Have you ever finished dinner and found yourself craving something a little bit silly for dessert?

Silly like… Jello?

Jello is amazing. It’s delicious, sweet, and it jiggles. But there’s a problem.

How do you suggest having a nice, big, post-supper helping of gelatin without sounding like a five-year-old?

The answer: Coffee Jelly.

You heard us right. This amazing recipe combines the fun-loving youthfulness of Jello with the respect of a good cup of coffee. Simultaneously bringing youth and sophistication to the table, this recipe creates one deliciously jiggly cube of culinary goodness.

Okay, enough tantalizing. Let’s start the tutorial for our coffee jelly recipe!

This recipe generally follows the process of most Japanese coffee jelly recipes. (More on its popularity in Japan below…)

If you’re familiar with making gelatin, this one should be a cinch. And it has a pretty short ingredient list too!

Items you’ll need

  • Glass
  • Saucepan
  • Bowl(s) or shallow pan


  1. Combine coffee and sugar in saucepan and mix.
  2. Heat until almost boiling and then turn off the heat.
  3. In a separate glass combine gelatin and water and stir thoroughly.
  4. Add gelatin mixture to the saucepan and stir until fully dissolved.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Pour contents of saucepan into bowl(s) or a shallow pan.
  7. Put into refrigerator and leave until gelatin has fully set. This can take a few hours.
  8. Once set, the coffee jelly is ready! Serve it in a cup or bowl with half and half, flavored creamer, or whipped cream on top. Don’t forget a spoon!

Extra Notes: 

  • Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar involved (or even use a substitute sweetener) to your preferred sweetness.

Apart from digging right into the bowl with a spoon, here are some great suggestions for how you can serve your coffee jelly.

Cube it

  • This is the most popular way to serve your coffee jelly, as it’s both practical and convenient. Simply chill it in a shallow pan and then cut it into squares with a knife!

Put it in a cup

  • You can fill a cup with some cubes, creating a sort of “coffee jelly drink”, or even chill it right in the cup in the first place! This option is perfect for more of a single serve feel.

Serve it with ice cream

  • Whether it’s plain vanilla, chocolate, or coffee-flavored, ice cream is a great complement to your cubed coffee goodness.

Serve it with whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce

  • … a classic final touch to any dessert!

Strongly brewed coffee works fine with this recipe and is a lot easier to make in greater quantities, so we officially went with that in the ingredient list.

However, nothing beats the flavor and intensity of an espresso in coffee jelly, and if you have access to an espresso machine, it’s worth trying!

You could also consider whipping up a batch of stovetop espresso for a happy medium between the two.

Espresso affects both the taste and the aroma in a unique way that you just can’t get with regular coffee.

Coffee jelly is very popular in Japan, where jellies, in general, are a big thing. And Japan happens to be one of the main producers of pre-made coffee jelly as well, including, for example, this Okazaki coffee jelly.

Apart from Japan, however, most of the world has forgotten about this spectacular dessert, with the exception of a Filipino version coffee jelly recipe that incorporates condensed milk into the recipe as well.

But this lack of popularity wasn’t always the case.

The dessert was once popular in the United States, particularly in New England, where it was called “coffee gelatin”. And if you go further back, all the way to 1817, you’ll find it was eaten in Britain, as well!

But over the years, the demand for this delectable treat somehow declined – a great tragedy to dessert menus across the globe.

Note: You can find out more on the history of coffee jelly here!

Coffee jelly is a beautiful combination of bitter and sweet and can be the perfect follow-up to a good meal.

While the concept of gelatin coffee has remained popular in a few places, it has been lost over the years everywhere else. It’s time to change that.

Share this post with your friends and let the coffee jelly revolution begin!


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