Make It & Alternatives You Can Use




Espresso powder for baking is often used in chocolate-based recipes because it can enhance the flavor of chocolate without making it taste like a Mocha. Now, the interesting this is that its use is not limited to pastry and sweets. You can use it to make sauces and dry spice mixes for meat too. It is an amazing ingredient to have in any pantry.

Now, is the store-bought version worth the money or is it a better choice to make one yourself at home? What can you substitute it for? Keep reading as we answered these and many more questions you might have about the espresso powder.

What Is Espresso Powder?

Espresso powder is a dehydrated concentrated espresso brew. To use it, you only need to combine it with some sort of liquid (usually hot water). Apart from baking, you can also use it to make a cup of coffee in case you do not have an espresso machine.

Espresso Powder

How Is It Made?

To ensure you have a better understanding of what espresso powder is, you need to know how it is made. The process consists of:

  • choosing the right coffee beans
  • brewing process
  • drying process

Arabica Coffee Beans
Espresso powder is made from high-quality dark roast Arabica coffee beans. They offer a more robust, sweet, and smooth flavor thanks to the rich soils they grow on.

Brewing Process
Next comes the brewing process. The espresso powder is brewed into a flavorful, concentrated coffee extract.

Drying Process
The final part is the drying process which removes all the moisture. This can either be done using the freeze-drying or spray-drying method. The former freezes the brew cuts it up into small pieces, and finally dries it up using a vacuum and low temperatures. The latter, on the other hand, sprays the brew into hot air where the small particles quickly dehydrate and turn into small coffee crystals.

Is It The Same As Instant Coffee?

No, let us be straight from the very beginning, espresso powder and instant coffee are not the same things. Espresso powder is made by dehydrating espresso concentrate whereas instant coffee is made by dehydrating brewed Robusta coffee beans – they are not as flavorful as Arabica and are of lower quality.

How Is It Used For Baking?

Espresso powder is used in chocolate dessert recipes. It can provide a darker and richer flavor to any chocolate recipe. The best thing is that it will not change the original flavor of your ingredients but rather give them a bit deeper note. Also, it is worth knowing that you do not need too much espresso powder. Espresso powder is to baking what salt is to cooking. Only a pinch will give any recipe the kick it needs without overpowering the natural flavor of your ingredients. However, if you want to taste the coffee, you will need to use more than a teaspoon of espresso powder.

What Desserts To Integrate It In?

Here are some of the most popular chocolate desserts that you can add espresso powder in:

  • chocolate cake donuts
  • coffee macarons
  • espresso pots de creme
  • chocolate bourbon cake
  • bourbon truffles
  • mini cupcakes

Is It Suitable For Anything Else?

Yes, you can use the espresso powder to:

  • make a quick espresso shot (by combining it with hot water)
  • spice up drinks such as hot cocoa or cocktails
  • season meat, sauces, and stews

Espresso Powder Cocktails

What Is A Good Substitute To Use?

The best substitute for espresso powder is instant coffee. Now, keep in mind that it will not provide you with the same results, as it is much weaker and a bit more acidic but it can come in handy when making tiramisu for instance. If you do opt for instant coffee, use about 50% more of it than you would espresso powder to get the similar richness but taste as you go to ensure that you don’t add too much.

DIY: What Do You Need To Have?

The great thing about espresso powder is that you can make it yourself with very few things most of us have in our kitchen. Everything you need is:

  • dark roast Arabica espresso beans – they are the best and only option
  • a baking pan and a baking sheet – so you can dry the coffee in an oven
  • coffee or a spice grinder – a conical burr coffee grinder is the best option, however, if you do not have one, any spice grinder will do just fine
  • an airtight container – to store and keep the ground espresso powder away from the moisture

AuthorPatriciaDifficultyBeginner

Yields1 Serving

 dark roast coffee grounds
 baking sheet
 oven
 coffee grinder

1

Spread your coffee grounds in a thin layer on a baking sheet.

2

Put your oven on a low heat setting (around 200° F) and let the coffee "bake" for about one hour. Once your coffee is completely dry and is a bit darker, it is done.

3

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the coffee cool off. Once it does, grind it up using a coffee grinder into a fine espresso powder.

4

Store the powder in an airtight container. This is to ensure that it keeps all its flavors and aromas (and that it does not go stale).

Ingredients

 dark roast coffee grounds
 baking sheet
 oven
 coffee grinder

Directions

1

Spread your coffee grounds in a thin layer on a baking sheet.

2

Put your oven on a low heat setting (around 200° F) and let the coffee "bake" for about one hour. Once your coffee is completely dry and is a bit darker, it is done.

3

Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the coffee cool off. Once it does, grind it up using a coffee grinder into a fine espresso powder.

4

Store the powder in an airtight container. This is to ensure that it keeps all its flavors and aromas (and that it does not go stale).

DIY Espresso Powder

How Many Espresso Beans Do You Need To Make Espresso Powder?

This depends solely on how much powder you want to make. Generally, about 1 cup of coffee beans will provide you with 1 cup of espresso powder. You can adjust the amount based on your needs. A homemade espresso powder can also be an amazing gift for family and friends.

Storage & Shelf Life

It is very important that you keep the espresso powder stored in a dry and cool place away from moisture to ensure that it does not go stale. It has a very long shelf life so you never have to worry that it might go bad.

Espresso Powder FAQ

Now that you know what it is, how it is made, and how can you make it yourself, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about espresso powder:

Does Espresso Powder Leave Your Baked Goods Tasting Like Coffee?

No, it does not. For it to leave any coffee flavor you would need to add more than 1 teaspoon of it into the cake mix.

Does Espresso Powder Leave An Aftertaste In Your Recipe?

No, it only enhances the natural flavor of your ingredients.

Do I Have To Use The Espresso Powder In The Recipe?

Of course not, if you do not like the idea of adding coffee to your food, you can leave it out of the recipe.
Coffee Powder For Cooking And Baking

Is It The Same As Espresso?

No, it is not. Espresso coffee is made by grinding freshly roasted coffee beans into a fine, espresso-size grind that is made to be brewed using an espresso machine. Now, the powder is already pre-rewed espresso concentrate turned into small coffee crystals. It does not require an additional brewing process, you only need to activate it using hot water.

Can You Use Regular Espresso For Baking?

You can use a small amount of regular espresso in your recipes, however, don’t use them for drinking the same way you would the powder.

Can You (And Where) Find Espresso Powder In The Grocery Store?

Yes, you can find espresso powder in most grocery stores. If you do not feel like going out you can even find it for sale online from retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, etc. A small, 1.75-ounce pack will cost you less than 10 dollars.

It is usually located in the aisle with the entire coffee selection so you have the opportunity to check out versatile brands and look into what they have to offer.

Is It Worth Making Your Own At Home?

Well, since the store-bought version is affordable if you don’t feel like going through the process or you do not have the equipment you need, it is definitely worth buying.

To Wrap It Up

Now you know all the benefits of using espresso powder in your recipes, both for cooking and baking. The simple DIY recipe we included is very easy to follow and will save you the trip to the store when you don’t feel like going out. Since the powder has a long shelf life, it is a good idea to make a larger batch at once so you have it ready for use any time you need it.



Patricia
As a former cook and a pastry chef, Patricia knows how to recognize fresh ingredients and appreciates their quality above all else. Her ideal day is spent at a local farmer’s market looking for the fruits, vegetables, and herbs she can combine and use to make meals for her loved ones. She is also a big coffee enthusiast and enjoys trying out different coffee brews while traveling.