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How to make dalgona coffee

We get on board the whipped coffee trend that's taking over the internet.

dalgona coffee lead
Last updated: 24 April 2020

One of the benefits of spending more time at home is that many of us have had more time to experiment in the kitchen. 

Social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok has been filled with posts of sourdough starter experiments and banana bread recipes, and now the foodie trend du jour is dalgona coffee.

And it's not hard to see why, given you can make it using ingredients most of us already have in the cupboard.

Here, we show you how to make dalgona coffee, plus alternatives such as Milo dalgona.

dalgona coffee

Deliciously fluffy Dalgona coffee.

What is dalgona coffee?

Dalgona coffee is a South Korean drink made by whipping equal amounts of instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water until creamy, then adding it to milk. 

It's since been dubbed 'quarantine coffee' due to its popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it can be easily made using ingredients most of us already have.

How to make dalgona coffee


  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water


  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl
  2. Using an electric whisk or hand beater, whip until the mixture is light brown, fluffy and holds stiff peaks.
  3. Fill a glass to ⅔ full with hot or cold milk (or your favourite milk alternative).
  4. Top with dollops of the whipped coffee mixture and serve.

What does it taste like?

Dalgona coffee looks delicious and is certainly Instagram-worthy, but the cream itself is quite strong and a tad bitter. 

But once you thoroughly mix the cream into the milk the flavour profile changes and you're left with what I think is a delicious drink. (Although a quick Google search reveals there are plenty of people who find it unpleasant.)

As it was a hot day I made my dalgona coffee with cold milk and ice, and when mixed up it tasted like store-bought iced coffee. I loved it.

Dalgona coffee alternatives

Buoyed by my success with the original recipe, I decided to try making similar beverages using other ingredients I had lying about.

milo dalgona coffee

For added flavour, sprinkle Milo powder on top.

Milo dalgona

Of course there's an Aussie alternative. Following a recipe from one TikTok user, I mixed two tablespoons each of Milo, sugar and hot water and whisked away. After 15 minutes it still looked like frothy, wet Milo, so I tried again, replacing the hot water with warmed, thickened cream. 

This still took longer to whip than the original, but after eight minutes it was fluffy enough to dollop on top of some milk. 

The result? It's Milo! Of course it's going to be delicious. But it wasn't all that different to making Milo the regular way, so I don't think the time and effort is worth it. 

nesquik dalgona coffee

The hot water version was a dud, so I made Nesquik Dalgona with cream.

Nesquik dalgona

Again, I tried the dalgona recipe substituting the coffee for two tablespoons of strawberry Nesquik, but again it remained a watery mess after 10 minutes of whisking.

So, inspired by my Milo success but too lazy to warm up the milk I simply combined one tablespoon of Nesquik with 2 tablespoons of cold thickened cream and it whipped up nicely in about one minute. 

The result? I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that it tasted like an extra creamy glass of Nesquik. A bit gluttonous for everyday, but certainly tasty. 

cocoa powder dalgona coffee

Yep, it's basically a milkshake.

Cocoa powder dalgona

Having read other people's failed attempts at making this with just sugar and hot water (and after my own water disasters with Milo and Nesquik), I skipped straight to making what is effectively chocolate whipped cream by whisking together 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons icing sugar and 8 teaspoons thickened cream until stiff. 

Once stirred into a glass of cold milk, it's effectively a decadent chocolate milkshake. Worth it. 

Endless variations

There are also recipes using matcha powder, Ovaltine or peanut butter, although these may need to be whipped for longer to get the right consistency. If you're a coffee purist, you might also like to try making freshly brewed coffee dalgona (note: it does require you to make an Italian meringue).

You can also top your coffee with honeycomb, crushed Oreos, shaved chocolate… the sky's the limit! (Or rather, what's in your pantry is the limit!) 

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Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.