How to make Affogato – learn the secrets of this simple Italian dessert

by Kremy

How to make Affogato? What is it and what are the secrets of this simple 2-ingredient Italian dessert? We shall give you the recipe and some ideas for delicious Affogato cocktails and dessert variations. Italian food is famous all over the world. Just think about it – pizza, pasta, risotto, lasagna, tiramisu – we all love them! But what is Affogato? Like most great Italian dishes, Affogato is a lesson in simplicity. This is the easiest dessert to prepare as it has only two ingredients – coffee and ice cream. The name literary means “drowned” and that is exactly what it is – cold ice cream drowned in hot espresso. If you love ice cream and coffee, you will certainly adore Affogato!

How to make Affogato – what is the secret of this simple dessert?

How to make Affogato learn the secrets of this simple Italian dessert

In its classic form Affogato is prepared with a tightly packed scoop of vanilla ice cream in a chilled glass or small bowl and then hot espresso is poured directly over the gelato and served right away. Now, the trick is that the espresso should not immediately melt the ice cream. It must run down the sides and pool at the bottom.

The main secret Affogato is in the ingredients! They must be of high quality! Take your favorite espresso or espresso blend. Never use instant coffee! We recommend that you consult with your barista which espresso blend combines with milk to add a creamier texture to your drinks. Vanilla ice cream is the other ingredient so make sure that you get a really good one.

Affogato variations are numerous. You can add your own special and personal touch to the dessert. You can use chocolate or other ice cream instead of vanilla, you can garnish it with coffee beans, chocolate shavings, berries, caramel, whipped cream, nuts or cookies. Depending on the season, the taste can be enriched with fresh fruit or alcohol. Now that you know how to make Affogato, here are some useful tips and tricks.

how to make affogato easy recipe and instructions


Chill the glass or cup. If you put them in the freezer for a while, then when you prepare dessert you will get an excellent result and the ice cream will not melt for a long time.

Make sure the ice cream is very cold.

Brew the espresso just before serving.

Pour the espresso over the ice cream and serve immediately. Optionally, you can serve the espresso on the side and let everyone pour it by themselves. However, do not forget that Affogato is a combination of hot and cold, so do not let espresso sit and get cold.

Traditional Affogato is not garnished, but some chocolate shavings are always a good idea. A shot of liqueur like Amaretto or other coffee liqueur will not hurt either.

Classic Affogato recipe

classic affogato recipe Italian desserts


  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 shot espresso


Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream a chilled glass, bowl, or mug.

Pour a freshly brewed shot of espresso over and serve immediately.

Garnish with nuts or shaved chocolate, if desired.

Affogato amaretto

affogato amaretto quick and easy dessert ideas


  • 1 large scoop vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1/2 ounce amaretto
  • 2 small amaretti cookies


Place ice cream in a cold bowl or mug.

Pour hot espresso over the ice cream. Repeat with amaretto.

Crumble cookies over the ice cream and serve immediately.

Baileys Affogato

delicious dessert ideas baileys affogato recipe


  • 3.5oz Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • ½ cup of espresso
  • 1 sunken cake
  • Two scoops of vanilla ice cream


Put two shots of espresso into a jug and pour in the Baileys.

Add a piece of cake to the bottom of two glasses.

Add a scoop of ice cream on top of the cake.

Pour the Baileys and espresso mixture over the top.

Serve immediately.

Christmas Peppermint Affogato Recipe

Peppermint Affogato Recipe Christmas dessert ideas


  • 1 quart peppermint ice cream
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • ¼ cup Peppermint Mocha Creamer
  • Candy cane pieces


Place two scoops of ice cream into 4 small bowls or glasses.

Mix together the hot coffee and peppermint mocha creamer, and pour ¼ cup hot coffee over the ice cream in each bowl.

Top with a sprinkle of candy cane pieces, and serve immediately.

Espresso martini affogato recipe

Espresso martini affogato recipe


  • 4 scoops Vanilla ice cream
  • 10g pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 40ml hot espresso
  • 40ml Espresso Martini
  • 10g dark chocolate, finely cut into small chunks


Divide the scoops of ice cream between two glasses. Put in the freezer.

