Vegan Dalgona Coffee | Whipped Instant Coffee

Have you tried this beautiful Dalgona Coffee? It’s also known as frothy coffee or foamy coffee. Easily made vegan, Dalgona Coffee uses instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water in a 1:1:1 ratio whipped up with electric beaters or by hand. You might not believe your eyes when this dark brown liquid turns into a golden cream. Add ice and milk to your cup first and drop the whipped instant coffee mix on top. Stir it in before you drink it though – that coffee foam is too strong on it’s own.

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Video tutorial for Vegan Dalgona Coffee

Watch the video to see the gorgeous transformation of dark brown coffee into beautiful golden cream.

My first time with Dalgona Coffee

I was introduced to Dalgona Coffee (AKA Frothy Coffee) by the YouTube algorithm sneaking it into my recommended. I watched this one video by Nino’s Home then immediately got off the couch and into my cupboards.  I only had instant espresso so I used a bit less coffee powder in the ratio. It still turned out beautifully. 

Dalgona coffee made with instant espresso

My first Dalgona Coffee using instant espress.

The flavour was a sweet iced latte. More sweet than I would normally make my coffee but it was delicious.

After that, I knew I had to try it with regular instant coffee and share it here too. Well, actually I used decaf instant coffee because the 1 to 1 to 1 ratio of this recipe makes a fairly strong cup.

Or rather, when you add enough whipped coffee foam to your cup in order to make it pretty and instagrammable, the drink ends up fairly strong. In all honesty, I’ll mix in some of the coffee, drink it, then add more plant-based milk for the rest.

Since I first watched Frothy Coffee At Home by Nino’s Home, I have seen countless others. It seems that this is a big trend in Korea already! It’s old news by now!

How to make Dalgona Coffee

To make the sweet whipped coffee foam, you will need instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water. Actually, I’m not entirely sure the water needs to be hot but it will help dissolve the sugar easily.  As for the coffee powder, regular or decaf will work. Do not use ground coffee beans; they are not the same. Other powders like cocoa might work too but as of this moment, I haven’t tried them myself.  UPDATE 28/03/20: Plain cocoa powder does not work. Also, you’ll need a whisk or, more ideally, an electric whisk/beater. 

The ratio of ingredients is 1 part coffee powder,  1 part sugar and 1 part water. So for one order of Dalgona Coffee, I’d use:

  • 2 Tablespoons instant coffee, regular or decaf
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons hot water

I find it’s much easier to whip up two servings rather than one with my electric beaters so in the video, I used 4 Tablespoons instant coffee, 4 Tablespoons of granulated sugar and 4 Tablespoons of hot water.

If you’re using instant espresso powder, you can use 1/2 part coffee powder, 1 sugar and 1 hot water. So for one order, use 1 Tablespoon instant espresso, 2 Tablespoon sugar and 2 Tablespoon hot water.

Just mix the three ingredients and let your beaters get to work. Start on a lower speed setting at first so dark brown coffee doesn’t go splashing everywhere. Then as you continue, the liquid will thicken, turning to a syrupy consistency.

It will get thicker and thicker until finally it turns a golden brown colour. To make a really lovely lightweight foam that will float, keep whipping until the mixture holds its peaks when you pull out the beaters. It will resemble stiff peaks.

peaks of whipped coffee foam

To assemble your drink, add ice (optional) if you like to your glass and fill it with the milk of your choice. I love using soy milk in everything but I think oat milk would also be really lovely.

upside-down spoon of dalgona coffee foam

The ratio of coffee foam to milk is up to you really. I would fill up a glass almost up to the top, leaving just an inch or less at the top for the coffee foam. And as I mentioned before, even this makes a strong and very sweet coffee. So make adjustments as you stir in the coffee and taste it. 

How does this “Frothy Coffee” taste?

Made with just coffee, sugar, water and milk, Dalgona Coffee tastes just like a lovely iced latte to me. It’s sweeter than I’d normally have a coffee drink but it is delicious. So while I wouldn’t have this on the regular, it’s fun and maybe something to try while we’re all looking for some pleasant

finished dalgona coffee before stirring

Have you tried Dalgona Coffee before? What did you think?

Printable recipe for Vegan Dalgona Coffee

Vegan Dalgona Coffee
Serves 2
Vegan Dalgona Coffee uses instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water in a 1:1:1 ratio whipped up with electric beaters or by hand to top a glass full of ice and plant-based milk. The transformation of dark brown liquid into beautiful golden cream is fascinating to watch! Add ice and milk to your cup first and drop the whipped instant coffee mix on top. Stir it in before you drink it though – that inciting coffee foam is too strong on it’s own.

