18 Coffee Desserts to Perk You Up

Enjoy an After-Dinner Buzz

Tiramisu Cake

Kristina Vanni

Coffee is a pleasant way to end a meal, and the flavor makes some fantastic desserts and sweets as well. From sweet cups of espresso and ice cream treats to cakes, puddings, and variations on tiramisu, coffee desserts are diverse, delicious, and fun to make.

For many of these recipes, you'll use powdered instant coffee or espresso, while others require strong-brewed coffee. For the latter, try cold brew coffee. The lack of heat produces a richer, truer flavor without bitterness or acidity, though you'll need to start the brew at least 12 hours before you plan to make the dessert.

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    Affogato Italian Espresso Dessert
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    Affogato is an Italian espresso dessert that is amazing and incredibly simple. This delightful treat requires vanilla ice cream and fresh-brewed espresso, and it takes just a few minutes to make.

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    Tiramisu Cake

    Tiramisu Cake Recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    This tiramisu cake recipe has the signature flavors of the classic "pick me up" dessert, but with a few shortcuts. You'll saturate a store-bought angel food cake with coffee and liqueur and create a coffee liqueur and cream cheese filling. As if that's not enough java, it's finished with coffee-infused whipped topping.

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    Texas Brownies

    Coffee-Infused Texas Brownies

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Lattes have proven that coffee and chocolate are a perfect pairing. Texas brownies showcase the duo in baked form by adding a full cup of coffee to the batter. Topped with a homemade chocolate frosting, you'll have a hard time eating just one.

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    Coffee Meringues

    Coffee meringues recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

    Coffee meringues are the ideal little bite to go with a great cup of coffee. The recipe requires just five ingredients, with instant coffee providing the sweet's flavor. These can be made days in advance and are both kosher and gluten-free.

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  • 05 of 18

    Coffee Mousse

    Coffee Mousse

    Oxana Denezhkina / Getty Images

    Homemade coffee mousse is a fantastic treat that's perfect for special occasions. It needs to chill for a couple of hours, so you can make it before starting the main meal. Finish the custard with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or chocolate-coated coffee beans.

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    Coffee Ice Cream

    No Churn Coffee Ice Cream

    The Spruce / Chelsea Ross

    Instant espresso granules are the secret to making coffee ice cream at home. This recipe doesn't require an ice cream maker, either. Instead, simply mix the ingredients and place it in a loaf pan, then freeze it for at least six hours.

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    Mississippi Mud Ice Cream Pie

    Mississippi Mud Pie
    jon whitaker/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

    Use the coffee ice cream to whip up a rich and irresistible Mississippi mud pie. This decadent frozen dessert includes layers of fudge, pecans, and coffee ice cream on top of a bourbon-flavored vanilla ice cream base.

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    Cuban Coffee

    Cuban Coffee

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

    For coffee so sweet that there's no need for dessert, try Cuban coffee. The crema on top of these espresso shots is made by whipping sugar and concentrated coffee from a stovetop espresso maker. There's a learning curve, but that first sip is worth it.

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  • 09 of 18

    Coffee Jelly

    Japanese Coffee Jelly

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

    Black coffee, gelatin, and sugar combine for a deliciously simple dessert. This old-fashioned favorite is now most often enjoyed in Japan, though coffee jelly was once a hit in the U.K. and U.S. too. Topping it whipped cream dresses it up wonderfully.

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    Coffee-Walnut Snack Cake

    Coffee Walnut Snack Cake

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

    The majority of "coffee cakes" don't include a drop of coffee, but this coffee-walnut snack cake doubles up on the flavor. The super moist dessert uses strong coffee or espresso in both the batter and frosting, so it's a coffee lover's dream.

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    Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans

    Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Jazz up your afternoon coffee routine with chocolate-covered coffee beans. They're fantastic little nibbles and you can pair different types of chocolate with various roasted beans so you'll never get bored with the snack.

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    Dairy-Free Coffee Frosting

    Dairy-Free Coffee Frosting

    Kemi H Photography / Moment Open / Getty Images

    Add the taste of sweetened coffee to almost any dessert with this tempting coffee frosting recipe. Made with brewed espresso, soy margarine, and either soy or almond milk, it's dairy-free and wonderful with chocolate.

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  • 13 of 18

    Coffee Caramels

    Coffee Caramels


    Masahiro Makino / Getty Images

    When candy is on your mind, this is the only recipe you need. Coffee caramels are chewy, buttery, and filled with that smoky flavor that makes coffee so appealing. They're relatively easy to make and a good introduction to candy making.

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    French Opera Cake

    French Opera Cake

    The Spruce Eats

    A classic French dessert, opera cake is always dressed to impress. Ideal for a dinner party, the layers of almond sponge cake, coffee buttercream, and the dark chocolate ganache will put your baking skills to the test.

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    Vegan Mocha Cake

    Vegan Mocha Cake

    Carl Tremblay / Getty Images

    This vegan mocha cake recipe includes a few ingredients that make the final taste that much more surprising. With a combination of cocoa powder, coffee, maple syrup, and vinegar, you don't even need an electric mixer to make it.

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    French Café au Lait Crème Brûlèe

    Cafe Creme Brulee

    Tony Robins / Getty Images

    Learn how to make a classic French dessert with this café au lait crème brûlèe recipe. It adds espresso to the baked egg creme and is finished off in traditional style with torch-caramelized sugar.

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  • 17 of 18

    Chocolate Cookies With Mocha Glaze

    Chocolate Cookies With Mocha Glaze

    Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images

    The recipe is simple, and the real challenge with these mocha-glazed chocolate cookies is restraining yourself from eating too many. It's one of the few recipes to require hot coffee. For a great tasting glaze, use a pour-over brewer, stovetop espresso maker, or French press.

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    Whoopie Pies

    Filled Pumpkin Cookies
    Filled Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Icing. Photo: Diana Rattray

    Sandwiched between two vanilla whoopie pies you'll find delicious chocolate filling accented with bold, hot coffee. These crowd-pleasing treats are almost as much fun to make as they are to eat.