Using coffee flour is the latest caffeine craze — Here’s what happened when I tried it

There’s nothing I don’t love about coffee. I drink it black, because why mess with perfection? So, when I found out coffee flour existed – and that I could potentially use it to bake with, I needed to learn more about this incredible invention. It felt like it was made just for me. 

Coffee flour is essentially coffee – it’s derived from the “cherry” of the coffee plant, the outer part of the fruit that typically gets thrown out. Once the fruit is dehydrated, it’s ground into a flour that has a sort of spicy kick to it. It also has more nutritional benefits than all-purpose flour – rich in potassium and iron, as well as antioxidants. 

Initially, I figured this would be hard to get my hands on. But a trip to my local grocery store’s baking aisle proved me wrong. Armed with my new novel ingredient in hand, I committed to use it to make a few recipes I’d typically use all-purpose flour for. Here are the results.

Breaded Chicken Cutlets

I didn’t have high hopes for this one. The breaded chicken cutlet recipe I use has been handed down by generations in my Italian family, and the ingredients it calls for are non-negotiable. But I’d committed to this experiment, so I went through my typical process of making the mixture of seasoned breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and flour – swapping the coffee flour in this time instead. 

I heated canola oil in my pan, dredged the cutlets through egg, then coated each one with the breading and fried them on each side for around 4-5 minutes. Surprisingly, as they were cooking they smelled pretty like my traditional chicken cutlet recipe – maybe this wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all?

On the first bite, it was clear this was a mistake. The coffee flour had given my cutlets a bitter flavor that was hard to get past. The consistency of the breading was grainy as well. 

Pound Cake

After my chicken cutlet mishap, I decided to test out the coffee flour in a sweeter recipe. I found an easy pound cake recipe to follow and swapped out 1/4 of the recipe the flour called for with the coffee flour to make sure I wasn’t throwing the consistency off too much. 

I baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. When it was finished I was surprised to find the color wasn’t as dark as I’d expected it to be with the addition of the coffee flour. I waited for it to cool, then tasted it. The cake still had that bitterness to it that I’d noticed on my chicken cutlets, but it worked well in this recipe. In retrospect, I might have added more sugar to this recipe to balance it out.

Coffee Flour Cookies

Finally, I decided to use coffee flour in a recipe that it was actually built for – coffee flour cookies. This one looked extremely promising, since it incorporated lots of sweet ingredients that would balance out the bitter taste of the coffee flour, including honey and vanilla extract. It also called for chocolate chunks, which made me extra excited to taste the result.

I baked these cookies for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, and when I pulled them out they didn’t look done. However, the recipe had warned me of this, so I patiently waited for them to cool.

If you’re going to try coffee flour, this is the recipe to start with. The balance of all the flavors was perfect. The bitterness of the coffee flour complemented the chocolate chunks (which I’d gone a little heavy handed on) incredibly well.