Thanksgiving Recipes with an Espresso Twist - 2023

by Jessica Pavia Updated: September 14, 2023 7 min read
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The holiday season is officially here! At Whole Latte Love, we know (or at least try to learn every year) that it is never too early to start planning. Incorporating coffee and/or espresso into the meal you make this November is a great way to put a twist on traditional. We’ll show you how!

Let’s Get Started!

We’ll start easy with coffee recipes. But these are special coffee recipes, ones to welcome your guests in and set the fall mood. They are as sweet as they are energizing, and will definitely set the scene.

Apple Cider Coffee

While putting apple cider, or juice, into your coffee may seem sacrilegious, you’re just going to have to trust us on this one. Rather than imagine cold apple cider, think of it heated up: caramelly, lip-puckering sweet. Now, add in the body and warming taste of a good cup of coffee. Exactly.



  • ½ cup coffee (we recommend our Guatemala Huehuetenango Single Origin)
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/8 tsp cloves (ground)
  • 1 tsp sugar (regular or brown)

Combine all ingredients in a non-stick pot on the stove. Cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Stir as you heat. Pour into a mug and enjoy!


For the above recipe you can decide to leave out the cloves if you’re not a big fan of the taste. We also recommend using brown sugar — there is something about the combination of apple cider, cinnamon and brown sugar that seems to be the perfect set of ingredients for a fall drink. If you don’t have brown sugar already, don’t fret! Simply mix 1 cup of white sugar to 1 teaspoon of molasses (or more, depending on taste) together and voila! Brown sugar.

Cranberry Pumpkin Coffee

If you’re looking for something a bit more decadent and sweet to start you off, then our Cranberry Pumpkin Coffee might be for you. If we’re being honest, this drink is basically all the best parts of Thanksgiving in one place (we will not stand for any cranberry sauce hate).


  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh/frozen
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups freshly brewed coffee (we recommend our Ethiopia G1 Limmu)
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk.


  • Additional ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


To make cranberry-pumpkin syrup

Add cranberries, pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, nutmeg, water and sugar to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 6-8 minutes until slightly thick. Take off heat and strain syrup (press cranberries with a rubber spatula to get most of the pulp out).Set aside.

To make coconut whipped cream

Add cream and coconut sugar into a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until soft peaks form.

To make cranberry-pumpkin coffee

Divide coffee into two mugs. Stir 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk and 3 tablespoons cranberry-pumpkin syrup into each mug.

Top with coconut whipped cream, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick and drizzle with additional cranberry-pumpkin syrup. Serve immediately.

Main Dish

Listen, we’re not shy. We’ll go ahead and say what everyone is thinking: turkey is the worst part of Thanksgiving. *Mic drop*

What can we say? It’s the truth. We all know it, we’ve just been too afraid to say so. The best solution we have, so far, is to make the rub or the marinade unbelievably delicious. While people typically go the maple syrup and bacon route, may we suggest a coffee marinade?

Below you will find two different rubs that can work for your turkey. We also have included a pork chops recipe if you are not Kosher and choose to forgo the tradition.

Marinating With Coffee

Option One


  • 2 tablespoons of ground coffee
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Mix all the ingredients together and rub the mixture onto the turley pieces. Let the turkey marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Cook the turkey as instructed for its size.

Option Two


  • 1/3 of a cup of coffee grounds (medium grind)--use pre-ground coffee or grind your own whole bean
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin


Carefully mix all the ingredients together and apply to your favorite cut of pork. Make sure you pat the mixture well into the meat before grilling or smoking.

Homemade Coffee Seasoning for Pork Chops


  • 1 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup bold brewed coffee
  • 6 ounces molasses
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 4-6 ounce pork chops (about 1 inch thick)


First mix the honey, sugars and water together. This will create a molasses-like mixture that will taste excellent with a robust coffee like the Carraro Globo Verde.

Combine the mixture with the rest of the ingredients and transfer to a container to marinate the meat for 3 hours.

Place on a grill until the chops get to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy!


Finally, what we’re all here for. The dessert. The crème de la crème. If you haven’t gorged yourself to the point of stomach pain during the delicious main course — or even if you have — now is the time for pumpkin pie. Why not double down on the holiday tradition with our Pumpkin Spice Coffee Ice Cream? Unbutton those pants, untuck your shirt, and make room.

The Pumpkin Spice Coffee Ice Cream


  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 shots of Whole Latte Love Crema Wave espresso
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 & 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons butter


  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt and butter. Gradually add in milk and whipping cream, stirring to maintain consistency. Keep medium heat applied for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and a pinch of cream. Add in egg yolks to the saucepan until the mixture thickens again. Continue applying heat until the mixture hits 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Remove from heat and add mixture to a glass bowl over an ice bath, letting the mixture cool for 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
  4. Whisk the remaining ingredients: cinnamon, cloves, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, espresso (coffee) and chocolate chips and continue whisking until ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  5. Transfer your completed mixture into a chilled bowl on ice and churn for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add to an airtight container and freeze until firm, or about 2 hours.

Now this recipe does take a lot of time and requires a significant number of ingredients but let us tell you, it is totally worth the effort. If you like pumpkin spice lattes, give this recipe a try. It's sure to add an interesting twist to your normal ice cream flavors.


At any point during this holiday meal, it’s cocktail time. Thankfully, illy came in to help! We have three delicious options for you — all including espresso, of course.

See More

Piccolo Carmelo Caldo


  1. Pour 2/3 ounces caramel sauce into serving glass
  2. Prepare 1 ounce espresso directly into the glass over the caramel sauce
  3. While the coffee is pouring, add 3 ounces fresh, cold milk in a small steaming pitcher
  4. Froth milk using the steam wand on the espresso machine
  5. Pour frothed milk onto the espresso
  6. Garnish with a dusting of ground nutmeg
  7. Serve with a spoon and instruct guest to stir before consuming



  1. In a small steaming pitcher, add 1/2 ounce tequila and 1/2 punce coffee liqueur OR 1 ounce Patron XO Caffe
  2. Heat the liqueur and tequila for a few seconds using the steam wand on the espresso machine. Pour in serving glass.
  3. Prepare 1 ounce espresso and add to serving glass. Gently serve.
  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup, add 1 ounce heavy cream. Lightly whip so that it is still a liquid.
  5. Starting at the edge of the glass slowly pour/float 1 ounce heavy cream on top of the coffee

Caffe Sera


  1. Pour 1 ounce Grand Marnier into a small glass
  2. Prepare 1 ounce espresso and add to Grand Marnier
  3. Add 1/4 ounce liquid sugar
  4. Gently stir
  5. In a small bowl or mixing cup, add 1 ounce heavy cream. Lightly whip so that it’s still a liquid
  6. Slowly pour/foat 1 ounce heavy cream on top of the coffee


If you make any of these dishes or beverages or rubs, you are almost guaranteed to have some pleased holiday guests. This time of year can be extremely stressful for everyone, so make it a little easier on yourself (and a bit more energizing, too). We would love to hear your thoughts if you make any of these, so be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

Of course, thank you for your continued support over this last year. Our holiday season would be so much duller without all of you sharing your passion for all things coffee and espresso with us. Eat on!