Learn how to make Dalgona Coffee (a rich, whipped coffee foam) with this easy, step-by-step recipe … it’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!
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Craving an indulgent coffee treat?
Then, this rich, creamy Dalgona Coffee is for you! If you’ve spent any time on Instagram or TikTok in the last two months, you’ve probably seen this interesting coffee confection pop up at least once … or more likely ten times!
Unlike lots of trendy recipes, which usually require a million ingredients and lots of tricky steps to prepare, this one is actually really easy to make! In fact, you can whip up a cup in five minutes or less.
Ready to treat yourself? Then keep reading, because I’m sharing tons of tips and a detailed step-by-step recipe so you can try it at home, too!
What is Dalgona Coffee?
Dalgona Coffee is equal portions of instant coffee, granulated sugar, and hot water that’s whipped together and turned into a rich, coffee cream, then served over milk. You may also see it referred to as Whipped Coffee, Creamy Coffee, Fluffy Coffee, Korean Coffee, and even Magic Coffee.
The transformation of boring instant coffee into a thick, creamy coffee foam is pretty magical to see. And this drink is not only delicious, but also fun to make!
Despite its current popularity, this coffee treat isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon. Similar drinks, such as Greek Frappe and Phenti Hui or beaten coffee (sometimes called Indian cappuccino) have been around for a while. The most current iteration became popular though after South Korea actor Jung Il-woo tried it in Macau for a TV show and said it reminded him of Dalgona, a South Korean honeycomb toffee candy.
Coffee shop and homemade versions of the drink started trending after his TV appearance, and people began sharing it on YouTube and social media with the hashtag #dalgonacoffeechallenge. Then, it truly exploded in popularity when Helen Cho prepared it in a TikTok video … which has since been viewed millions of times! These days, it seems like everyone and their mother is recreating this viral treat while we’ve all been stuck at home this past month.
Regardless of its origins, if you like frothy coffee drinks, then you’re going to love this fun treat!
What does Whipped Coffee taste like?
Dalgona Coffee tastes exactly how you’d imagine coffee-flavored whipped cream would. It has a strong coffee flavor, and it’s super thick, creamy, and luxurious. The cream is also sugary sweet, although once you mix it with milk, the resulting drink is fairly well-balanced (though still sweet).
It’s also very potent … the directions on my instant coffee container recommend using one teaspoon of grounds per drink, but you’ll use one tablespoon per drink for this recipe (so triple the coffee / caffeine)! The first time I made this recipe, I assumed that it only made one drink, when actually, it makes two. I doubled everything, so my husband could try it, too … then, I made another batch.
Needless to say, neither of us could sleep that night! So proceed with caution 😉
This fluffy treat may look intimidating to make, but the recipe only requires three very basic ingredients (plus hot water). Here’s what you’ll need:
- Instant Coffee
- Granulated Sugar
You’ll need the granulated type of instant coffee (or instant espresso) for this recipe. I used what I had on hand: Café Rico Instant Coffee that my husband picked up in Puerto Rico. Any kind of instant coffee works though … Café Bustelo and Nescafé Clasico are both excellent options.
I’ve heard that powdery types of instant coffee (like Starbucks Via) do not whip up as well. And unfortunately, I couldn’t find any to test out right now, so for best results just stick to the granulated kind.
You’ll also need granulated sugar and milk. Feel free to use any kind of milk you’d like … I used Almond Milk, which makes this recipe vegan.
Can You Reduce the Sugar?
This coffee cream is pretty sweet on its own. Once it’s mixed into the milk though, it isn’t nearly as sugary.
You can reduce the sugar, but the recipe won’t turn out quite the same. The mixture will turn out darker, and it won’t hold as firm of a peak. I’d recommend making the recipe as written first, then making small changes to the amount of sugar if you find that it’s too sweet for you.
Can You Make It without Instant Coffee?
This recipe works best with granulated instant coffee. I’ve seen a few people attempt it with regular ground coffee, but the results are just not the same … stick with instant! I also tested this recipe with matcha powder, but that didn’t really work for me either.
You’ll Also Need
I prepared this recipe using my stand mixer, which makes it a total snap to whip up! Don’t have a stand mixer (or don’t want to haul yours out)? Then, you’ll need a large bowl, and one of the following:
Any of these should work well, although they’ll take a bit more time. Personally, I’m not sure I’d personally recommend a spoon though … unless you have tons of patience and a hankering for a major arm workout!
