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Coconut-Coffee Popsicles

coconut coffee pops

Sweet Vietnamese coffee becomes a simple summery treat.

If there’s anything more tempting during the swelter of summer than iced coffee, it would have to be these sweet coconutty Vietnamese coffee popsicles. “In tropical Vietnam, frozen desserts are extra-welcome. Beloved ice-cream shops, like Kem Bạch Đằng and Kem Tràng Tiền, enjoy loyal followings,” writes Andrea Nguyen in her newest cookbook, Ever-Green Vietnamese.

The latter ice-cream shop, which has been operating since 1958, is famous for kem que (ice pops) and was even referenced in the historical novel The Mountains Sing, when two characters find a moment of respite in their war-torn country with the frozen treats. “The grandmother and granddaughter experience poignant childlike glee, and their joyfulness inspired me to create this coconut-coffee ice pop,” Nguyen writes. “I took cues from the motherland, where kem que is often sweetened by condensed milk and enriched by coconut milk.” The result makes for a decidedly decadent popsicle, with the sweet, creamy flavors perfectly balancing the strong, chocolatey coffee.


  • 2 batches Vietnamese coffee, or a generous 1 cup strong coffee, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (whisk before measuring)
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (coconut if preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, plus more as needed
  • Fine sea salt
  • Tools:ice-pop molds


To brew Vietnamese coffee, use a ratio of 2 1/2 Tbsp. medium-dark or dark roast coffee to 2/3 cup very hot or just-boiled water. Allow the coffee to cool to room temperature.

In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the coffee, coconut milk, condensed milk, vanilla, and 1/8 tsp. sea salt. Taste and, if needed, add a drop of vanilla for fragrance or a pinch of salt for flavor pop.

When satisfied, pour the mixture into ice-pop molds. I use 1/3 cup–size ones, so you should get six ice pops total. Freeze until hard, then unmold and eat up!

TipTo emphasize the coconut flavor and make a vegan version, opt for sweetened condensed coconut milk.

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