Baking/ Product Review

What Do You Do with Coffee Flour?

banana bread with coffee flourFood media first talked about Coffee Flour as a speciality product in 2015 and it’s just landed at Trader Joe’s, as part of a caffeine-fueled blitz of coffee-flavored products. I like the idea of coffee flour, but I’m just not sure it’s actually necessary if you’re able to cook and bake with wheat flour.  In the pro column, it’s made from coffee pulp, the fruit that actually holds the bean and is usually discarded in the process of processing coffee beans. I won’t quite call it recycling, but it’s great to find a use for something that’s usually thrown away. But is it any good in baked goods?

The back of the Trader Joe’s bag suggests using a few tablespoons in brownie batter, made from one of Trader Joe’s box mixes. Chocolate is bound to overpower nearly any flavor and when you use instant espresso powder or strong coffee in brownies, it’s meant to amplify that chocolate flavor. I get the concept.

Texturally, coffee flour is similar to cocoa powder and when baked it has a dark, fruity flavor to it. Food52 compared it to dried figs. I decided to try replacing 1/3 cup of the all-purpose flour in a Joy of Cooking banana bread recipe with the coffee flour (the general guideline is to use it as a 10–20 percent replacement).

It turns the batter a dark brown color, similar to brown bread, and it does add something to it, while the banana remained prominent. It has that little bit of bitterness that molasses has, and I will say, it ages well, and arguably the banana-coffee bread tasted better a couple of days later. Each tablespoon has six grams of dietary fiber, so it adds some useful nutrition to baked goods that might otherwise be low on fiber. But if what you want is banana bread with figs, chop up some dried figs.

Would I go out of my way to keep this in the pantry? No. Should you try it? If you’re curious, maybe, but it’s a bit of a novelty item. I don’t really do any gluten-free baking, though I am curious about these coffee flour rye crackers, and I’ll be interested to see how other people are using it…if it even sticks around that long at Trader Joe’s.

Banana Bread with Pecans and Coffee Flour

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 8.5 inch loaf Cooking Time: 1 hour


  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. coffee flour
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 5 T. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. mashed ripe banana (2-3)
  • 3/4 c. chopped pecans, divided



Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8.5 inch loaf pan, or line it with parchment paper. Set aside.


In a large bowl, whisk together flour, coffee flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.


Using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until lightened in texture. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture until it's the consistency of brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined.


Fold in the bananas and 1/2 c. of the pecans.


Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Top with remaining pecans.


Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack for 5-10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely.


Adapted from the 1997 version of the Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker

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