Affogato – The Easiest Italian Dessert (6-Minute Recipe)

Affogato is probably the simplest coffee-based dessert. It has a nice chocolaty taste and coffee flavor. An affogato is an Italian word for “drowned“. It typically takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream “drowned’ or topped with a shot of warm espresso.  Certain variations also include a shot of Bicerin, Amaretto, or some other liqueur. It’s considered one beverage, not a mix of coffee and ice cream.

Though cafes and restaurants in Italy classify the Affogato as a dessert, numerous western cafes and restaurants seem to fight with deciding whether the affogato is a dessert or a drink. While the Affogato recipe is more or less standard in Italia, consisting of a scoop of vanilla gelato surpassed with an espresso shot, variations exist in American and European restaurants.

Jamie Oliver suggests placing leftovers of Christmas desserts such as pie, tart, pudding, or chocolate mousse below the scoop of ice cream. However, here is the Italian Affogato recipe:



  • 2 scoops of gelato or ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, or pistachio)
  • A “short shot” of espresso ristretto (or 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee)

To decorate:

  • Some shaved dark chocolate and/or chopped hazelnuts (optional)



  • Put 2 scoops of gelato (or ice cream) in a coffee cup. Next, pour in a shot of espresso (or strong brewed coffee).
  • Top with chopped hazelnuts and/or shaved dark chocolate (if desired).

Buon Appetito!


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