Cappuccino Brownies

I had a talk with myself the other day. I told myself that I was forbidden from making any more recipes that I found on the internet until I started using the (many) cookbooks that I have. I have a tendency to gravitate towards recipes I find on the internet because there are pretty pictures and people have reviewed them and offered their critiques. (Of course, this doesn't stop me from buying cookbooks; it just delays my using them.) Well, I'm glad I "forced" myself to start using my cookbooks because this one is a real winner! So let this post be a reminder to those of you with neglected cookbooks on your shelf...

I started flipping through the book "Bars & Squares" that I have and marking pages of the recipes I wanted to try. Before I knew it half the book was marked! I highly recommend this book. Everything I've ever made from here has come out amazing. I have no idea why it has been neglected for so long. I ultimately decided on the Cappuccino Brownies because it was a rainy day and they just seemed like a good rainy day snack.

You see that corner piece on top? That one is mine!

These are truly brilliant! The brownie itself it amazing. Very dense and chocolaty. The coffee flavored filling is something else all together. This stuff is dangerously addictive! It would make a great cupcake frosting or filling between layers of a cake. The bitterness of the espresso powder cuts the sweetness of all the sugar so the frosting isn't sickeningly sweet like some are. And the ganache on top... well it's chocolate ganache people... need I say more? Individually all the components of this brownie are amazing, but when you put them together it's divine!

This takes a little while to make because you have to let it cool between layers but overall it's pretty easy. Feel free to cut these into small pieces because it is very rich and a little bit goes a long way.

I took a few liberties with the recipe. The recipe below includes the changes I made. First off, I changed the brownie to be a little more like the "baked brownie" that I'm absolutely in love with. I added cocoa powder (in addition to the melted chocolate) and I used part white sugar and part brown sugar. And of course I upped the salt because I tend to do that with almost every dessert I make these days. For the filling I almost doubled the instant espresso powder that it called for because I wanted a stronger coffee taste. The coffee taste is definitely there but it isn't at all overpowering.

In my opinion these are best served cold from the fridge. The filling is little firmer and I think it just brings out the taste more. But then again, I'm the person who puts every candy bar in the freezer before I eat it so my opinion may be a little biased. I'm sure these will be good any way you eat them!

Recipe: Adapted from: Bars and Squares

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 - 2 tbsp milk or cream
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  1. Brownie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking pan (or line with parchment paper).
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, untill the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and whisk in sugars and vanilla until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. Add in the eggs one, one at a time, whisking lightly after each addition.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. Do not overbeat! Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
  5. Frosting: In a bowl, combine espresso powder and 1 tbsp of milk or cream, stirring to dissolve. Add in butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to blend then on medium speed until creamy, adding more milk, if necessary to make a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over the brownie. Chill to harden, about 1 hour.
  6. Glaze: Put the chocolate chips and whipping cream in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Let cool to lukewarm. Spread over frosting. Chill until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars or squares.

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Ross Weinreb said...

These are definitely in my top 3 favorite things you've made. Right up there with the Oreo cookie cookies.

It's a rough life being your taste tester :)

Soccerbj1171 said...

I gave up coffee for the day and filled my caffeine urge with these...I figured it was the healthier choice.

Isabelle Lambert said...

je garde ta recette, car ça a l'air super bon ! sans compter que tes photos sont superbes :)

Anonymous said...


diva said...

mmm these look so yummy. i'm lovin the layers!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

These look so inviting - It kind of reminds me of an "opera" dessert. I am definitely bookmarking these.

Anonymous said...

you forgot to put the butter in the frosting instructions!
and how'd you make the frosting fluffy? it doesn't come out like in the picture.

Heidi said...

These look fantastic! What an awesome way to dress up a brownie.

Siobhán said...

These look amazing! And you made me smile with your observation of your tendency towards web recipes, I'm the same!! I have all these cookbooks but when I want to make something I google it so I can see reviews first.... I do use my cookbooks but like you said, they just get delayed... I'm going to use a cookbook today! :D

SugarCooking said...

Anon - Thanks for the heads up! It's fixed now. And I didn't have any probably getting it fluffy. I used real cream (as opposed to milk). I used an electric hand mixer and it just took a couple minutes. If it's too runny then add more sugar and if it's too thick just add a little more cream. The weather can do funny things to frosting sometimes.

Sheila said...

Ooh, how decadent! I love classic brownies but I've never made it fancier. I like the addition of coffee on this one. Will be bookmarking this!

Josh said...

Yum! A couple years ago I made a similar style brownie from a recipe in the Gourmet cookbook. It used a mix of butter and cream cheese, as well as cinnamon (and maybe some other spices) in the middle layer and was absolutely out of this world.

Anonymous said...

your recipes you post look amazing! I am always impressed by your photos too--they have such good quality. what camera do you have, if you don't mind me asking?

SugarCooking said...

Hi Anon - I used a Canon Rebel T1i. I just bought it a few months ago and I love it. I just got this lens "Canon 50mm f1.8" off of amazon and it's really made a difference in the photos. I hope that helps!

Mini Baker said...

oh my goodness! I LOVE your blog! everything you make is SO my element :)
One of my new favorite blogs for sure!
Happy Baking to you,
Mini Baker :)

Anonymous said...

I made these wonderful brownies and every person I served them to said they were pretty much the best things he or she has ever eaten. My mom, a huge dessert fanatic, listed them in the top 5 desserts of her life.

Zahra said...

mmm looks GOOD! Im definitely making this tomorrow! Can you substitute instant coffee for the cappuccino? :/

SugarCooking said...

Zahra - Hopefully you get this response in time. Yes, you can use instant coffee. The recipe calls for instant espresso which is a little finer than instant coffee and a little more potent. Just crush the instant coffee with the back of a spoon first to grind it up a little finer. You may also want to up the amount.. I'd start with 1.5 times the amount of instant coffee than what is called for with instant espresso. Good luck! Let me know how they turn out.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i loved your pic's so much that i gave it ago myself, i'll be posting it up in a couple of hours, they are super good but i like them better at room temp - they're extra morish! My pic's aren't as good as yours though :)

Cindy said...

Mmmm...not sure how i stumbled upon these, but they look amazing and i'm already drooling! Will be making tonight :)

Patty said...

Can someone tell me where I can buy espresso powder? Sugarcooking, I don't live that far from you, in Sunbury. You know what store chains we have around here, but I can't find espresso powder anywhere.

SugarCooking said...

Most grocery stores sell it, but not by the coffee. It's usually in the international aisle, like by the goya beans and stuff. Don't worry though, if you can't find it just use instant coffee powder, maybe use a little more though, and crush it with the back of a spoon to make sure it's ground really fine.

starla said...

This looks amazing ! I LOVE coffee and ofcorse choclate, and Brownies !!! I am going to try making it with a sugar sub. since I am a diabetic, But I bet my friends and family can help me eat the rest I dont need to eat : ) ... Thank you and I will be watching for your great recipes. I am inspired , Thank you ~~~ starla

Unknown said...

Loved it! I made these and took them into work for the boys - they were gone before the end of the day, and that was only between about 8 people! Will be making again :)

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