Put the pistachio nuts in a dry frying pan. Place over a medium heat, tossing occasionally, for 1-2 minutes until toasted.

Prepare the espresso.

Take the prepared ice cream from the freezer and, working quickly, drizzle over the espresso martini and the hot espresso.

Top with pistachios and dark chocolate.

Serve immediately.

Irish Affogato

quick dessert ideas Italian cuisine Irish Affogato recipe


  • 3/4 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 oz Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1 scoop coffee ice cream
  • 1 1/2 oz hot espresso
  • whipped cream and chocolate shavings, for garnish


Add Irish whiskey and Bailey’s Irish cream in an Irish Coffee mug.

Add the ice cream and pour the hot espresso.

Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Serve immediately.

Vodka and espresso martini Affogato cocktail

Affogato cocktail recipe with vodka and espresso martini


  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon fresh espresso
  • 1/4 cup crushed ice
  • 1 small scoop vanilla ice-cream
  • Cocoa powder, to dust
  • Coffee beans, to serve


Place the vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 1 minute.

Place the ice-cream in a martini glass.

Strain vodka mixture into the glass.

Dust with cocoa.

Decorate with beans and serve.

Peach Affogato with granola crumble recipe

Peach Affogato with granola crumble recipe


  • 2 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
  • 4 shots of espresso
  • For granola crumble:
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt


Preheat the oven to 325°F/180C and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. On the baking sheet, toss together the oats, walnuts, coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Spread the mixture into a flat layer and bake for 10 minutes, or until toasted.

Assemble each affogato in a glass with peach slices, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a shot of freshly brewed espresso.

Top with a sprinkle of the granola crumble.

Serve immediately.

Gingerbread affogato recipe

gingerbread affogato recipe


  • 5 pieces gingerbread
  • 100ml hot espresso coffee
  • 100ml coffee liqueur
  • 8 scoops vanilla ice cream


Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Put 4 pieces of the gingerbread on a baking tray and heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Chop the remaining piece into fine crumbs and put in a small bowl.

Divide the ice cream and coffee liqueur among 4 bowls or dessert glasses. Pour hot espresso.

Sprinkle with the finely chopped gingerbread, then serve immediately with the warm gingerbread on the side.

Chocolate Brownie Affogato Recipe

Chocolate Brownie Affogato Recipe


  • 6 shots of espresso.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • A brownie
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Whipped Cream, optional


Add a slice of brownie to three glasses.

Add a scoop of Vanilla ice cream on top of the brownie.

Pour the espresso and, add some cream on top (if using) and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Serve immediately.

Affogato parfait recipe

no bake dessert ideas affogato parfait recipe


  • 300ml double cream
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks, plus 1 white
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp espresso coffee powder
  • 500ml vanilla ice cream
  • 12 amaretti biscuits
  • 2 tbsp rum


Pour the cream and milk into a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Meanwhile, lightly beat the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of the espresso powder with 2 tbsp boiling water. Pour the hot cream/milk mixture over the beaten yolks, whisking to prevent scrambling, then stir the coffee into the egg yolk mixture until incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a clean pan, stir with a wooden spoon over a medium heat until thickened to a custard. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

When the custard has cooled, beat the egg white to soft peaks and fold into the cooled custard. Pour the mixture into a loaf tin, then put in the freezer for 4-6 hours until frozen solid.

Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer and leave for 20 minutes to soften. Take the loaf tin out of the freezer, then crumble 8 of the amaretti biscuits over the frozen custard. Mix the remaining 2 tbsp coffee powder with the rum and 1 tbsp boiling water, then drizzle half over the biscuits and set the remainder aside.

Spoon the softened ice cream on top and smooth the surface. Wrap well with the cling film and freeze until solid.

Invert the parfait onto a serving platter drizzle over the remaining rum/coffee, then crumble over the rest of the biscuits.

Slice using a knife heated in a jug of hot water and serve.



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