Coffee Jelly Recipe

Coffee Jelly Recipe, and old fashioned dessert made with gelatin German Semi-sweet Chocolate and served with milk or cream.


Coffee Jelly Recipe makes an old fashioned scrumptious dessert, with a mocha twist and hint of Sherry that will keep your family gathered at the dinner table.

I am elated to bring this Coffee Jelly Recipe to you.

Amazing that I had never made this delicious dish until now because it had not gotten my attention, even though it appears in at least 4... maybe more, of my often used old fashioned recipe books.

(More on the history of Coffee Jelly below.)

Coffee Jelly Recipe

  • 3 pouches unflavored gelatin or 2 tablespoons dry granules (I use Knox gelatine)
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cups boiling strong coffee (espresso or triple strength regular coffee)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dry Sherry, optional (may substitute hot coffee)
  • Semi-sweet German Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
  • cold, whole milk or cream
  • Homemade Whipped Cream (optional)

Pour 3/4 cup room temperature cold water into a medium size bowl. Sprinkle gelatin contents of gelatine pouches over water. Let set 5 minutes until all granules are have absorbed water and swollen.

If a few granules are left on top that did not absorb in the water fold them over into the mixture and let it set until they do. (This step is important to get a smooth mixture that will not need to be strained.)

Slowly stir in boiling water and stir continuously until all gelatin granules have dissolved. May take 3-4 minutes.

Slowly stir in sugar until all sugar has dissolved.

Stir in Dry Sherry or hot coffee substitute.

Pour into a square pan* and cool to room temperature.

Refrigerate until thoroughly congealed. May take up to 6 hours.

Chilling overnight is best to get a solid, firmer gel.


*For cutting this Coffee Jelly into approximately 1 inch squares as most recipes call for, use a 8x8 size pan.

I like to use a 9" glass pan which gives me nice size squares (around 3/4 inch.). For smaller squares a 10" pan would be best.

You can use a glass pan such as Pyrex or metal pans like cakes are baked in.

If in a hurry, metal containers chill faster than glass containers. I use glass pans because I can see how the gel is developing.

I don't use metal pans because I use metal spatulas (they're stronger) to remove gel from pans and don't want a speck of metal scraped up with it. Just personal.


Semi-sweet German Chocolate Sauce

  • 4 oz. German Semi-sweet Chocolate bar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (1/4 cup canned evaporated milk plus 1/4 cup water)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup (I use Karo Syrup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place milk with water, butter and and corn syrup in top section of double boiler. Heat on medium heat until butter is melted.

Break or cut chocolate bar into course chunks and add to hot milk and  butter.

Stir mixture continually until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Cool and pour into a 1/2 pint jar and cover with lid.

DO NOT refrigerate sauce before using.

Makes 1 thick cup German Chocolate Sauce.

To Serve Coffee Jelly

Place the cut squares in an individual serving bowl, a tall glass like a wine glass, or other serving dish you choose.

Pour in the cold milk or cream over jelly squares. Spoon the German Chocolate Sauce over the milk (do not swirl unless you want more of a chocolate milk or pretty look) and then top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Enjoy the incredible taste of Coffee Jelly, Dry Sherry, Chocolate Sauce and Homemade Whipped Cream.

Then tell your family and friends to try it!

History of Coffee Jelly Recipe

In addition to my information about this recipe in my personally owned cookbooks I sought to find the origin of it.

Like many times when researching historical facts there is a lot of erroneous information out there.

So, I'm going to say, I don't know when or where this recipe originated.

I will tell you this recipe or the origin of this evolved recipe is very old.

Like most recipes, old and new, it has more than one name.

In my collection of recipes, I see it is called Coffee Jelly Recipe, Coffee Gelatin, and Coffee Parfait. And that's of just 4 cookbooks.

The recipes in those books vary on amounts of  liquid, sugar and yes, gelatin, too, often called gelatine.

Armed with that information the final, delicious recipe listed here is my own concoction after spending 3 days testing various combinations.

I hope you like it!

My first reference to this recipe I found online came from author Fannie Merritt Farmer and principal of the school, cookbook the "The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book ", First Edition, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, Copyright University Press, 1986, John Wilson and Son, Cambridge USA, page 351.

I have her eighth edition of this cook book containing this recipe. but with revised ingredient measurements.

My second  reference is "The Settlement Cookbook", compiled by Mrs. Simon Kander, 1901 in the collection of MSiU (Michigan State University), page 275.

There is an abundance of other listings to show that this is an old fashioned Coffee Jelly Recipe was loved.

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