Brewed and Improved

Coffee- and tea-infused desserts are brewing up a fan base in the baking industry. Nearly one-quarter of dessert menus in the U.S. feature coffee or espresso desserts, according to Datassential MenuTrends. Meanwhile, tea-based desserts are now listed on 5 percent of menus, which is a significant increase from the previous year. 

At Indie Cakes & Pastries in Berkeley, California, customers can indulge in a mocha cupcake topped with coffee buttercream and chocolate-covered coffee beans. “Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor of the cupcakes,” says owner Anastasia Widiarsih. Earl Grey tea-infused macarons are also on the bakery’s menu. Widiarsih first grinds the tea into a fine powder before adding it to the macaron batter. She then tops them with apricot buttercream. When baking with coffee and tea, Widiarsih suggests brewing them strong to maximize the flavors. “If the coffee or tea is too weak, you won’t be able to taste it in the dessert,” she says.

At Love at First Bite Bakery, also in Berkeley, matcha green tea cupcakes made with honey and topped with a matcha green tea buttercream frosting are a huge hit. “Honey gives the cupcakes a unique flavor because it’s different from sugar,” says owner Patricia Powell. “The frosting is also less sweet, which gives these cupcakes a more grown-up taste.”