Cold or warm, bold or understated, these sweet treats sneak in a drop of java one way or another.
Coffee-Heath Ice Cream at Sweet Cow
The owners of this three-branch small-batch scoop shop, Drew Honness and Ross Cohen, steep grounds from Boulder roasting company Ozo in milk, cream and sugar for 18 hours to yield both their year-round coffee ice cream and a flavor that's on the board right now, Coffee-Heath - which we favor because toffee.
3475 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-3269; 2628 Broadway, Boulder, 303-447-3269; 637 Front St., Louisville, 303-666-4269
Gluten-Free Mocha-Almond Cake at Olive & Finch Eatery
The pastry chefs at Mary Nguyen's hopping all-day cafe on the Uptown/City Park West border, Stephanie Franz and Amber Otis, switch up their selection of cakes, cookies, tarts, muffins and so on constantly, but they always have at least a couple of gluten-free offerings - like this not-too-sweet afternoon pick-me-up.
1553 E. 17th Ave.; 303-832-8663
White and Dark Chocolate Tasting for Two at EDGE Restaurant and Bar
At the Four Seasons Denver's signature steakhouse, new pastry chef Ryan Schmitt whips up this quartet of luxuries, starring espresso mousse enrobed in dark chocolate (pictured left) and spiced Mexican hot chocolate (right). Salted-caramel truffles and white chocolate orange macarons complete the pretty picture.
1111 14th St.; 303-389-3343
Chocolate-Almond Fudge at Acorn
The coffee element's subtle - but just right - in this seasonal dessert, which features ultrarich fudge atop an almond-butter crust, set in a smear of sour-cherry caramel and dotted with espresso cream. If you're looking for a bigger jolt, however, Boxcar awaits just down the hall.
3350 Brighton Blvd.; 720-542-3721
Espresso Soufflé at D Bar Denver
Or you could hit Keegan Gerhard's sweets-centric City Park West boutique for your very own espresso soufflé, accompanied by beignets and a scoop of Bailey's-infused ice cream, as well as crème anglaise. (Heads up: this is available only after 5 PM.)
1475 E. 17th Ave.; 303-861-4710
Chocolate Mousse Gâteaux at Bistro Vendôme
The super-talented Eric Dale, who has long headed up the pastry program for all of Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch's restaurants, layers a duo of mousses (dark chocolate and gianduja-lemon) with lemon confit and espresso caramel for his twist on a classic. Come to this très français LoDo cafe for brunch and make it a whole caffeine-fueled meal, starting with almond-crusted pain perdu in coffee syrup.
1420 Larimer St.; 303-825-3232