Dalgona Coffee Recipe: Viral Sensation with Vegan and Sugar-Free Options

Dalgona Coffee traces its roots to South Korea. Named after a traditional Korean street candy, “dalgona” or “ppopgi”, it’s reminiscent of a sweet, honeycomb-toffee treat. The candy is known for its light, airy texture, which mirrors the frothy whipped coffee. Dalgona Coffee gained cultural significance for resembling this nostalgic confection.

Popularity Surge During the Pandemic

The global popularity of Dalgona Coffee skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The beverage became a viral sensation on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. With people spending more time at home, many turned to creating this aesthetically pleasing drink as a form of entertainment and comfort. The simple recipe and striking visual appeal made it an instant hit, leading to countless online tutorials and user-generated content.

The combination of these elements led to Dalgona Coffee’s rapid rise in fame, transforming it from a regional specialty into an international trend.

What Is Dalgona Coffee?

Ingredients Needed

To make Dalgona Coffee, you’ll need a few basic ingredients:

  • Instant Coffee: The recipe specifically calls for instant coffee granules for optimal frothiness.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar provides the necessary sweetness and helps create the fluffy texture.
  • Hot Water: The hot temperature aids in dissolving the coffee and sugar while whipping.
  • Milk: Typically whole milk, but alternatives such as almond or oat milk can be used.

The Unique Whipping Technique

The distinctive element of Dalgona Coffee is its whipping process. You combine equal parts of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. Using a whisk or electric mixer, you whip the mixture for 2-3 minutes until it becomes thick and frothy. After achieving the desired texture, you spoon the whipped mixture over a glass of milk. The contrasting layers create an appealing visual and a unique drinking experience.

How to Make Dalgona Coffee

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Gather Ingredients: Get your ingredients ready. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of instant coffee granules, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of hot water, and a glass of milk.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add the instant coffee, sugar, and hot water into a mixing bowl. This 1:1:1 ratio ensures the perfect consistency.
  3. Whip the Mixture: Use a hand mixer or a whisk to beat the mixture. An electric mixer takes about 2-3 minutes, while hand whisking takes longer. Aim for a thick, frothy consistency.
  4. Prepare the Milk: Pour cold or warm milk into a glass, filling it about three-quarters full. This allows room for the whipped coffee topping.
  5. Add the Coffee: Spoon the whipped coffee mixture over the milk. Spread it evenly for a visually appealing result.
  6. Stir and Enjoy: Mix the layers before drinking, or leave it layered for a stronger start and creamier finish.
  • Use Instant Coffee: Only use instant coffee. Brewed coffee won’t froth the same way.
  • Hot Water: Ensure the water’s hot but not boiling. This aids in dissolving the coffee and sugar effectively.
  • Sugar Type: Granulated sugar works best. Alternatives like brown sugar or sugar substitutes can affect the texture.
  • Whipping Time: For optimal results, whip the mixture until stiff peaks form. The froth should hold its shape when lifted.
  • Consistency: If the froth isn’t forming, check the ingredient ratio or whipping method. Adjust as needed to achieve the desired texture.
  • Serving Variations: Experiment with different milk types like almond, oat, or soy for a varied taste.

Variations of Dalgona Coffee

Vegan and Sugar-Free Alternatives

To make vegan Dalgona Coffee, substitute dairy milk with almond, oat, or soy milk. Choose plant-based milk to match your taste preference. Instead of regular sugar, use granulated stevia or monk fruit sweetener for a sugar-free option. These alternatives maintain the texture and sweetness without compromising dietary restrictions.

Flavor Enhancements and Add-Ins

Enhance your Dalgona Coffee with flavored syrups like vanilla, caramel, or hazelnut. Mix the syrup into milk before adding the whipped coffee for a balanced flavor. Add a pinch of cocoa powder, cinnamon, or matcha powder for a unique twist. Toppings like grated chocolate, crushed candy canes, or a sprinkle of nutmeg give extra flavor and visual appeal.

Dalgona Coffee gained immense popularity through social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. You’ve likely seen countless videos demonstrating the simple yet mesmerizing process of whipping the coffee mixture. The hashtag #dalgonacoffee has garnered millions of views, making it a viral sensation. This trend encouraged many to experiment with the recipe, resulting in a variety of creative spins on the original concept.

Impacts on Coffee Consumption

The viral trend of Dalgona Coffee has significantly impacted coffee consumption patterns. Many people started making coffee at home during the pandemic, leading to increased sales of instant coffee. This whipped coffee became a fun and accessible way for you to enjoy café-style beverages without leaving the house. Additionally, the trend inspired a surge in interest in DIY coffee drinks, further influencing home brewing techniques and coffee culture globally.


Dalgona Coffee isn’t just a fleeting trend; it’s a testament to the power of social media in shaping global coffee culture. By experimenting with this whipped coffee, you can enjoy a delightful beverage while tapping into a community of coffee enthusiasts. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore creative variations, Dalgona Coffee offers a fun and delicious way to elevate your home brewing experience. So grab your whisk and embrace the frothy goodness of this viral sensation.

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