Coffee Flour Brew Haha

Think outside the cup. For every scalding-hot carafe of coffee, how often have you stopped to consider what didn’t make it into that brew? Precious as they are, those beans are but a small part of a bigger plant, celebrated yet simultaneously, curiously ignored. Nutritious, perfect viable fruit is stripped away from these kernels, left to rot in the fields without a second thought. Considering just how much coffee the average office drone will down in a given day, you can only imagine the staggering amount of food going to waste.

Slowly but surely, a steady buzz is growing around turning this by-product into a worthy crop in its own right. Dried and milled, the resulting coffee flour contains only as much caffeine as chocolate (which is negligible at most), but can boast a much more measured energy boost in the form of abundant protein and fiber. Although it’s been an esoteric ingredient on the fringes of mainstream food ways, considering the fact that it’s now available at Trader Joe’s, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of it from here on out.

Preserving personal health and the environment at large are both admirable goals, clearly within the cross hairs for those singing the praises of this power flour. Whether or not they’re attainable depends entirely upon more hedonistic perspectives: Taste. Leftover husks and skins don’t sound particularly delicious, and the flavor is one you might not expect based on the label. Fruity, floral, with notes of lemon and (of course) cherries, the dark brown powder tastes nothing like a cup of mud. Is that a good thing? A bad thing? Just a thing to consider?

If you ask me, that unique essence just proves how much more the coffee cherry has to offer. Functioning much like cocoa powder in baked goods, it can generally take the place of 30 – 40% of the standard all-purpose flour in a given recipe, or blended into smoothies for a whole new sweet sensation.

Of course, given the comparison to cocoa, I couldn’t resist trying it first in a batch of fudgy, gluten-free brownies.

Held together by the magic of aquafaba and crowned by a perfect crackled crust, these are pretty much my ideal cookie bars. The impulse to add a bit of coffee essence was too strong to deny, but you could just as happily omit the instant coffee powder if you’re not a natural coffee fanatic. Accenting with a pinch of cinnamon, or playing up the subtle citrus notes of the flour with a hint of orange zest, would be equally delightful.

Coffee Flour Brownies

1/2 Cup Vegan Butter, Melted
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Aquafaba
3/4 Cup (4.5 Ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Divided
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Coffee Flour
1/2 Cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder (Optional)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Toasted and Chopped Pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8 x 8-inch square pan.

Place the vegan butter, sugar, aquafaba, and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. Gently warm, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter have melted, and the sugar has dissolved. It should be smooth and silky. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the coffee flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee (if using), salt, baking powder, chopped pecans, and remaining chocolate chips. Toss to combine and thoroughly coat the mix-ins with flour, to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

Add the liquid chocolate mixture into the bowl of dry goods, mixing with a wide spatula to combine. You needn’t worry about over-mixing here, since it’s completely gluten-free! Make sure there are no pockets of flour or lumps hiding within the batter before transferring it to your prepared pan. Smooth down the top so it’s one even layer.

Bake for 16 – 20 minutes, until the top is dry and shiny. A toothpick inserted into the center should pull out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it; you don’t want it completely clean, or the brownies will end up being dry. Let cool completely before slicing.

Makes 12 – 16 Brownies

Printable Recipe

21 thoughts on “Coffee Flour Brew Haha

  1. I didn’t realize you could use coffee flour instead of grain flour. Interesting. You said it could take the place of 30-40% of all-purpose flour but I don’t see other flours (just cocoa powder) in the recipe. I may just have to stroll over to TJs and get a bag.

    1. Indeed! I based this recipe entirely around the coffee flour instead of modeling it around a “traditional” brownie made with wheat flour. If you were converting a pre-existing recipe though, that’s the ratio you should aim for. Give it a shot, I’d love to see what you come up with!

  2. Hey Hannah! Those brownies look scrumptious. Will I get the same consistency if i substitute the sugar to something less sweet and use regular cocoa powder instead of the dutch processed cocoa? Thanks!!

    1. It’s tough to reduce the sugar in brownies constructed like this, since that’s what creates the nice crackly top crust. What did you have in mind, simply reducing the measure, or replacing it with an alternative sweetener? I’ll do my best to help! As for the cocoa, other varieties will certainly work as well, but may not have as rich or deep chocolate flavor.

      1. I think I may not use as much sugar; trying to use any other sweeteners might change the taste. i’ll let you know how it turns out (fingers crossed). Thanks!

  3. I can say that you can read my mind! Because I just fancy a chocolate something… And you just pop up this chocolate brownies post to use. Thanks Hannah! Have a nice weekend! :)

  4. Hannah! I found you. I don’t know if you remember me. I used to have a blog called Junglefrog Cooking ages ago, than went to Simone’s Kitchen and now I have yet another one called Everyday Healthy… And… I’ve gone vegan as well (only just very very recently), which is why I wanted to find your site back! I remember seeing all those delicious recipes! I couldn’t remember your blogname but just found it through the list of Top 50 vegan blogs… :)

    1. Oh my goodness, Simone, of course I remember you! I’m just so happy you found me after all this time, and that you’re back to blogging again! Your photos are as beautiful as ever. I’m so thrilled with the new focus and inspiration. Needless to say, you have another new subscriber over here. ;)

  5. […] who won’t insult your intelligence? These fellas are a smart choice, made of high-fiber coffee flour and bolstered by whole wheat, staying with you all morning when so many flaky pastries will let you […]

  6. […] who won’t insult your intelligence? These fellas are a smart choice, made of high-fiber coffee flour and bolstered by whole wheat, staying with you all morning when so many flaky pastries will let you […]

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