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Affogato is a simple dessert of freshly brewed espresso poured over ice cream.

Affogato coffee over ice cream

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.

What is Affogato?

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 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 vanilla ice cream. Mangia!

You may like these other dessert recipes:


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Affogato - A Family Feast


  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: freezer, stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


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


Place a ½ cup scoop of vanilla gelato ice cream into a shallow tea cup.

Optional step: In a small pitcher, combine espresso with the liqueur of your choice and stir to combine. (Or skip to step 3)

Gently pour approximately ¼ cup of hot brewed espresso mixture over the vanilla gelato. Serve immediately.

Keywords: affogato, espresso over ice cream



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  • Cookin Canuck wrote:

    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!

  • Bea wrote:

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

  • Susan wrote:

    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!

  • Amanda @ The Kitcheneer wrote:

    I think I died and went to espresso heaven…YUM

  • nicole ( wrote:

    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. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Nicole!

  • Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom wrote:

    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!

  • Lauren Kelly Nutrition wrote:

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

  • The Food Hunter wrote:

    they are perfect after a big Italian meal

  • Angie wrote:

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

  • Ginny McMeans wrote:

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

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