Easy Coffee Extract Recipe

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Enjoy the rich flavor of coffee in your cooking and baking with this coffee extract recipe! It can be tricky to find coffee extract at grocery stores, but luckily it’s super easy to make right at home. You can prepare this homemade coffee extract in just minutes with two simple ingredients and a mason jar!

If you’re interested in crafting more homemade extracts, you may also enjoy my homemade vanilla extract, cinnamon extract, and lavender extract.

close up of homemade coffee extract recipe

Coffee extract is one of my favorite secret ingredients to bake with! I use it in place of vanilla extract as a flavor enhancer for muffins and breads.

The rich toasty notes of coffee extract pair especially well with the flavor of chocolate. I like to add a few tablespoons to my chocolate cake batter for a decadent chocolatey taste!

I always have a glass jar of coffee extract on hand in my pantry. This extract is so versatile, contains only natural ingredients, and lasts for years even at room temperature.

And if you’re searching for a unique gift around the holidays, a jar of this homemade extract is perfect for the coffee lover in your life!

What is Coffee Extract?

Coffee extract is made by combining ground coffee with alcohol (usually vodka).

The alcohol acts as a solvent and extracts the coffee solids and essence from the beans. This creates a super strong, concentrated, and shelf-stable coffee flavor that can be used in cooking and baking.

Don’t confuse coffee extract with coffee concentrate, though!

Coffee concentrate is made with hot or cold water, essentially just super strong brewed coffee. Unlike pure coffee extract, coffee concentrate is not shelf stable, and its flavor dilutes over time. 

coffee extract recipe made with organic coffee

Ingredients for Coffee Extract

Coffee beans – Choose your favorite coffee; I used an organic dark roast from my local co-op which makes it extra dark and rich.

Vodka – Don’t worry about getting the best quality vodka out there. Any plain vodka with at least 40-50% alcohol will do.

Equipment

  • Coffee grinder or mortar and pestle
  • Pint mason jar
coffee in mortar pestle

How to Make Coffee Extract Recipe

  1. Crush the coffee beans until they are coarse.
  2. Add the crushed coffee beans to the mason jar and cover them with vodka.
  3. Shake the jar and store it in a pantry or cupboard out of direct sunlight for approximately a week. Shake the jar each day.
  4. After a week, strain the coffee extract with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and bottle it in a container with an airtight lid.

How to Store Coffee Extract

Because the vodka acts as a preservative, this coffee extract is a shelf-stable product!

That being said, extracts can go bad if exposed to high temperatures, light, or air.

For this reason, it’s best to store this concentrated liquid in an airtight container such as a glass mason jar.

Keep the jar in a cool, dark place like your pantry, and your extract will retain its robust flavor for years!

Tips & Variations

Swap out the vodka for other alcohols such as bourbon or rum. The spices in these alcohols are a great addition to the flavors of dark roast coffee beans. 

If you prefer not to use alcohol, vegetable glycerin is a great alternative. Like alcohol, glycerin acts as a solvent to extract coffee essence and is an excellent preservative!

If you don’t have whole-bean coffee to grind, substitute coffee grinds. You’ll only need about 2-3 TBS of ground coffee, too!

Free Printable Labels

printable extract labels

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How to Use Coffee Extract

This extract can add a rich coffee flavor to any of your favorite recipes! It’s the perfect substitute for instant espresso powder or instant coffee.

This full-bodied extract can be used to flavor both sweet and savory recipes.

The earthiness from the coffee extract helps accentuate the warm spices in dishes like my Butter Bean Chili. Coffee extract is also a great replacement for red wine vinegar in gravies. 

1-2 drops of coffee extract also adds a great flavor to:

  • Blend up creamy mocha milkshakes
  • Churn into homemade ice cream
  • Add extra flavor to French toast
  • Add to Mocha Chip Pancakes
homemade coffee extract

FAQs

How long does coffee extract take?

It takes about 1-2 weeks to get a strong coffee flavor from an extract. If you let the coffee beans soak any longer, the extract will start to taste bitter. 

Making your own coffee extract means you can fine-tune the flavors how you like. Taste your coffee extract after one week; if it’s not strong enough, let it steep until it reaches your desired flavor. 

Is coffee extract the same as coffee?

Coffee extract is indeed coffee, only in a slightly different form!

Coffee extract uses alcohol to extract the solids and essence from coffee beans.

Extracts are useful because they keep much longer than coffee beans or ground coffee. A coffee extract can maintain its bold flavor for years, whereas coffee beans begin to lose their flavor after 6-9 months.

Is instant coffee a coffee extract?

Instant coffee is made by freeze-drying or spray-drying highly concentrated brewed liquid coffee. The result is a shelf-stable product that can be added to hot water to create a cup of coffee!

The concentrated coffee flavor of instant coffee is similar to coffee extract. However, I find that coffee extract produces a more intense coffee flavor, without that typical instant coffee bitterness.

What is the best coffee extract substitute?

If you don’t have time to whip up a batch of coffee extract, try using very strong black coffee or even some espresso. These may not have quite as much potency as coffee extract, but they’re a great way to get that coffee flavor in a pinch!

coffee extract recipe
5 from 1 vote

Coffee Extract Recipe

Print Recipe
Whip up a batch of this homemade coffee extract recipe to add extra coffee flavor to your cake and bakes!
Prep Time:5 mins
Infusing Time:7 d
Total Time:7 d 5 mins

Equipment

  • mortar and pestle Or coffee grinder
  • 1 mason jar

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unflavored vodka
  • 1/4 cup dark roast coffee beans

Instructions

  • Crush the coffee beans until they are coarse.
  • Add the crushed coffee beans to the mason jar and cover them with vodka.
  • Shake the jar and store it in a pantry or cupboard out of direct sunlight for approximately a week. Shake the jar each day.
  • After a week, strain the coffee extract with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and bottle it in a container with an airtight lid.

Notes

Use any coffee you’d like for this recipe including dark roast, blonde roast, etc. I used an organic dark roast for a really rich flavor.
If you don’t have a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, you can substitute freshly ground coffee. Substitute 2-3 TBS of ground coffee for the 1/4 cup of coffee beans.
Course: Appetizer, Baking, condiment, extract, Food preservation
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: coffee, coffee extract
Servings: 8 ounces
Cost: 3
coffee extract pin

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