Cardamom Coffee Dirty Blondies

These sultry Cardamom Coffee Dirty Blondies are worlds away from your standard  blondie, with smokey undertones of espresso and the sensuous aroma of cardamom ~ but all that just makes them just a little more mysterious.

A stack of cardamom and coffee dirty blondies

But don’t worry, 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 just saying these aren’t 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. They signify a super thin crust and a rich, moist interior.

And how about the way the dark chocolate chips barely peek through the thin crust? Sheer heaven.

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

cardamom and coffee blondies

Check out my other blondie recipes here. I’ve got lots to choose from!

A stack of cardamom and coffee dirty blondies
3.86 from 7 votes

Cardamom Coffee Dirty Blondies

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Yield 12
Author Sue Moran


  • 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


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Cream the butter, espresso powder, cardamom and sugars together until fluffy. About 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Beat the eggs in, one at a time. Then the vanilla.
  • Whisk the flour, soda and salt together and then add to the eggs and butter, mixing just until combined.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter (it will be thick) into a 9x13 glass baking dish, lined with parchment (or greased).
  • 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.
  • Cool before cutting. (or don't)
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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  • Reply
    December 16, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks so much for the quick response to my overbaked blondie conundrum! I “researched” the truffle idea and contemplated combining some blondie crumbs with cream cheese and then coating with chocolate but did not have the patience so wound up making some chocolate pudding with almond milk and layering with sweetened real whipped cream. Not bad if I do say so myself–Anyway, happy holidays and thanks again!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Made these today and tried to halve the recipe using an 8 X 8 inch pan and wound up overbaking big time! Flavor is GREAT though and I would love to repurpose into something yummy–Any ideas as to what I can do? I was thinking of maybe crumbling to use as a pie crust with some melted butter–and then filling with chocolate pudding or maybe some sort of pudding trifle type thing??? (I actually think a blog post on repurposing baking disasters like this wouldn’t be a bad idea….) Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have–

    • Reply
      December 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Oh too bad, Yael, I do that kind of thing all the time! And I like your idea of doing a blog post about it, that would be fun. As for what you can do, I think a crumb crust might work, and I’ve seen some recipes going around where you grind up cookies, or in your case, over-baked blondies, and create chocolate coated ‘truffles’.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2016 at 10:03 am

    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?

    • Reply
      March 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

      I think that would be fine, Tanya 🙂

  • Reply
    May 10, 2015 at 10:07 am

    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.

    • Reply
      May 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

      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 🙂

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Glan Deas
    May 1, 2013 at 10:23 am

    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

  • Reply
    April 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    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


  • Reply
    Finn Felton
    April 3, 2013 at 5:20 am

    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

  • Reply
    Julian Levi
    March 19, 2013 at 6:34 am

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

  • Reply
    March 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    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

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      May 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      So glad you tried them and liked them, Sonya. I love cardamom too, and I think most Western recipes really skimp on spices!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    March 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    March 9, 2013 at 4:44 am

    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.

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    March 8, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    March 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    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

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    March 8, 2013 at 7:31 am

    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?

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 8, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      I do like the contrast between the outside and the inside, too. The first batch I tried I used triple the amount of coffee powder and they were just as dark as brownies and very very potent!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

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

  • Reply
    My Little Bungalow
    March 8, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      The classic cardamom coffee cake from the Moosewood cookbook was probably my first intro to cardamom, and I’ve been loving it ever since.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2013 at 12:20 pm

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

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 8, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      You’ll love it, it’s actually less of a strong flavor than cinnamon, which I find to be a little sharp for my taste.

  • Reply
    Abbe Odenwalder
    March 8, 2013 at 3:54 am

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

  • Reply
    Christina Conte
    March 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    These look dangerous!! CC

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    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!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2013 at 12:40 am

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

  • Reply
    March 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm

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

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    March 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm

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

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      I’m surprised I don’t have more of them on my blog, and I think it’s because they are too dangerous for me to have around.

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    March 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    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:

  • Reply
    Krithi Karthi
    March 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    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

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 7, 2013 at 6:29 pm

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

  • Reply
    La Table De Nana
    March 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

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

  • Reply
    March 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      March 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      I’ve developed a real love of it. I guess every spice is unique, but this one seems especially complex. I’ve heard that its flavor is unusually fragile, and it really shines when you grind it fresh.

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    March 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    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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