Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles: The bold sweet flavor of Vietnamese Coffee in a whimsical popsicle recipe. Pull out your molds because popsicle season isn’t over yet!

Vietnamese Coffee Pops |

Circa 1996.

Sitting in the corner of a sparse dining room with canvas scrolls hanging on the walls, I watched a frail little women bring a tray loaded with apparatus to a nearby table.

As the diners talked, she carefully sat down glasses of ice, smaller stemmed glasses with something whitish in the bottoms, a kettle of hot water, and several small metal devices that looked like top hats.


She placed a metal hat over each stemmed glass and filled it with water. Then she left.

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles |

Trying not to look like a stalker, I kept a sharp eye on the glasses as the metal devices casually dripped black liquid onto the white surface below. Not penetrating it, simply creating a fine line of black and white.

Several minutes later, the little lady came back to the table and removed all the metal toppers. She then stirred each glass, creating a dusky cloud in the darkness, turning the color to a tawny brown. Finally she poured each cup over ice and was off again.

Whatever that was, I must have it.

I later discovered, these table-side beverages were Vietnamese coffee. I didn’t even drink coffee at the time, but was enamored by the little ritual that proceeded the beverage, and the clash of the dark and light.

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicle Recipe |

The metal devices I saw were individually sized French drip filters, made to sit right on top of a glass or mug.

Vietnam was a French colony in the 19th century and became a thriving force in the coffee industry. Therefore Vietnamese coffee is traditionally made with a dark bold French roast. The mysterious white substance at the bottom of the glasses, sweetened condensed milk, became popular in Vietnamese during times of war because milk was scarce.

These two ingredients are the backbone of Vietnamese coffee as we know it today.

French Press |

Can you imagine what a generous dollop of sweetened condensed milk would do to a strong rich cup of coffee? Earthy, acidic, creamy and ultra sweet. It’s a magical thing, turning even those most opposed to coffee, to the dark side.

I’ll take sweetened condensed milk over cream and sugar any day.

Even though I don’t own a metal drip filter, I secretly like to keep a can of sweetened condensed milk around the house for the moment when Vietnamese coffee calls. I use my French press and simply pour the coffee over the condensed milk. Sometimes I even skip the ice, naughty.

The general proportions for a Vietnamese coffee are 4 parts coffee to 1 part sweetened condensed milk. Today we’re taking our iced Vietnamese coffee one step further. We are turning it into a popsicle recipe.

Why? …Because it’s fun.

And I’m fun.

And YOU’RE fun.

So let’s do this!

Popsicle Recipe |

In testing this Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles I discovered something interesting. Sweetened condensed milk does not freeze, at least not well. So I had to change the proportions of the recipe to ensure proper freezing.

First I prepared the Vietnamese coffee, poured it into the popsicle molds and froze halfway.

Then I made a creamy layer for the tops (bottoms) with heavy cream and sweetened condensed milk. I added the sticks when I added the second layer and froze again until firm.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee Pops |

The layers represent the look of a traditional Vietnamese coffee before it’s stirred.

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles is definitely a “grownup” popsicle recipe, but make them along with these Mango Lassi Popsicles and you’ll have frozen treats for both the young, and less young. *wink*

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88 comments on “Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

  1. Pingback: Vietnamese Coffee Popsicle Recipe — A Spicy Perspective- Recipes And Family

  2. Belinda @zomppaposted August 20, 2012 at 2:32 am Reply

    There’s nothing like condensed milk – I can just eat that with a spoon! This is a great way to get caffeine!

  3. Nutmeg Nannyposted August 20, 2012 at 6:07 am Reply

    These look fantastic! It’s the perfect grown-up popsicle :)

  4. Laurie {Simply Scratch}posted August 20, 2012 at 6:10 am Reply

    Ohhh I’m so down for one of these! These pops are pretty darn genius!

  5. Jeanetteposted August 20, 2012 at 6:15 am Reply

    What a creative idea Sommer – love how you translated Vietnamese coffee into a cool treat! Interesting how sweetened condensed milk doesn’t freeze.

  6. Rachel @ Baked by Rachelposted August 20, 2012 at 6:26 am Reply

    I’m not a coffee drinker but do love frozen coffee! This sounds lovely and the colors are perfect.

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted August 20, 2012 at 6:45 am Reply

    Ok… I have to admit that, despite hearing so much about Vietnamese ice coffee, I still haven’t tried it. But damn if anything is going to inspire me, it’ll be these popsicles. They look incredible (and so refreshing)!!!!

  8. shelly (cookies and cups)posted August 20, 2012 at 6:51 am Reply

    Well, now I need a Vietnamese coffee! My mom used to rave about them!

  9. katieposted August 20, 2012 at 7:02 am Reply

    mmm yes please! I love anything with coffee in it!

  10. [email protected]posted August 20, 2012 at 7:03 am Reply

    Hi Sommer!! You amaze me… I am actually stunned! One, the popsicles are just too pretty, and two, vietnamese coffee?! Genius! I need your creativity gene, stat!

    • Sommerposted August 20, 2012 at 10:45 am Reply

      Kate, I’m blushing, and plan on walking around with a BIG head all day long. ;)

  11. Jillposted August 20, 2012 at 7:17 am Reply

    Oh, my goodness! Best idea ever!

  12. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggiesposted August 20, 2012 at 7:42 am Reply

    I’ve been wanting to make Thai Iced Tea Popsicles all summer–perhaps I’ll give up on figuring that one out and do Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles instead? These are gorgeous!

