July 06, 2011

Cup O'Joe Baked Beans

I have to say hats off to people like Bush's, Heinz, Van Camp, etc - not because of their beans, but because they can get an appetizing photo of said beans.  Ok, they have a professional staff for things like this but I was really struggling to get something decent.  Don't let this dissuade you from trying these beans as they are so easy to make and pack a wallop of flavor in each mouthful.

It has been a few years since I last made baked beans.  I remember that I wasn't thrilled with the results last time, and was determined this time to get the flavor I wanted in the beans.  I searched for a few days for the perfect recipe before I decided that it did not exist, well not for me anyway.  Instead I chose to take the flavor profiles I liked from three recipes and reinvent the beans to suit my family's tastes.  I did have a couple of considerations - I wanted the beans to be vegetarian, I wanted to use my slow cooker, and I wanted a sweet BBQ flavor.  The three recipes I chose were Vegetarian Baked Beans (Squawkfox), Crockpot Vegetarian Baked Beans (Blade & Cauldron),  and Barbecued Beans (Slow Cooker Revolution via Cooking Light), and then I went to work choosing what I liked from each recipe.

I decided to soak my beans over night even though I was using the slow cooker.  Remember to sort through them to pull out any rocks or clumps of dirt that may be hiding, and give them a good rinse.  I covered them with water and then left them until the next morning.  Apparently you don't have to soak the beans if you are using a slow cooker but I didn't want to take any chances of them not being ready in time, and it really isn't that much work to soak them. 

A few recipes I found mentioned adding barbecue sauce, but I really wanted to add my own ingredients to achieve the flavor of a sweet barbecue sauce.  I went with molasses, honey, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup and a good dose of my favorite Coffee's of Hawaii coffee that had been brewed fresh that morning.  Two of my daughters are vegetarians so I did not want to add bacon, and I found that adding the coffee provided that roasted flavor.  Honestly I did not miss the bacon because the ingredients I added managed to be sweet and smokey by themselves.  Don't get me wrong, I love bacon as much as the next non-vegetarian so add it if you would like too, I just didn't want anyone to wonder if these would still be good without the smokey flavor that bacon can impart to a dish.

Once they had finished cooking and I was happy with the texture of the beans I found that they were still a little "soupy".  Some people prefer their beans to have a bit of liquid, but I added a corn starch mixture to thicken them up a little.  For those making these beans the day before don't add too much corn starch because they will thicken overnight.  We had some leftovers the next day and I will definitely make them a day or so before next time. The flavors really developed overnight and they tasted amazing after being gently reheated.

Cup O'Joe Baked Beans

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2½ cups dried navy beans, picked over and soaked overnight 
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 6oz tin tomato paste
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch dissolved in water, if required
  1. Heat oil in pan.
  2. Add onion and cook for two minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until both are soft and golden.
  3. Drain pre-soaked beans and add to the slow cooker insert.
  4. Add cooked onion and garlic to slow cooker insert.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the vegetable stock, coffee, molasses, honey, dark brown sugar, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and ketchup - add to slow cooker insert and stir to combine.
  6. Set slow cooker to high and cook for approximately 6 hours.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. If there is too much liquid in your bean mixture dissolve 2 tablespoons corn starch in water.  Add to bean mixture and stir until thickened.

Recipe by All That's Left Are The Crumbs©


  1. Dare I say it - I've never attempted baked beans. These look great though and i love the variety of ingredients that have gone into them!

  2. I admire your courage in trying to make baked beans yourself (it really is hard to compete with the taste of Heinz), but I have to say looking at your ingredients, these look really good and flavorful. Congratulations for trying this :)

  3. oh my lordy I've got to try these beans! Baked beans are my favorite and I'm a coffee addict. I'm ready to gobble these up!

  4. MMMM!!! I love that you added coffee to the beans!! I'll bet you had a super rich flavor that would just scream summer. I like my beans pretty thick too, and I'm thinking these will be a hit this summer.

  5. Haha, so true about capturing beans in a photo. I am have been trying for a while to find a good baked bean recipe. Never had one with coffee in it. I will have to try this out.

  6. Great recipe! I agree on the waiting for the next day beans. My bean recipe always come out a little too runny and I find they are best the next day.

  7. I love baked beans and I would have never have thought to add coffee! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Coffee in beans?! WOW!! This is such an interesting recipe... thank you for sharing it ... I am doing a copy/paste of this one! We eat a lot of beans. :)

  9. These beans will go fabulously with my baby back ribs.

  10. I have recently discovered the yummy goodness of homemade baked beans, but to add coffee?!? Pure genius!

  11. my bean recipe is very different than yours. there is no vegetable stock or coffee. but, i like all these creative additions and will give this a shot next time i am in the mood for beans :D

  12. adding coffee to baked beans is so left of centre, I might just have to try these! They look GREAT. Remember that those pro photo shoots involve spraying the baked beans with lacquer and other non-food substances. You surely want yours to remain edible. They look desirably so :D Great post.

  13. These look amazing and they would totally beat tinned! :P

  14. Oooo, I bet the coffee added a lovely depth of flavor!

  15. Very interesting! These beans do sound so very delish! I may never have to open a can of 'baked' beans again!

  16. I like the addition of the coffee to the beans. I made some recently and was a bit disappointed. These look much better (and yes, your photo makes them look great!).

  17. I like the addition of the coffee to the beans. I made some recently and was a bit disappointed. These look much better (and yes, your photo makes them look great!).

  18. You had me at coffee ... and beans. ;) I've added coffee to various baked goods but I can honestly say that I've never added them to beans! These look amazing. I'm so glad I just happened upon your blog via twitter!! I can't wait to see what other recipes you have here. :)

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