6 Best Espresso Powder Substitutes

Sometimes all it takes is one ingredient to convert a good dinner into a feast to die for. While espresso powder is not a frequent ingredient in many dishes, it is absolutely unique.

Espresso powder is just dried and processed coffee that has been broken into granules that dissolve readily in a drink. Depending on the brand, espresso has a bitter taste that complements chocolate and adds flavor to savory dishes.

If a recipe calls for espresso powder and you don’t have any on hand, you may still get the appropriate taste by using one of our espresso powder replacements.

Instant coffee powder, natural cocoa powder, brewed coffee, ground espresso, brewed espresso, and Dutch-processed cocoa powder are the finest espresso powder replacements. Let us now understand more about each of them.

Espresso Powder Substitutes: Nutritional Value & Cooking Ratio

Substitute (1 tsp) Calories Fat Carb Protein Fiber Ratio
Instant Coffee Powder 2 0g 0.37g 0.11g 0g 1:1
Natural Cocoa Powder 4 0.25g 0.98g 0.35g 0.6g 1:1
Brewed Coffee 4 0g 0.76g 0.12g 0g 1:1
Ground Espresso 5 0g 1g 0g 0g 1:1
Brewed Espresso 5 0g 1g 0g 0g 1:1
Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder 16 1g 2.5g 1g 2g 1:1

What Does Espresso Powder Taste Like?

While we all know what wonderful espresso tastes like, espresso powder has a rich, bitter flavor when used as an ingredient in a meal.

On average, espresso contains 58185 mg of caffeine, however caffeine levels might vary based on the kind of coffee beans or the espresso mix.

Because the flavor of espresso is so concentrated, cooking with espresso powder only takes a modest amount; one to two tablespoons of espresso powder should enough.

The powder does not lend a strong coffee taste to your cuisine when used in this manner, as you would assume. It adds texture and enhances the overall flavor of your food.

Brownies, chocolate cakes, and other baked goods will taste more decadent. In fact, espresso powder may be used to improve the taste of savory foods. It might be used a dry spice rub for your favorite steak dinners or a savory beef stew.

Espresso Powder Nutritional Value

One teaspoon of espresso powder contains:

  • 5 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 1g carbs
  • 0g protein
  • 0g fiber

Espresso Powder Substitutes

  1. Instant Coffee Powder
  2. Natural Cocoa Powder
  3. Brewed Coffee
  4. Ground Espresso
  5. Brewed Espresso
  6. Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

Instant Coffee Powder

Instant coffee is an excellent substitute for espresso powder in chocolate confections or spice rubs.

Instant coffee powder, like espresso powder, enables you to add coffee taste to your dishes without adding any more liquid.

Depending on the brand, espresso may have somewhat more caffeine than instant coffee variants. Caffeine content in instant coffee is typically 67 mg, while espresso has 58185 mg.

Espresso powder has a bitter flavor, although instant coffee may be harsh as well, but with a little sour or sweet aftertaste, depending on whether it includes milk or sugar and the kind of coffee beans used.

In any case, don’t go excessive. You don’t want coffee to be the dominant taste in your meal, so a teaspoon of it, in a 1:1 ratio to espresso powder, will just enhance the flavors of the other components.

Natural Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder is created by drying and powdering cocoa solids.

Natural indicates that the powder has not been processed other than the initial separation of the cocoa butter from the cocoa nibs during the production process. This distinguishes it from, say, Dutch-processed cocoa, which we’ll discuss shortly.

Look for branding such as pure cocoa powder or unsweetened cocoa powder to determine if the cocoa powder is natural.

Cocoa powder has relatively little caffeine, but it has a similar bitter scent like espresso powder and is used to flavor sweet and sour sweets and baked items.

Cocoa powder is often mixed into the other dry ingredients, and when wet, it turns a full batch of batter a deep shade of brown, emitting a rich, appealing scent.

If you want to avoid any caffeine boost in your recipes, cocoa powder is an excellent replacement for espresso powder. It should be used at a 1:1 ratio.

