These Coffee and Dessert Pairings are a Match Made in Heaven

For a generation of young people, often straddling a dead-end job and a tortuous relationship platter, coffee is usually what goes best. There are those, of course, too jaded to care about where their coffee comes from – a machine-dispensed drip in a Styrofoam cup does just fine. But then there are others who’d go the whole hog for the coffee they love so much. These highbrow ‘coffee pundits’ know their Mochaccino from a macchiato and like it that way.

But that’s hardly enough. Just like with wine and cheese, coffee tastes best when served with the right dessert. In fact, coffee and dessert pairings are right up there in the culinary hall of fame – next to pizza and beer.

Get your coffee and dessert pairings just right, by referring to our list below!

Espresso and Pistachio
This coffee is an intense concentration formed from brewing freshly grounded coffee beans in a small portion of water (30ml).

Paired best with: A pistachio biscotti or a muffin.

Ristretto and Chocolate Tart
Twice as strong as espresso, ristretto is an intense and aromatic coffee, with a deep flavour and a more concentrated extract. It uses the same amount of coffee beans as espresso does, but uses only half the amount of water – thus making it stronger than espresso.

Paired best with: Anything sweet like a chocolate chip cake, chocolate pudding tart or truffle cupcake.

Cappuccino and Choco Lava Cake
This coffee is prepared with an espresso, a little hot milk and lots of steamed milk foam. Cream can be used as a substitute to the milk, making the coffee more rich and dense.

Paired best with: Oats cookies, chocolate pastry or chocolate lava cake.

Macchiato and Blueberry Muffin
Commonly confused with cappuccino, macchiato is an espresso with a dash of foamed milk, which is beaten to a froth and has a much stronger and aromatic taste. This differs from cappuccino in that it has no milk, only froth. 

 Paired best with: Muffins – choco-chip, walnut and fig, carrot, blueberry muffins.

Caffe Americano and Red Velvet Cupcake

It is prepared by adding hot water to a single shot of espresso. It is a strong coffee and is ideally had best after meals when you’re already pretty full.

Paired best with: Red velvet cupcakes/pastry, macaroons.

Latte and Fruit Cake
Commonly called ‘milk coffee’, latte is a combination of espresso and milk in a ratio of 1:3, with some foam or cinnamon on top.

Paired best with: Dried fruit cake, lack forest gateaux, almond or lemon cake or chocolate tarts, dark chocolate pastry/truffle.

Turkish Coffee and Fudge Cookie
This is very intense in flavour as it uses coffee beans that are freshly grounded and brewed in a pot. The residue is left behind and only the coffee concentration sampled in all its glory.

Paired best with: Fudge cookie

Irish Coffee and Tiramisu
Irish coffee is coffee combined with whiskey and whipped cream – often further sweetened with sugar.

Paired best with: Tiramisu

Café Mocha and Banana Cake
This is a combination of cappuccino and cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. With ingredients such as those, it’s little wonder that the drink is such a favourite!

Paired best with: Dense almond cake or banana caramel cake

Frappe and Brownie with Ice Cream
This is a refreshing drink made from instant coffee, milk and crushed ice. Perfect for a hot and humid day!

Paired best with: Walnut brownie topped with vanilla ice-cream and warm chocolate/caramel syrup – or the classic chocolate lava cake.

There’s much to be said for sourcing the right combinations in life – whether in life or on a hot plate. A coffee and dessert pairing is a match made in sensory heaven, and once you’ve hit on the combo that works for you, it will serve as your very own signature in the annals of a fulfilling food journey.

Also – if we’ve sufficiently managed to whet your appetite for a classic coffee-dessert meal, rush to these budget cafes in south Bombay immediately!

(With inputs from Rahul Leekha, Director, DiBella India, Vivek Bhatt, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Hotel, Mumbai Sahar and Rushda Azmi Shaikh, Sugar Rush Bakery, Mumbai)

This article on coffee and dessert pairings was also published on the

All pictures from  iStockphotos


  1. That's great information. Thanks for sharing this blog. I did a search and found your blog and glowing review. It's been a big help! Thanx! Donna D. Hess

  2. Delicious food ! mouthwatering cupcake Love it .Thankyou for sharing with us .



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