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Well, it’s the end of July and Paris has, at long last, warmed up. It’s actually so warm here that—get this: a few Parisians actually went out without scarves tied up around their necks! While we’re all enjoying the Parisian sunshine, I took a stroll around Belleville, a lively multicultural neighborhood in Paris where there are lots of Paris Pas Cher shops; huge variety stores where you can find everything from unmentionables to cookware.

And when I saw these colorful popsicle molds for a mere 1.5€ ($2.50), my mind starting racing. Yes, I knew they were a bargain, but did I have any use for them?

vietnamese coffee popsicle

Indeed they did. And I knew exactly what I would do with these colorful cuties: Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles. Because I know there are one or two of you out there that don’t have an ice cream machine—yet, and some of you aren’t so keen on making custards or doing any work in the kitchen during the summer. So why not make popsicles?

If you don’t have popsicle molds, you can use paper cups and pop a spoon in them before freezing. Or you can pour the mixture into ice cube trays and use them to chill down icy mugs brimming with a mocha freeze, from The Perfect Scoop.

mocha freeze

As with the best Vietnamese coffee, you should start with the strongest coffee you can muster up. I use my Bialetti Moka pot, although you could make a deal with your local coffee shop, and swap espresso for popsicles.

removing popsicles

I had a bit of trouble coaxing the popsicles out of the molds, which may be due to the fact that my el cheap-o popsicle molds had teeny-tiny stems. I guess they had to cut costs somewhere. I ran warm water over the outside, which helped the little suckers slide out fairly well. Still, I had two break, which I had to slurp up as fast as I could. Which made people wonder why I was bouncing off the walls all afternoon.

So recommend limiting yourself to one. Although these are so refreshing, you might find that hard to do.

Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles

If you don’t have an espresso-maker, you can augment brewed coffee with instant espresso crystals, to taste. The coffee should be chest hair-raisingly strong, and you can certainly swap out decaf. I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I’ll bet a version with Thai ice tea would be equally delectable and refreshing as well. And if you don’t have sweetened condensed milk, regular milk will work fine. And you can sweetened to taste.
  • 2 cups (500ml) extra-strong coffee
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • Mix the coffee with the sweetened condensed milk. Taste, and add a bit more milk, if desired. (A spoonful or two is fine, but any more and the popsicles won’t freeze as hard.)
  • Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until sold.


Note: My favorite brand of sweetened condensed milk is Longevity Brand, which is available in most Asian markets.

Related links:

Grape, sailboat,
groovy, rocket & starry popsicle molds.

Popsicle Sticks

My Bialetti Moka Express coffee-maker.

Pineapple-Chile Paletas (Coconut & Lime)

Rhubarb & Raspberry Yogurt Pops (La Tartine Gourmand)

Mexican Paletas (LA Times)

Juice popsicles (Simply Recipes)

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles (The Kitchn)

Banana Blueberry Popsicles (Martha Stewart)



    • Kitt

    Danger, Will Robinson! I would be the one bouncing off the walls and the ceiling and other cars on the road … When I order Vietnamese coffee, I always have to get two, because one hit isn’t enough for my jones. If I made these popsicles I would eat them all.

    Don’t tell my insurance company.

    • Michelle in NZ

    Oh brilliant, wish my innards could still cope with coffee. Now hang on – a decently strong Masala Chai, mmmmmmmmm all cold and sweet and spicy!

    Thanks David, you’ve inspired me again. Huggles

    • Oakley Rhodes

    Oh, these look like the perfect thing for a hot afternoon. It’s nice of you to consider those of us without a fancy schmancy ice cream machine. Summer treats know no economic boundaries, apparently!

    • Anna

    Oh, David. I love your posts. I love your style of writing. : ) I moved to a new “studio” recently and I have the tiniest kitchen in the whole world, a bunch of unfamiliar kitchen utensils that aren’t even mine, & the most annoying roommates… but this blog of yours STILL makes me wanna cook!

    • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I’m hiding this post from my husband, who got completely addicted to Vietnamese coffee while we traveled in Vietnam. Freezing this as ice cubes, to be popped later into a milder iced coffee, sounds like a perfect way to have your sweetened coffee in smaller doses while bumping up the flavor of regular iced coffee. Brilliant!

    • Meg

    Brilliant – and perfect timing too as we are having a barbecue tomorrow night. I’m going to pop them in the freezer this afternoon! What a fantastic idea, my dear!

    • Melanie

    These sound delicious–I am going to make them today–I love strong coffee ice cream-thanks for the easy recipe.

    • Jill

    I made “your” frozen yogurt recipe yesterday. It was so incredible, I can still taste it. Of course it is all gone!

    • Alexa

    David, you realize that you are now responsible for all your readers increasing their caffeine consumption? To quote Spiderman’s uncle: “with great power, comes great responsibility” :-) These sound wonderful and so easy. Merci pour la recette.

    • Mari

    I’ve been obsessed with popsicles for a few weeks this summer! The molds I got at Bed Bath and Beyond are crap- the sticks didn’t have any holes in them for the liquid to freeze through so when I tried to unmold them all the sticks just slid out. How stupid! I ended up making a trip to the local craft store where I bought honest-to-god popsicle sticks and they worked great!

    • selena

    Great! I actually just returned from Vietnam *today*, armed with loads of Vietnamese coffee, including “weasel” coffee. And always have a good supply of condensed milk on hand for my coffee – these sound great for summer. Perfect timing!

    • David

    Hey Selena: Let me know what you think of that weasel coffee!

    They sell it here in Paris at Le Bon Marché, but it’s nearly 35€ ($55) for a tiny 60g (2oz) bag, and I wonder if it’s really worth it.

    • Tiffany

    Ahhhh I know my Vietnamese uncles (one owned a Vietnamese restaurant) used the weasel coffee in their iced coffees. Personally, for my dad and myself, Vietnamese weasel coffee tends to be cheap and really bitter. Not worth to buy the cheap chicory.

    But yet again, if you shove a ton of ice and condensed milk in anything it’ll taste good to me :)

    • EB

    Oooh! I’ve been eying the Vietnamese coffee recipe for a bit now. I’m trying to make all the fresh summer fruit flavors while their still in season (or chocolate when I’m ordered to) but I think this HAS to be the next fruit deviation flavor. Mmmm. And I got the same mold from Cliff’s!

    • Lizzie

    These look great. It’s finally starting to heat up in London, and this sounds like the perfect pick-me-up.

    • Helen

    What about cocktail or margarita pops? Those are awesome too!! But I can never restrain myself from having too many… careful now!

    • Matt

    Icy cold coffee
    in childlike pops
    Drips on
    your chin
    for the child

    • Barbra

    I just read about weasel coffee and now I have to pick my jaw up off the floor. Wow.

    The popsicles sound delicious, though!

    • krysalia

    I love coffee taste but i’m caffein sensitive, i think with two of those (really appealing) popsicles, i would just start to glow in the dark and shaking with so much speed i would get nearly invisible :D

    It’s too bad that caffein-free coffee has not the same flavors :/

    • Deb

    If you can find them online, Martha Stewart’s popsicle molds are the best, heaviest most functional I have used. And they are shaped like Popsicle brand pops, which is fun.

    • adrian

    “Lively ethnic neighborhood” = “skanky”

    • Alexa

    I made them today and they’re wonderful. It was a big hit. Merci David!

    • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    David – in France, from a very tender age, children are warned strongly about catching a cold and about DRAFTS. When my relatives come to visit in Virginia – they wear scarves when nobody here would dream of doing that because it’s too hot (well the women do: -pretty fluffy things – the scarves that is, not the women. Although…). Anyway, scarves also help to accessorize a basic wardrobe, make it more fashionable – cheaper than buying lots of clothing.

    And the Vietnamese Popsicles are a treat! I will throw some cardamom pods in when brewing the coffee. I thinks the spicy taste would work very nicely. What do you think?

