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How to Use Your Favorite Coffee Beans to Flavor Your Baked Goods

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How to Bake with CoffeeMost recipes for coffee-flavored cakes and cupcakes call for
None of these are acceptable options for coffee aficionados.  If you fall into this category, you likely have a stash of whole roasted coffee beans that you grind to create your perfect cup of joe.  Those same beans can flavor your cakes and cupcakes and a offer huge coffee punch.  After baking cupcakes using my method, I was still awake on a caffeine high at 2am.

If you read the recipe for my Irish coffee brownie cupcakes, you already know how to use coffee beans to flavor your cupcakes.  In case you missed it, I wanted to call out the method in a separate post.  Use this technique in any recipe that calls for milk.

What you’ll need:

  • An equal quantity of whole milk and roasted coffee beans (i.e. 1 cup milk and 1 cup roasted coffee beans). Use slightly more milk than you’ll need for the dessert recipe as you’ll lose some during the infusion process.  I used 1 cup of milk for a cupcake recipe that called for 3/4 cup.


  • In a saucepan on medium-high, heat milk and coffee beans until just boiling.
  • Remove from heat, cover, and steep for fifteen minutes.
  • Using a sieve, remove the beans from the milk and set the milk aside to use in your recipe.


Do You Prefer Tea?

Be sure to check out my post on baking with tea.

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17 comments on “How to Use Your Favorite Coffee Beans to Flavor Your Baked Goods”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fabulous idea. I’m a coffee addict, and have never been able to get the flavor quite right in my cupcakes. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Instant coffee powders are all in the past! I love my coffee, so today I tried this quick and easy solution for coffee infused cupcakes. You blew me away with the intense flavor! This works beautifully!

  3. what would you recommend doing with the coffee beans after the steeping?

  4. Anonymous says:

    That is a brilliant idea!!

  5. Stephanie says:

    I wish I knew this method before I bought instant coffee for my own Irish coffee cupcakes. My household is a bit snobby about coffee so that instant stuff will only be useful in baking. In fact, I need to go find more recipes to use it up…
    Thanks for sharing, I will use this sometime in the future!

  6. Kympossible says:

    this may be a dumb question… does it need to be whole milk, and why?

  7. Stef says:

    Kympossible – That’s a great question. It doesn’t have to be whole milk. In fact, I think I used 2% milk. However, whole milk definitely makes for richer baked goods.

  8. I concurred that coffee has to be ‘REAL COFFEE’ grounded from freshly roasted beans and not instant or those franchised brands – not even Nespresso or CBTL :-P

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge :-)

  9. Janine says:

    I used this method to make white chocolate espresso cupcakes with mocha frosting topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean…….to die for!!!

  10. HilD89 says:

    I must say, this is a great idea. You have the best of both worlds. I love coffee (and cupcakes) so I can’t wait to try these out.

  11. Vimax Diet says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about coffee. Regards

  12. Lis says:

    This sucks.

  13. Shaina says:

    This sounds like it would produce a fantastic punch of flavor, however, 1 cup of GOOD coffee beans can cost $13! I would love seeing if the same flavor punch could be produced with a much smaller quantity of ground coffee. Obviously that would depend on the grind size, but maybe it would be more economical though not as consistently reproducible. For example, a similar full immersion extraction method is the French Press. I use 30 g of very coarsely ground beans for 500 ml of near-boiling water and it steeps for about 3-3 1/2 minutes.

    Also, just wondering if you tried your extraction method with a chocolate recipe that calls for water instead of milk. I heard that milk mutes the chocolate flavor, hence using water. Anyways, I know it’s hard to make a mocha-tasting cake because of all the sugar and how over-powering chocolate is, but maybe it would work … I guess I just wrote a novel-length comment. Love your site and posts! Just discovered you. :D

    I guess I may have to do some experiments of my own now. ;)

  14. Shirley says:

    Hi. Are you saying instant coffee won’t work?

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