What is Espresso Powder?

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What is Espresso Powder?

Bakers all over the world are probably familiar with espresso powder. It’s often used in cake recipes, because it intensifies flavors.

But what is espresso powder, exactly? In this post, we’ll be filling you on what this earthy-colored powder is, what you can substitute it with, and how it’s made.

That way, by the end of the article, you’ll have a greater understanding of this amazing (and tasty!) powder.

What is Espresso Powder?

Espresso powder is basically instant coffee. Unlike your average cup of instant coffee, though, it’s especially potent and it’s not intended for use in beverages.

It’s composed of coffee crystals. Like instant coffee, they dissolve really quickly into liquids, which is why they’re so great for adding to chocolate recipes.

What is a Good Substitute for Espresso Powder?

Imagine that you’re baking a delicious vegan chocolate cake. Everything seems to be going smoothly, until you see that the recipe calls for espresso powder.

You realize, at the last minute, that you forgot to grab some on your last trip to the store. What now? Is your cake recipe doomed for failure before it could even really start?

Not necessarily. Because espresso powder is so similar to instant coffee, you can use instant coffee as a substitute. Ideally, you should use a dark roast blend of instant coffee to replace espresso powder.

Next time you do go out, though, make sure you stop to grab some espresso powder. If you’re not sure where to get it, you can find our guide to buying it here. 

How Do You Make Espresso Powder?

The espresso powder you find in stores is made by grinding and brewing coffee beans. Then, the grounds that are left behind after brewing are dried.

Next, the dried grounds are ground once more into an extra-fine powder. This is what ends up on store shelves.

It’s entirely possible to make espresso powder at home, if you have the time and are willing to put in the effort. You’ll just need some espresso beans, a baking sheet, a coffee grinder, and a sealable container.

You can find a fairly easy espresso powder recipe here.

Wrap Up

If you’re hoping to kick up the boldness of a recipe, you can’t go wrong with a little espresso powder. This finely ground coffee blend ups the flavor of many kinds of dishes, but works especially well in baked goods. You can see it in action in the above vegan chocolate cake recipe.

We strongly recommend trying it out. Even if you can’t find any in your stores locally, you can make your own right at home!