How to Make Whipped Coffee
Creamy coffee is one of those recipes that looks impressive, but couldn’t be easier to make. For best results, just make sure to use the exact ingredients the recipe calls for and to follow the directions as written.
If you’re using a stand mixer, start by combining two tablespoons of instant coffee and two tablespoons of granulated sugar in the bowl. Then add two tablespoons of very hot water.
The water needs to be hot enough to dissolve the sugar and coffee. I used water from the tap, but if your tap water doesn’t get hot enough, heat if up in the microwave first.
Tip: if you don’t have a stand mixer, you’ll need a large bowl. Add the coffee, sugar, and hot water, then whip the ingredients together using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, handheld whisk, milk frother, or a spoon.
Whipping the Coffee
Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, mix the ingredients together on low speed until the sugar and coffee have dissolved. (Alternatively, use your hand mixer, whisk, frother, or spoon.)
Once everything is mostly dissolved, change the mixer speed to high. Then keep mixing … as you do the mixture will lighten, increase in volume, and start to froth up. I stopped the mixer and scraped down the bowl with a spatula a couple times, just to make sure everything was getting incorporated.
Continue mixing at high speed until the coffee foam forms a stiff peak. It should only take a couple minutes with a stand mixer, but it will take longer if you’re using one of the other methods. Have patience!
You can see the progression of how the coffee changes in the photo collage above. When you’re finished with this magic coffee, it will look similar to the image below … the peak should hold up without folding over. Pretty cool, right?
Finishing the Drink
When you’ve whipped the coffee, grab two glasses. Any glass works, but I love how these Dalgona Lattes look served in my glass mugs … makes me feel like I’m in a coffee shop, even though I’m stuck at home!
Fill the glasses about halfway with milk. You’ll need about 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk for each glass, and any kind of milk works (I used almond milk). Then, add enough ice cubes to fill the glass about 3/4 full.
Finish your drink by spooning the coffee cream over the top. And that’s all there is to it … simple, right?
Serve your Dalgona Coffee with a reusable straw or a spoon. You’ll need it to mix the coffee foam and milk together before drinking.
Creamy Coffee Variations
This Korean coffee is super tasty served exactly as-is! Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe though, here are a few clever ways to change it up:
- Serve it hot. Heat the milk in your microwave or on the stove before topping with the fluffy coffee mixture.
- Add a topping. Sprinkle the finished coffee with cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee powder, crumbled cookies, or cocoa powder before serving. Or add a drizzle of honey, chocolate, caramel, or another syrup.
- Flavor the milk. Add a dash of vanilla, hazelnut, chocolate, or another flavored coffee syrup to the milk before adding the creamy coffee topping. Just don’t go too crazy, or your drink will be super sweet.
- Turn it into a cocktail. Add a splash of vodka, whisky, or another spirit, to turn this coffee drink into an indulgent cocktail.
How long does it last?
This recipe makes two servings. I don’t recommend cutting the ingredients in half, because they would be hard to whip together in such small portions. If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator. The cream should last a day or two before it starts separating.
What else can you use Korean Coffee for?
Whipped coffee is delicious all on its own, so skip the milk if you wish. You can eat it with a spoon (similar to a coffee mousse), use it as a dessert topping or sweet dip, or enjoy it anywhere you might eat whipped cream.
Did you love this easy recipe? Try one of my other coffee shop-inspired drinks next!
- Australian Iced Coffee
- Dirty Chai Latte
- Iced Coffee
- Salted Caramel Affogato
- Irish Coffee
- Cinnamon Brown Sugar Coffee Syrup
- Sweet Cinnamon Milk Tea
- Easy Chai Tea Mix
- 2 tablespoons instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 cup milk (you may need more or less, depending on your glass size)
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix instant coffee, sugar, and hot water on low speed until sugar and coffee are dissolved. (Don't have a stand mixer? See notes below for alternatives.)
- Change speed to high, then continue mixing until coffee mixture froths up and can hold a stiff peak. (Stop the mixer a couple times during this process to scrape down sides of bowl and make sure everything gets mixed together.)
- Fill two glasses 1/2 full with milk, then add ice until glasses are about 3/4 full.
- Spoon coffee cream over milk.
- Serve with a spoon or reusable straw. Enjoy!