cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

i am constantly updating my dream list of destinations i’d love to travel to. so as soon as it was announced that airlines would be able to fly passengers from the US to Cuba i knew i had to get there. i’ve had several friends visit and their photos of the beautiful colors, architecture and people have me itching to get down there.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

announced that they would be bringing Cuban coffee to the United States for the first time in over 50 years (exciting!) and asked me and my team if we’d like to try it. we of course jumped at the opportunity to experience a small taste of Cuba through their coffee. in Cuba, coffee is both social and a big part of local hospitality, guests are often welcomed into people’s homes with a cup of coffee. from what we learned, it’s less about the drink and more about the opportunity to take a break from your day and gather with your neighbors for a chat and bit of espresso.

so in keeping with that line of thought, i hosted a small afternoon coffee break on my back patio complete with heart shaped donuts (which is a cute take on the classic donut hole, and ended up tasting very similar to beignets) and enjoyed an hour of non-work related hang time.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

the coffee was smooth and strong, great with the addition of a sugar cube or served black next to the sweetness of the donut (recipe below if you want to make them!). we also served the donuts with two different dipping sauces that were super easy to pull together and rounded out the afternoon coffee hour. the donuts are small enough to not put you in a sugar coma but still make you feel like you’re having a little indulgence half way through the day. and, nothing pairs better with coffee then a little sugar.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

the thing with these donuts is that once the dough has risen they are super quick to fry and then dust with sugar. so, if you wanted to make the dough beforehand you could fry them up right before serving as they are best served hot!

what you’ll need:
• 3 cups all purpose white flour + more for dusting
• 1/2 cup powdered sugar
• 3 teaspoons active dried yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup of lukewarm milk
• 6 tablespoons melted butter
• 3 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• follow directions on the yeast packet and then in a large bowl mix the flour, powdered sugar, cinnamon, yeast mixture, and salt until well combined. set aside.

• in another bowl combine the milk, melted butter, egg yolks, and vanilla extract. combine both the wet and dry ingredients in the large bowl. mix until just combined, do not over mix. on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until smooth. place in a bowl and set aside covered for about an hour and a half. or until it has doubled in size.

• roll out the risen dough and use heart shaped cookie cutters (or any shape!). fill a cast iron pan with about two inches of oil on medium heat. fry the heart shaped cutouts for about 40 seconds on each side or until golden brown. place the fried donuts onto paper towels and gently pat. cover with powdered sugar while they are still warm so that the sugar sticks well.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest
cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

what you’ll need for the dipping sauces:
• 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
• 2 tablespoon lemon curd
• 1 cup hulled strawberries

• place the heavy whipping cream in a bowl and beat cream until medium peaks form. divide the cream into two dipping bowls. mix in the 2 tablespoons of lemon curd into one of the bowls. in a blender, place the strawberries and about 1/4 cup of water and blend until smooth. mix in the strawberry puree in the remaining dipping bowl and combine.

cafecito de cuba | designlovefest

images by: ivan solis

(this post is made in partnership with , a coffee that we drink in our office!)


Add your own

    Jennifer Noel Wong says:

    I was lucky enough to visit Cuba last year before they lifted the embargo and what a treat! Amazing place, culture, and sights. So cool Nespresso’s bringing the coffee here. Now, to get those cigars here… 😉

    Remilla says:

    The cutest thing ever! Love 🙂

    I’m kinda offended by this post as I live in Miami. I ASSURE you, we’ve had Cuban Coffee for a while. Trust me.

    Stephanie says:

    Super cute, craving this now!


    Abbie says:

    This is the cutest post, I love it!!

    Diane says:

    That is an coffee and cookies to die for! Yummy!

    Nikki says:

    Cuba is at the top of my list too!

    Elle says:

    I love these photos.. if I may ask, what camera were most of these images shot with?

    Stephanie says:

    Hi, I’m half-Cuban so in reading this post I wanted to recommend coladita and cortadito style coffee. They are delicious Cuban espresso-based drinks. The coladita is often served in office settings as an afternoon refresher, because it’s a small shot with plenty of sugar. The cortadito is a larger strong drink “cut” with the addition of milk. A popular brand for making Cuban coffee here in South Florida is Café Pilon. It has helped Cuban expats enjoy the coffee they love without the embargo issues for years. Enjoy!

    designlovefest says:

    thanks so much for this, stephanie! can’t wait to try! Xx

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