Need Espresso Powder For Baking? Crack Open A Nespresso Pod

Some pretty delicious baked goods call for espresso powder these days, offering a perky way to kick up the flavor in homemade cookies, cakes, brownies, or frostings. It even works as a flavor enhancer for hot cocoa, adding depth and complexity — and that goes double when enjoying cocoa alongside an espresso-powder-infused dessert. But unlike ground coffee, the powdery espresso version isn't always available in standard grocery stores. 

That's generally because commercial espresso powder isn't simply roasted beans that have been ground longer for powdery consistency. It is instead a result of brewed espresso liquid that's later dehydrated into a water-soluble powder that can be reconstituted, similar to the process for creating instant coffee. But there's as yet less demand for espresso powder, so you may be left wanting when a delicious recipe for espresso-infused baked goods crosses your path. 

Fortunately, there's an easy solution if you happen to be a Nespresso devotee. Those cute little capsules and pods filled with espresso-blend ground coffee can stand in for espresso powder when baking. It won't be exactly the same as true instant espresso powder, but it works just fine. The key is calculating a 1:1 ratio for the substitution when following a specific recipe. 

Pop open a Nespresso pod for easy baking

Nespresso helps you make the ratio calculation by revealing the amount of ground coffee inside each of its wide array of pod options. The company doesn't mention the topic or suggest its coffees for baking, but it states the number of grams inside each category of available pods or capsules. It's important to note that the coffee quantity differs between capsules made for the Original line of Nespresso machines versus the newer Vertuo machines, which accept larger dome-shaped round pods. 

Original Nespresso machines work with uniformly sized capsules for its Espresso range of coffees, stated as five grams, which equates to roughly 1 tablespoon of ground coffee. The various Gran Lungo capsules for the Original line hold 6 grams, which will be more like a heaping tablespoon when swapping it for espresso powder in a recipe. The Vertuo line, however, has a much wider range of pod sizes.

With Vertuo pods, you'll need to identify each pod to reveal the coffee measurement. The amounts range from 7 grams for Espresso and Ristretto blends to 10 grams for Double Espresso and Gran Lungo blends. That equals about 1.5 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons, respectively. However, it's much easier to peel back the foil enclosure and measure the amounts for yourself. It's definitely worth sacrificing a warm cup of espresso for a yummy baked dessert, at least occasionally. For another enticing substitute, use Nespresso pods for making espresso martinis