These Espresso Brownies with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting are filled with rich chocolate and strong espresso that is both indulgent and delicious!
Are you a chocolate lover? How about coffee? If you answered yes to both, then these Espresso Brownies with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting are the perfect brownies for you. They are fudgy, decadent, and filled with espresso!
I am continuing my series on chocolate for the month of February with these rich, fudgy and strong espresso brownies. I paired them with an espresso cream cheese frosting and it is SO delicious! Goodness, talk about strong! After I baked them up, I took a bite and the espresso hit me with a force like no other. I was pretty jittery for the rest of the day. It was worth it!
Ingredients for Espresso Brownies with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
Chocolate: I use a 70% dark chocolate. I've used up to 85% and it works deliciously! My big recommendation is to use a high quality chocolate. If you only have chocolate chips on hand, you can use that, but try to use a good quality.
Espresso powder: I've only ever tried this recipe (for many, many years) using espresso powder so I wouldn't know how well regular coffee or instant coffee would work. It might work just fine, but won't be as strong. Experiment if you like, but if you don't prefer the strong espresso, you could always reduce the amount.
Cocoa powder: I use dutch processed, as always. I buy mine online from Orson Gygi: Callebaut Extra Brute Cocoa Powder
Cream cheese: One of my favorite ingredients in almost any frosting is cream cheese. If you're not a fan, you could leave this out and the frosting will taste just fine, but keep in mind it will be a little sweeter, so adjust accordingly.
Espresso powder: In the ingredient list, I have ¼ to ½ teaspoon for a reason. I started off adding only ¼ thinking I'm going to go up to 1 tsp, but after tasting the frosting, I realized quite quickly that it was STRONG. Definitely taste test before adding more espresso powder.
Preparing the Espresso Brownies & Baking
This recipe is so easy and doesn't require very much, but depending on certain things, it can go very wrong (I speak from past experience!).
How to Make Espresso Brownies
These brownies are filled with coffee! Chocolate and coffee are the two main ingredients in this recipe that make these brownies so fudgy and delicious!
Step 1: In a small bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside
Step 2: In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter and melt in microwave in 30 seconds increments, making sure to stir between each increment. Once completely melted, add espresso powder and vanilla extract and whisk. Add granulated sugar and whisk
Step 3: Let the chocolate cool slightly (you don't want the eggs to scramble when added), then add eggs one at a time and whisk until incorporated.
Step 4: Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Don't overmix
Step 5: Add brownie batter to pan and place in oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The brownies are meant to be fudgy, so the toothpick inserted into the center will come out with quite a few moist crumbs and that is perfectly fine. If left in too long, the brownies could become dry.
Let brownies cool completely before frosting
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
Step 1: Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Step 2: Slowly add powdered sugar until combined
Step 3: Add salt, espresso powder and vanilla extract and mix
Step 4: At this point, you could taste to see if the espresso is to your liking. I suggest starting small and increasing if you'd like.
Step 5: Frost brownies and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Fudgy Espresso Brownies:
- Measure your ingredients! You don't want to add too much cocoa powder or flour, otherwise the brownies could become dry and that is not the goal!
- After melting the chocolate, let it cool slightly before adding the rest of the ingredients, ESPCIALLY the eggs. To say that I have made this mistake not once, but twice is embarrassing! My eggs ended up scrambling and after they cooled and I bit into the brownies, there were chunks of scrambled eggs and it was not good! Don't be me. Have patience!
- Don't overbake the brownies. Remember, we're going for fudgy brownies and for that to happen, the toothpick inserted to check for doneness needs to come out moist. Since the brownies need to remain in the pan until cooled, the pan actually continues baking the brownies a little after they come out of the oven, so keep an eye on that and don't overbake!
- TASTE the frosting before adding too much espresso powder. You can always add more, but there's no way to remove too much.
Room Temperature or Cold Brownies
I am a huge fan of room temperature brownies because I feel like it enhances the fudginess, but I've also tried these Espresso Brownies with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting chilled right out of the fridge and they taste delicious! Since these brownies have a cream cheese frosting, it's best to chill the brownies so they don't spoil, especially during warmer months, and especially if you're serving to people. You don't want to make anyone sick.
If you like your brownies more on the side of room temperature, you can take it out of the fridge 30 to 45 minutes before eating.
Don't forget to check out my other chocolate recipes:
Espresso Brownies with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
- ⅔ cup (80g) all purpose flour
- ¼ cup (25g) dutch processed cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup (1stick) unsalted butter cubed
- 5 oz. (142g) dark chocolate 70% or higher, chopped
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cup (250g) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon espresso powder more or less, depending on preference
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper
- In a small bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and butter and melt in microwave in 30 seconds increments, making sure to stir between each increment
- Once completely melted, add espresso powder and vanilla extract and whisk
- Add granulated sugar and whisk
- Let the chocolate cool slightly (you don't want the eggs to scramble when added), then add eggs one at a time and whisk until incorporated
- Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Don't overmix
- Add brownie batter to pan and place in oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The brownies are meant to be fudgy, so the toothpick inserted into the center will come out with quite a few moist crumbs and that is perfectly fine. If left in too long, the brownies could become dry.
- Let brownies cool completely before frosting
Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.
- Slowly add powdered sugar until combined
- Add salt, espresso powder and vanilla extract and mix
- At this point, you could taste to see if the espresso is to your liking. I suggest starting small and increasing if you'd like.
- Frost brownies and enjoy!