Brewed Coffee

While espresso powder is an excellent addition to our kitchen shelves, brewed coffee is significantly more accessible. Brewed just refers to the technique of preparation rather than the kind of coffee, therefore any coffee will suffice.

This coffee is created by passing hot water through a filter or a percolator through ground coffee beans.

The strength of brewed coffee varies depending on the coffee type, however it is typically not as strong as espresso. Each ounce of brewed coffee contains 12 to 16 mg of caffeine on average, depending on the brand.

When substituting espresso powder for brewed coffee, don’t over-wet your batter. Instead, replace your freshly made coffee with any water or milk specified in the recipe. This manner, the liquid-to-dry component ratio will remain constant.

Ground Espresso

Because espresso grounds are coarser than espresso powder, they are an excellent substitute for coffee drinkers who want something milder but still tasty.

The coarseness of the grind is what gives ground espresso its mild flavor. When coffee is finely ground, the flavor becomes more intense and the caffeine concentration rises. As a consequence, ground espresso may have a milder taste and a lesser caffeine rush.

If you want a strong espresso taste in your dishes, increase the ratio by half a teaspoon; if you want a light flavor, use a 1:1 ratio. Also, if feasible, grind the granules so that they are even finer and resemble espresso powder, which will make it easier to blend the powder with the other components.

Brewed Espresso

You may just swap espresso powder for brewed espresso, as you would brewed coffee. Espresso may be stronger and more concentrated than brewed coffee, depending on the brand and kind of coffee beans used.

However, when it is blended with water, you may need to adjust the amount specified in your recipe to ensure the texture stays intact and does not turn watery. The simplest method to do this is to exclude part of the milk or water called for in your recipe.

Brewed espresso is a great replacement with no apparent drawbacks; just be cautious with any extra liquid you add to your concoction.

Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

Dutch-processed cocoa powder is made by soaking cocoa beans in an alkali solution. It’s a process that was invented in the 1800s to balance the acidity and bitterness of cocoa. This processing step distinguishes Dutch-processed cocoa from the previously described natural cocoa powder.

If you’re making a chocolate treat, use Dutch-processed cocoa instead of instant espresso. Dutch-processed cocoa is darker than raw cocoa powder and has a hue similar to espresso powder, so your completed dish will not change color.

This cocoa powder’s texture is especially noteworthy. It is fine and similar to espresso powder, so it will not change the consistency of your culinary delights.

This cocoa powder has a rich chocolate flavor that is somewhat bitter, but not as much as real cocoa powder. As a consequence, this is an excellent addition for a chocolate treat since it deepens the chocolate taste while adding bitter overtones comparable to those found in espresso.

Espresso powder, believe it or not, has more than one use. With a wealth of culinary alternatives, espresso can elevate your snacks and meals to a whole new level.

Espresso Coffee Butter

If you’ve never considered making your own coffee butter, now is the time to start.

Espresso powder, powdered sugar, and butter are combined to make this breakfast condiment. Spread it over toast, pancakes, or bagels, or add a spoonful to your oatmeal. It’s a breakfast and coffee fix all in one bowl.

Espresso Coffee Jelly

Do you wish to enhance your coffee drinks or come up with a unique dessert? Using your favorite espresso brand, try creating coffee jelly.

Coffee jelly is a famous dessert in Japan. It has a jiggly texture and a powerful coffee flavor. Given the time necessary to chill it, the technique is straightforward and quick. Although whipped cream is a common addition to this dish, it is not the only option. Almonds or lemon zest may also be used.

Espresso Coffee Braised Roast Beef

Coffee braised roast beef is a delicious dish that benefits from coffee gravy. In a nutshell, as strange as it may seem, you must slowly cook a piece of steak in espresso coffee.

The good news is that it will not overshadow the steak’s natural flavors, but rather will enhance them. If you want to give it a try, we recommend serving it over creamy mashed potatoes and topping it with the coffee gravy. It will provide a flavour unlike any other!

