What Exactly Is Whipped Coffee and How Can You Make It at Home?

Jennifer Gauld/Getty Images

The perfect whipped coffee recipe to make at home.

It seems like every few months there's a new coffee-centric trend, whether it's flat whites or cold brew being added to the menu of coffee shops the world over. In recent weeks, it's the two-toned, uber sweet frothy iced coffee called both whipped coffee, or dalgona coffee, that's has been popping up all over your Instagram feed. But what is the aesthetically pleasing drink? 

Essentially it's instant coffee whipped with sugar and water and poured over milk. Unlike a latte or a cappuccino, in which the froth comes from aerated milk, the fluffiness of dalgona coffee comes from the coffee and sugar itself.

gahsoon/Getty Images

You'll find similar varieties all over the world. The drink has been especially popular in India where it's known as Phenti. But this current trend is being referred to as "dalgona" mainly thanks to a popular Korean TV show which aired in January. According to the South China Morning Post, the craze started in South Korea when actor Jung Il-woo made the drink during an appearance on TV show Stars' Top Recipe at Fun-Staurant. On the show, the actor said the whipped coffee "tastes like burned sugar candy" and reminded him of "dalgona" honeycomb toffee, a South Korean treat that was popular in the 1970s and 80s. 

Fast forward to March, that's when Korean TikTok user Hannah Cho posted her hand-whisked ice coffee variety to the channel, racking up millions of views the world over, and in turn spurring millions of others with extra time at home to do the same. While it might not be the quickest cup of coffee to whip up first thing in the morning, the three-ingredient recipe is certainly easy to follow. 

Don't do dairy? Find instant coffee a little too strong? There's also matcha dalgona and dalgona popsicles, or you can also serve the whipped coffee mixture over some baked goods instead. 

How to Make Whipped Coffee (Dalgona Coffee) at Home

To make whipped coffee (or dalgona coffee) the TikTok way, we're turning to Hannah Cho's recipe. 

Step 1: To make one sweet and creamy whipped coffee, combine two tablespoons of instant coffee, two tablespoons of sugar, and two tablespoons of hot water into a big bowl (it's going to get messy). 

Step 2: Whisk the mixture until it turns into stiff peaks. Use a mixer ideally here but if you're whipping it by hand prepare for a good 20-minute arm workout (or about 400 stirs, according to one Korean recipe). You'll see the mixture turning from a dark coffee hue to a thick and creamy mousse-like mixture. 

Step 3: Whipped coffee can be served hot or iced. So grab a glass and fill it with either warm milk or cold milk over ice and then spoon the fluffy cloud-like mixture over the top. 

Step 4: Using a spoon or straw, combine and serve. 

It's as easy as that and you're ready to enjoy your whipped coffee at home.