Affogato Recipe – Where Espresso Meets Gelato Magic

Best espresso recipes

I’ve got a new neighbor, and she’s Italian—friendly and all-around nice. We got to chatting, and thanks to her, I discovered the wonders of Affogato. It’s a game-changer!

Easy Affogato recipe

Affogato is an Italian dessert or drink where a shot of hot espresso is poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato, creating a delightful contrast of temperatures and flavors.

Its name literally means “drowned” in Italian, and that’s precisely what happens to the scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato when it’s drenched in a shot of hot espresso.

easy and simple Affogato recipe
My homemade espresso with ice cream

The classic Affogato requires only two primary ingredients: a shot of freshly brewed espresso and a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream or gelato. After trying this dessert recipe a few times, I realized that I could swap ice cream with sorbet for a lighter and fruitier option.

Here is how to make Affogato:

Best espresso recipes

Classic Affogato

A treat that marries the richness of espresso with the simplicity of ice cream.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1
Calories 170 kcal


  • 1 scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream or gelato or you can try sorbet
  • 1 to 2 tbsp of instant coffee powder or instant espresso powder
  • 30 ml water


making a hot shot of espresso

  • Heat about 1 ounce (30 ml) of water. It's essential to have hot water for the best extraction.
  • In a small cup, add the instant coffee. Pour the hot water over the coffee, and stir well until the coffee granules are completely dissolved.

making Affogato

  • Place a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato into a serving dish or a heat-resistant glass.
  • As soon as the shot of espresso is ready, pour it over the ice cream. The heat will begin to melt the ice cream, creating a delightful blend of hot and cold.
  • Affogato is best enjoyed promptly after assembling to experience the contrast in temperatures and textures. The result should be a creamy, melty, and delicious dessert.
Keyword coffee, desserts, drinks, homemade

Affogato variations

The simplicity is part of the drink’s charm. However, you can create other variations based on this basic recipe.

  • Flavor Twists: Instead of vanilla ice cream, you can experiment with different ice cream flavors like chocolate, matcha, hazelnut, or salted caramel.
  • Alcoholic Infusions: For the adults, a splash of liqueur like amaretto, Baileys, or Kahlúa can turn your dessert into a sophisticated nightcap.
Chocolate Affogato with peanut on top
Chocolate version with peanuts
  • Frozen Affogato: Freeze your strong brewed coffee into ice cubes and then combine it with ice cream, gelato, or even granita.
  • Toppings: You can sprinkle crushed nuts, chocolate shavings, or a dash of cinnamon on top for a visually appealing and flavor-packed upgrade.
  • Seasonal combination: Match this drink to the season. In the summer, try it with a scoop of fruity sorbet, and in the winter, opt for a spiced or gingerbread-flavored ice cream.
Johanna Cleveland
About the author

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating