Espresso Brownie Mix


A jar of homemade brownie mix with espresso powder makes the perfect holiday gift from the kitchen

Espresso Brownie Mix

Today I’m reviewing the cookbook Desserts in Jars. Shaina’s book actually came out this past summer, but it makes a great holiday gift (actually the recipes themselves make great gifts, but the book is great to give too). “Desserts In Jars” is as the name suggests – all recipes served in a jar. I know things in jars seems like the latest craze, and I have read several people complaining about the trend. Although it may seem like a phase, it is actually a timeless tradition. Maybe not to the extend of using mason jars as actual drinking glasses, but people have been giving jarred items such as homemade jams and baking mixes for years. Nothing says love like something from the kitchen. I chose to make her Espresso Brownie Mix for my review. Not only can you give this homemade brownie mix as a gift, you can keep it on hand yourself and make brownies when the craving strikes.

Espresso Brownie Mix

When I first got this book, I was thinking it’d be a bunch of the usual jarred stuff, like jams and baking mixes, but this isn’t your average desserts in a jar. We are talking cakes, pie, ice cream, puddings, cheesecake, things you wouldn’t think of! Now some recipes aren’t actually baked in the jar. For example, the Vanilla Bean Cupcakes are made in a regular cupcake pan, but then you pour your choice of dessert sauce into the bottom of a jar, place the cupcake inside, and seal. There’s also Tres Leche Cakes you bake in a cupcake pan as well, but then you assemble everything inside of the jar.

Having desserts in a jar isn’t just for gift giving. They make dessert very portable to take on a picnic or to a party, or if you have a group of dinner guests, it makes it easier to divide the portions ahead of time. Take Apple Pie for example. Normally, you make pie in a pie plate and cut into triangles. If you took pie on a picnic, it can get messy cutting it, not to mention having a pie server and extra plates. If you made it ahead of time in jars, all you have to do is have spoons ready. Or if you are having a big dinner party, you can divide the portions ahead of time when you aren’t as stressed (and you can send the pie home with guests and not get stuck with all of the extra calories!)

Espresso Brownie Mix

One thing I loved besides the creativity is all of the recipes are approachable and have basic ingredients. There were a bunch of recipes that I could make right now without having to buy anything extra, which made it difficult to decide what to make for the blog tour. I finally decided since Christmas is approaching, the Espresso Brownie Mix would make a great gift. Not only is it a wonderful recipe, it gives the receiver a sense of accomplishment (a “look at what I made!” moment). Plus you could pair it up with a rubber spatula or oven mitt for an added bonus.

Of course, this is a very niche book, so if you aren’t about serving desserts in a jar, then you wouldn’t enjoy this book. Owning this book also means you’d be spending money on jars in addition to the usual baking ingredients. Some recipes you could get away without a jar, such as White Chocolate Lime Pudding, Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, and Cinnamon Coffee Cake Mix, but others you’d have to do some adjusting for pan size, such as the Almond Poppy Seed Cake and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Espresso Brownie Mix

Yields 24

Espresso Brownie Mix
Save Recipe


Brownie Mix
1-quart jar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
To make the brownies
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour into the jar.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa and espresso powder. Pour into the jar on top of the flour mixture.
  3. Add the walnuts into the jar followed by the sugar then followed by the chocolate. Seal and decorate as desired.
  4. To make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease 13x9 inch pan. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the jarred contents, butter, eggs, and vanilla. The batter will be thick. Spread the batter evenly into the pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

Disclosure: Harvard Common Press gave me one copy of Desserts In Jars for review and one copy to give away.

Love what you read? Receive new posts in your inbox!

Did you make my recipe?

That makes my heart happy! Please let me know by sharing a photo on my Facebook page or uploading and tagging me on Twitter or Instagram using #chocolatemoosey (Note: If your Instagram account is private, you'll need to @chocolatemoosey as the hashtag won't make your photos public)

Comment Policy

Thank you for your comments! I read every single one and respond when possible. Your comment will show up once approved. I have the right the remove any that are spam or are downright spiteful.


  1. Well, I’d make ME a dessert in a jar!

  2. I’d make desserts in a jar for my co-workers as Christmas gifts.

  3. Amber @iamflourishing says:

    I will give them to people who lack baking skills! So simple!!

  4. My wife, she loves to bake and she wants the cookbook.

  5. if I won, I would first make one for my little girl! She is in love with yummies in jars!

  6. I love giving people gifts in jars!! This espresso brownie mix is so perfect for Christmas!!!!

  7. If I won the cookbook I would give desserts in jar for Christmas gifts to friends!

  8. My sister in law!

  9. I would give a dessert in a jar to everyone! This is such an awesome concept, bring real cooking back home and people eating real food. Simple and easy!

