A 3-ingredient dessert to cool you off and wake you up

Early in the pandemic, I found myself the owner of a can of sweetened condensed milk I’d somehow panic purchased. I could have baked something with it, or I could have shared it.

Instead, I enjoyed a glorious run of treating myself to Vietnamese coffee every morning — so strong, so sweet and so rich. I would sit by the window and savor it like the small luxury it was every day. 

Now, as I sit in the midst of a despicable heat wave and a humidity index that makes the city of New York feel like the inside of a lobster pot, my thoughts have once again turned to Vietnamese coffee. This time, though, I crave it long past breakfast time.

I apologetically confess there’s very little about this Vietnamese coffee popsicle recipe that is traditional. However, it’s very good, bracing as hell and guaranteed to make you curse its beautiful deliciousness when you can’t fall asleep tonight.

Want more great food writing and recipes? Subscribe to “The Bite,” Salon Food’s newsletter.

Because sweetened condensed milk doesn’t freeze perfectly, I’ve added a little heavy cream in the core for your popsicle stick to hang on to. Is it ever a bad thing to add extra heavy cream to coffee anything?


Inspired by A Spicy Perspective and David Lebovitz

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles


 6-8 servings

Prep Time

 5 minutes

Chill Time

 2 hours


  • 2 cups very strong coffee, hot or cold
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Place the coffee and condensed milk in a big bowl and stir until well blended. (If using hot coffee, let the mixture cool for a few minutes before proceeding.)

  2. Pour the coffee mixture into popsicle molds, 2/3 to 3/4 full. Gently pour a few tablespoons of heavy cream on top of each one. 

  3. Freeze the popsicles until firm, at least 2 hours. 

  4. When ready to serve, run the molds under hot water for just a few seconds to loosen. Remove gently and serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes

If you’re looking for an extra kick, add a dash of cinnamon to the coffee mixture.

Read more

our favorite frozen treats

Salon Food writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Salon has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar