Regardless of if you are using it in brewed form or grounds, coffee is for more than just a strong cup of joe. By getting creative, you can find a multitude of uses for your coffee that go far beyond a morning wake-up call. Here are five of the best ways that you can use coffee in your food and desserts.


When most people think of coffee-flavored desserts, their minds automatically go to tiramisu. The classic Italian dessert consists of sponge cake biscuits that are layered with mascarpone and drizzled with coffee or espresso before being dusted with cocoa powder as the finishing touch. This light and airy dessert boast an overwhelming coffee flavor. You can also add rum to the coffee if you prefer a boozy dessert.

For a recipe that is as coffee-forward as this, you want to be sure to use a high-quality coffee. A good choice is an Ethiopian coffee, presenting a distinctive and aromatic product due to the rich soil and climate of the region.

Cappuccino Popsicles

Looking for a summer treat to enjoy when the mercury soars? Try whipping up a batch of cappuccino popsicles. All that you need to do is brew a cup of espresso and then pour the hot mixture into a saucepan. Add in 2/3 cup of sugar, one cup of milk, two tablespoons of corn syrup, one teaspoon of cinnamon, and one teaspoon of vanilla.

Warm this mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and then pour it into popsicle molds. You will need a few hours for these popsicles to completely freeze.

Coffee-Infused Brownies

What could be better than the winning duo of coffee and chocolate? Also known as Texas sheet cake, coffee-infused brownies are a delicious chocolate treat spiked with coffee for an extra flavor punch. These brownies are made with flour, sugar, shortening, butter, buttermilk, eggs, cocoa powder, and brewed coffee before being baked in a sheet pan.

After baking, the rich cake-like brownies are topped with a homemade frosting consisting of unsalted butter, cocoa powder, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. This decadent treat is a great way to use up extra coffee. While it may seem like an old-fashioned dessert, the addition of coffee kicks it up another level.

Coffee Rubbed Steak

While most people think of coffee as an ingredient for desserts, the grounds make an excellent tenderizer for meat while also delivering a unique flavor profile. You can use this rub on a variety of meats. A good choice is a top sirloin as this will be the most tender and will take on the greatest flavor from the coffee.

Be sure to use a finely ground coffee so that the steak does not come out too grainy. It is also important to choose a coffee that is not flavored. This will ensure that the meat only picks up the pure taste of the coffee. Try mixing these coffee grounds with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a little bit of brown sugar. Everyone will love the perfect char and texture that this rub delivers to the steak.

Mocha Rubbed Grilled Chicken

Coffee grounds are not just for beef. You can also try this same strategy on chicken. This mocha rub grilled chicken is the perfect recipe if you are looking to spice up your regular backyard barbeque routine with the family. The dry rub consists of fine coffee grounds, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, ground cumin, pepper, and cocoa powder. The sweetness of the cocoa powder is the perfect complement to the punch of the coffee grounds.

Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to let the rub sink into the chicken before putting it on the grill. This recipe also features a maple dijon dipping sauce to go with the chicken. Pair this chicken with a pasta salad or simple green salad with a loaf of garlic bread for the complete meal.

These recipes will make you look at coffee in a whole new way. While you can still enjoy your morning cup of java, these recipes will help you to develop a new appreciation for all of the uses of coffee.