Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

On any given morning, I struggle to extract myself from the warm covers only to emerge into the frigid unforgiving air. Chilled to the bone, it takes everything in me to slowly guide myself along the path to the kitchen where I face my beloved coffee maker and come head to head with my fuel for the day. In only a moment, the entire house is entwined within an alluring aroma that in itself, gives me an instant jolt and purpose to my day. Not a single day transpires that I abandon this habit. On the contrary, mid-morning most days inevitably presents itself with hunger rumblings as I realize I’ve completely forgotten to eat breakfast. How can I consistently lose sight of such an important introduction to my day? After all, the thought of neglecting my caffeine ritual is unimaginable! If only I could behold breakfast as much I do my coffee. This consequently is how this amazing muffin came to life. Espresso, cinnamon and walnuts intertwined harmoniously into a muffin…surely I can get on board with that…right? Yes I can and yes I have.

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

Imagine my surprise when I found out that the month of March is “Caffeine” month (shouldn’t every month be deemed this?)! An entire guilt-free month dedicated to my most prized addiction. What better time to embrace this new caffeine-induced breakfast tradition?

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry

Honestly, this might just be the best muffin I’ve ever eaten. First of all, the texture is sublime. It is so incredibly moist and the crumble on top provides an unexpected crunch that is down-right addictive. The almond and coconut flour in combination with the almond butter creates this fabulous texture as well as a notable nutty flavor. Second, it is Paleo and Gluten-Free which means that it contains no refined sugars or flours and uses no dairy. They’re practically good for you. Third and perhaps most importantly, this is a perfectly sweet, but not overly sweet muffin so you can enjoy it anytime of the day without guilt. It pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee and even better enjoyed with that cup of coffee in a nice quiet house (one can dream).

Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker's Pantry
Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins | The Baker’s Pantry


Espresso Coffee Cake Muffins (Paleo, GF)          {Print Recipe}
Yields: 12 standard sized muffins
For the filling:

¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp natural cocoa powder
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

For the crumb topping:

½ cup almond flour (not almond meal)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp coconut butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

For the muffins:

¾ cup almond flour (not almond meal)
½ cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda (-1/8 tsp for high altitude)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
½ cup honey
1 Tbsp vanilla
½ cup coconut cream
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 ½ tsp espresso powder
1 ½ Tbsp warm water
¾ cup almond butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for high altitude). Line a 12 cupcake pan with paper liners. Note: At high altitude, you don’t want to fill the muffin cups more than halfway full as the batter expands more quickly and tends to collapse if the cup is filled too full. To help combat this, I use tall muffin liners (Paper Chef brand Tulip cups) as they allow the batter more room to expand.
To make the filling:
Mix the maple syrup, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a small bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

To make the crumb topping:
Mix the almond flour, cinnamon, coconut butter and maple syrup with a fork in a medium bowl to make a coarse crumb texture and then mix in the chopped walnuts. Set this mixture aside.
To make the muffins:
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon with a whisk. Set the bowl aside. In a small bowl, combine the espresso powder and warm water. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the eggs, honey, vanilla, espresso, coconut cream, and melted coconut oil and mix on medium speed until just combined. Add the almond butter to the bowl and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Spoon 2 Tbsp. of the batter into each muffin cup. Sprinkle about a Tbsp. of chopped walnuts onto the batter. Next spoon 1 tsp of the filling on top of the walnuts into each of the muffin cups. Lastly, spoon 1 Tbsp. of the remaining batter on top of the filling in each muffin cup. Add a heaping Tbsp. of the crumble on top of the batter in each muffin cup. I suggest being liberal with the crumb topping…it is delicious.
Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
Store these muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days (they won’t last that long…trust me) or they can be double wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months.


Mexican Mocha Pudding with Kahlua Whipped Cream

Most of my friends will say that I possess addictive tendencies towards my relationship with coffee.  While my body demands a morning jolt of caffeine in its bloodstream, my afternoon coffee is purely indulgent.  There is nothing more satisfying than consuming a robust cup of coffee to revive my senses and defeat the sleepiness that looms over me in the afternoon.  This passion for the bean carries over equally to desserts and given the choice, I’d opt for a coffee-induced dessert every time.  Some warning signs that might indicate you too have an irrefutable dependence to coffee are: you have your own espresso machine at the office, Starbucks is the specified landmark for any and ALL directions given, your child shouts from the backseat at the mere site of a Starbucks, “Pull over Momma…you need a coffee” and finally, you can balance your child, purse, groceries and more while still managing to keep a firm grip on your coffee and not relinquish a single drop.

Am I alone here??  Anyone wanna go grab a coffee?

This amazing dessert is inspired to showcase the essence of a true Mexican coffee.  The flavors of this pudding are complex and are perfect for steadfast coffee lovers.  Steeping the cocoa nibs in milk adds a unique element of chocolate that creates an unexpected balance to the pudding.  The Kahlua whipped cream without doubt takes it over the top.  I like to serve this pudding in espresso cups (mostly for portion control) as it is quite effortless to become immersed in an entire bowl of this decadence without even realizing it.

Mexican Mocha Pudding          {Print Recipe}

Yield: 6-8 servings

2 cups whole milk

1 ¼ cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided

¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa nibs (can be found at most specialty stores)

2 1/2 Tbsp Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur, divided

½ cup (packed) golden brown sugar

3 Tbsp cornstarch

3 Tbsp instant espresso powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

Make the pudding:

In a small saucepan, bring the whole milk, 1 cup of the heavy whipping cream, cocoa nibs and 1 ½ Tbsp of the Kahlua to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the heat, cover, and let the mixture steep for 20 minutes.

Strain the infused milk into a medium sized bowl, pressing the cocoa nibs with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the nibs.

In a medium heavy saucepan, whisk the brown sugar, cornstarch, espresso powder and cinnamon with about 1/3 cup of the infused milk and stir to form a smooth paste. Stir in the remainder of the milk to combine.  Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat whisking constantly for about 1 minute until slightly thickened.

Remove from the heat and pour into individual ramekins or espresso cups. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 4 hours, or until set.  Tip: Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding while chilling so that it doesn’t develop a film.

Make the whipped cream:

Combine the remaining ¼ cup of chilled heavy whipped cream and 1 Tbsp of Kahlua in a mixing bowl and beat until peaks form.  Spoon onto puddings and serve.

Enjoy! xo