Coffee Bean-Baked Carrots

Carrots are often roasted, but few are baked with coffee beans. Carrots absorb a hint of coffee taste while releasing their inherent sweetness when cooked with espresso beans.

Coffee bean-baked carrots go nicely with slow-cooked dishes like the previously stated coffee-braised roast beef. Your efforts will provide nice, delicate carrots with a unique coffee taste.

Espresso Chocolate Doughnuts

We blended two of our favorite sweets, coffee and chocolate doughnuts, into a single dish! The major attraction is espresso, which is present in both the doughnut filling and the icing.

A basic espresso is enough, but a hazelnut-flavored espresso may take the recipe to new heights! The only concern is waiting until the glaze has settled before consuming the baked products. But trust us when we say it’s worth the wait.


While none of the alternatives we propose are perfect replicas of espresso powder, they are all attractive and perform well enough as espresso powder substitutes to save you from rushing to the shop or canceling your dessert plans.

If you ask us, the closest equivalent for espresso is instant coffee powder. However, if you want something more chocolate-flavored, we highly suggest Dutch-processed cocoa powder.

Just keep the ratios in mind, and you’ll be OK. Pick some of our favorite recipe ideas if you’re looking for some cooking inspiration. Good luck in the kitchen!


What can replace espresso powder in a recipe?

Instant coffee is a good substitute for espresso powder in chocolate desserts or spice rubs. Although the two have many similarities, instant coffee is less concentrated than espresso powder and so adds less richness to your recipe.

Can I substitute coffee grounds for espresso powder?

Depending on the sort of dessert you prepare, using ground coffee granules as a replacement for instant espresso may work. If a recipe just calls for a tablespoon or two of espresso, using ground coffee instead is entirely acceptable.

Can you skip espresso powder in a recipe?

You may always leave out the espresso powder entirely. You may also use dry instant coffee as a replacement, but use roughly 50% more than the quantity of espresso asked for. Keep in mind that this may give your baked items a somewhat bitter edge, akin to the harshness of brewed coffee.

What can I substitute for 1 shot of espresso?

The Most Effective Espresso Powder Substitutes
Coffee powder (instant): In your recipes, you may use an equivalent quantity of instant coffee powder ($6, Walmart) or granules.
Coffee, freshly brewed: To substitute a little bit of the liquid in the recipe, use chilled strong brewed coffee—ideally, a super-dark roast.

What counts as espresso powder?

What exactly is Espresso Powder? Espresso powder is made from ground coffee that has been brewed and dried. While the powder seems to be finely powdered coffee beans at first sight, it is not. Coffee flakes are softer than powdered beans and are dried in a manner that allows them to dissolve readily in liquid.

Can you make espresso with regular coffee powder?

You’ll be relieved to learn that standard pre-ground coffee may be used in an espresso machine if the grind is fine enough. Because of its richer taste, many coffee aficionados choose dark roasted coffee.

What is the difference between instant coffee and espresso powder?

Espresso powder and instant coffee are not the same thing. The former is often produced from Robusta coffee beans, which are less expensive and provide a mellow, balanced coffee. The latter is manufactured from Arabica beans, which are both more costly and more concentrated.

How to make your own espresso?

Grind the coffee until it’s very finely ground: Grind the coffee until it’s very finely ground.
Pack and tamp the coffee grinds as follows: Fill the espresso basket (portafilter) halfway with coffee grounds, slightly heaping over the top.
Pull the trigger: To draw the shot, place the portafilter in the espresso machine and click the button.

Is espresso powder just espresso?

What Is the Difference Between Instant Coffee Powder and Brewed Coffee? Pre-brewed espresso is what instant espresso powder is. While brewed espresso may impart a taste comparable to instant espresso, the flavor will be less robust. Instant espresso powder is a stronger product.

Is espresso powder the same as coffee beans?

Espresso powder is a particularly dark, concentrated instant coffee. It’s not simply finely ground espresso coffee beans. It’s coffee crystals that dissolve fast in water. Even while you may theoretically dissolve espresso powder in water for drinking, it is not ideal for your morning latte.

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