Gooey, chocolatey and hints of espresso, these espresso brownies are indulgent in every way possible. A rich chocolate brownie with two kinds of chocolate is enhanced by espresso powder and topped with a smooth and creamy espresso forward buttercream. Topped with chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans, these brownies will knock your socks off.
Why make homemade brownies?
Homemade brownies couldn’t be easier to make. The brownies get mixed together in only 10 minutes with minimal hassle and no mixer required. ]
Fudgy warm brownies can be yours in about 30 minutes total (if you can’t wait for them to cool like me). Using ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, these are the perfect brownies.
The best fudgy brownies with hints of espresso
Indulgent, chocolatey and fudgy, these brownies are everything you want a brownie to be. But I take it a step further and add espresso into the brownies.
The espresso flavor in the actual brownies is just a hint of coffee while really highlighting the chocolate and increasing that deep, rich flavor. The smooth espresso buttercream is really where these get a jolt of coffee flavor.
There are a few things that make these brownies rich and fudgy:
- Melted chocolate: Using melted chocolate adds a richer chocolate flavor than just using cocoa powder. Chocolate has fat in it which along with the butter increases the fat content of the brownies, giving them that fudgy and not cakey texture.
- Baking Time: As you start to approach the 20-minute mark when baking the brownies, start checking them for doneness. Look at the middle of the brownies. They should not jiggle but may not look as done as the sides of the brownies. When you insert a toothpick, you want to see moist crumbs on the toothpick. If it looks wet still then it needs longer and if there are no crumbs, unfortunately, those brownies are overbaked :-(.
How to make the espresso buttercream
The espresso buttercream for these espresso brownies is a simple American buttercream recipe. The espresso really shines in the buttercream and is the forward flavor that really enhances these brownies.
The recipe starts by creaming softened unsalted butter with powdered sugar. Next, instead of adding the espresso powder directly to the frosting which will leave little flecks of espresso throughout, you dissolve it first.
In a little bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of milk with the espresso powder and stir until the espresso powder is dissolved. Next, add it to the creamed butter and sugar and then add the vanilla extract. Mix the frosting until it’s fluffy and creamy.
Substitute for bittersweet chocolate
If you find your panty bare of the bittersweet chocolate that is called for in this recipe, you can substitute it. Semi-sweet chocolate would be the next closest type of chocolate to the bittersweet and can be subbed easily.
A darker chocolate can also be safely subbed for the bittersweet chocolate but as you start getting into the higher percentages of chocolate (like 80-90%), you may want to increase the sugar by a tablespoon or two.
Milk chocolate would make the brownies really sweet but if that’s your thing, go for it. Try reducing the sugar by 1/4 cup if you use milk chocolate.
How to store the brownies
The brownies can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container. They will stay fresher if you don’t cut all of the brownies at the start. The brownies will last 4-5 days if stored properly!
Can you freeze the brownies?
Brownies can also be frozen easily. You can freeze either a whole pan of brownies or individual slices. To freeze a pan of brownies, use the parchment paper to lift the brownies out of the pan (make sure they are completely cooled first).
Wrap the whole slab of brownies in plastic wrap and then wrap in heavy duty foil. For extra protection, you can place the whole slab in a zip top bag and then place it in the freezer.
To freeze individual slices, just follow the above directions with each slice of brownie and place the slices into a zip top bag.
The espresso brownies should last up to 3 months if frozen properly. To thaw them, leave them on the counter for 3-4 hours until they are thawed completely.
For more chocolate recipes, check out:
- Chocolate Budino with Salted Caramel
- Chocolate Mocha Cake
- Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Tag me on Instagram @themarblekitchenblog if you make this and leave a review and comment below! Thanks and enjoy!
- ¾ cup unsalted butter 12 tbsp, cubed
- 6 oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- 3 tbsp espresso powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- chocolate covered espresso beans optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang on 2 sides or spray the pan with cooking spray.
- Combine butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat until melted, stirring often.
- Add the espresso powder and sugar and stir to combine.
- Add the eggs and stir until combined.
- Add the cocoa powder, flour and salt and stir until there are just barely streaks of flour remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top and bake for 20-25 min until set in the middle and done on the sides and a toothpick inserted contains moist crumbs.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled remove the brownies from the pan (if you used parchment paper) and frost with the espresso frosting. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate covered espresso beans if desired.
- In a medium bowl (or using a stand mixer), mix the butter with an electric mixer until creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and milk and stir until the espresso powder is dissolved.
- Add the espresso mixture and vanilla to the frosting and mix until light and fluffy.