Janet's Notebook
Awaken the Possibilities of Cooking with Coffee

Jane Louise's Sugar-Free Cappuccino

Coffee isn't just for breakfast anymore! It seems like all the cooks are doing it these days, making the morning staple a big-time player in some unexpected dishes.

While once reserved as my morning eye-opener, I myself can often be spotted sipping away at a mug of steamy, fresh and “fancy” cappuccino as I plot my menus each afternoon. The credit goes to Jane Louise’s Sugar-Free Cappuccino recipe which has happily provided a face-lift to my daily cup o’ Joe. I now look forward to relaxing with this guilt-free treat any time of the day, and it’s just one of many flavor-packed concoctions that have been posted to the Club...all featuring a form of coffee as the secret ingredient!

There, the secret is out (thanks to my caffeine-fueled typing fingers). Clandestine coffee cookery be gone! Coffee is popping up in some unlikely places and producing some very surprising results.

One of my favorite coffee cameos shows up at the summer cookout. Adding instant coffee to your marinades boosts richness and adds a hint of nuttiness. Or try enhancing your favorite baked bean recipe like Danielle Lorton does with her Bourbon Baked Beans! Danielle, originally of Cowden, IL, uses molasses, strong brewed coffee, chili sauce, pineapple and other seemingly unrelated flavors to create a real barbecue showstopper.

“I know the ingredients may seem a little odd,” admits Danielle, “but these [beans] are sooo good.”

There are several pre-made canned beans on the market that boast homemade flavor, but as is often the case, I’ve yet to find anything that comes anywhere near the richness of Danielle’s coffee-infused homemade beans.

Other Recipe Club members have shared with me that the secret to their success cooking with coffee is to simply think of it as another spice. Whether using it in its brewed or ground form, treat it as you would any other spice: start with a small amount and then add more as you taste your way to the perfect balance of flavors for your palate.

Coffee tends to fit particularly well alongside other strong flavors… like ginger. Try Debi Newton’s Ginger Pancakes for a comforting breakfast with your morning coffee mixed right in the batter! The warmth of cinnamon, ginger and clove blend with the brewed coffee to make a rich batter that will warm your soul while filling your belly. Talk about getting your morning off to a good start!

“This is one fabulous pancake recipe.,” proclaims Debi of College Station, TX. “My family and I love to travel to [a restaurant in] Austin, TX to get these already made up when we can. But since we live far away, I was able to get the recipe from the restaurant .”

Ah, now that’s a serious coffee commitment... one that deserves a sweet reward. True to form, I’ve got the perfect mocha-tastic treat for the job! Sue Franco of Jellico, KY is the talk of her neighborhood – and mine! – with her Mocha Chocolate Cake recipe. With a supremely moist cake layer and to-die-for creamy frosting, this recipe may just become your new best friend.

Chocolate-lovers rejoice: you can now have your mocha and eat it too!

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Linda Kianfar - Feb 3, 2011
My Mother used to make a chocolate cake, in a 9"x13"cake pan, with hot, strong, brewed coffee poured over the top of the batter but not stirred in. When cooked, the texture resembled coffee grounds. I used to think that it had coffee grounds in it. This recipe would be from the 1950's or '60's and from the Texas Panhandle or East Texas. Any Texans cooks have this old recipe? It was really "gooey" when cooked and we usually ate it while still hot.
Beatrice Abfalter - Oct 11, 2010
Yes, Robert Priddy post your recipe please.
Monette Peralta - Oct 5, 2010
Hershey's Cocoa has a recipe I've been making since about 1975...the Black Magic Cake...it has a 1/2 cup strong black coffee in it! It has a very distinct flavor and the plain (white) butter cream frosting makes it Yummmmy! A family favorite =0)
Marilyn Walsh - Sep 17, 2010
Cool, Robert, bet that is good! I only fixed one brisket in my life and it was good but...a lot of work and not near enough people to eat it...!!! ha ha I am not a good leftover person. Think you should post it for those who would like to try it, though!
Robert Priddy - Sep 17, 2010
I've got a brisket marinade that calls for dark stout coffee along with other ingredients.
Marilyn Walsh - Sep 14, 2010
And Vivian...I thought I posted a response to you the other day, but I don't see it? ...thanks for the recipe it sounds like the one, I will be trying and sending out for the holidays. God bless you!!!
Marilyn Walsh - Sep 14, 2010
I agree Sonja...I love pumpkin bread but hat pumpkin pie!!!
Sonja Little - Sep 13, 2010
Vivian I made the pumpkin bread this morning. DELICIOUS! I hate pumpkin pie but I love pumpkin bread. This is the best I ever had. I gave a loaf to a co-worker and she couldn't stop eating it. Thanks for sharing.
vivian sanders - Sep 9, 2010
hope that's the one
vivian sanders - Sep 9, 2010
Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread

1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin
3 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift, then measure)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup diced walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour four (1-pound) coffee cans (or two standard bread pans).

In a mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, water and pumpkin.

In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add pumpkin mixture. Blend until dry ingredients are moist. Stir in raisins and nuts. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Cool briefly in cans or pans before turning out onto a rack.
Marilyn Walsh - Sep 8, 2010
My mother use to bake in the fall a pumpkin bread recipe in coffee cans. Wish I still had it...made a wonderful gift for the season. She would make them along toward Xmas for giving away. I was so devastated when I lost her that I let her recipe's and even the cans go. Now, I can not see rhyme nor reason for that. If anyone has it, please post. I would be grateful and could mail it to some of those people or make and send...better yet!
Linda Beers - Sep 8, 2010
I just was introduced to a coffee recipe you might enjoy!
HOBO Bread ( named that because it uses strong leftover coffee and it's baked in coffee cans)

2 and 1/2 cups leftover coffee
4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups raisins
In a large bowl combine hot coffee, baking soda and raisins. Cover and let stand overnight.( it does not need to be refrigerated)
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups flour
1 and 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
In the morning add remaining ingredients- mix well with spoon. Grease and flour 3 coffee cans. Fill cans to 2nd line from the top.
Bake 325% for 60 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from can. Enjoy
Marilyn Walsh - Sep 8, 2010
I learnde from my mom, and she learned from her mom, my grandma, to put some left over morning strong coffee in her pot roast gravy on Sundays for after church...made it real good...! Darker and more flavor...sort of like "Kitchen Bouquet"!!!