Here's What You Can Substitute For Espresso Powder

People love coffee, especially when it is in a freshly brewed cup. According to Taste of Home, there are two types of coffee beans, Arabica (which is typically used for black coffee) and Robusta (which is typically used for things like lattes, americanos, mochas, and espressos). Regardless of your choice of bean, folks seem to slightly lose their marbles when it comes to coffee-flavored treats and sweets like cake, tarts, or tiramisu. But, when it comes to baking, what kind of coffee should you be using? 

The Kitchn asserts that when it comes to baking or cooking, one should grab some espresso powder. The publication details that espresso powder is a great way to up the flavor profile in foods (think coffee rubs for steaks) and desserts (like mocha-flavored cupcakes). But why is espresso powder so good? Espresso powder is pre-brewed and dissolves into the food much faster, per The Kitchn, making it the perfect cooking ingredient when it comes to adding that coffee taste. So what happens if you're fresh out of espresso powder? Can you use just any ol' grounded coffee?

Grab some instant coffee if you're fresh out of espresso powder

Why instant coffee and not freshly grounded coffee beans? A Reddit user posted on a thread that due to the nature of espresso powder, it constitutes as more of an instant coffee. The user suggests not using grounded coffee because it won't dissolve as quickly as espresso powder would. The Kitchn reaffirms this suggestion by adding that instant coffee is a great substitute. How much should you use? That depends on who you ask. 

The Kitchn recommends using 50 percent more instant coffee when cooking with it (so if the recipe calls for one tablespoon of espresso powder, use one tablespoon and a half of instant coffee). Our Everday Life suggests something entirely different — they recommend using a one-to-one ratio (one tablespoon of instant coffee to one tablespoon of espresso powder). The publication also notes that folks should use a dark roast instant coffee over a regular roast instant coffee, as the darker roasts have a similar strength to that of espresso powder.