You Should Be Adding Coffee To Brownie Mix, According To TikTok

Whether you prefer cake-like or fudge brownies, at its core is its rich, chocolate decadence. Yes, brownies can be enjoyed in basic form, but they are also versatile – various ingredients can be incorporated into brownies to take them to the next level. The brownie seems like a simple dessert, but its origin is more complicated.

Many accept that the brownie was invented in 1893 at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. According to the lore, the wife of the hotel owner asked the hotel pastry chefs to whip up a portable dessert. Thus, brownies were born. Other myths include a chef creating brownies by accidentally adding chocolate to biscuits. And yet another explains that a woman was making a chocolate cake but did not add enough baking powder. But, the first known brownie recipe was published in a 1906 Cooking-School cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer.

Sometimes, dessert cravings can't wait for homemade brownies. The grocery store offers many boxed brownie mixes, but it doesn't have to taste store-bought. One TikTok user, @katedavidsun, is a video creator who showcases recipes and hacks to more than half a million followers. Recently, Kate offers a trick to elevate boxed brownies by incorporating coffee into the mix.

Add coffee for extra chocolate flavor

TikTok is brewing with excitement with this latest baking trick on TikTok. The video tells viewers to swap out water for coffee or espresso when making boxed brownies. The video has thus far garnered 1.1 million views and over 135,000 likes.

In the video, TikToker Kate can be seen making a cup of espresso and also starting a typical brownie mix with oil and eggs. Instead of water, Kate pours ¼ cup of espresso into the mixing bowl. "It doesn't make it taste like coffee" Kate notes in the video. "It makes it taste really good."

In the comments, people were a-buzzing about this brownie tip and a few offered their own baking tricks. One user even suggested swapping water for red wine and orange peel, and another recommended using butter instead of oil.

However, this coffee tip is not necessarily new. Many TikTok videos demonstrating this coffee-infused brownie hack have gone viral over the past few years. Last year, coffee brand Death Wish Coffee shared a TikTok video of a person baking Betty Crocker brownies and adding the coffee brand's espresso-roasted beans to the mix.

Science backs up pairing coffee with chocolate

Although coffee-infused brownies are now having a moment on TikTok, this hack has existed long before TikTok and also gets stamps of approval from a well-known chef. The Pioneer Woman suggests replacing water with milk and adding one to two teaspoons of espresso powder or instant coffee to brownie mixes. America's Test Kitchen recommends swapping water for ¼ to ¾ cup of coffee to enhance your chocolate brownies.

If you don't like coffee, you won't need to worry about your brownies potentially tasting like coffee. Just like adding a pinch of salt to chocolate can enhance the rich, chocolate flavor, adding coffee to chocolate simply intensifies the chocolate taste without adding coffee flavors. In fact, coffee and chocolate are known to pair well together. A 2020 study found that coffee increases people's sensitivity to sweet flavors, such as chocolate, while it decreases sensitivity to more bitter flavors. Coffee and chocolate are also more alike than different. Both coffee and chocolate go through similar fermentation processes and have nearly identical chemical makeup; cacao, which chocolate derives from, and coffee both have caffeine.