13 Clever Ways to Cook with Coffee

January  8, 2018

You’d be hard-pressed to find a kitchen that doesn’t have coffee in it. Whether it's beans, grounds, or instant, we love our coffee. It’s great to drink, but why not try cooking with it? Here are some recipes that incorporate coffee in its many forms. We tend to associate coffee with something sweet—it pairs well with chocolates and cream—but skewed savory coffee lends a recipe an earthy, smoky complexity. You’ve heard of coffee ice cream, but what about a coffee bean dip? Didn’t think so.

Rub beef ribs in coarse grounds or brine a chicken in its brew. Coffee proves an essential element in sauces or spice mixtures. That being said, coffee is delicious in desserts, too, so we threw in some sweet recipes as well. Brew yourself a batch to drink, but don't forget to save some for dinner—or dessert!

Stay Salty

Stay sweet

How do you brew? Let us know your favorite coffee use in the comments.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Brenda S. January 17, 2018
I'm using espresso powder as a spice (it would go in the streusel filling for the Budapest coffee cake) and adding brewed coffee where a little depth of flavor or bitter component is needed - sauces, stews, chili. And LOVE Nigella's ice cream as well.
Bridget H. January 14, 2018
We have shared this on our Facebook page... Healthwise Coffee! Thanks Food52!
Magda K. January 14, 2018
Bacon jam is on my to-make list, comprised of bacon (duh), coffee, cider vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, onion & garlic. The late lamented Local in New Buffalo, Michigan, made this condiment brilliantly - I humbly hope to replicate it.
Laurence T. January 14, 2018
Nigella Lawson’s coffee ice cream is a staple at our house. SO easy to make and RAVE reviews from everyone. Way better than any shop coffee ice cream.
Starmade January 14, 2018
I am not seeing coffee as an ingredient in the Budapest Coffee Cake recipe as written (though it looks like a delicious cake, and one could imagine finding ways of adding it to the glaze). Another baking-with-coffee recipe I like is the Espresso Banana Bread which is quite unexpectedly nice.

Starmade January 14, 2018
I mean the one by five and spice
Natalie January 14, 2018
Over the past two years I have been cold pressing organic roasted coffee and green-unroasted organic coffee in my fridge for a minimum of 12hrs at a time. Coffee is a highly nutritious superfood and preparing it without heat will cut down on the phytic acid content which is healthier for my body. I think I'm going to enjoy trying these recipes out with antioxidant rich cold coffee which I would think, will also bring our subtle changes to the taste of most if not all these dishes?!... Will soon find out no doubt lol x.
Kelsey January 8, 2018
Wow these all look so amazing! We are big time coffee drinkers over here so I can't wait to try some of these!