Dalgona Coffee Recipe Featured

Korean Dalgona Coffee Recipe – How to Whip Up This Viral Drink

Dalgona coffee was a quick viral hit on social media a few years back and for multiple good reasons.

Not only is it delicious and easy to make, but it also looks really good, which is why anyone who saw this on their feed got enticed to try it themselves.

If you’re only discovering this coffee recipe today, don’t worry. It’s more than a hyped-up coffee drink and it’s worth giving a try anytime. Here’s my quick recipe to help you make Dalgona coffee at home.

What is Korean Dalgona Coffee?

Dalgona coffee is a unique beverage made with milk and hand-whipped coffee, creating a luxuriously creamy and frothy drink. It switches up the usual cappuccino, as the coffee is frothed and layered over hot or cold milk instead of the other way around.

Dalgona Coffee Recipe

While the recipe was first created by the Macanese coffee shop owner Leong Kam Hon in 2004, it went viral during the pandemic with the Korean name Dalgona, which also refers to the Korean honeycomb toffee. It’s the same one you see in the Netflix show Squid Game. The whipped coffee drink reminded actor Jung Il-woo of dalgona in terms of taste and appearance, which is what led to it being called “dalgona coffee” even though the actual dalgona candy is not an ingredient. Go figure…

Much like everyone else, I discovered this interesting drink while scrolling on social media. I tried whipping up my own Dalgona coffee and it turned out great. Whenever I crave a dessert-like brew, I make this delicious drink. I also get a lot of complements from friends when I make this for them.

Ingredients and Equipment for Making Dalgona Coffee

Here are the things you need to make 2 servings of Dalgona coffee:

  • Whisk or handheld frother: Use this to create a foamy coffee mixture that goes on top of the Dalgona coffee.
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee: Provides a quick and convenient way to prepare the coffee foam.
  • 2 tbsp sugar: Adds sweetness to the coffee foam.
  • 2 tbsp hot water: The water dissolves the coffee and sugar before being turned into foam.
  • 400 ml milk: Serves as the base for the drink, giving it a smooth texture.
  • Ice: Added to cool the final drink.

As you can see, the ration of 2-2-2 of coffee-sugar-water are easy to remember. This is a volumetric recipe, so it is not based on weight.

Caffeine Warning: There is a lot of caffeine in 2 tablespoons of instant coffee! If you were to use this for one serving of dalgona coffee, it would be the equivalent to 3.5 cups of regular coffee. So it’s best treated as an occasional indulgent treat rather than a daily beverage, or split it with a friend and use it for 2 servings. I always get caffeine jitters when I have this drink.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Dalgona Coffee

The simplicity and speed of crafting Dalgona coffee are part of its charm. Follow the steps below to make this popular beverage:

1. In a bowl, combine the sugar, coffee, and hot water.

  • Bring together the equal parts sugar, instant coffee, and hot water in a bowl.
  • Mix until the dry ingredients are dissolved and you have a dark coffee mixture.

2. Whisk the mixture until it becomes foamy.

  • Take your whisk or a handheld frother and froth the mixture.
  • It should turn light brown with soft peaks formed.
  • My arms turn to jelly if I use a hand whisk, so I would recommend you use an electric one.

3. Add ice and milk to a glass.

  • Prepare your glass where the final drink will be served.
  • Pour your ice and milk into the glass.

4. Layer the coffee foam over the milk.

  • Carefully pour the frothy coffee mixture into the glass. The layers of white milk and the brown coffee foam create a tempting sight.
  • Serve your Dalgona coffee and enjoy!

What kind of cup should I serve a Dalgona coffee in?

Use a mug or tall glass that can accommodate about 18 oz for the drink, while leaving room for both the ice and whipped cream on top.

Barista Tips for Making Dalgona Coffee

Here are nifty tips to keep in mind when making your Dalgona coffee:

  • Make a hot Dalgona coffee: If you prefer a hot coffee drink, skip the ice and warm the milk before topping it with the coffee foam.
  • Maintain a 1:1:1 ratio for the coffee foam: The secret to a well-balanced coffee foam is to use equal parts instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. Use this ratio when adjusting the recipe to achieve those perfect foamy peaks.
  • Try flavorings for your Dalgona coffee: Thanks to its popularity, different variations have circulated on the internet. Some recipes worth checking out are the Match Dalgona, Mocha Dalgona, and Cinnamon Dalgona coffees. I like the cinnamon fusion best ๐Ÿ™‚
Dalgona Coffee Recipe Featured

Korean Dalgona Coffee Recipe – How to Whip Up This Viral Drink

This viral coffee drink features a smooth coffee foam layered on top of milk. This makes enough foam for 2 servings, so share it with a friend.
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Coffee Smarts
Servings 2 servings
Calories 375 kcal


  • 25 g Instant coffee
  • 25 g Sugar
  • 25 g Hot water
  • 400 ml Milk
  • Ice


  • In a bowl, add the instant coffee, sugar, and hot water.
  • Whisk until light brown with foamy peaks.
  • Pour the milk and ice into a glass.
  • Carefully top the milk with the coffee foam.



Make hot Dalgona coffee by heating the milk first and skipping the ice.

Can you use an espresso for dalgona coffee?

No, you cannot use espresso to make dalgona coffee. It will not foam up, since it is not concentrated enough.

The unique composition of instant coffee, the lack of destabilizing oils, the high concentration of sugar, and the mechanical aeration from whisking all combine to allow the creation of a remarkably stable and attractive foam in this recipe. The base ingredients create an extremely viscous liquid that drains very slowly out of the foam after whisking. Also, the high sugar content increases the viscosity and density of the liquid.

You just cannot do that with espresso.

But either way, give this viral drink a try and share how it turned out in the comments section below.

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One Comment

  1. I followed this Dalgona Coffee guide and the results were spectacular. The 2-2-2 ratio was easy to remember and the process was as simple as promised. My friends were impressed with the coffee’s luxurious texture and the sweet kick. I’ve made it 2x this week – it’s that good.

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