Japanese Coffee Jelly

Japanese coffee jelly in cup

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  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Setting Time: 5 hrs
  • Servings: 4 servings

Coffee jelly is a jelly dessert flavored made from black coffee and gelatin. Once common in British and American cookbooks, it now most common in Japan, where it can be found in most restaurants and convenience stores. Coffee Jelly was first made at a branch of a Japanese chain coffee shop in the 1960s and became popular all over Japan. Coffee jelly is light and not too sweet, though you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. It's perfect as an after-dinner dessert.

If you’re looking for a light and unusual dessert after Japanese dinner, this is the one for you. It's known as a refreshing Japanese summertime treat but you can enjoy it all year long.


  • 1 tablespoon gelatin powder 
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups coffee
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional: whipped cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin powder and 4 tablespoons of water.

  3. Place coffee and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a near boil over medium-high heat.

  4. Turn off the heat, and whisk in gelatin mix until it dissolves.

  5. When it's cooled down, pour into a shallow baking dish and refrigerate until set, about 5 hours.

  6. Once the coffee jelly has set, cut gelatin into 1/2-inch cubes.

  7. Spoon cubes into individual serving dishes and top with whipped cream, if desired.


  • You can use strong coffee, but espresso is best, especially because of the wonderful aroma it imparts.
  • It is sweet as is, but it is even better with some heavy cream or condensed milk. The cream goes well with the texture of the jelly and complements the flavor of coffee very well.
  • You can adjust the amount of sugar based on your preference.
  • When you are making the jelly, be aware that it needs to harden in a container. A shallow pan works well to create a thin layer of jelly (about 1-inch thick) which you then cut into cubes. You can also use other containers, such as small bowls or cups, and serve the jelly without cutting.

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