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

Most recipes for coffee-flavored cakes and cupcakes call for Instant coffee, Instant Espresso, or Starbucks Via.

That’s now how I recommend that you should bake with coffee if you care about the taste of your dessert. Using instant coffee is unacceptable for a coffee aficionado. 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 cookies and other desserts and offer a huge coffee punch flavored just the way you want it. And, if you’re craving caffeine, you may still find yourself awake at 2 AM after having a coffee-flavored dessert made this way!
How to Bake with Coffee
If you read the recipe for my Irish coffee brownie cupcakes, you already know how to use coffee beans to flavor your cupcakes. To give my cupcakes a strong coffee flavor, I infuse the milk in the recipe with coffee beans!

If your recipe does not have milk, you can also infuse the butter from the recipe with coffee like I did in my coffee cookies!

Making Coffee Butter

Coffee Butter

To infuse butter with coffee, you can use a similar technique as with the milk only with melted butter instead of milk.

Then, use the flavored butter as you would other butter in the recipe. I love using this technique in my coffee cookies.

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Coffee Butter
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3.67 from 3 votes

Coffee-Infused Milk or Butter

Use the coffee- infused butter or milk in place of plain butter or milk to flavor your baked goods.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword coffee infused butter, coffee infused milk
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Chilling Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 tablespoons
Calories 152


Coffee-Infused Milk or Butter Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole milk or butter
  • 1/2 cup coffee beans


Coffee-Infused Milk or Butter

  • In a saucepan on medium-high, heat milk and coffee beans until just boiling. Or, if using butter, melt butter and then add coffee beans.
  • Lower heat so the beans and milk/butter come to a simmer.
  • Simmer for five minutes.
  • Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for fifteen minutes.
  • Use a sieve to remove the beans.
  • Let the milk or butter come to room temperature. If using butter, refrigerate until it is no longer a liquid. or freeze until no longer a liquid (if you need to use it quickly). 


Use more milk or butter than you will need for your recipe. Using 3/4 cup will yield about 1/2 cup. 


Nutrition Facts
Coffee-Infused Milk or Butter
Amount Per Serving
Calories 152 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 45mg15%
Sodium 151mg6%
Potassium 5mg0%
Vitamin A 530IU11%
Calcium 5mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Do You Prefer Tea?

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

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

  1. Anonymoussays:

    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. Anonymoussays:

    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. Anonymoussays:

    That is a brilliant idea!!

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

  7. Stefsays:

    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. Janinesays:

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

  10. HilD89says:

    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. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about coffee. Regards

  12. Shainasays:

    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. ;)

  13. Shirleysays:

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

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