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Affogato - A classic Italian dessert.  So simple and so delicious!

I’ve often teased my husband Jack that he must have been Asian in another life because of his incredible love for Asian food and the look of pure contentment he gets on his face when he eats it. (You can read more about that here.)

So – if the same holds true for me, I must have been Italian! I absolutely adore Italian dishes – and as a cook, I greatly admire Italian cuisine for its simplicity of combining a few rustic ingredients in such a way that it creates an incredibly delicious dish! Today’s recipe for Affogato is a perfect example.

Affogato means “drowned” in Italian or, according to this article, Italians use the term affogato “when you’re talking about something so incredibly tasty that it takes your breath away.”

Affogato - A classic Italian dessert.  So simple and so delicious!

Affogato is made with just a few simple ingredients: A shot of freshly brewed espresso poured over vanilla gelato. You can also add a liqueur to the espresso if you’d like (we added some Kahlua to ours) – and either way, you’ve got one amazing dessert!

The hot rich espresso contrasts against the cold, creamy gelato and it is pure dessert heaven! Affogato is the perfect finish to any classic Italian-inspired dinner.

If you can’t find gelato at your local supermarket, just swap in a super-premium vanilla ice cream like Häagen-Dazs® or make your own. Mangia!



  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 pint vanilla gelato or super-premium vanilla ice cream like Häagen-Dazs®
  • 1 cup freshly brewed espresso
  • Optional – ¼ cup Kahlua, Amaretto, or other liqueur of your choice


  1. Place a ½ cup scoop of vanilla gelato ice cream into a shallow tea cup.
  2. Optional step: In a small pitcher, combine espresso with the liqueur of your choice and stir to combine. (Or skip to step 3)
  3. Gently pour approximately ¼ cup of hot brewed espresso mixture over the vanilla gelato. Serve immediately.

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    Leave a Comment


  1. Ginny McMeans :

    You have just sent my husband into seventh heaven. Thank you for a simple and wonderful dessert that he will love.

  2. My husband would go nuts for this. And it’s so easy, I can’t wait to make it!

  3. they are perfect after a big Italian meal

  4. Oh my word, this looks amazing! I want to make this ASAP!

  5. My Italian, came from Rome when he was 15 to the States, loves espresso and would feel right at home with this as would my hubby who, although not Italian as I am, is a lover of it all like you!

  6. I love affogato but had forgotten it existed! Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful treat, it looks as delicious in your photos as I remember it now. 🙂

  7. I think I died and went to espresso heaven…YUM

  8. My husband loves affogato. It’s always a special treat when he orders it. I wish I drank coffee because whenever I see it a large part of me wants to grab a big spoonful!

  9. Affogato is the best dessert or special afternoon treat ever – coffee and ice cream! Perfection

  10. I am in your husband’s camp with the Asian food…I could eat it at every meal! That being said, this affogato looks beyond amazing. What a treat to finish off a meal!

  11. I only have one word for this…Perfection!!! (but three exclamation points, LOL)