If you’ve ever been stuck in a rut making the same brownie or cookie batter for ages, then a new recipe can really step up the dessert game in your household. This vintage recipe has been pleasing coffee lovers for several decades. If you love coffee and sweet treats then you really can’t go wrong with these amazing, gooey bars.

To start you’ll need to mix some instant coffee with hot water and then set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. In another bowl you’ll need to mix together the other wet ingredients with the sugar to get the batter started.

Next goes in the coffee mixture, followed by the dry ingredients. Then finally you fold in the fruit and nuts. The original vintage recipe calls for raisins and walnuts, but you can mix it up any way you choose. You can use almonds or pecans instead. You can leave out the raisins altogether. Rest assured these bars will taste delicious with any of the above variations.

After baking you’ll want to let the bars cool a bit before topping with the glaze and then cutting into bars. For a little extra coffee kick you can also add some instant coffee to the glaze, just offset with enough milk to keep the consistency loose and mix very well to ensure the coffee crystals are dissolved.

Once these bars are glazed and cut, they make the most heavenly dessert or snack. If you have a soft spot for coffee then you are going to love these rich and soft bars.

Makes 15 bars

15m prep time

30m cook time

  • For the bars
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or nuts of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • For the frosting
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Mix coffee with the hot water and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl cream together oil and sugar, adding egg in once combined.
  4. Use hand mixer to beat coffee mixture into sugar mixture.
  5. Sift flour and remaining dry ingredients into bowl and mix until creamy.
  6. Fold in chopped nuts and raisins.
  7. Add batter to pan and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. To make the frosting combine sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix well.
  10. Pour frosting over cake bars while still a little warm.
  11. Cut into bars once the cake has completely cooled.

Recipe adapted from A Cake Bakes in Brooklyn.

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