    • Kirstin

    Anyplace you’d suggest looking to learn about the effects of alcohol in popsicles. Like say, if I wanted to make sangria inspired popsicles or peach bellini pops, how do we figure out how much alcohol the pop can stand and still freeze?

    • Mercedes

    I have the exact same molds, except I got mine at the local grocery for about the same price. I used mine to make Kulfi Pops, but I think it’s time to break them out again this year.

    • Susan at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy

    This is a brilliant idea! I love iced Vietnamese coffee, but this is way better. Love the ice cube idea too. Wonder if anyone still sells ice cube trays?

    • Heidi

    David – I just finally got to see you on Diary of a Foodie. I’d been waiting and waiting and my local PBS channel just wasn’t showing it. You picked up that bag of pecans and I wanted to know how much they were in relation to the ones here in TX!

    Great job-

    • Milena

    Sucking on a popsicle is never an elegant thing. That’s what makes it so much fun.
    I think I’ll make these tomorrow, have three of them in a row and, when I’m all buzzed up, give my kid a taste of that same energy he never seems to run out of. They’ll be fuel, your Vietnamese popsicles. What think you of that?

    • Oakjoan

    I have some weirdo popsicle molds from Ikea that I’ve never used. Perfect for the coffee pops.

    Here in Oakland, at Lucky’s of all places, there have lately appeared what I think are locally produced Vietnamese/Southeast Asian popsicles – coconut, mango, red bean, etc. The coconut pops are fantastic. They’re made with small chunks of coconut and not the shredded stuff Dreyer’s puts in their fruit pops that gets stuck between your teeth. I love these so much I often eat 4 at a sitting. It’s like opium! I’m thinking of opening coconut popsicle dens.

    Haven’t tried to make them yet, but will very soon. . . after I make the coffee pops.

    • clayton

    yumyumyumyumYUM!! i made these with french-pressed coffee (using approximately twice the amount of coffee i normally would for a regular pot), and they were DELISH! extremely refreshing and tasty.

    • Ditz

    Fab idea, thanks for the how-to! Trick will be to just eat one. Starbucks lost me when I discovered Vietnamese coffee. The creamy sugar bumps the buzz up at least an octave from espresso note, and adds velvety smooth texture to the delectable deep dark flavor of the coffee! Sooooo satisfying.

    I bought your P Scoop book, and am looking forward to taking it out for a drive. First have to drag the heavy Lello off a storage shelf and let it commandeer my tiny kitchen counter before can dive headlong into pleasures of ice cream. I think I’m a little worried that once I start using your recipes, I’ll never get my kitchen counter back.

    For those who may not be aware, and may care, Longevity is a full cream sweetened condensed milk consisting only of milk and sugar. More common are versions made with partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats). Don’t know whether Longevity makes bothl some brands do. I was very happy to discover trans-fat free, full-cream versions of condensed milk earlier this year.

    If shopping around is an option, it could be worthwhile. I paid $2.79 per small can for Longevity in one store, only to find it everyday priced at $1.99 in another.

    • Amber

    Hello David, I am green with envy every time I read about your life in France. Your writing is interesting and entertaining. My children are on their own and I am single now and absolutely exhausted from working in a supermarket forever and I would love to see, eat and dance the world. Paris for a year would be perfect. Funding seems to always be an issue. So if you know a ‘nice’ Frenchman that would be interested in a 51 year old you just let me know okay? And there is a cute little dog that comes with me.

    I have seen sites that have a few photos of Dîner en Blanc, and I really think you should find a way to get invited next June. Every year I do a table setting for 8 for a charity luncheon and this will be my theme this year with my guests required to wear white. It should be very fun.

    I made your Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles and added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. OMG. You have me hooked. Now I must buy the book and move to Paris and become your best friend. These were so good, and yes 2 is probably the max that you should eat. There is a site called death-by-caffeine and I am sure these need to be added. Bless you for these. No really.

    • Kathleen

    Just made these with fat free condensed milk, delicious!!!! Thank you!


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