Leftover Espresso Grounds Brownies, a rich fudgy brownie recipe made with leftover espresso grounds. Reuse those coffee grounds for a deliciously moist chocolaty dessert!

9 sliced brownies on a white marble table with an espresso maker with fresh espresso grounds

Love chocolate? Love coffee? Mix them together in brownies! Stop throwing out your perfectly good coffee grounds each and every day, and make them into a drool-worthy treat. This food waste rescue recipe will put those grounds to work!

👉 Here are three reasons why you should be making brownies with leftover espresso grounds:

  • It reduces food waste. Throwing out and composting your coffee grounds can be very wasteful, especially if you drink it every day! Get as much flavor as your can out of those grounds by using them in recipes like this one.
  • It's delicious! Espresso enhances the flavor of chocolate, making it taste richer and it also gives brownies more moisture—which is why this recipe is extra tasty.
  • It's easy. All you have to do is make the brownie batter, pour it in a baking pan, and bake in the oven before you'll have brownies ready to enjoy!

Ready to learn how to make homemade espresso brownies? Let's do it!


🍫 Ingredients

This recipe features typical brownie ingredients, in addition to a couple of others that make them stand out. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

  • Butter: unsalted butter helps the brownie batter rise, and gives brownies a moist, tender texture.
  • Bittersweet chocolate: the key ingredient for chocolate brownies! You'll melt the chocolate with the butter before mixing it with the rest of the batter ingredients.
  • Brown sugar: light brown sugar adds some extra sweetness to this tasty dessert.
  • Espresso grounds: leftover espresso or coffee grounds are what you need for a rich coffee-like flavor.
  • Eggs: you'll need two eggs for the brownie batter.
  • Vanilla extract: adds flavor.
  • Cocoa powder: mixed into the batter to make the brownies even more chocolatey!
  • All-purpose flour: helps hold the brownies together.
  • Salt: a little salt is all you need to enhance the flavor of the brownies.
  • Espresso: we used 2 shots of espresso to bring some extra liquid and espresso flavors to the recipe.
  • Optional chocolate drizzle topping: 2 ounces chocolate, 1 tablespoon espresso ground
  • Recommended tools: 8 inch square pan, glass mixing bowls, handheld mixer
a bowl of chocolate chips, two eggs, a ramekin of vanilla, cut butter, brown sugar, and coffee grounds on a white table with a white and black napkin

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Preheat oven + line pan with parchment paper

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

While the oven is preheating, line an 8″x8″ pan with parchment paper to prepare it for baking the brownies.


2️⃣ Step Two: Melt butter and chocolate

Next, heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter is melted, slowly mix in chopped chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted, but be careful to keep the heat low so the chocolate does not burn.

melted chocolate in a white and black pan with a wire whisk and a bowl of eggs and brown sugar on a white table

3️⃣ Step Three: Prepare the batter

After the butter and chocolate are melted, you will start to make the rest of the batter. Add brown sugar and espresso grounds to a large mixing bowl. Then slowly pour in melted chocolate and mix with a handheld mixer (alternatively you can use a KitchenAid mixer). Add in eggs one at a time until the mixture is well-combined, then add in cocoa powder, flour, salt, vanilla, and espresso (or coffee) and mix until smooth.


4️⃣ Step Four: Bake + serve

Finally, pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until your fork comes out mostly clean from the center of the brownie pan.

For the chocolate drizzle topping, melt chocolate in a small sauce pan. Drizzle it over the brownies after baking and sprinkle with espresso grounds. Then enjoy this deliciously rich mixture of coffee and chocolate!

cut brownies with a chocolate drizzle and espresso grounds on a white table

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

Do espresso brownies have caffeine?

Yes, espresso brownies do contain some caffeine, which comes from both the espresso and the chocolate. The amount of caffeine they provide is minimal, but it is best to avoid them if you're not able to consume caffeine.

Why do people add coffee to brownies?

Coffee and coffee grounds are commonly added to brownies and other baked goods. One reason for adding them is because they enhance the flavor of chocolate, resulting in a richer flavor. Additionally, the flavor of coffee and espresso is enjoyable to some people, especially when added to desserts.


🍨 How to serve

We love these brownies on their own, but here are a few different ways that you can enjoy them:

  • As dessert: Of course the best way to serve espresso brownies is as dessert! Keep a batch on hand to enjoy as a treat all week long, or make some to share at your next party or gathering.
  • Enjoy as a sweet breakfast treat: Who doesn't love a sweet treat for breakfast every once in a while? Have an espresso brownie in the morning for breakfast – you can even pair it with a cup of coffee!
  • Pair with a scoop of ice cream: take your dessert to the next level by serving espresso brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Top with granola: add some crunch to your brownies by topping them with a handful of Maple Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Granola or Maple Walnut Granola.

🧊 How to store

Your leftover espresso grounds brownies won't last long! To store them, keep brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

To save coffee or espresso grounds: save coffee or espresso grounds in a small airtight container stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.


♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips

These brownies are eco-friendly by nature because you're using an ingredient that you would have thrown out or composted otherwise (espresso grounds!). Here are some ways to make this recipe even better for the environment:

Use fair-trade coffee and chocolate. We recommend using Fair Trade ingredients when possible to support ethically sourced chocolate and coffee growers.

Compost parchment paper. Did you know you can toss parchment paper in your compost bin? Just make sure to remove any remnants of the brownies off the paper before composting it. Better yet, purchase unbleached parchment paper, which is better for the environment. Note that you can also reuse parchment paper if it's not too messy!

four stacked brownies on a white table with an espresso machine in the background

👉 More seasonal sweets recipes

Love this simple espresso brownie recipe? Check out our other favorite dessert recipes:

Leftover Espresso Grounds Brownies

Leftover Espresso Grounds Brownies, a rich fudgy brownie recipe made with leftover espresso grounds. Reuse those coffee grounds for a deliciously moist chocolaty treat!
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Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • cup espresso grounds
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces espresso, about ¼ cup
  • Optional chocolate drizzle topping: 2 ounces chocolate, 1 tablespoon espresso grounds

Instructions 

  • Prep oven: Preheat oven to 350 F and line an 8"x8" pan with parchment paper.
  • Prepare chocolate: Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add in chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted.
  • Mix ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar and espresso grounds. Slowly pour in melted chocolate and mix with handheld mixer. Add in eggs one at a time until well combined. Add in cocoa powder, flour, salt, vanilla, and espresso, mixing until combined.
  • Bake brownies: Pour batter into pan with parchment paper and bake about 30-35 minutes, or until a fork comes out mostly clean from center of brownie pan.
  • For chocolate drizzle topping (optional): melt chocolate over low heat in a medium saucepan, then drizzle over brownies and sprinkle with espresso grounds.

Notes

  • Recipe notes: If you don't have parchment paper, you can also just grease the pan with butter or oil. If you use a 9″x9″ brownie pan, reduce cook time by five minutes.
  • Tools needed: 8 inch square pan, glass mixing bowls, handheld mixer
  • Leftovers + storage: Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days.
  • Nutrition notes: These espresso brownies are high in sugar and fat, however they are intended to be an occasional treat and you should enjoy and savor them as a part of a healthy balanced diet. Also note, this recipe does contain coffee, which also contains caffeine.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 393kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 749mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 42g, Vitamin A: 324IU, Calcium: 71mg, Iron: 3mg

UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in January 2019 and updated for clarity in October 2021.