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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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  • Renee – Kudos Kitchen wrote:

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

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