Affogato Recipe Featured

Affogato Recipe – Make an Ice Cream & Espresso Treat

I’ve always been passionate about coffee (obviously why I became a barista), and also have a sweet tooth. Fortunately, there are treats that I can whip up when I seek the best of both worlds.

And if it’s about simplicity and convenience, an Affogato is the way to go.

Read on and I’ll share with you how to indulge in this Italian dessert at home, any time you feel like it.

What is an Affogato?

Affogato is an Italian dessert that combines espresso and plain ice cream or gelato. The Italian name of this caffeinated treat translates to “drowned”, which refers to the way the iced dessert is being drowned with coffee.

While the story of its invention is a bit murky, the Affogato gained popularity in Italy during the 1950s, the same time that the ice cream industry was being modernized.

Affogato Recipe

I first stumbled upon this dessert while at an Italian restaurant years ago, and it’s the simplicity that charmed me. I never bought plain vanilla ice cream back then, but since I discovered the Affogato, it is sure to be found in our fridge during summer.

Ingredients and Equipment for Making Affogato

Here are the things that you will need to make an Affogato:

  • 2 shots of espresso: a key ingredient for this dessert, the espresso creates a strong and rich coffee base to complement the gelato. You can get away with using faux-espresso here, since the ice cream alters the taste of the espresso.
  • 2 scoops of plain ice cream or gelato: the other half of this simple but delicious treat. It’s best to use vanilla or milk flavors for this recipe.
  • Toppings (optional): to add more flavor or texture to your affogato. Coffee shavings, chocolate syrup, caramel, and pistachios are some of the toppings to consider.
  • Ice cream scooper: use this to make two scoops of ice cream or gelato. A spoon can be used but thinner ice cream scoops can melt much faster.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make an Affogato

Making an Affogato is very easy, especially if you already know how to make an espresso. Just follow these steps:

1. Put two scoops of ice cream or gelato in a cup.

  • Take two scoops of your plain ice cream or gelato and put them in a cup.
  • An authentic Italian affogato uses gelato with no toppings so if you’re making one, you can skip to step 3.

2. Add your desired topping.

  • Shave some chocolate, sprinkle some pistachios, or drizzle some chocolate syrup or caramel on top of the ice cream.
  • I recommend not to overdo this so you can still enjoy the interesting blend of ice cream and espresso.

3. Pull a double shot of espresso.

  • Using your espresso machine, pull a double shot of espresso into a separate espresso cup. If you need help, you can check my espresso recipe.
  • If you don’t have access to an espresso machine, you can also use other methods to create espresso-like coffee with brewers such as the Moka pot, AeroPress, and French press.

4. Pour the espresso over the ice cream or gelato.

  • Now it’s time to “drown” your iced dessert. Pour your double espresso into the cup where your ice cream or gelato is.
  • Serve with a spoon and enjoy your Affogato!

What kind of cup should I serve an Affogato in?

Any kind of wide glass cup that can support the volume of the 2 scoops of ice cream and the espresso works great for an Affogato. Remember that this is served with a spoon so you want that extra scooping room when enjoying your Affogato.

Wide Glass Cup

Barista Tips for Making an Affogato

Here are some extra tips to make your Affogato more delicious:

  • Use instant coffee powder as an alternative: Aside from the alternative brewing methods I mentioned above, if all else fails, you can also just use instant coffee, making this recipe even more convenient. This should be your last resort though, instant coffee doesn’t taste that great.
  • Try other flavors of ice cream or gelato: You can also use flavored ice cream or gelato, although it veers away from the authentic Affogato experience. If you do, I recommend the flavors Hazelnut, Stracciatella, Salted Caramel, Brownie Dark Chocolate, and Cookie Dough. No fruit flavors, they don’t pair well with coffee.
  • Use a spoon or let it melt: You can enjoy your Affogato with a spoon and just “drink” it like a slushy when the ice cream or gelato is completely melted. If you want to avoid melting the ice cream too fast, you can chill your cup beforehand.
Affogato Recipe Featured

Affogato Recipe

Indulge in a delicious combination of coffee and ice cream/gelato
Total Time 3 minutes
Course Coffee Recipes
Servings 1 servings
Calories 210 kcal


  • 2 scoops Vanilla/Milk ice cream or gelato
  • 60 ml Espresso
  • Toppings (optional)


  • Put two scoops of ice cream or gelato in a cup
  • Add preferred toppings (optional), such as chocolate syrup or shavings, caramel, or pistachios.
  • Pull a double shot of espresso into a separate cup.
  • Transfer the coffee into the cup with ice cream/gelato and serve.



  • You can use other flavors of ice cream or gelato.
  • If you don’t want the ice cream or gelato to melt right away, you can chill your cup beforehand.

Now you know how to whip up this dessert with just two ingredients.

But I’m curious, which toppings or ice cream/gelato flavors got you hooked, or do you just stick with the classic?

Let me know in the comments below.

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