The Effects Of Adding Caffeine To Your Baked Goods

A shot of espresso beside a plate of tiramisu
A shot of espresso beside a plate of tiramisu - stockcreations/Shutterstock

Every baker swears by a different cumulation of ingredients to achieve the fluffiest cake or tastiest cookie. Some promise that the addition of aromatic additions like brown butter is the key to an elevated dessert, while others swear that tried-and-true extracts like vanilla or hazelnut are the most essential ingredients.

Another perhaps lesser-known addition you should consider adding to your next baking project is caffeine. While we typically use caffeine solely to pump us full of energy, it often serves a different primary purpose in baking. Every caffeinated vessel boasts its own unique flavors and effects, so we'll touch on what a few caffeinated ingredients can do to help you elevate your next homemade baked good.

There are so many different teas you can add to desserts, and each has the potential to bring its burst of unique flavor into the mix. Earl grey tea leaves, for example, can bring a dark punch of citrus to a baking project, while chai powder lends its powerful spicy flavor to the mix. Espresso powder is another caffeinated ingredient that can add depth to lackluster cookies and cakes. Finally, adding some brewed coffee to your baked treats can lead to a higher rise in the dough while packing in some extra moisture.

Read more: 8 Baking Sheet Mistakes You Want To Avoid

How Your Sweet Treats Can Reap The Benefits Of Caffeine

Matcha cookies on a cooling rack
Matcha cookies on a cooling rack - Mila Naumova/Getty Images

While there are many different ways to elevate a dessert with caffeine, here are a few of the best options -- and how exactly to add them in. For starters, tea leaves can be ground with sugar in a food processor and added to just about any dessert. Jasmine tea blends will offer more subtle floral notes to many baked goods, while bolder black teas will round off a dessert with its rich flavor.

Matcha powder is another naturally caffeinated powder that brings its beautiful green hues to anything it touches. (So you can skip out on the artificial coloring.) For powders like this, remember to adjust the amount of flour you usually add to your recipe as needed. And remember -- a little bit of this often goes a long way. Coffee grounds or espresso powder will offer similar flavorful benefits to tea, and they can also be ground with sugar to be added in. For an even richer flavor, you can even opt to substitute coffee for water in your recipe.

It doesn't take much caffeine to elevate a dessert, so why not give one of these ingredients a try? If you're eager to try this out for yourself, here are some popular caffeinated ingredient and dessert pairing suggestions.

Which Desserts Taste Best With A Caffeinated Boost

A cup of espresso beside a plate of brownies
A cup of espresso beside a plate of brownies - Dudits/Getty Images

As previously mentioned, swapping coffee for water makes for a higher moisture content and rise in baked goods. This makes this easy caffeine swap a good option to try out when you have to make dough, like with flaky pastries or bread. The acidic nature of coffee helps strengthen the gluten within these desserts, leading to a much fluffier end product.

Chocolatey desserts like brownies or cakes are already rich on their own, but a shot of espresso could take those decadent flavors even further. Espresso powder offers the same benefits here, so whether you want to utilize your coffee machine or opt for a simple sprinkle of caffeinated powder, the choice is up to you.

Finally, simple shortbreads, vanilla cakes, or sugar cookies would benefit from the addition of subtle herbal tea leaves or powders. The floral notes of the tea will set these easy desserts apart and make for a truly unique flavor. Whether you prefer chai, matcha, or otherwise, don't be afraid to get creative. There's a whole lot that caffeine can do besides provide an energy boost. Don't underestimate its power in the world of baking.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.