  10. Susan Taylor says:

    My friend Christy—because she would share it with me! <3

  11. Susan Taylor says:

    One jar? …..My friend Christy….because she would share it with me!!!!

  12. I’d make a big batch and have them at our next office party!

  13. Me, myself, and the whole family! I was born for desserts. ;D

  14. Kathleen Olsen says:

    I would love to give this to my 17 year old granddaughter to give her incentive to continue her working in the kitchen.

  15. That is SUCH a good book for mixes – try the cinnamon cake!

  16. Kristin Bailey says:

    I would give a dessert in a jar to my coworkers as a Christmas gift.

  17. Jasmine M. says:

    If I won, I would make a huge batch (recipe included!) and give them to the kids at my work: The Boys and Girls Club, so that they can appreciate the ‘delicious’ importance of baking:)

  18. My beautiful daughter in faraway Alaska

  19. I would give desserts in a jar to my daughter’s friends for Christmas. It would be perfect!!! Merry Christmas Moosey!

  20. I would give a dessert in a jar to my mom because she would love how cute they are!

  21. It would have to be my neighbor–my biker/hunter/mountain man neighbor. What most people don’t know about this super he-man is that he loves kitchen gadgets and food. Anything new-and-different-in-a-jar would be perfect for him.

  22. I would give desserts in jars to my college student friends who are so stressed and could use the pick me up!

  23. My in laws…

  24. I’d love to give one to my newly married daughter!

  25. I would love to give them to all my friends and family, but especially my mother in law. She loves the idea of cooking and is always touched by the food I make for her, but sometimes falls flat with the execution when she tries to do so herself. Having most of it in the jar ready to go would make it easier for her and I think the gesture would mean a lot.

  26. My best friend!

  27. Great concept and it all seems so quick annd easy, cant wait to try it.

    And i would give out a few jars to my “fellow” army wives, grest time saver :)

  28. I would send some treats in a jar to my bff in Maine!

  29. I would give one to my neighbor, Joan – her sweet tooth is almost as big as mine!

  30. Elizabeth M says:

    I would make jar treats for teacher gifts this year (I love giving homemade things) and for neighbors who are always there in a pinch!

  31. Yes for sure jars are not the newest things as such, but the idea of inspiring somebody else with a jar dessert is something I had not thought of before. Really cool idea and a thoughtful pretty present. =)

  32. I would give them to the teachers at my son’s preschool. I love desserts and these are such cute gifts!

  33. I’d give one to my mom, as a special treat, just for her all wrapped up and pretty so she knows she’s special. Then I’d probably make one another time for my dad…jar gifts are perfect for family members who have special food needs or differing tastes from the rest of the family – I could make my dad his own personal gluten-free nut cake just like he loves! :)

  34. I love gifts from the kitchen, you are so right, this is not a new trend at all. I would probably make gifts for all of hubby’s co-workers.

  35. I would probably make some for myself and my immediate family– everything is cuter in a jar!

  36. I would give the dessert in a jar to my best friend Chelsea!

  37. I’ve had this in my inbox and have been meaning to comment and then today we talk about espresso powder – lol – it’s meant to be. (By the way, I think I’m going to make mocha-toffee pinwheels). Your giveaway is so timely too – I have this “Black Dog” cookie cutter I want to give my friend who loves Martha’s Vineyard but I want to package it with a chocolate roll out cookie mix so she can make the cookies! I think Sur la Table has some nice jars for gifting.

  38. I would give it to my friend who is also crazy about baking and cooking!

  39. Susan Reiners says:

    Several of us have gathered for Christmas for years and we have lots of far-flung grandkids. We try to be creative instead of extravagant, and give each other goodies from practical to pretty to just plain fun. We try to keep each present to about $5.00. One of these jars could check off all categories, plus a delicious category as well!

  40. How fun!! I would make a few of them and give them to the extended family along with some homemade cookies in a basket. I usually include a homemade jam or chutney, but this is an awesome idea!!

  41. My grandkids who live in another state so they will think of me every time they have a dessert in a jar.

  42. Cheryl W. says:

    I would give each of the ladies, on my church’s ladies ministry team, a jar dessert.

  43. I would give it to my neighbor. She loves trying new things and is a great cook and baker!

  44. My kids! More like they will eat it the second I make the dessert. If any are left over, I’ll be sharing them with the neighbors.

  45. My 8 co-workers.

  46. A dessert in a jar would be a perfect present for a Pollyanna!

  47. Samantha Remington says:

    Everyone! No one doesn’t like dessert :)

  48. To my sister

  49. I’ve been wanting Shaina’s cookbook and thinking it would make a good gift too. I would make these for my boys’ teachers.

  50. I’d make a dessert for a coworker for a Christmas gift.

Speak Your Mind