desserts, Eat
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Coffee and Coconut Jelly Cake

Jelly cake was very popular in Vietnam in the 1990’s. It required few ingredients and is inexpensive to make. I remembered creating gelatin in rainbow colors with my mom growing up and pouring it into fun molds to create visually stunning cakes. This is our equivalent of Jello and is also a very refreshing dessert for those warmer days.

Serving: Makes a 4-inch and 6-inch cake

Difficulty: Easy


1 cup of sugar

4 tablespoons of Vietnamese instant coffee with creamer and sugar mix (If you do not have Vietnamese coffee mix, just use any instant coffee with cream and sugar mix.)

1 can of coconut milk

1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon or 10 grams of agar agar gelatin powder (The Vietnamese agar agar gelatin brand that we used is platinum strength. You can buy it at any Asian supermarket.) If you have regular gelatin, the ratio should still be the same.

6 cups of water

Equipment: Any mold that you would like to use. I used a 4-inch and 6-inch cake pan for this post.


Mix 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon of gelatin and 1 cup of sugar together.

Bring 6 cups of water to a low boil.

Slowly add the sugar and gelatin mix while stirring one way until everything dissolves. This takes approximately 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk to the gelatin water and let the mixture comes back to a boil. Keep stirring so nothing clumps for approximately 5 minutes. Skim any foam and turn off the heat to cool the mixture.

Take 2 cups of the gelatin coconut liquid and add 4 tablespoons of Vietnamese coffee mix while continuously stirring until everything is fully dissolved. Strained the coffee gelatin into a mold and chill in the fridge for 5 minutes to set.

While the coffee gelatin chills, occasionally stir the coconut gelatin mixture so it doesn’t set.

After 5 minutes, remove the coffee gelatin and check to see if it’s lightly set. You will need to check if the top layer has set enough so that when you add the second layer, they will not mix together. If the coffee gelatin is too gelled, lightly prick the top with a fork so the coconut layer can stick to the coffee layer.

Ladle the coconut gelatin softly on top of the coffee gelatin and let the cake chill in the fridge for 3-4 hour before un-molding and serving.

For more recipes, visit our EAT page or Recipe Index.

Authors:  Susan Tran and Chau Hoang

Photo Editing: Kevin Nguyen (

This entry was posted in: desserts, Eat


Life is full of possibilities made only meaningful with the people we share it with. This site is a place where friends can share our point of view on food, travel and design.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: A Sweet Journey Through Vietnamese Desserts

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