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Affogato Recipe: Make This Delicious Dessert Today!

affogato recipe

Affogatos are classic coffee desserts, combining velvety ice cream with rich espresso to make a dessert that’s simple and decadent. You can find them on menus at many high-end restaurants, but they’re surprisingly easy and affordable to make at home. Why not try this decadent recipe tonight?

Keep reading to find our simple affogato recipe! You’ll be enjoying a delicious dessert in three easy steps.

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What is Affogato?

Affogato is an Italian dessert that involves ice cream doused in espresso. The word “affogato” means “drowned” in Italian — and it’s easy to see where the name came from! This is a dessert you’ll want to eat quickly since the espresso rapidly drowns the ice cream.

An Easy Affogato Recipe:

  • Ice cream
  • Fresh coffee beans
  • Whipped cream, espresso powder, or other garnishes (optional)

1. Make espresso.

Espresso shot Wacaco Minipresso

Grind your coffee beans and pull a shot or two of espresso. If you don’t have an espresso maker (we’re using the handy Wacaco Minipresso), you can substitute a Moka pot or any coffee brewing method.

RELATED: Read our tips on making strong coffee!

2. Scoop ice cream into a bowl or glass.

scooping ice cream
Image: Joy, Wikimedia, CC 2.0

You can use any flavor of ice cream — just make sure it will taste good with coffee! We recommend French vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and cherry. But it’s completely up to you.

3. Pour the espresso over the ice cream.

how to make an affogato

Carefully pour the espresso or strong coffee over the ice cream. Now all you need to do is enjoy your delicious coffee dessert!

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What Variations Can You Make?

This is a very simple coffee recipe, so you can alter it in many ways. It just depends on what flavors you like! Here are some delicious ideas to get you started:

Have Fun With Toppings

chocolate and berries ice cream toppings

For an extra decadent treat, why not experiment with toppings like fresh fruit, caramel, or chocolate chips? Sprinkle on homemade espresso powder, cocoa powder, or cinnamon for an easy but delicious garnish. Or shave chocolate into curls for an impressive topping.

Add a Splash of Alcohol

Coffee liqueur with cream

Make your affogato an adults-only affair with a shot of coffee liqueur! We recommend Kahlua, Baileys, or a homemade liqueur. Try our recipe here.

Experiment With Ice Cream

ice cream flavors

Affogato is an Italian dessert, so the most traditional ice cream base is actually gelato. But feel free to substitute your favorite flavor of ice cream! We’ve found that cherry ice cream makes a particularly delicious affogato, and French vanilla is always a good option.

SEE ALSO: What are the best coffee ice creams?

Try a New Coffee


You can use any kind of coffee beans for this dessert! The only requirement is that your espresso or brewed coffee be strong and rich. To make concentrated coffee, we recommend a dark roast, which will produce a classic espresso flavor. If caffeine keeps you up at night, try a tasty decaf variety. If you want extra flavor, try flavored beans like Lifeboost’s Hazelnut.

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The Bottom Line

Now you know how to make an impressive coffee dessert! Just pour espresso over creamy scoops of ice cream. Top it off with whipped cream, espresso powder, coffee liqueur, or chocolate chips for a particularly decadent treat. We guarantee you’ll enjoy the results of this simple affogato recipe.

Looking for more coffee recipes?

Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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