Here’s how to make the trendy whipped coffee (aka dalgona coffee) a little bit healthier with coconut sugar and non-dairy milk.
Have you guys jumped on the TikTok bandwagon? I recently started and it’s been pretty fun to play around with! I honestly try not to get on the app that often because it’s easy to get sucked into watching endless dancing videos.
Anyhow, last week I learned about the whipped coffee trend happening on TikTok and I knew I had to try it. Apparently it all started with this video which has over 10 million views! I think everyone got excited about making it because we’re all missing our fancy coffee shop lattes and we’ve found this drink to be a fun substitute while being quarantined.
Luckily Isaac and I bought ourselves a Jura espresso machine so we’ve still been enjoying oat milk lattes at home, but after seeing the whipped coffee I knew I needed to try it. I broke out my stand mixer to make it last weekend, realized how delicious it is and decided I needed to create a healthier version, which is what I’m sharing here.
If you’re not on TikTok… let me introduce you to dalgona coffee.
What the Heck is Dalgona Coffee?
Basically it’s a latte drink that involves milk (usually iced) with velvety whipped coffee on top. It’s popular in South Korea and became a viral trend on TikTok.
The traditional dalgona recipe calls for equal parts sugar, instant coffee and boiling water — usually 1 tablespoon of each, but I’ve also seen a lot of people doing 2 tablespoons of each to get more volume. I personally like to do 2 tablespoons of each ingredient so there is enough volume for my stand mixer.
How to Make Dalgona Coffee Healthier?
With the original preparation, dalgona coffee is pretty sweet and has 13 grams of sugar for every tablespoon of sugar that you use. Of course, this amount of sugar is totally fine as a treat, but I wanted to see if it was possible to reduce the sugar and still have the whipped coffee turn out. I tried it with no sugar at all and it was a total flop… I whisked it in my stand mixer for over 10 minutes and it never whipped up. But when I tried it with half the amount of sugar, it worked, but just didn’t stay fluffy as long. This coffee drink is easy to drink quickly so that’s not really an issue… just be sure to snap your picture for Instagram before the whipped coffee starts to lose its fluff. 🙂
Ultimately I decided to go with 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut sugar for the version I’m sharing here. It whips up perfectly and tastes sweet, but not overly sweet.
Can You Use Stevia or Another Sugar Substitute?
I tried making whipped coffee using 2 Tablespoons of instant espresso, 2 Tablespoons of water and 2 teaspoons of granulated stevia and it worked, but didn’t stay as fluffy as long and it also tasted kind of bitter to me. Usually I don’t mind the taste of stevia, but in this context I didn’t love it. Just FYI.
I haven’t tried it with honey or maple syrup yet, but I bet it would work! Let me know if you try it.
Do You Have to Use Instant Coffee?
Yup! Instant coffee or instant espresso is the only thing that works. Regular ground coffee won’t dissolve the way instant does. I’ve tried it with traditional instant coffee, instant espresso (I had this on hand for my almond butter espresso cookies) and the Four Sigmatic adaptogenic coffee as well! I personally loved this drink with the adaptogenic coffee. The added adaptogens are good for stress relief… something we could all use a little of right now.
How to Get the Perfect Whip
The key to this recipe is having the patience and allowing the instant coffee to whip up. You’ll need a stand mixer, handheld mixer or powerful frother to accomplish this! I use my stand mixer and it takes up to five minutes to get light brown in color and perfectly frothy. Stick with it and keep scraping down the sides as needed. I promise the mixture will eventually froth up and the wait will be worth it.
You can use a whisk to whip it up, but it takes a loooong time and your arm will likely get tired before your mixture whips up.
Can You Serve it Hot?
Yes! I really liked it iced and that’s how I’ve seen most people serve it, but it can certainly be served over hot milk for a warm coffee drink.
What Type of Milk to Use?
Any type of milk works great with this recipe since you’re essentially just adding the whipped coffee on top of milk. If you want to keep this dairy-free and vegan, here are my favorite milks to use:
unsweetened vanilla almond milk
unsweetened almond milk
All of these would be delicious. If you’re looking for a lighter, lower calorie option, I recommend unsweetened almond milk. If you want a creamy, decadent version I’d recommend oat milk or coconut milk.
The coffee foam is pretty strong on its own so before drinking the whipped coffee you’ll want to stir the mixture together. Once it’s stirred, sit back, relax and enjoy!