Mocha Brownies with a Crust


These Mocha Brownies with a Crust are an amazing brownie infused with Gevalia coffee for a great afternoon pick-me-up!

brownies with a crust and mocha frosting on white plate

I love having parties. I think I always have. I would much rather host a party than go to one – that way the control freak in me can hoard every single detail. If you ever come to a party at my house, don’t bother offering to bring anything; my answer will be no.

Seriously, I’m a total control freak. You just may make the best baked beans ever, but that may clash with my Italian Trattoria theme. {Yes, I know I have issues.}

My favorite part of any party (that I’m planning, hosting, or attending) is dessert. Obviously. And you know what pairs really, really good with dessert? Coffee.

Coffee is one of those things at parties that always gets forgotten, am I right? Halfway through dessert you realize you never pressed the “on” switch? If you do make coffee, you know someone will drink it. Coffee is one of those party things like vodka that people just say, sure, why not have a cup?

So when I make coffee for a party, I want it to be good. And, being me, I want to include it in as many desserts as possible because really, coffee is my favorite thing everrrrrr.

brownies with a crust and mocha frosting on white plate

Recently I had a little coffee party at my house. It was a small get-together, just my parents, Jordan, and me. I wanted to thank them for watching her while I was in Austin for BlogHer Food. (Because, conveniently, the day after I made my reservations, my husband told me he had a conference in New Jersey…the same weekend.)

Thank goodness for grandparents!

And of course, besides games with the granddaughter, we needed treats. Like brownies.

These brownies are Mocha Brownies. They are some of the best ones I’ve made yet! And they start with a box mix…and that’s one of my favorite things about them. They are so easy to make.

The brownies have a crust. I love, love, love putting a crust on brownies. My favorite part of a pan of brownies is the gooey center, and when you put a crust on them the entire pan tastes that way.

I topped the shortbread crust with a brownie mix that was infused with coffee. And then the icing is coffee flavored too. These are coffee to the extreme!

When you’re using coffee in a chocolate dessert, like cake or brownies, you don’t taste it at all. The coffee flavor only enhances the chocolate flavor. But when you use coffee in a frosting like I topped these mocha brownies with, you taste every single bit, so you want it to be a good coffee, with amazing flavor.

Gevalia has been brewing coffee since the 1800s, and the cast-iron roasting method they use creates a smooth tasting coffee, one that’s never bitter. I really enjoy Gevalia, and used it when I made my Mocha Coffee Cake a few months ago. They have several different flavors, and now they even have the single-serve cups for your single-serve coffee makers!

The Gevalia coffee was perfect for the gathering with my parents because we all have different ways we like our coffee. I like it stronger, my dad likes it lighter. You can buy Gevalia at Safeway (or their affiliate brands near you) and, if you’re buying the single-serve cups you can buy different strengths for different party attendees. Plus, Safeway has a great selection of everything you’d need for a party. They’re my favorite grocery store here in Northern California!

Can you see how fudgy that brownie is? It’s to die for, paired with the crunchy shortbread crust!

These brownies were a big hit with my family. I even left a couple without frosting, so Jordan could enjoy them. (She could have had a little, but that girl doesn’t need any extra caffeine!)

But I think my parents did – especially after a weekend chasing her around! 😉

If you’ve never made brownies with a crust, you must start. You’ll agree it’s the best way to eat brownies! (And, your friends and family will love them at your next gathering!)

Mocha Brownies with a Crust

Brownies infused with coffee and a mocha frosting...and a crust!
Serving Size


For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the Brownies:

  • 1 box brownie mix 9x13 pan size
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee

For the Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons brewed coffee


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Mix butter, flour, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until the dough comes together, but it will still be a little crumbly.
  • Pour into pan and press with your fingers to make the crust.
  • Bake crust for 10 minutes. While it’s baking, make the brownies. Mix all brownie ingredients in a medium bowl and stir by hand until combined. Pour over hot crust.
  • Bake brownies for 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean 1 inch from the side of the pan. Cool completely before frosting.
  • When the brownies are cool, make the frosting. Beat melted butter and powdered sugar with a handheld mixer in a large bowl. Mix in vanilla and coffee and beat until smooth. Pour over brownies and spread evenly. Chill to set. The frosting will stay set in the refrigerator, and get softer as the brownies come to room temperature.
  • Makes 24 brownies.

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Other delish brownie recipes:

Fudgy Brownies with Orange Frosting

Carrot Cake Brownies

Sweets from friends:
Dulce de Leche Brownies by Mom on Timeout
Chocolate Caramel Covered Potato Chip Brownies by Something Swanky
Marshmallow Cheesecake Swirled S’more Brownies by The Sweet {Tooth} Life

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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63 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. Brownies are my greatest weakness! Most of my family actually likes the crunchy edges; my aunt used to work at a nursing home and the kitchen staff would save all the brownie edges for her. I think she had a whole stockpile in the freezer. I’m more of a gooey center kind of girl though. Nothing beats a soft, warm, fudgey brownie, especially if it’s topped with peanut butter!
    I’ve never really heard of brownies with a crust, so I’ll have to tuck this idea away for a day when I need some inspiration. Looks great!

  2. Parties are the best! So fun to host and so fun to be at! I’m going to have to try that frosting . . . and shortbread crust. It all sounds sooooooo good!

  3. You’re right, these are to die for! I love it paired with the buttery shortbread crust! Yummy!

  4. Okay . . . but if I’m coming, can you just TELL me the theme, and then I will find something ABSOLUTELY perfect to go with?? No? Okay, I understand. I’m a total control freak too. And unless you want me to hand you a recipe, you really shouldn’t bother, lol! These look delicious, Dorothy! And I LOVE that they have crust!

  5. Whenever 3pm comes around, I always need some coffee and something sweet. I think this brownie fits the bill for both cravings!

  6. I love crust on anything but never had it on brownies. I want to change that now!!

  7. I can totally relate – I’d much rather host and am a total control freak! 🙂 These brownies sound great! Coffee flavor is one of the best!