I have a story for you.

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

Once upon a time in a far, far away land, some girl sprinkled espresso powder all over her burgers. She cooked them into delicious little sliders and then served them to her husband, a self-proclaimed coffee-hater, a disliker of coffee to the point where he would leave the room if coffee was being made, and she accidentally on purpose didn’t tell him how the burgers were prepared.

Or what was sprinkled on top. She very accidentally on purpose left out the espresso powder part.

And he ate them.

And he LOVED them.

While he was busy raving about said sliders, she gleefully announced that “THEY ARE RUBBED WITH COFFEE!”

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

That really happened. It was hilarious on my part. It was horrifying on Eddie’s part.

Except only in a super dramatic way, because he actually did LOVE the sliders.

And he told me so after he fake-gagged in the sink for five minutes. If you’ve been reading, then you KNOW how Eddie feels about coffee. And it’s not good.

Perhaps the moral of the story is that I should just put everything he doesn’t like on top of or inside of a burger?

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

These little brunch burgers are completely ridiculous in the best way ever. They are coated in an espresso spice rub and topped with jam, spring greens and vanilla bacon.


I said that. Vanilla bacon. Vanilla bean rubbed bacon! It might be one of the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

There is so much sweet and savory going on here that my mind is BLOWN.

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com
Real quick: I used this espresso powder and am completely obsessed with it. It’s so freaking good in desserts and treats, but it’s also perfection is savory recipes that call for coffee flavoring! It just tastes so… RICH. I love the flavor like whoa.

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

Oh. OH.

We can’t forget what is quite possibly the best part: havarti cheese. Whyyyy is havrati so fantastic? It might be it’s melty, gooey properties or the fact that it tastes like unicorn angel babies. It’s darn good though.

And Hawaiian rolls! Little bits of squishy sweetness.

PLUS. I’ll just say it. I know we’re all thinking it.

They’re mini! Means you get to eat more. Ooooh how I love this.

espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

Espresso Rubbed Brunch Sliders with Vanilla Bacon

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vanilla bacon

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped out


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • a few slices of havarti cheese for topping
  • 1/3 cup cranberry jam or cherry jam
  • spring greens
  • slider rolls dinner rolls, hawaiian rolls


vanilla bacon

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top.
  • In a bowl, rub together the sugar and vanilla beans until combined. Place the bacon on the rack and rub the sugar over each piece – just a light coating. Place the sheet in the oven.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bacon is crispy. Remove and let it cool completely, then break it into pieces to fit the size buns and burgers you have.


  • In a bowl, season the beef with salt and pepper, gently mixing with your hands. In a separate bowl, whisk together the espresso powder, garlic and smoked paprika. Add another pinch of salt and pepper into the bowl. Form the beef into patties that match the size of your buns (mine were a little less than 2 inches in diameter). Sprinkle them with the spice mixture and gently press it into the beef.
  • You can cook the sliders on the stovetop or grill them of course – I did the stovetop for these! Add the oil and butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook until browned on both sides and your desired doneness is reached – I did about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-well. A minute or so before the burger is done, top it with a slice of havarti cheese and let it melt.
  • To assemble the burgers, spread some jam on the bottom bun and top it with spring greens. Add the burger, bacon, bun top and you’re good to go!

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espresso brunch sliders with vanilla bacon I howsweeteats.com

Is this not the most perfect bite ever?