This Is How You Pair Coffee with Desserts

Last Updated on June 2, 2021 by Ed Joven

Don’t know how to pair your best brew with the right desserts?

This article will help you find the best coffee companion for your sugary treats.

Out for coffee at your favorite coffee chain and unsure how to find the right dessert for your coffee? Finding the right match is important because some coffee and dessert pairings can be disastrous, ruining your appetite for both.

If you have ever walked into a donut chain and ordered a sugary donut with an even more sugary cup of coffee and found it difficult to consume both, you need to learn more about pairing.

How to Pair Coffee with Desserts

After all, not all sweet dishes go well with every kind of coffee. Their tastes need to complement each other, so you get an enhanced flavor of both the beverage and the dessert. A few tips can ensure that you always pair your dessert and coffee right.

It’s All in the Flavors

Food pairing for taste is all about understanding how different tastes can help each other become even more palatable. Even in savory foods, we pair something flavorful with something bland so that we don’t get a flavor overload. For example, we often end up pairing mashed potatoes with steak or grilled chicken, so that the potatoes amplify the taste of the meat.

Some of it might seem like common knowledge, like pairing a bitter coffee with a sweeter dessert. But not every pairing is that simple. How would you understand what coffee will go with a unique dessert such as delicious coffee bean cookies?

If you can understand this more complicated pairing of coffee with coffee-flavored desserts, you can be called a true food pairing MVP. To understand how to pair your coffee and desserts more adeptly, check out the following combinations that go well together.

Americano & Brownies

Brownies are filled with gooey chocolatey goodness. With brownies, you get an intense chocolatey flavor and you need something that will not clash with that overwhelming flavor. If you have sugary milk coffee with your brownies, your tongue will get overwhelmed with both flavor and sweetness.

Americano and Brownies

If you drink americanos, you know that they are more watery dark coffees. It reduces the bitterness and intensity of the espresso. Brownies and americanos compliment each either pretty well; each enhances the other’s flavors and makes you savor every bite.

Irish Coffee & Pies

If you love coffee, you might know that acidic coffee beans work better with alcohol, such as in Irish coffee. Irish coffee pairs well with pastry-like desserts with a fruit filling, like a fruit pie.

Apple or berry pies will go very well with Irish coffee, as each flavor brings out the best in the other. The sharper flavors work well together. The filling also happens to be quite sweet, which enhances the other flavors.

Lattes with Tarts

Lattes are everyone’s favorites. They are lightweight and often sugary, giving you a caffeine boost without the bitterness clinging to your tongue. The best way to pair such a light, sugary coffee is to find something tangy to enjoy with it.

Fruit tarts go wonderfully with lattes. The tangy acidity of a blueberry tart washes down easily with your milky latte; each flavor helps eliminate the flaws of the others.

Coffee Lattes with Tarts

The acidity is checked by the sugar in the latte and vice versa. Once you try this pairing, you will find yourself reaching for that latte every time you buy or make tangy tarts.

Cheesecake with Long Black

Even with its slight tang, a cheesecake will always be considered a rich dessert. Whether you are eating the baked or no-bake variety, cheesecakes are often luxuriously creamy. This heavy and sugar-loaded delight pairs very well with dark coffee and is often paired perfectly with an iced americano.

However, a long black has a darker flavor which helps cut down the sugariness of the cheesecake. Your creamy cheesecake will lose its appetizing quality due to its richness, hence every sip of long black will refresh your palate and help you enjoy every bite.

Cheesecake with Long Black coffee

Any dark roast coffee goes great with cheesecake. You can also try eating it with plain black coffee. Try to have a chilled coffee instead of a hot one, as a colder coffee suits cheesecake better.

Cappuccino and Lava Cake

This classic pairing can make any coffee break a delight. Cappuccinos are light and foamy. It works great as a stand-alone or with simple sugar or chocolate chip cookies. However, a cappuccino is magical when paired with a lava cake. Lava cakes are intense and a delightful surprise. The melting center can be overwhelmingly chocolatey, which can easily be washed down with your light cappuccino.

Cappuccino and Lava Cake

This great pairing goes perfectly with both hot and cold cappuccino. A cold cappuccino can bring a harmonious balance to a piping hot lava cake.

Espresso and Croissant

If you have ever visited Italy, you’d know that a common Italian breakfast is a cup of espresso paired with a croissant. Italian coffee with a croissant is a heavenly combo that you can never get enough of. The Italians stand by this pairing and you should too.

A croissant is a light pastry that serves as a perfectly soft and crunchy treat. Pairing it with some strong Italian coffee will keep your mood up all day.

Caramel Macchiato with Carrot Cake

At first glance, you might think that these two have clashing flavors but you would be surprised by how well these two unique flavors complement each other.

Caramel Macchiato with Carrot Cake

Caramel macchiato has a delicious burnt sugar smell. Carrot cake has a unique flavor with a hint of spice layered with cream cheese frosting. This array of flavors work in harmony, and the sweeter coffee goes well with the less-sweet cake.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to pair your coffees and desserts can make your cafe visits a lot more appealing. Now that you know how to taste the perfect combo, try any of the pairings and enjoy a lovely coffee date.


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