vegan japanese coffee jelly dessert landscape photo

This Vegan Coffee Jelly Dessert features cubes of coffee flavoured jelly doused in sweetened milk. A simple & light delicious dessert to cool off during the summer weather! Dairy free & Gluten free.

This recipe post is kindly sponsored by Nature’s Charm

japanese coffee jelly dessert with natures charm condensed milk

Growing up, I always loved the flavour of coffee. My mom never really let me drink coffee except the occasional Iced Cap from Tim Horton, but that was a rare treat. Something I did have often though was Coffee Jelly dessert!

cute japanese coffee jelly dessert

What is Coffee Jelly?

Coffee Jelly is a popular dessert in Japan that can also be found in many Asian dessert cafes or bubble tea spots. It’s most commonly made with black coffee, gelatin and sugar and paired with whipped cream or sweet milk. However, today I will be sharing how you can easily make this refreshing Japanese jelly desert with agar agar powder and dairy free condensed milk to make it vegan friendly!  

vegan japanese coffee jelly dessert ingredients with agar

Ingredients needed to make Vegan Coffee Jelly Dessert:

  • Agar agar powder: I use a Japanese brand which yields a much more softer jelly-like texture. However, I have used Kanten (another kind of Japanese agar) & an American brand of agar powder and it works just fine! You can find agar agar and kanten at most Asian grocery markets. If not, you can also find kanten some on amazon!
  • Instant black coffee: I use Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend Instant Coffee
  • Sugar: I usually use raw organic cane sugar but any dry sweetener will work
  • Dairy-free condensed milk: I always use Nature’s charm coconut condensed milk but you can use your choice of condensed milk or another sweetener alternative
  • Dairy-free milk: depending on how you want to eat your coffee jelly dessert, you can either use coconut cream, evaporated coconut milk or any other dairy free milk of your choice.

Using Agar Agar

I highly recommend finding agar agar or kanten powder instead of the strips because it’s a lot easier to dissolve. When using agar agar, weigh the powder because even just a little more or less, the texture changes completely. The left side is 5 grams of agar agar with 500ml water and the right side had 10g of agar agar with 500ml water. However, you can try these two amount and see which texture you like better. The less agar agar, the most softer it jelly will turn out (really tasty of drinks so it can get through straws). If you enjoy your coffee jello to be more firm, you can also try adding in the 2 extra grams of agar agar. Lastly, I have found some variations with agar agar depending on the brand so defiantly play around with the ratios to find your perfect coffee jelly consistency!

Procedure to make coffee jelly:

  1. Making the coffee jelly: Bring water to a boil in a small pot, then turn down the heat to simmer. Add in the agar agar, instant coffee and sugar, then stir every few seconds. Continue until the agar agar powder and sugar dissolved completely. Pour it into 1 large or 2 small shallow dishes and let them cool down before placing them in the fridge to chill. TIP: to speed the cooling process, place ice packs under the dish.
  2. Making the sweetened cream: whisk together coconut condensed milk (or sweetener of choice) with either creamer or milk.
  3. Once the coffee jelly has firmed up, run the tip of your knife down the coffee vertically and horizontally, making ½ inch sized cubes. Scoop the cubes into serving cups. TIP: Flip the dish over on a plate or cutting board and then scoop them into serving cups to keep clean cube shapes.
  4. Pour over the sweetened cream made earlier and enjoy!
japanese dessert jello

How to serve & eat coffee jelly dessert:

Japanese coffee jelly dessert is usually served with whipped cream or a thick sweetened cream and eaten with a spoon. Another really popular way to serve coffee jelly is in drinks! You can add the coffee jelly to bubble tea drinks or milk teas. You can also just add some dairy free milk and sweetener, it’s very much like grass jelly but with a coffee flavour.

eating coffee jelly milk

I absolutely love this dessert, especially in the summer because of how light and refreshing it is. As you can see, it’s also super easy to make and all you need is 5 ingredients! If you love coffee, I promise you will love this dessert, and if not (or even if you do), you might also enjoy my almond jelly & pineapple coconut panna cotta that is also made with agar agar.

japanese coffee jelly dessert in a cute cup

If you recreate this Vegan Coffee Jelly Dessert recipe please share it and let me know what you think by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!

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vegan japanese coffee jelly dessert landscape photo

Vegan Coffee Jelly Dessert

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5 from 6 reviews


This Vegan Coffee Jelly Dessert features cubes of coffee flavoured jelly doused in sweetened milk. A simple & light delicious dessert to cool off during the summer weather! Dairy free & Gluten free.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 1 tbsp high quality instant coffee granules
  • 2 tsp Japanese agar* (8g)
  • 3 tsp sugar (15g)
  • 1/2 cup coconut evaporated milk (125g)*
  • 3 tbsp coconut condensed milk (45g)


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add in the agar, coffee granules and sugar. Use a whisk to stir every few seconds, for around 2-3 minutes or until the coffee and sugar dissolves completely. 
  2. Remove from the heat and transfer into a shallow dish. Allow it to cool for 5-8 minutes or until room temperature. You can speed the process by placing the shallow dish over ice packs. Place into the fridge and allow to chill until firm.
  3. Make the sweet milk by combining the evaporated coconut milk with the condensed milk with a whisk and place in the fridge to chill. 
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut the coffee jelly into cubes inside the dish. Scoop coffee cubes into cups and pour over the sweet milk. Optional: for the gradient effect of the coffee colour on top, slow add in 1 shot of chilled espresso. Enjoy!


  1. You can find Japanese agar powder at most asian grocery stores. Alternatively, you can also use kanten powder or regular agar. Please note, using regular agar results in a slightly different texture (more firm)
  2. Feel free to use any plant based milk! I’ve made this with soy milk and cashew milk. 
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5


vegan japanese coffee jelly dessert

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. I have made this twice already and it came out amazing each time! This is one of my favorite desserts from childhood, so I was so glad to see Lisa has an easy to follow vegan version 💘

    100000/10 recommend!

  2. If you like coffee and jello, this is THE food for you! I liked it but a family member who doesn’t like coffee-flavored food wasn’t converted.

  3. Love love love this recipee! Made it for Easter for my family and cut the jelly to look like Mini-Bonnies (used a bit more Agar Agar for it) Perfect for Coffee-junkies like me

  4. Exactly what I’ve been looking for! I had a pouch of agar stashed in my pantry for a while now and I had no clue what to cook up with it. The dessert itself is delicious! I took the liberty of adding a little more coffee, but the amount specified by the recipe is probably sufficient for a nice flavour.