How to Pair Coffee with Desserts?

pair coffee with desserts

We all are well aware of how various kinds of wines go with different cuisines. Another most vital drink and food pairing we should know about is coffee and dessert pairings. A morning cup of java is essential for waking you up and pushing you to kick start your day, but how about a muffin, donut, pie, or brownie with coffee? Have you ever wanted to pair coffee with desserts?

While some coffee lovers like sugar in their coffee, some love a kick of dessert with their caffeine shot, just like me. How often have we stopped to think or try out which desserts go well with various types of coffees? Let’s begin!

1. Espresso

espresso with dessert

Espresso is a very strong and bold coffee. It has an overpowering flavor that might not go well with mild chocolaty-flavored desserts. Coffee experts assert that espresso should be paired with an equally intense dessert, such as a big chunk of bittersweet chocolate cake or muffin. It can also be paired up with fruit desserts if they are made of hearty fruits so that their flavors hold up against the intensely bold espresso flavor.

In short, you can pair this coffee with desserts of your choice!

2. Cappuccino

Cappuccino with dessert

Cappuccino is a milky coffee with a mild flavor. It is well paired with delicate desserts such as ice cream. Coffee expert Joe Rubinstein states that having a cappuccino with creamy desserts tastes almost the same since both are creamy and frothy. Often, this food pairing feels like having two creamy items of different temperatures rather than different flavors. You can add butter crumble on top of your choice of ice cream with cappuccino so that it hits differently.

3. Latte

latte with dessert

Since lattes are almost identical in taste and composition to cappuccino, the same dessert pairing can go exceptionally well with lattes. However, just to make it a tad bit different than cappuccino and ice cream desserts, you can have or serve lattes with chocolate cookies or sandwich cookies. It is nice to dunk chocolate biscuits in coffee and have a flavorful bite.

4. Café au Lait

coffee with dessert

The characteristics of café au lait are opposite to espresso. If the latter can overpower a dessert and requires an equally intense dessert, then café au lait can easily be overpowered by a dessert. This type of coffee is the milkiest one of all. It has a lot of water too, with very less coffee flavor. Thus, café au lait is suggested to be paired up with a very strong and coffee-intense dessert. You can try out chocolate Tiramisu with this coffee or a strong coffee-flavored cake.

5. Cortado

coffee with dessert

Cortado shares its flavor characteristics with the cappuccino. However, it has a tad bit lesser amount of milk than a cappuccino. This is why a Cortado should be paired with a strong chocolate or coffee flavor. You can have this coffee with a dark chocolate chip cookie or a chocolate cake glazed with dark chocolate. Almond cakes go exceptionally well with Cortado as the richness of the nuts and chocolate compliment the coffee well.

6. Mocha

coffee with dessert

Mocha itself is a desert. It is fundamentally a latte but with a hint of chocolate. Mostly considered as a liquid dessert, mocha is typically consumed on its own without a dessert pairing. Adding any sweetness to mocha is similar to putting cookies on the cake. However, if you insist on pairing a dessert with mocha, you can make chocolate chip espresso meringues to go with your mocha.

7. Black Coffee

coffee with dessert

Black coffee is like the easiest coffee to be paired up with any dessert. Coffee lovers love just about any dessert with black coffee. Desserts with the richness of nuts can be paired up with black coffee. They complement each other well. Apart from desserts, black coffee also tends to go remarkably well with savory delights, such as salt and cheese.

Often, desserts are not the only option to be served with various coffees. Lovers of black coffee have an edge in this regard. They can have almost any dessert and enjoy it with their black coffee. For example, you can try spiced nut brittle and chocolate crunch bark as a delectable snack with your black coffee.

The Ultimate Coffee Dessert Pairing

There is no definite answer to the ultimate dessert and coffee pairing as it varies greatly according to the taste of people. However, the rule of the thumb is to remember that the creamy cheeses go perfectly with coffees like desserts made of cream cheese or mascarpone. Desserts based on pungent or hard cheeses are not made for having with coffee as they overpower the coffee completely. A good dessert and coffee pairing should not, in any way, change the taste of the coffee.

If you love to pair coffee with desserts, I hope you find this blog helpful! Share it with your coffee lover friends as well.