What Is Espresso Powder & How To Make It At Home

What is espresso powder

Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by Timothy Byron Smith

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you might have baked some chocolatey goodness at home. Whether it is cakes, brownies, or any other dessert, you might have gotten the chance to stumble on the ingredient, espresso powder. Now if that raised an eyebrow, chances are you have no idea what it is.

You might have heard of espresso or you might even be an avid espresso drinker, but you might confuse the caffeinated beverage with the powder. Truth is, espresso powder or instant espresso powder isn’t primarily used for brewing an espresso shot. In fact, it is more commonly used in baking cakes or brownies.

You would be even more surprised to find out that espresso powder can also be used in making sauces, frostings, and dressings. If you thought this was fascinating, get ready for a lot more unveiling facts as we have brought together everything you need to know about what is espresso powder.

What is An Espresso Powder

An espresso powder has been used as a trending ingredient in the modern culinary world. You can commonly find it in the list of spices. It has also been increasingly used as a steak scrub. (drool!)

To put it in plain terms, an espresso powder is concentrated coffee that can instantly dissolve, thus making it a quick add-on ingredient.

The powder is made from roasted, ground coffee that is brewed and then dried, making it soluble.

How to Make Espresso Powder at Home

If you can think of it, you can make it! You don’t have to rush to the store to buy the best espresso powder if you are out of it because you can make it at home. We have an easy-to-follow guide for you to prepare homemade espresso powder.

What Is An Espresso Powder And How To Make It At Home

What’s Needed

First thing’s first: the ingredients! Before you set out to make your own jarful of instant espresso powder, make sure you have the following items available.

1. Espresso Beans

To make the powder, select medium or medium-dark roasted espresso beans. There is a variety of brands to choose from and you can find one of your choices at the local grocery store

2. Baking Sheet

Make sure to keep baking sheets handy as you’ll place them on the baking tray before adding the espresso. This will prevent it from sticking to the tray

3. Espresso or Spice Grinder

To grind your espresso beans into a fine powder, we highly recommend using a conical burr grinder that will grind your beans and retain their essential oils. Conical burr grinders are usually automatic espresso grinders so that will save you plenty of time and energy too. In case you don’t have a good espresso grinder, a spice grinder will suffice.

4. Airtight Spice Container

To store the powder for a long time and to keep it fresh, make sure you have an airtight container ready.

Steps for Making Espresso Powder

Once you have all your ingredients and equipment, it’s time to get to the dirty work!

1. Spread espresso grounds on a baking sheet

Preheat your oven before you begin. Then spread the baking sheet over the tray. After that, evenly spread the ground espresso on the baking sheet.

2. Bake at low heat for an hour

Allow the espresso grind to bake for an hour. Keep a check on your tray. You will know they are ready when the beans have dried and look toasty.

3. Let cool and then grind very finely

Once done, remove the tray from the oven and allow the beans to cool. After they have cooled down, you can grind them finely.

4. Store in an airtight container

Make sure to instantly store your instant espresso powder in an airtight jar so that it stays fresh for a long time.

How Do You Use An Espresso Powder in a Recipe

Now if you are new to the notion, espresso powder can be used in recipes, we are here to enlighten you. There are limitless possibilities as to how you can use espresso powder in not only sweet but savory dishes too. We have some ideas winnowed down for you.

How much Espresso Powder to Use in a Recipe

Just one-fourth or a full teaspoon of this magical powder is enough to give your recipes that kick! Since this powder is highly concentrated the espresso powder in recipes is a qualitative addition. But how can you put its power to the test? You’ll find out in a bit.

Espresso Powder for Baking

You may not know this but coffee and chocolate go hand in hand. That is why espresso powder can do wonders when it comes to making chocolatey goodness, without giving the recipe an overpowering coffee flavor. We have gathered some ideas that might just spark that hidden connoisseur within you!

1. Chocolate Cake

The king of cakes: the chocolate cake! Using espresso powder could be the secret ingredient to your cake. Bake a regular chocolate cake with two layers. Once they cool down, cut out the top of both layers to even the cake down.

The chocolate filling is where the magic happens. To make the chocolate filling, you will have to grind chocolate chips, sugar, salt, and espresso powder into fine powder. Take out the ground chocolate and add a beaten egg. Finally, add hot boiled cream to the mixture and blend! Your heavenly chocolate filling is ready.

2. Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

You can add this magical frosting to cupcakes. All you need to do is add cocoa powder to a bowl and then add butter. Mix them until they combine. Then add a cup of sugar and a pinch of salt. Now use a mixer to blend. Gradually add milk until the mixture reaches frosting consistency.

For the finale, add half a teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of espresso powder.

3. Double Shot Mocha Chunks

If you are a coffee lover, you would adore a chocolate and coffee combination with both flavors dominating. If you like the idea, you are going to love the double shot mocha chunks. These are dense, gooey brownies that will melt away as soon as you put one in your mouth.

To make these babies, add butter and baking powder to cocoa powder in a bowl. Add beaten eggs and mix them using an electric mixer. Then add sugar and a pinch of salt. To top it all off, add vanilla extract and espresso powder. Once thoroughly mixed, add the mixture in spoonfuls on a baking sheet and pop the tray in a preheated oven.

4. Chocolate Banana Bread Recipe

What could be better than a loaf of old-fashioned banana bread? We’ll tell you: a chocolate banana bread with a sprinkle of instant espresso powder. Use your same old banana bread recipe and add ¼ teaspoon of instant espresso to add a delightful flavor.

5. Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Cupcakes can be your go-to dessert if made right, and with our recipe, you are bound to be right every time! All you have to do is add cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt to sifted all-purpose flour in a bowl. Whisk them well. Then add melted butter, vanilla essence, and espresso powder to the mixture followed by eggs and boiling water.

Blend the mixture well and put it in your cupcake molds. Place the cupcakes in a preheated oven and wait for the magic to unfold!

6. Brownies

This one is our personal favorite. This gooey, chewy, goodness is a whole lot better with espresso powder as one of its constituent ingredients. The combination of chocolate and coffee in the form of fudgy brownies is divine.

Espresso Powder Substitutes

Out of espresso powder? Don’t have time to rush to the store or make a batch at home, if you are in the middle of a recipe? That doesn’t mean you can substitute something for espresso powder. If you want to add that coffee essence to your dessert, you can use the following options instead.

1. Espresso Grounds

If you are an espresso enthusiast, you will have espresso grounds somewhere in the kitchen. Instead of using espresso powder, you can grind the espresso using a mortar and pestle into a fine powder.

Tip: This won’t be easily dissolvable so you will have to mix the ingredients well.

2. Instant Coffee

Instant coffee to the rescue like always! If you don’t have espresso powder at home, you will surely have instant coffee lying around. But remember since instant coffee isn’t very concentrated, you will have to add more than just a teaspoon. But remember, an overdose might just make your concoction sour!

3. Brewed Espresso

This can be one of the last resorts. You can add brewed espresso to your recipe that will be easily soluble to your recipe. Just make sure to add a bit more than a teaspoon.

Where to Buy Espresso Powder

There are several espresso powder brands that are easily available. You can easily get it from the nearest grocery store in the coffee aisle or the seasoning section. If you aren’t in the mood to run to the store, you can also order it online.

Espresso Powder Tips For Perfecting Recipes

  • Remember the espresso powder is instantly soluble, so you can add it to either water, milk, or even vanilla extract before adding it to the recipe.
  • Always add a tiny amount of espresso powder to your recipes to get that perfectly balanced taste.
  • Try adding espresso powder to chocolate desserts. Espresso and chocolate are made for each other!


Is espresso powder the same as ground coffee beans?
Espresso powder is not the same as ground coffee beans. To begin with, they both have different grind sizes. Espresso powder is a fine powder, thus making it super easy to dissolve but ground coffee has a coarse grind. The process to make both also differ.

Coffee grind is roasted and then ground while espresso powder is roasted beans, grind, brewed, and then dried.

Is espresso powder the same as instant espresso?
Yes. Instant espresso and espresso powder are 2 names for the same thing.
Does espresso powder leave your baked goods to taste like coffee?
It is a common misperception that adding espresso powder to your recipe gives it an overwhelming coffee flavor. However, that isn’t true. The instant espresso is easily soluble and is only added in small amounts to recipes.

The espresso powder only enhances that chocolate flavor. The rich and dark tasting notes of the espresso powder translate into a richer and darker chocolatey taste.


That is all you could know about espresso powder. From learning what is espresso powder to how to use it, we have shared all the tips and tricks in this guide. Whether you decide to make it at home or run to the store to get yourself a packaged one, you can use it in a variety of ways.

We would recommend you try out one of the chocolate recipes and share it with your friends and family. You never know, that might just become the talk of the town.

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