Bouncy, jiggly squares of bittersweet coffee. Lusciously light, sweetened milk. Coffee Jello is the dessert you didn’t know you were craving.
When I was a kid, I loved jello. It was one of the few desserts I loved, actually. Something about those bouncy, cheerful squares. Also, I could make jello independently. Tearing open the packet and mixing up the contents with boiling water made me feel so grown up!
This Coffee Jello will make you feel just as accomplished. If you can make jello from a box, you can make this dessert. Don’t be intimidated into thinking Coffee Jello is beyond you.
Plus, Coffee Jello is such a fun dessert! Something about those jiggly, wobby squares of jello. And that sweet milk, which keeps things light and fresh. I don’t even like sweet things, but I love this dessert.
Although the jello needs time to set, the rest of the components are simple enough. Everything can be prepped in advance. When it’s time to serve, simply pour the sweet milk over the jello squares. That makes Coffee Jello the perfect dessert when inviting friends over for Breakfast + Brunch. Or for any occasion, really.
Gelatin. For some odd reason, gelatin comes in two sizes: teeny tiny (packets of 2 1/4 tsps) or ginormous (2 cup box). The small packets can be found in the baking aisles of standard supermarkets. However, I found the large box to be a better value so that’s what I purchased. I found it easily at my local Asian grocery store (specifically, T & T).
Sweetened Condensed Milk. This lovely milk is super sweet and comes in a can. If you’ve never tasted sweetened condensed milk, it’s the kind served with Vietnamese coffee. Buy the Vietnamese brand if you can. Thick and syrupy, this is Asian canned milk at its best!
To make the milk light and refreshing and not overly sweet, I mixed one can of sweetened condensed milk with equal parts almond milk. But really, any kind of milk will do. Soy, rice, skim, 1%, 2%, whole (homo), or even half and half will work. The goal is to balance out the sweetness and make the milk more light and pourable.
Coffee. My recipe calls for strongly brewed regular coffee. You’ll need some for the jello and some for serving (for the ombre effect).
FYI: I noticed that the measurement on the side of my coffee maker does not match the standard measuring cup amount. In other words, 4 servings specified by coffee pot measurements DO NOT equal 4 cups in real life.
How to Make Coffee Jello:
For the coffee jello, whisk hot coffee, gelatin, and sugar until completely dissolved in a large (at least 4-cup) measuring cup. Pour into an 8×8 pan and chill for at least 4-6 hours but preferably overnight.
When firm, cut into squares and carefully place into clear glasses.
Whisk 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup milk of your choice. My preference is almond milk but really, anything works. Pour over individual glasses until (almost) full. Optional: top with a little extra coffee to achieve an ombre effect. Serve with spoons and enjoy!
- 8×8 square pan
- 4 cups hot coffee strongly brewed
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp gelatin
- 1 300 ml/10 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup milk any kind will do (I used almond milk)
- 1 cup cold coffee optional, for ombre effect
- Whisk hot coffee, gelatin, and sugar in a large measuring cup (measuring at least 4 cups) until completely dissolved.
- Pour into 8×8 square pan and chill for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
- When firm and completely chilled, cut into squares and carefully place into individual glasses or small bowls.
- Whisk 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk and milk until smooth and fully combined. Transfer into a small pitcher for serving.
- Place coffee jello into individual cups/bowls. Pour sweet milk over jello squares and serve immediately with spoons and extra sweet milk.
- Optional: To make your coffee jello ombre, fill about 3/4 of the way with sweet milk. Top with a little extra coffee, gently stir, and serve.