Espresso Brownies


Dédé used to make these espresso brownies at her first baking job and subsequently at her own place, Harvest Moon Bakery, in Amherst, MA in the early 1990s. It has continued to be one of her most often-requested recipes. We don’t consider these to be kid-friendly, as they pack a caffeine wallop and a very intense flavor, but they can stand in for your afternoon coffee break. The flavor is what these are all about, there is a reason why people ask for them all the time!

Espresso Brownies
Makes: Makes 16 brownies
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2½ ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, such as Callebaut or 60% Ghirardelli
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup instant espresso powder
  1. Position rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat an 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl to aerate and combine. Add chopped chocolate and toss to coat; set aside.
  3. Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in instant espresso. Stir dry ingredients into the butter/espresso mixture until just combined. Scrape into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until bars are slightly puffed and the edges have begun to come away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center will show a few moist crumbs clinging. Cool on rack before cutting. Cut into 16 bars (4x4). Store at room temperature in airtight container for up to 4 days.

Bakepedia Tips

  • We use instant espresso powder from King Arthur Flour. You can also look for instant Medaglia d’Oro in your supermarket. Regular instant coffee can be used, but the flavor will be far less complex.


2 Responses to Espresso Brownies

  1. KaRevy February 17, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

    Just wanted to say I made these with scharffen berger chocolate and Medaglia d’oro instant espresso and they were absolutely amazing!
    Put in a splash of Framboise right before pouring into the pan.. Don’t know if that made a difference in the light texture.. Now addicted to these brownies.

    • Dede Wilson February 18, 2014 at 8:03 am #

      Wow! The framboise addition sounds inspired. Thank you for sharing. Now you know how these are not so much to look at, but man do they pack a punch of flavor. When I had my bakery people always asked for this recipe. Warning: don’t eat close to bedtime. They have a big caffeine buzz!

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