If you are a coffee lover, then you know that it is perfect for any time of the day. It works great to wake you up in the morning—enough caffeine to push you through the day.

And at night, maybe some Black Russian as a nightcap. Any way you want it, coffee is already an irreplaceable part of our lives.

Even though some people side-eye the instant version of it, it’s still a necessary staple for many kitchens. For those who can’t afford any fancy brewing machine and only have a short time in the morning, instant coffee is a savior.

And don’t worry, it also has some health benefits like the regular brew. (read more).

Instant coffee is also an ample replacement for espresso in a recipe. It sure has a different body and taste from the actual espresso. But the flavor will be close enough. And it doesn’t leave residues like when you brew ground beans.

But keep in mind that it can’t replace all drinks. For example, you can’t modify the recipe for drinks that require perfect crema, such as Americano and Ristretto with instant java. 

Anyway, you can use your instant coffee stash to try making any of the dishes below.


1. Pancake

This recipe is so easy that you will love it in a flash. Pre-made coffee is more than just your morning drink. You also can have it on your breakfast dish.

Perhaps French toast is the most popular breakfast recipe that uses instant coffee. But when you add it to your pancake batter, you will love the aroma and how amazing it tastes.

You can use any pancake recipe that you like. It doesn’t matter what type of liquid you go for. You can use whole milk, half and half, or buttermilk.

Anyway, add a teaspoon of powdered coffee to the batter before adding any liquid. So you can measure if you have enough.

Try frying one ladle to notice the aroma and taste. If you can smell the coffee from your batter on the pan, you’re doing it right. If you still can’t smell any, add a dash more to it. Keep the amount small since you only need the aroma.

2. Brownies

This is perhaps one of the most known recipes that involve coffee. It’s unknown who started it, but a slice of coffee brownies is a popular choice in many cafes.

But did you know that you can make these brownies at home? You don’t need any fancy ground as what the usual cafe offers. You only need to add two teaspoons of instant java to give your brownies that distinct flavor.

Whether you like a chewy brownie or a firm, dry one, adding coffee to your brownie mix can elevate the flavor a couple of notches. You also can make a cookie brownie.

3. Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a dessert that you can have fun with. Originated from Italy, this dessert is famous for its soft and creamy texture and the non-bake recipe. 

To make your tiramisu unique, choose the type of coffee that has a distinctive aroma. If you can’t think of any, feel free to check the Colony Club DC instant coffee guide for the options. 

Anyway, use any store-bought kind to soak the ladyfingers or biscuits for the tiramisu.

The flavor isn’t as strong as if it were brewed, so you may want to enhance the mascarpone flavor with a drop of coffee syrup.

Another option is to use less water than suggested to dilute the powder or use already flavored biscuits instead of regular ladyfingers. It can enhance the aroma and flavor. 

4. Mocha

So what makes this Mocha drink different from any other? First of all, Mocha is a versatile drink that works as both a hot and cold drink. But your choice of java can be the main determiner to make a great mocha drink.

You can combine the coffee with either cocoa powder or syrup. For every cup of joe that you use, only add two tablespoons of cocoa powder at max to keep the flavor balanced.

If you want to have a mocha drink but have no time, you can fill half of the glass with your instant joe and fill the rest with a hot chocolate drink.  

5. Dalgona

Dalgona took over the internet by storm for almost one full year.

You can see there are so many videos on social media talking about recipes, tricks, and where to get the best one

The term Dalgona refers to the top layer that is sweet and slightly chewy, like a honeycomb candy popular in South Korea. Anyway, Dalgona is one of many variations of whipped caffeine drinks.  

The key to making the perfect dalgona is the 1:1:1 ratio of instant coffee, hot water, and sugar. That is one teaspoon or sachet of instant java, with one tablespoon of hot water and one tablespoon of sugar.

This ratio is what makes your Dalgona layer looks creamy and have the right consistency. If you add more water or sugar, it will lump and look like flavored whip cream.

Most people will put the Dalgona layer on top of milk. But you can use coconut milk, chai, milk tea, or even hot chocolate if you want. Keep in mind that Dalgona is a sweet one.

Therefore, choose a drink that is less sweet or even plain to cut down the sweetness.

6. Frappe

On the contrary to the current trend, frappe starts as a home drink. You don’t need a fancy espresso maker and milk frother to make one. You can do it at home with your regular joe and a cocktail shaker. 

The original recipe for frappe requires the instant version instead of espresso. Therefore, you can use your stash at home and get a cafe drink at your comfort.

When you make frappe at home, you have total control of how strong the caffeine is and how sweet the drink will be. You can adjust the ratio between coffee and sugar.

But to make a firm and lasting froth, you should use cold water and some ice cubes to mix. 

Frappe is a fun drink to play with. You can add a dollop of Nutella into the mix. Or add chocolate syrup to make it a mocha frappe. 

So what do you think? Are you ready to make affogato using regular vanilla ice cream with instant java? Feel free to concoct a new recipe or even a twist on a classic. But keep in mind that you can’t add instant coffee to all recipes. 

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