These sultry blondies have been around the block a few times.

They have smokey undertones of espresso, the sensuous aroma of cardamom, and a dusky interior, but all that just makes them a little more mysterious.  They still have the familiar brown sugar and butter crumb of a thick, slightly under baked cookie, the melted pockets of chocolate chips, and a crackled crust with that classic golden sheen.  I’m not saying these are your basic bake sale blondies…they’re definitely a little more worldly, but I think you’ll agree that isn’t such a bad thing.

You already know I love the coffee plus cardamom combination.  You’ve seen it in my Turkish coffee, truffles, and pound cake, but there are so many other ways to enjoy these flavors, I’m driven to keep experimenting.

There’s just something about a blondie. I love those adorable Shar Pei rumples they get along the edges of the pan.

And how the dark chocolate chips barely peek through the thin crust.

But the thing I probably love the most is how the chocolate oozes when you cut a piece, even after it’s cooled.

Cardamom Coffee Dirty Blondies


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 heaping Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 heaping Tbsp ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 10 oz bag bittersweet chocolate chips


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Cream the butter, espresso powder, cardamom and sugars together until fluffy. About 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Beat the eggs in, one at a time. Then the vanilla.
  4. Whisk the flour, soda and salt together and then add to the eggs and butter, mixing just until combined.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread the batter (it will be thick) into a 9x13 glass baking dish, lined with parchment (or greased).
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Don't over bake. They'll be wrinkled a bit around the edges, and a little bit of squooshyness inside is a good thing.
  8. Cool before cutting. (or don't)

 cardamom and coffee blondies

What’s your favorite blondie?  Include a link in the comments! 

Other brownies, blondies to try—

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53 Responses to Cardamom Coffee Dirty Blondies

  1. Tanya says:

    These look fantastic. I am hesitant to put a full tbsp of instant espresso in as kids will be having a small piece. How do you think the flavor would be if I cut the amount down or left it out?

  2. Cathy says:

    When you posted this, I knew I was in trouble. I dearly love blondies and when I saw the addition of cardamom, which I love, and espresso, I was ready to bake it immediately. I waited until last night and now my husband and I cut off a piece every time we walk by them. I need to quickly give a good bunch away, since we can’t keep our hands off of them.

    • Sue says:

      I love this, Cathy! I truly love these blondies, too. The flavors are so smokey and complex, you’ve made me want to bake up a batch again today :)

  3. Jonah says:

    Can someone please explain to me what instant espresso powder is? I’m aware of instant coffee and ground espresso beans, but instant espresso is new to me. Thanks!

  4. […] Adapted from The View from Great Island […]

  5. Glan Deas says:

    Your blog just came to me when i was searching for a really delicious coffee cake and you just saved my relationship.
    Glan Deas
    Kopi Luwak

  6. Those look and sound amazing. I am going to try these this weekend. I have been a huge fan of the drunken blondie recipes I found on the Amateur Gourmet’s website. I made them here

    and have been ever so addicted. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing your recipe


  7. Finn Felton says:

    Oh my God, what a delicious looking cardamom coffee blondies! I could die for having a single bite of it.
    Yummy it’s so damn yummy. I’ve noted down its ingredients and I’ll make it on my own. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    Best Regards,
    Finn Felton
    Kopi Luwak

  8. Julian Levi says:

    Yummy! I love your post… I want to make this cake soon… Thanks for sharing this amusing blog.
    commercial coffee machines

  9. Sonya says:

    I seriously can not recall the last time I ran into the kitchen to make something after pinning it not 2 minutes. I ran like heck though after reading this recipe. I am a giant cardamom fan and was super nervous about using a full tablespoon but WoooooooW are these amazing..uh-ma-zing! the blondie is perfectly chewy around the edges with an awesome gooey soft center. These are awesome warm from the oven and are just as good cooled..but I love them warm :) thank you so much for this recipe. My husband and two sons couldn’t get enough..We literally cleaned the pan in no

  10. Mary Younkin says:

    I’ve been thinking about these ever since I saw them on FB the other morning. I need them to happen in my kitchen soon. Cardamom and coffee are already amazing together, so these sound fantastic!

  11. You know, this may be surprising, but i have had not so much luck finding a blondie i really can get behind. So many of them end up so cloyingly sweet and i have a difficult time with that. But all that espresso powder, and cardamom, and the chocolate chips to balance it all out? I think i could do this one; i think this may be the blondie recipe that makes me like blondies.

  12. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Oh my, you certainly have me drooling this morning. I’ve never baked much with cardamon, I have it in my head that I don’t like it but you have me convinced to definitely give it another try! That melting chocolate is enough to make me cry that we live thousands of miles apart!

  13. Lori says:

    These look incredible. I have a whole bag of cardamom in my pantry and I’m always struggling with ways to use it. Not that I need an excuse to make something as tasty as these, but I think it’s a good one. :) Yum!

  14. grace says:

    these would be tasty at any phase of their existence, but i doubt anything would top that still-slightly-warm, melty phase. great bars, sue!

  15. Oh Sue these look amazing! I’m drinking a cup of coffee right now and WISH I had one (or two!) of your blondies!
    Mary x

  16. belleau kitchen says:

    you know i have just been thinking about what to bake with some espresso coffee i’ve been sent to review and of course these are perfect… they look absolutely divine of course and I love the way they are so blonde on top and dark underneath… the true nature of us all perhaps?

  17. Oh wow, love the idea of cardamom and coffee – YUM!

  18. Cardamom is an awesome spice. I discovered it not long ago when I made a cardamom coffee cake and posted it on my blog. It’s such a plain looking cake but has the most amazing flavor. I would love to try your blondies! I don’t usually cook with coffee since I have to avoid caffeine, but maybe just a small amount of espresso powder won’t hurt. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  19. Oh yum, these look and sound so good! I’ve never tried baking with cardamom, but really want to give it a go now!

  20. Cardamom is showing up everywhere lately. i better get on the bandwagon. And I liked sharpei rumples, too! But I love blondies!

  21. Christina Conte says:

    These look dangerous!! CC

  22. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Shar Pei rumples – oh that’s a perfect description & I agree they taste amazing, too! And the oozing chocolate even after they’ve cooled, another reason I love blondies! I bet the flavors in here are just dynamite! And I love the recipe title :) Dirty blondies…so good!

  23. Val says:

    Oh, sweet mercy. All I need is a glass a milk and life would be amazing. =)

  24. thanks Sue for this recipe…and it came on my B’day !
    oh such fun…

  25. I’ve always have had a weakness for blondies too. These look especially delicious.

  26. Ooey..gooey..magical! I love that cardamom/coffee combo, as well…and I have everything I need to make these {glory!).

  27. Amy says:

    I love love cardamom! These sound (and look) amazing…so gooey! I made a blondie recipe last year (also spiced!) that I submitted to the pillsbury bakeoff, and it sadly didn’t win. BUT, I thought they were pretty darn amazing:

  28. Love cardomom.. Love coffee… SO I believe I will love the combo.. never tried it before.. By the way, these are so beautiful!!
    Krithi’s Kitchen

  29. Tricia Buice says:

    Oh you know I love this! That soft gooey chocolate is calling me by name!

  30. These look old favorite was from a Silver Palate book I think:-)

  31. Ah I need to work with this combination more. Cardamom is a spice I love but never actually cook or bake with! And in blondies… good move.

  32. Hungry Dog says:

    These sound fantastic. I’m crazy for cardamom. I’m glad you posted this recipe and also the reminder link about the cardamom coffee pound cake. I just may need to give that one a go (today!)

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