Dalgona (no coffee/ healthier version)

This no coffee Dalgona recipe is the most fluffy coffee substitute ever. In this ''how to make Dalgona'' recipe you will find the perfect ingredients to make this treat without (instant) coffee and without white refined sugar. This Dalgona recipe is also vegan. Delicious, fluffy, sweet and such a treat!

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Dalgona coffee is currently a huge trend on social media. Although I don’t drink coffee, I do drink a coffee-like drink every day with frothed soy milk. The first few weeks I resisted to jump on the trend. Because why change a drink you already like, right? But since temperatures are rising and I don’t really mind trying out a new cold version of my daily cup of comfort, I decided to give it a try.

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A traditional Dalgona recipe couldn’t be more simple. After mixing everything together for a few minutes, the mixture will have the consistency of a light mousse. Spoon into a glass on top of cold plant-based milk, and you’ve got a deliciously treat. And this is also true for people like me who don’t drink coffee. Today I’m showing you my healthier Dalgona version. Without coffee and without white refined sugar.

What Is Dalgona?

Dalgona coffee is a thick, frothy drink that originates in Korea. It’s a cold latte that is served with a fluffy, smooth and sweet whipped coffee on top. It can be served both hot or cold, but the combination of cold milk with the fluffy sweet coffee foam is the traditional recipe.

It’s called Dalgona because the foamy brown coffee topping resembles a Korean candy.

brown dalgona foam with a whisk in a bowl and a whisk hold up in the air with dalgona dripping

Making Dalgona?

The original recipe is a 1:1:1 ratio of instant coffee, sugar, and hot water. In my no coffee Dalgona version I’m using the same ratio of 1:1:1, but then with Dandy Blend (a herbal coffee substitute), xylitol and hot water.

I have seen the most amazing ”how to make Dalgona” videos. Some use a standing mixer, but others try to make Dalgona simply with a fork. I say try, because you will really need some patience when using a fork and some arm muscles too. It may take you then about 10 minutes to create the typical Dalgona foam. You can also use a good round whisk to make Dalgona. Again, give it some time.

However, if you do have some tools such as a hand mixer or stand mixer, then use that. I personally like to use a hand mixer.

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I have tried to make this in a glass to avoid splashes, but a big bowl works best. A big mixing bowl will allow more air to get in and that is important to create a fluffy foam.

Last night I tried to make Dalgona with a milk frother, but the foam was very minimal. So for me that wasn’t a success.

close up brown dalgona foam with a swirl

Dalgona Without Coffee?

Dalgona is basically nothing more than a powder frothed with sugar and water. So any (herbal) coffee substitute will be  possible to use if you would like to make a coffee free version.

coffee substitute and xylitol in small white bowls

Healthier Dalgona

A traditional Dalgona recipe uses instant coffee, white refined granulated sugar and whole milk, but you can easily make a healthier version at home. Simply swap the instant coffee for a herbal coffee substitute, the sugar for a less processed sugar and the milk  for a plant-based milk.  

I replace the white refined sugar with for example coconut sugar, xylitol or erythritol. You could potentially use less sugar, but you will most likely end up with a less fluffy foam and the color will be darker too.

tall glass with milk and dalgona foam on top on marble with white background

Dalgona Variations

You can use any other herbal coffee substitute or even cacao powder. I personally love Dandy Blend and am drinking it daily. Another option would be to use pb2 powder to make a peanut butter version.

And let’s not forget about the toppings. I have tried cinnamon and chopped hazelnuts and both were a delicious addition to this recipe.

two tall glasses with ice cubes and milk and dalgona foam on marble with white backgroundtwo tall glasses with milk and dalgona foam on top on marble with white background with one glass straw

If you are also going to make this no coffee Dalgona recipe, I’d love to know! Rate the recipe below or share your creation on Facebook or Instagram. And don’t forget to tag me. I’d love to see your creations!

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dalgona swirl and two glasses of dalgona in two tall glasses with milk against white background

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two tall glasses with milk and dalgona brown foam on top on marble with white background


  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 1
  • Cook Time: 4
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: drink
  • Method: mixing bowl, whisk
  • Cuisine: Korean


This no coffee Dalgona recipe is the most fluffy coffee substitute ever. In this ”how to make Dalgona” recipe you will find the perfect ingredients to make this treat without (instant) coffee and without white refined sugar. This Dalgona recipe is also vegan. Delicious, fluffy, sweet and such a treat!



To serve cold

  • ice cubes
  • 1 cup cold soy milk (or any other plant-based milk)

To serve hot

  • warm up 1 cup plant-based milk and add foam on top


In a large mixing bowl, add herbal blend, xylitol and hot water in 1:1:1 ratio.

It’s important to use a large mixing bowl to have enough space and to whip in the air. It also helps to tilt the bowl a bit.

With a hand mixer or stand mixer mix everything first at a low speed. Just so everything gets combined and dissolves. Then turn the speed to the highest setting. And mix for about 2 minutes until peaks form.

A stand mixer will do the job in about 2 minutes. A hand mixer takes about 4 minutes.

Set aside

Fill a glass/cup with ice cubes and 2/3 plant-based milk.

Spoon the foam on top.

Optional: sprinkle with cacao powder or cinnamon.

Mix it with a spoon or straw to make a latte or enjoy as it is.



You can keep leftover foam in the refrigerator for a few days, but depending on the coffee substitute you are using this might separate within a few days and become watery. You can whip it up again before serving.

Mixers and blenders

Stand mixers and hand held mixers work the best. Blenders and food processors don’t whip in the air and create not the typical Dalgona foam.


If this 1:1:1 ratio is too sweet you can try to use half the amount of sweetener.

This will also work with decaf coffee

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Keywords: coffee, drink, foam, dalgona, no coffee, dairy free

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