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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 4 tablespoons instant coffee, regular or decaf (for instant espresso use only 2 tablespoons)
  2. 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  3. 4 tablespoons hot water
  4. 3 to 4 cups plant-based milk
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine first three ingredients: instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water. Using a whisk, or ideally electric whisk/beaters, mix several minutes. The liquid will slowly thicken, turning from dark brown to a light golden brown. Stop when the texture resembles stiff peaks.
  2. Add ice to 2 to 4 glasses (optional). Fill with your choice of plant-based milk. Spoon the coffee foam on top of each glass.
  3. Stir to combine the coffee foam and milk before drinking. Enjoy!
  1. DO NOT USE GROUND COFFEE BEANS FOR THIS RECIPE. USE ONLY INSTANT COFFEE (regular, decaf or espresso varieties of instant coffee)
Adapted from Nino's Home
Adapted from Nino's Home
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/
pinnable image of dalgona coffee

Showing 14 comments
  • JS

    I tried to make it with cocoa since I don’t drink coffee. Sadly, it didn’t work πŸ™

    • Isabella

      Funnily enough, I just did exactly that and came back to the recipe page looking to see if anyone else did too. I added cocoa powder to the mixture as an afterthought when it was close to forming stiff peaks and everything deflated. πŸ™

      • Harley Bass

        I tested adding cocoa powder after planting and the consistancy stayed. My thought is that something in the cocoa powder interferes with the emulsion process.

  • Harley Bass

    I didn’t have instant coffee so I tried to substitute strongly brewed fresh coffee for the water and it didn’t work (also used cocoa powder).

    I have a hypothesis; instant coffee has a higher level of fat per volume, looking at dairy whipped cream recipes always lean on the higher fat cream to whip. No dairy whip cream recipes are the same.

    I’m going to continue to experiment until I figure out the science so we can have our frothy cocoa!

    • Mary

      Thanks for sharing. I think maybe it might work if you boiled down the equivalent amount of coffee down. IE 1 tablespoon instant coffee generally makes 3 cups of coffee. So boil down 3 cups of coffee to 1 tablespoon of liquid?

      Interesting hypothesis. Coffee has almost no calories so I wonder if it’s protein/starch that makes up the structure…

      In any case, it’s fun to try to find out. Thanks again for sharing and please keep me updated if you can. Stay safe and well!


      • Del

        Do you think throwing it in the magic bullet would work? I have a hand whisk but no electric beaters

      • Harley Bass

        I tested adding cocoa powder after plating and the consistancy stayed. My thought is that something in the cocoa powder interferes with the emulsion process.

        • Harley Bass

          Sorry, the original comment duplicated. Batch 2 was made according to the recipe, with cocoa powder and cinnamon added to the drinks during serving. I had some extra foam, so I added cinnamon, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and the extract started to dissolve the foam before it was folded in. I’m wondering if flavor oils used for chocolate making would work as the process seems to require a high fat mixture with little carbohydrate/protein. I will also be experimenting with making syrups for this too.

  • Alison

    I just did the receipt exactly with organic coffee and it didn’t work. It never fluffed up and remained with coffee crumbs.

    • Mary

      Hi Allison,
      Are you saying you used ground coffee? This recipe won’t work with ground coffee; it requires instant coffee.

      • Alison

        I used instant coffee organic though, did not work.

        • Max

          I tried this and it turned out SO GOOD! I’m not much of a coffee drinker though. You should make a similar post/video on Thai Iced Tea! You could even put tapioca pearls in it for a Boba Tea. I would really love to see this done! Love your content as always.

          Thanks -Max

  • Mekomeko

    I had so much fun making this Mary! Thank you i am now an overcaffeinated oversugarec 37yr old who feels likes shes a hyper 3yr old agter having too many cookies. I hope you are all right my dear in these difficult times and i wish you unlimited hand budget so that you can make more lovely videos.
    I had to double recipe up and add a bit more water because i used my bigass kenwood mixer. Frothed up like theres no tomorrow. Once i mixed it into my milk it created such silky smooth texture im hooked. Im defo going to try whether i can make it sans sugar for my diabetic friends.
    The wee handheldones mixers are defo better suited to making single portions. I ll need to invesigate whether it keeps in the fridge or freezer if i mske more to use my mixers capacity.
    The concept is very similar to the coffee i used ve in Cyprus. Ppl there ve separate kitchen mixers made solely for the purpose of making frothy indtant coffee. Wonderful in heat with lots of icecubes. Not that we ve this problem in Scotland πŸ˜‚

  • MK

    I don’t drink sugar in my coffee, wondering if anyone tries this with coffee and water only? Or lesser sugar? Does it still give froth?

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