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Rich scratch brownies flavored with concentrated coffee and topped with a creamy mocha frosting.
Another month, another brownie recipe! And this one has “Lynn” written all over it.
It is no secret that I am a gigantic coffee fan. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, I posted a drool-worthy mocha cake, which is a dark chocolate and coffee flavored cake topped with buttercream that also has coffee in it.
It was suuuuuch a hit at our house and with taste-testers!
Today’s brownie is similar. We’re taking my recipe for classic homemade fudgy brownies and simply flavoring it with super concentrated coffee and then topping all of it with a spin on my chocolate fudge frosting where we have, you guessed it, more concentrated coffee.
If you attended my Facebook LIVE where we made my basic brownies, you’ll know I added a “secret” extract while you added vanilla. While I wouldn’t exactly call this “coffee extract,” it’s sort of similar but there’s no alcohol involved and we’re making it ourselves on the stove.
See my homemade fudgy brownies, which is the trusted base recipe for all of my brownies.
Just like I’ve done many times (see my champagne layer cake or glazed mimosa muffins, both with champagne reduction), we’re making a coffee reduction to add to the brownie batter and also to thin out the mocha frosting.
And I mean we are really concentrating this stuff.
You’re going to start with one cup of coffee (about 8 ounces) and you’re going to boil it down to just 2 Tablespoons.
This won’t take much time, but you’ll have to make sure you keep an eye on it so that you don’t boil it down to nothing and then wind up with coffee flavored crumbly bits and hot air.
This concentrated coffee will take the place of the vanilla extract completely in the brownies, so you’ll be left with a robust coffee favor hidden deep inside the chocolate flavor.
The thing that takes these coffee brownies from wow to POW, though, is most certainly the easy mocha frosting.
I’ve used this chocolate fudge frosting several times, and it’s a fan favorite among readers! It’s made with unsweetened baking chocolate and butter as the base, which is similar to how we start our chocolate brownies.
We’ll sweeten it with powdered sugar, as any frosting recipe does, and then thin it out with the remaining concentrated coffee and a little milk or cream.
If you want the mocha frosting thinner, feel free to use more coffee, or you can go straight to the milk or cream.
You’ll of course have to wait until your brownies are completely cool before topping them with frosting, but it will be totally worth the wait in the end. If you’re antsy, you can totally throw the brownies into the fridge to allow them to cool there!
Once frosted and cut and ready to eat, you’ll find these brownies are decadent and rich and not overly sweet.
The mocha frosting is a wonderful complement to all the gooey coffee brownie business happening under it, and we enjoyed our brownies alongside a scoop of vanilla a few times. That was totally a killer combo.
These might be my favorite brownie recipe of my monthly lineup so far… And I’m so excited we still have eight to go!!
If you love brownies and you love coffee, coffee brownies are where it’s at. The perfect balance of chocolate flavor and coffee notes that make a decadent treat.
And since there’s coffee, you can totally have one for breakfast. There’s truly no judgment.
- 8 ounces (240mL) strong coffee
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
- 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature preferred1
- 1 Tablespoon (15mL) concentrated coffee
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces (40g) unsweetened baking chocolate coarsely chopped
- 4 Tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon (15mL) concentrated coffee
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons (15-30mL) milk or cream
- 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- Pour the brewed coffee into a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until boiling.
- Reduce coffee down to 2 Tablespoons, remove from heat, and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in 1 Tablespoon of the concentrated coffee. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before frosting.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the unsweetened baking chocolate and the butter. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cooled chocolate/butter mixture, concentrated coffee, and milk or cream (start with 1 Tablespoon). Turn the mixer onto low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until completely combined, scraping down sides as needed. Add salt to taste.
- When you are ready to frost the brownies, remove the brownies by lifting the foil overhang straight up. Peel back remaining foil and place brownie block onto a large cutting board or safe-to-cut surface.
- Spread frosting evenly over the top of the brownies, then cut into individual servings. Store leftover brownies at room temperature up to 1 week. Brownies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- Room temperature eggs: these incorporate into batter much more easily than cold eggs, although this is not absolutely necessary.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
Hi! The brownies look so so good. I was planning to make it this weekend. But for the frosting you have written 4 tbsp and 112 gms. I am not sure which is right. Please clarify.
