7 Creative Ways to Use Coffee Beans in Cooking and Baking

From nutty chocolate breads and rich brownies to coffee ice cream and layered desserts, coffee can take your favorite baked goods up a notch. Plus, it pairs well with other flavors, too!

For high-moisture recipes like brownies, Wanders suggests substituting some of the water with brewed coffee to impart flavor without changing the texture. She also loves combining whole beans with sugar in a pot to make a simple syrup.

1. Use it as a flavoring

Coffee beans are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether it’s in a coffee cake or cookies, a savory dish like red-eye gravy, or even in a marinade for roast beef, adding a strong dose of brewed coffee will add bold flavor to the recipe.

Coffee also pairs well with a wide range of dessert flavors, from chocolate and coffee to caramel and nutty. A layered vanilla and coffee cheesecake or cinnamon pound cake would be perfect for any coffee lover. Coffee can also be added to a simple sugar glaze or milk and coffee to give it a subtle flavor without changing the color of the finished dessert.

When a recipe calls for strong brewed coffee, use twice as much grounds and allow them to cool before using. Alternatively, you can try infusing the coffee into other liquids. For dairy-based dishes, Wanders recommends steeping whole or crushed beans in a mixture of milk and sugar overnight. You can also try a similar technique in a coffee-flavored creamer, or replacing some of the liquid in a frosting with cooled coffee.

2. Add it to savory dishes

The distinct flavor of coffee beans is perfect for adding a new dimension to drink, dessert and food recipes. The different bean varieties also offer unique characteristics that lend themselves to specific cooking applications, including dry rubs and marinades.

One of our favorite ways to use coffee is in savory dishes. The smoky, bitter notes in coffee can pair well with sweet and savory ingredients. For example, we use coffee in our Sticky BBQ Spare Ribs recipe and it pairs perfectly with the smoky, earthy flavors of the spare ribs.

Coffee can also add a great dimension to salad dressings. Our Coffee Vinaigrette is a perfect match for greens and roasted root vegetables. The light sweetness of the salad dressing complements the savory, earthy notes of the salad perfectly.

You can also add a touch of coffee to homemade butter. Our Coffee Compound Butter can be used in a variety of savory recipes, from dipping bread to topping steak. It also pairs well with grilled veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes. You can even try it on a grilled cheese sandwich! If you’re feeling ambitious, you can also make coffee sugar to use in desserts. Simply combine ground coffee beans and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

3. Add it to desserts

The flavor profiles of different coffee beans lend themselves to a variety of drink, dessert and food recipes. A bold French roast can enhance beef dishes while a light espresso will add depth to a chocolate cake. The roasted notes of a dark bean also pair well with sweet treats like gingerbread or cookies.

Coffee is a natural pairing with chocolate, so it is not surprising that many desserts are made with coffee as the main ingredient or an accent. Coffee cakes, tiramisu, and coffee ice cream are classic examples. Coffee adds a complex, bittersweet flavor to desserts that contrasts well with the sweetness of the dish.

Adding coffee to desserts can be as simple as replacing the nuts used in crumb cakes with crushed roasted beans or mixing pulverized beans into frosting for an interesting textured effect. Coffee is also a great companion for other flavors, such as in a layered coffee cheesecake or a cinnamon bundt cake.

For a more decorative effect, place whole coffee beans in clear jars and use them as a table decoration. They can also be a unique addition to homemade gifts, such as potpourri or candles. The oil in the beans can also be a natural cleaner for metal coffee gear, such as pitchers or scoops.

4. Add it to drinks

From breakfast to dessert, coffee can be a part of every meal. It’s great in sweet treats like scones and brownies, but can also add a punchy flavor to savory dishes, like the grilled steak in this recipe. It pairs well with chocolate in recipes, and adds a deep flavor to savory dishes like this sage-and-coffee roast pork. Use yasumi coffee beans for offices in order to make your company workers alert and perform well.

Coffee is a standout ingredient for baking, bringing its bitterness, acidity, and roasted flavor to desserts like cookies, cakes, and muffins. It pairs well with chocolate, but can also be used to add a bold, intense taste to nutty or citrusy desserts.

What we call a coffee bean is actually the seed of a cherry-like fruit that grows on a coffee tree. These fruits are called coffee cherries and resemble berries or grapes, with a thick red skin that turns bright red when ripe. The seeds inside the cherries are covered by a parchment-like envelope, the endocarp.

Don’t let your unused coffee beans go to waste! From the farmer to your local roaster, so many people worked hard to get these roasted beans into your hands. Rather than throwing them away, use them in these fun and delicious recipes to make the most of this versatile ingredient.

5. Add it to soups

Coffee has a unique flavor that pairs well with many different types of foods. It can be added to both savory dishes and desserts. From coffee rubbed meat to tiramisu, there are a lot of different ways that you can use coffee in cooking.

A coffee bean is actually the seed of a berry-like fruit that grows on a coffee plant. These berries are then dried and roasted to make the delicious cup of coffee that we all enjoy. Coffee beans have a rich, earthy, and bitter flavor that can be used in a variety of recipes.

The best way to use coffee beans is to add them to soups. Coffee soup is a popular dish that can be made with any type of beans. The soup can be served warm or cold and is usually paired with croutons or other garnishes to add texture and flavor.

When adding coffee to soup, it is important to not overcook the beans. If the beans are cooked for too long, they can become very bitter and will not taste good at all. To avoid this, it is recommended to simmer the beans for 12 minutes or less.

6. Add it to sauces

When used in cooking, coffee beans and grounds add a rich and savory element to recipes. They also work well in sweet dishes like tiramisu and baked beans, and can be used in a number of ways to add coffee flavor to recipes.

For dairy-based desserts, Wanders recommends steeping whole or crushed beans in milk or cream. This is a simple way to infuse the mixture with coffee flavor without adding any liquid coffee or changing the texture of the dish. Alternatively, she suggests using a syrup made from coffee-flavored brewed coffee.

The smoky, bitter flavor of coffee can also be added to marinades and sauces. Whether used in a beef or pork marinade, or a classic red-eye gravy, the addition of coffee will make any meal more hearty and satisfying.

The next time you have leftover ground coffee or an unused bag of beans, don’t let them go to waste. Many people worked hard to get those beans into your hands, and repurposing them can be a fun way to make the most of this versatile ingredient. From savory dishes to artisanal gifts, there are a number of unique uses for unused coffee. Toss them into a smoothie, infuse them with milk, or use them in a recipe to give your favorite drink a new flavor profile.

7. Add it to marinades

Adding coffee beans to marinades can help tenderize meat and give it a bold flavor. Try a simple recipe like this one, or experiment with your own. Just remember to use a high-quality, low-sodium marinade and watch your caffeine intake.

For desserts, coffee brings a wide range of flavors to baked goods. Whether it’s a loaf of coffee rye bread, fudgy mocha brownies or even coffee and citrus-scented ice cream, you can work in a hint of java into any breakfast, lunch or dinner dish (as long as your caffeine tolerance is up to it).

Infusing whole beans in sugar and liquid can also add subtle coffee flavor without changing the color of the baked good. For dairy-based desserts, Wanders recommends steeping whole or crushed beans in milk or cream overnight.

The flavor of a meal or snack will depend on the kind of coffee bean used, so it’s important to select a brew that you enjoy drinking. It’s also a good idea to use fresh, high-quality ingredients in recipes that include coffee, as this will help ensure the best possible results. From the farmer to your local roaster, so much hard work goes into getting these precious beans into your hands — don’t let them go to waste!