These coffee spice blondies taste like a warm, comforting hug on a fall afternoon.
They’re thick and chewy in the middle with crispy edges, subtle coffee-spice notes and the perfect balance of sweet and salty for the finish. Savor them with a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and just feel good about life.
Humble desserts are my favorite
I don’t know about you but I’m a humble dessert kind of girl, they’re my favorite. Some desserts seek out the spotlight- they crave attention, all fancy and dressed up (and they have their place in the world). But then there are the humble desserts -like these coffee spice blondies- that are quite content sitting back, comfortable in their own skin, waiting for the lucky person who discovers them.
It’s nice to have options
I found this recipe on the blog Lady and Pups (which is SO worth visiting!) and she adapted the recipe from a Martha Stewart recipe for Irish Coffee Bars. Lady and Pups uses two 6″ square pans and Martha uses one 9″x13″ pan. I use one 8″ square pan for mine, and I believe that has a lot to do with their thickness and chewiness. So, you have options if you don’t own an 8″ square pan but please see my notes on adjusting your baking time if you use something else.
How to make Coffee-Spice Blondies
- Preheat your oven to 350. Get out all of your ingredients, make sure your eggs are room temp, and melt and cool your butter (Do this in a large bowl because you’ll use the same bowl to mix the batter).
- Grease your pan and line with parchment so that you have overhang on two sides (see picture).
- Add brown sugar, ground coffee and salt to your melted butter and whisk to combine. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
- Sift your flour and baking powder into the butter/egg mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until no traces of white flour are visible.
- In a small bowl, combine the spices, raw sugar, and sea salt. Set aside.
- Pour your batter into your prepared pan (it will be VERY thick) and smooth with a spatula to the edges. Sprinkle your sugar, spice, salt mixture over the top.
- Place in preheated 350 oven and bake 35 minutes, checking after 30, or until edges look crisp and center feels set but has just a little give when you touch it. Remove to a wire rack.
- Let your blondies cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes. While they’re still warm, but pan is no longer hot to the touch, use something with a straight edge (I use a bench scraper or metal spatula) to loosen between the pan and the non-parchment lined sides. Lift the blondies out carefully using the parchment as a handle and let them finish cooling on a rack.
Mix. Sprinkle. Bake. Cool.
Baking tips for making coffee-spice blondies
Many of these tips apply to ALL baking recipes and are good practice no matter what you’re making
- Weigh your ingredients instead of measuring. I started doing this a while ago and it makes such a big difference in consistency. Some people are dip and scoop measurers, some lightly spoon their ingredients into the measuring cup – this can significantly impact the amount that ends up in the final product. Invest in a digital scale (one of the best $30 baking investments you can make)
- Have your refrigerated ingredients room temperature before starting. They’ll incorporate more easily and won’t have a negative effect on baking time. In this case it’s only the eggs. A quick way to do this, if you don’t have time or forget, is to put them in a bowl with lukewarm (like a warm bath- NOT HOT) water for 5 minutes before using them.
- This recipe calls for melted butter and it’s important to let the butter cool down to the point where it’s still liquid but no longer hot before combining it with the other ingredients.
- Yes, you read the recipe ingredients correctly, we are using actual ground coffee. Not instant coffee or espresso powder or strong brewed coffee. COFFEE GROUNDS. Seems odd but trust me 🙂
- You’ll make a topping to sprinkle at the end that uses raw sugar and sea salt. It’s important that you do not use regular sugar and regular salt. You want the crystals to be coarse and to retain a little crunch once they’re baked. I use demerara sugar but turbinado would work, too. I use sea salt because it’s coarse and retains its crunch. Kosher won’t work here. And if you’re questioning putting salt on something sweet please give it a shot. I sprinkle a little salt on almost all my cookies (usually Maldon flakes)
- Lining your pan with parchment makes it so easy to lift out of the pan while still warm. I’ve used foil, too, when I didn’t have parchment. Both will work.
- Everyone’s oven is different and may run hotter or colder than what you set it for. Times and temperatures in recipes are guidelines and the key to getting it right is to know your oven and pay attention to other queues that your recipe is done. For these blondies you want the edges to get crispy, but the center should still be a little soft when you take them out. Carefully touch the center of the blondies and press lightly- there should be a little give but you should definitely feel some resistance at the same time.
- Resist opening and closing the oven door too often to check progress. Every time you open your oven door you lose heat, and it takes more time to get back to temp. This can increase your baking time. Check only towards the end of baking time and do it quickly.
I hope you enjoy these coffee spice blondies as much as I do!
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted but no longer hot
- 300 grams (1 1 /3 cups) brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp ground coffee (not instant)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 250 grams (2 cups) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 4 tsp raw sugar (I use demerara, do not use regular sugar, turbinado will also work)
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8" square pan and line with parchment (see notes). Gather all of your ingredients and make sure eggs are room temperature.
- Melt butter in the same bowl you'll be mixing the batter in and make sure it's no longer hot before continuing.
- Add brown sugar, ground coffee and salt to the butter and whisk until smooth.
- Add eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Sift flour and baking powder into butter/egg mixture and combine with a rubber spatula just until you can no longer see any traces of white flour.
- In separate bowl combine your raw sugar, spices and sea salt. There is no measurement here for the salt, do this to taste. If you're unsure use 1/4 tsp this time and see how you like it.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it evenly to all corners. Batter is very thick.
- Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over blondies (you may not use all of it, depending on the size pans you use and personal preference)
- Bake in your preheated 350 oven for 35 minutes, checking after 30. Edges should be firm and crispy and center should feel set when lightly touched but still have a little bit of give.
- Let cool on wire rack until pan is no longer too hot to handle. Loosen unlined sides of bars from pan edge using a bench scraper or metal spatula, carefully lift out the entire thing and set on wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
- To line your pan, you can use parchment or foil. My preference is parchment. Cut it to the width of your pan and long enough to hang over the edges by a couple of inches (see picture in post). You'll use the overhang as "handles" to pull the bars out at the end (much easier!)
- You read the ingredients correctly. The recipe calls for ground coffee (not instant coffee or instant espresso powder). The flavor profile of the coffee you use will affect the end result so choose something you enjoy drinking. I use a dark roast.
- For the topping only use raw (coarse) sugar and coarse salt. Regular sugar and table salt will not work.
- I make this in an 8x8 square pan and times are written for this size. You can use two 6x6 inch pans or one 9x13 pan and reduce bake time to 27-30 minutes.