Frosted Hazelnut Espresso Brownies

Extra Fudgy Frosted Hazelnut Espresso Brownies. This brownie recipe is dense, ooey gooey, laced with espresso to intensify the chocolate flavor, and then topped with Nutella frosting!

Put coffee in your brownies for extra fudge flavor! Try these frosted hazelnut espresso brownies for the ultimate in mocha-chocolate deliciousness. 

I wouldn’t call coffee something I drink so much as something I do. It’s as much a part of my morning as brushing my teeth and my afternoon as checking the mail. The whole day feels off, wrong, without it. It’s not even that I can’t wake up without it; in fact, I’m kind of sure the caffeine doesn’t even register anymore because Sabrina and I will pick up venti iced coffees at 10pm and be fine to go to bed at midnight.

High school is when I started drinking it…back in the days when Dunkin’ Donuts added real sugar crystals to iced coffee, and they’d all fall to the bottom of my cup and every sip had a little sweetness and grit to it. I loved that.

But my love for coffee has only grown since–from college when I became a regular drinker and peer-pressured Sabrina to start, too, to living in Rome when I developed a four-espresso-a-day habit, to Seattle where coffee is as much a part of the culture as start-ups and being oddly friendly. Seattle is where I started ordering Americanos–shots of espresso mixed with hot water–because I liked the boldness and strength of the espresso. I still do.

gourmesso gourmet espresso capsules

But when I moved to New York, I got away from espresso, mostly because the coffee shops are all so hectic, with lines no matter the time of day, that I’ll do anything to avoid ordering a drink that takes more than a quick pour.

Still, I love a good espresso. The one way I can always work it into my life is in any chocolate-containing recipe. Espresso and chocolate go together like peanut butter and fluff. Of course there’s the espresso-chocolate fusion we know as mocha, where the chocolate has a pronounced coffee flavor, but if you add just a bit of espresso (brewed or instant espresso powder) to chocolate batter (cake, cookies, brownies), you don’t impart much espresso flavor; instead, you intensify the chocolate. Then the espresso isn’t quite a flavor; it’s a flavor-enhancer. In short, it’s a small miracle worker.

frosted hazelnut espresso brownies

Maybe because I make no secret about my coffee dependence, Gourmesso recently sent me some of their coffee and espresso capsules. These capsules are all compatible with Nespresso Original Line machines and are 30% cheaper than buying the Nespresso brand capsules. As someone who loves coffee for the ritual and the taste, I would never have been able to distinguish between coffee and espresso made by Nespresso and Gourmesso. What I liked about the Gourmesso coffee pods was how bold they tasted, and that was something I struggled with when I owned a Keurig machine a few years ago; I just always felt like my cup was too weak.

After I’d reached my drinking limit, I decided it was time to add some of that espresso to a recipe. I brewed up 1 capsule of Gourmesso Bolivia Pura Mezzo espresso and used the small cup function on my Nespresso machine to produce roughly 2 tablespoons to add to my nearly flourless brownie batter. This espresso is fairtrade, low in acidity, and even has notes of chocolate–perfect for rich fudge brownies.

Some recipes call for more cocoa powder than chopped chocolate and those kinds end up with a cake-ier texture, but I prefer something denser, fudgier. That’s why these brownies have a staggering amount of chopped dark chocolate and an intense chocolate flavor.

Extra Fudgy Frosted Hazelnut Espresso Brownies. This brownie recipe is dense, ooey gooey, laced with espresso to intensify the chocolate flavor, and then topped with Nutella frosting!

Now, obviously I had to frost them because as Daniel sometimes reminds me, I “have a tendency to go overboard.” Right. So I slathered the brownies in chocolate hazelnut spread. Why hadn’t done this before? It was the most simple frosting, and yet I couldn’t have made or even dreamed up something better…especially for espresso fudge brownies.

I was ready to eat one just shy of immediately, but I took an extra minute to brew a cup of Gourmesso’s hazelnut Soffio Nocciola coffee.

If you’re not already drinking espresso and adding it to all of your chocolate desserts, is it wrong of me to be the one to peer pressure you into it?

I feel like you’ll thank me later.


Frosted Hazelnut Espresso Brownies

Servings: 12 Brownies
Calories: 269kcal


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Gourmesso espresso capsule
  • , brewed and cooled 2 tablespoons; brew on the small cup setting*
  • 6 ounces 60% baking chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper. Spray the foil or parchment with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of espresso. Whisk in the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, whisking only until incorporated and smooth. The more you beat the eggs here, the more air you'll add to the batter and the less fudgy your brownies will turn out, so try to only whisk the eggs in as much as you need to.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture just until combined and no white clumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out with just a few fudgy crumbs, 28 to 32 minutes.
  • Let the brownies cool completely on a wire rack. Remove from the pan by lifting the foil or parchment and frost with the chocolate hazelnut spread. Cut into 12 squares. Serve with your favorite brewed Gourmesso coffee or espresso capsule.