    • Sommerposted August 20, 2012 at 10:44 am Reply

      No way, you MUST make them, that sounds phenomenal!

  13. Amy Tongposted August 20, 2012 at 10:08 am Reply

    I love Vietnamese coffee and this Popsicle looks so much fun and delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

  14. Heather | Farmgirl Gourmetposted August 20, 2012 at 10:42 am Reply

    How cool. I love the process of making the coffee, I’ve never heard about it before. Now I must make some!! :) I love the popsicle concept too!! Perfect for a hot summery day!


  15. Julia {The Roasted Root}posted August 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm Reply

    Yeah, let’s do this! I’ve never tried Vietnamese coffee and I’m excited to do so. Anything coffee related is welcome by me and if it comes cold or frozen this time of year, even better! Cute story and great looking pops!

  16. Tickled Redposted August 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm Reply

    Girl! Good thing my desk is away from everyone else at work because I just hooted for joy! Love this idea for popsicles.

  17. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted August 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm Reply

    I love, love, love Vietnamese coffee! It reminds me when I traveled there, I had it everyday! I still make it from time to time using Cafe du Monde and I am excited to give this a try.

  18. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted August 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm Reply

    Frozen coffee sounds just perfect to me!

  19. Lynnposted August 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm Reply

    I literally JUST watched a No Reservations on Vietnam, and nearly the first thing shown was Vietnamese coffee as you described. It looked SO GOOD I vowed to try it. Then here comes this! Fabulous!!!! Thanks!!!!!!

  20. Cassieposted August 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm Reply

    SO fun, Sommer! I love coffee-inspired desserts!

  21. JulieDposted August 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm Reply

    I love cafe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee). Your popsicles look wonderful!

  22. leslieposted August 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm Reply

    I have never had Vietnamese coffee sounds fascinating!!

  23. Jen @ Savory SImpleposted August 20, 2012 at 4:37 pm Reply

    Total brilliance. I love Vietnamese coffee & sweetened condensed milk in general. Totally making these.

  24. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppersposted August 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm Reply

    Wow! These look delicious! I love coffee, especially frozen coffee! Great recipe!!

  25. marlaposted August 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm Reply

    Such fabulous looking pops!! I am a great fan of anything flavored with coffee :)

  26. TidyMomposted August 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm Reply

    These sound and look fantastic Sommer!

  27. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted August 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm Reply

    FUN! (sshhhhhh…I keep sweetened condensed milk in my fridge for coffee!)

  28. Toni @ Boulder Locavoreposted August 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm Reply

    Sommer! Yummy! I love Vietnamese Coffee and what a great idea to put it into a pop. I lived in Singapore for awhile and grew to love the strong local coffee with sweetened condensed milk. Something so charming about it. I also love your pics; especially the aerial view with the couple of plates. Perfection!

  29. Aldy @ Al Dente Gourmetposted August 21, 2012 at 3:05 am Reply

    This sounds wonderful, Sommer! And the colors are simply gorgeous :)


  30. Paula - bell'alimentoposted August 21, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

    This is a Popsicle I can get behind! Love it.

  31. Lori @ RecipeGirlposted August 21, 2012 at 8:18 am Reply

    These look so summery fun and delicious!

  32. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchenposted August 21, 2012 at 10:24 am Reply

    I really need to try making my own popsicles…these look delicious! :)

  33. Angieposted August 21, 2012 at 10:43 am Reply

    I adore coffee deserts!

  34. Rachel Cooksposted August 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm Reply

    I love your writing, Sommer. Beautiful! Just like the photos.

  35. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted August 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm Reply

    Coffee popsicles, I need these right away! Your story is so captivating, I love it.

  36. Katieposted August 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm Reply

    I love Vietnamese iced coffee. It’s on the top of my list of favorite splurge purchases, and a phin filter is high up on my Christmas list this year. I’ve gone through cans of condensed milk this summer just for coffee.

  37. Lisa | With Style and Graceposted August 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm Reply

    I would love a decaf version of this!!

  38. Jennie @themessybakerblogposted August 23, 2012 at 7:55 am Reply

    I’m a coffee addict, and there’s no wakin’ up before I get that first cup of joe in my system. Now, I’m thinking about trading up and eating my coffee in the form of these Popsicles. They look amazing, and I love the spot of cream on the bottom of the pop.

  39. Russell at Chasing Deliciousposted August 27, 2012 at 9:53 am Reply

    These popsicles look so good! I am loving the recipe.

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  42. fabtabposted January 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm Reply


    thanks, greeting from méxico

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  47. Gigiposted May 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm Reply

    I have a question: the consistency of the pops once they were frozen, was it very crystallized or was it fairly smooth? I have had issues with my more ‘watery based’ pops being more like the texture of compacted snow instead of creamy and rich. I know adding the natural emulsifier Guar Gum will help make pops more smooth and creamy, but it isn’t always necessary for ingredients that can achieve that consistency alone. Thoughts?

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  49. Kristinaposted June 8, 2013 at 8:57 am Reply

    instead of a cup of coffee this morning, I pulled out the Popsicles I froze over night. they were delicious!! thanks for sharing

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  60. Sarahposted September 8, 2013 at 10:25 pm Reply


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  68. Rachel Bruursemaposted October 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm Reply

    These look amazing! Where did you get your popsicle tray, it looks like it works well…THANKS!

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  86. Smithposted November 4, 2017 at 6:03 am Reply

    I didn’t know that sweetened condensed milk doesn’t freeze!! I like that idea of using condesnsed milk in the recipe. Looks delicious!! Going to search my moulds now:-)

    Rating: 5