The 4 best espresso powder substitutes

Espresso powder or instant espresso is the secret ingredient in many rich chocolate chip cookies, cakes and other sweets. We highly recommend keeping a jar handy if you bake often, but there comes a time when even the most stocked pantries run low.

Here are four of the best espresso powder substitutes.

Since instant coffee is not as rich as espresso, you may want to increase the amount called for in the recipe. Kitchn editor-in-chief Faith Durand notes that you can use about 50% more, but keep in mind that it “has a harder taste than instant espresso [and] can taste tinny or sour if too much is used.

While not a one-for-one swap, brewed espresso can impart the same bitter notes as espresso powder. Using espresso will increase the amount of liquid in your batter, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe.

Again, the wet and dry ingredients must be recalibrated for this. As former editor Emma Christensen advises, “Be sure to subtract the amount of coffee or espresso used from the total liquids in the recipe.”

According to Fine cooking, commercial espresso powder is actually made from espresso beans that have been ground, brewed, dried, and then ground further. We recently tried this to make Martha Stewart’s Mocha Paste Cookies and while the process was a bit time consuming, our homemade powder actually worked really well. We used a mortar and pestle to grind the ground coffee into a very fine powder.

Have you used any of these substitutes – or any other? How did it work for you?

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