Nutrition Information: Calories 269, Fat 17g, Carb 30g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 23g, Protein 3g
*Brew the Gourmesso espresso capsule on your Nespresso machine using the small cup button, then measure 2 tablespoons to add to the batter.
Recipe inspired and adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and Sally's Baking Addiction


Serving: 1g | Calories: 269kcal | Fat: 17g


19 thoughts on “Frosted Hazelnut Espresso Brownies

  1. Caroline

    Andie, thank you for not suggesting that this be some kind of 16-serving recipe nonsense. Do you know what I’m talking about? Like, are you kidding me, 2-x-2 inch brownies? Bless you.

    Also, I’m so with you on that coffee addiction (er, adoration? appreciation?). It’s my ritual, and (un)fortunately, my career. Coffee all damn day. Yaaaas.


    1. Andie Mitchell Post author

      YES on the serving sizes! Cutting these into 12 is just so much more enjoyable to me.

      Someone recently asked me how much coffee I drink and I said, “only 4 cups a day!” And they were like, “Only?…” :/ Full blown addiction.

      1. Caroline

        Oh, yes. Yup. Just had my second of the day and I’m straight-up ready for a nap…no problem here, nope! I like to say that rather than a coffee problem, I have a coffee solution. (interchangeably, dark chocolate) :)

  2. the gold digger

    I have been busy the past month making pear tart, pear pie, pear crisp, pear strudel, and pear danish – our pear tree is producing abundantly this year and I don’t feel like canning but I am of The Tribe of We Who Do Not Waste, so throwing perfectly good (free!) food into the trash is also not an option.

    It is time to make something chocolate. This is it. (And I have two 2-lb jars of Nutella in the basement – honestly, what do my mother and my sister think I do all day?)

  3. Rachel @ Bakerita

    These brownies look downright dreamy! That slather of chocolate hazelnut spread on top is gorgeous and drool-worthy. Coffee really is the best way to make chocolate even more chocolatey. It’s the best!

  4. Asa

    This is awesome. I recently bought espresso powder at the grocery store as a total impulse purchase. I had no recipe in mind but the little bottle just called to me for some reason. Would you suggest I brew about two tablespoons of coffee with the powder first, or do you think I could just put the powder straight in with the flour?

  5. Ashley

    What a great post Andie.

    “I wouldn’t call coffee something I drink so much as something I do. It’s as much a part of my morning as brushing my teeth and my afternoon as checking the mail. The whole day feels off, wrong, without it. It’s not even that I can’t wake up without it; in fact, I’m kind of sure the caffeine doesn’t even register anymore …”

    My thoughts exactly.

  6. Sabrina

    I have never been so happy I caved to peer pressure – what would I do if I hadn’t developed my love for coffee and coffee talk with you? These brownies look divine.

  7. carol Hansen

    Hey Andie,

    I have a girls weekend coming up..I am thinking these will be PERFECT!! As far as coffee…I laugh because I told my husband the other day that I was pretty sure I have a coffee addiction /problem because at night…I think and dream and can’t wait for my coffee in the morning:)) I think its’ a great thing! Espresso is da bomb! xoxoxo

    1. Andie Mitchell Post author


      I can understand your confusion if you thought this was a “weight loss blog.” It isn’t. It is often described as a “healthy living blog” and while I prefer that designation, it isn’t entirely accurate either. This is a personal blog where I like to share my thoughts, ideas, experiences, and recipes with my readers. Often times these involve weight loss because that has been such a big part of my life and is an interest of mine, but not explicitly. Personally, I want to be healthy and at a weight I am comfortable with, but I also want a life that includes delicious brownies. Health for me is about a balance. My happiness is somewhere between abstinence and indulgence. While I wouldn’t necessarily describe a brownie as a “healthy choice” I think the occasional brownie is certainly part of a healthy and well balanced life.

      1. Beth R.

        Well said Andie! Life is indeed about balance and sometimes that includes indulgence. Because if you deprive yourself of everything delicious or indulgent – you are being just as unbalanced as eating an entire pan of brownies (although I’m completely confident it would not be a problem with this recipe). I applaud you being real and honest and realistic! Keep at your healthy lifestyle and well balanced life!!

  8. MarillA

    no words for brownies they look so good but x a real espresso pls come to Italy only in my country You can drink a real one !!!!!!

  9. Pingback: Ofda! Meaty! – sneakycookies

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