Sorry, Bhuvana! It should say 57g of butter. It’s now fixed. Enjoy!
My frosting turned out a lot darker than shown in the picture? Not sure why, but the brownie itself was super great!
That can happen depending on what kind of coffee you used– sounds like you did great work! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
Hi! My frosting came out like wet sand 🙁
Bummer! Not sure what to tell you since I wasn’t there, but that usually means there’s just not enough liquid and it needs to be worked more– so beaten again/more. I use this frosting recipe a lot so I am 100% confident it works well 🙂
Can I use instant coffee or espresso?
Delicious! Second time I have made them and they are great every time!!
I’m so happy to hear that, Cherie!
This recipe was really good! Making it again soon
One of my favs! Thanks, Janey!
these turned out great. I went heavier with the chocolate cause I love both coffee and chocolate. dusted with vanilla powder.
Awesome, Brook! Thanks for your review 🙂
These Brownies are super rich and delicious. A keeper recipe that will make any chocolate fan happy.
Thank you so much, TeCe!
So….. concentrated coffee IS instant coffee or espresso ?
Essentially. It can be whatever form of concentrated coffee you want.
How strong is the coffee flavoring in just the brownie (minus frosting?) Like, if I added both tbsp of coffee concentrate would that be too much? I was thinking of making these to add to a trifle but wanted to double-check the intensity + figure out how much coffee concentrate I’d need to make first.
Hey, Madison– I would do just as you mentioned and double the concentrate if you’re not going to use the frosting and want a prominent coffee flavor. Let me know how it works out!
An update on the trifle: Accidentally reduced the coffee concentrate to 1 tbsp anyway since it reduced pretty quickly. Brownie turned out nice and moist and held up well against the pudding and cool whip in the trifle. The only issue was that I needed to double the batch to even out the different ratios.
For anyone else wondering, I used this brownie + caramel pudding + cool whip & topped with crushed pretzel bits for salt and crunch. Turned out really well!
I love this! Thanks so much for coming back to update, Madison 🙂
Made these with Nutella frosting and it was so good!! Needed more coffee and less sugar than the recipe states though – but that’s just my personal taste! Yummy!
Thank you so much, Shiv!
Hi , what should I do if my frosting is darker that the actual pic?? Thankyou in advance for ur response.,🧡
It’s totally fine 🙂
THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!! had to add a bit of extra cream to the frosting, but it was amazing in the end!!!!! thank you <3
Love that! Thank you!
These are SO yummy! As always, you make the recipe and instructions so easy to follow. Brownie is moist and the frosting is lovely. The coffee adds a delicious twist to “regular” brownies.
Thank you so much, Susan!
Hi, what will be a good substitute for egg in this recipe? Thank you.
Hi, Roselle– I’ve never used an egg substitute in this recipe, but I might try applesauce. Let me know if you try it!
Hi, I’m wondering if anyone has made these in a gluten-free version. If so, how’d they turn out and what did you use? If not, what would recommendations be?
Hi, Maggie– I have had readers make this with a GF 1:1 sub with no issue. Let me know if you try it!
These are some of the best brownies I have ever made or tasted! They are so rich and silky and the coffee really comes through.
Thank you so much, Amanda!
Mine may not look pretty or appetizing!
I have never had good luck making brownies, they never cook in the middle. I cooked these, as directed, for 30 minutes straight. (My oven is accurate). I added 5 minute increments at least 3, maybe 4 times & figured I would burn the outside but the tester came out wet each time.
I used an 8×8, because that’s what I have in metal, which I prefer. Maybe glass would result differently?
The flavor is nice….I prefer a crispy edge & dense brownie.
These passed one taste tester so far…but they were compared to the “lava brownie” they enjoy!
They are rich!
Thank you for sharing your recipe. It was easy to mixup with ingredients I have in the house.
I may make again with a few alterations in my cooking vessel & time, the recipe is staying as is! 😉
Thanks so much, Virginia!