This coffee brownies recipe is the perfect size for two people. It’s ideal for a Valentine’s Day dessert. Or for any time you want to whip up fudgy brownies to satisfy your sweet tooth.
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This small batch brownies recipe is everything.
Few flavors are better suited to each other than bitter coffee and sweet chocolate. This easy small-batch coffee brownie recipe brings the two together.
The brownie batter itself is spiked with espresso powder. And so is a cream cheese swirl that’s rippled throughout.
The result is heavenly. Rich, fudgy chocolate espresso brownies made just for two people. Or one for now and one for later, just for yourself!
Why make small batch brownies?
Because this scrumptious coffee brownie recipe is designed to be dessert for two people, you won’t be left with the temptation of a full batch of fudgy brownies.
I have a serious sweet tooth, but I don’t love having loads of sweets around the house. I just don’t have that much self control. I’d eat brownies all day if I could!
With this easy brownies-for-two recipe, you can whip up just enough to satisfy that sweet tooth without a ton of leftovers.
This recipe comes from my dessert for two cookbook, Dessert Cooking for Two.
Why put coffee in brownies?
To put it simply, coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate, making a richer, more nuanced brownie.
Bitter coffee brings out the rich sweetness of chocolate, so they’re a magical combination. Two great tastes that are even better together.
These brownies are dark, chocolatey, and super rich. But they also have the intriguing allure of bitter coffee balancing the sweetness.
The outsides are chewy-crisp, and the insides ooey gooey, just the way a brownie should be.
What makes these brownies so fudgy?
The higher the fat content and the less flour you use, the more fudgy your brownies will be. These brownies have lots of butter (relatively speaking), and they also have a cream cheese-based swirl throughout.
And they only have 1 ½ tablespoons of flour, which isn’t much even for a small batch of brownies.
These elements give these brownies a moist, dense, chocolatey fudginess.
Why bake brownies in a muffin tin?
I like to bake my small batch brownies for two in a nonstick muffin tin for two reasons. 1) I don’t have a small baking pan that is just the right size for two brownies.
And 2) by baking each brownie in its own little private baking pan, you get the perfect balance of crunchy, chewy outer edge and fudgy center.
These brownies are thick and substantial, so you don’t have to worry that you won’t get enough of that gooey center. You totally will.
I like to use a muffin tin even to make a full-size batch of brownies for the same reason.
What ingredients do you need?
These scrumptious coffee brownies don’t require a long list of ingredients and most of them are pantry staples.
- Egg yolk
- Vanilla extract
- Instant espresso powder
- Cocoa powder
- All-purpose flour
- Cream cheese
How do you make them?
These brownies are super easy to whip up. The prep will only take you 5 minutes. Bake them for 25 and you’ve got a decadent dessert for two in 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven and spritz a muffin tin (just two of the wells) with oil.
- Melt butter with sugar in the microwave.
- Mix the melted butter, sugar, and salt with cocoa powder, espresso powder, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir in the flour.
- In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and espresso powder and stir to mix.
- Scoop two-thirds of the brownie batter into the prepared wells of the muffin tin.
- Dollop the coffee-cream cheese mixture on top of the batter and then top with the remaining brownie batter.
- Using a knife, swirl the brownie and cream mixtures together slightly, creating a swirling pattern. Don’t worry if it just looks like a blobby mess!
Tips for success
- You can buy instant espresso powder in any supermarket, right alongside the instant coffee and hot chocolate mixes. You can also substitute instant coffee or any coffee-flavored liqueur like Kahlua or Tia Maria (I like to buy the little airplane-size bottles when I just need a small amount). Substituting strong-brewed coffee will work, too.
- I never remember to take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator ahead of time. And it’s hard to stir cold cream cheese together with sugar. So I put the cream cheese and sugar in the microwave for about 15 seconds and it softens the cream cheese right up.
- Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and espresso powder together in the same bowl you used to melt the butter with sugar. You don’t even need to wash it out!
- Don’t worry if you have a hard time swirling the chocolate brownie batter and the coffee-cream cheese swirl together. The batter will be dense and sticky so it is hard to mix them. Just mush them into each other a bit and it will be fine, I promise!
- Check the brownies after they have been in the oven for 25 minutes. They will probably be done. If they’re not, let them go another 2 or 3 minutes. Remember, underbaking is usually better than overbaking when it comes to brownies. You want them to be nice and gooey.
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- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder, divided
- 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
- Preheat the oven andprepare the muffin tin. Preheat the oven to
350ºF. Grease 2 wells of a muffin tin with baking spray.
- Melt the butter with the sugar. Combine the butter with 3 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and then stir. Return to the microwave and heat for another 30 seconds. Remove and stir again.
- Mix in the remaining brownie batter ingredients. Stir in the egg yolk
and vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon of the espresso powder and the cocoa powder and stir until the mixture is well combined and glossy. Add the flour and stir to incorporate.
- Make the coffee cream swirl mixture. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the remaining tablespoon of espresso powder.
- Bake the brownies. Scoop two-thirds of the brownie batter into the prepared wells of the muffin tin, dividing evenly.
Dollop the coffee cream mixture on top of the batter and then top with remaining brownie batter. Using a knife, swirl the brownie and cream mixtures together slightly, creating a swirling pattern. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let the brownies cool for a few minutes before removing them from the
1. You can buy instant espresso powder in any supermarket, right alongside the instant coffee and hot chocolate mixes. You can also substitute any coffee-flavored liqueur like Kahlua or Tia Maria (I
like to buy the little airplane-size bottles when I just need a small amount). Substituting just strong-brewed coffee will work, too.
2. If your cream cheese is too cold to stir together with the sugar, pop it in the microwave for 15 seconds or so.
3, Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and espresso powder together in the same bowl you used to melt the butter with sugar. You don’t even need to wash it out!
4. Check the brownies after they have been in the oven for 25 minutes. They will probably be done. If they’re not, let them go another 2 or 3 minutes. Remember, underbaking is usually better than overbaking when it comes to brownies. You want them to be nice and gooey.
Amount Per Serving Calories 311Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 218mgSodium 141mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 1gSugar 26gProtein 7g
Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.