Bouncy, jiggly squares of bittersweet coffee. Lusciously light, sweetened milk. Coffee Jello is the dessert you didn’t know you were craving.
If you can make jello from a box, you can make this dessert. Don’t be intimidated into thinking Coffee Jello is beyond you!
Why Coffee Jello?
Coffee and dessert are such nice ways to end the meal. In the hot summer months, Coffee Jello combines the two and is such a fun dessert to serve!
Jiggly, wobbly squares of jello. Lightly sweetened, creamy milk. And that ombre!
Coffee Jello is also easy. The night before, make the jello and mix together the sweetened milk. That’s it! When it’s time to serve, simply pour the sweet milk over the jello squares.
That makes Coffee Jello the perfect dessert when friends come over. Or for any occasion, really.
- Gelatin. Oddly, powdered 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. A delicious canned milk that is thicky, syrupy, and rich. Typically served with Vietnamese coffee or drizzled on top of Bingsu. Buy the Vietnamese brand (pictured below) if you can.
- Coffee. My recipe calls for strongly brewed regular coffee. You’ll need some for the jello and some for serving (for the ombre effect).
How to Make 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.
- Pour over individual glasses until (almost) full. Optional: top with a little extra coffee to achieve an ombre effect. Serve with spoons and enjoy!
- Sweetened Milk: To make the milk light, 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.
- Chill the Milk. For the coldest, creamiest drink! Mix in advance and chill in the fridge for a few hours.
- Use Strong Brewed Coffee! When coffee is chilled, it loses its potency and flavor. Make extra strong coffee (I add 1.5x the amount of coffee grounds — not quite double) so the coffee flavor really shines through. Or, use Cold Brew coffee which is steeped overnight.
- Coffee Maker servings DO NOT EQUAL standard measuring cup servings! The measurement on the side of the coffee maker does NOT match standard measuring cup amounts. In other words, 4 servings specified by the coffee maker manufacturer DO NOT equal 4 cups in real life.
Can I make this in advance?
Yes, Coffee Jelly is best made the day before. Make the jello and let it set overnight. Mix together the sweetened milk and chill in the fridge. When it’s time to serve, add jello cubes to glasses and fill with sweetened milk. Top with additional chilled coffee for the ombre effect!
How long will Coffee Jello keep in the fridge?
The jello squares should keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for 2-3 days. The sweetened milk will keep longer, about 5-7 days. Store in separate containers. I do not recommend storing the jello and milk in the same container, as the jello will lose its shape and dissolve.
More Dessert Inspiration:
- 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.