Affogato, which means “drowned” in Italian, is a scoop of gelato drowning in a freshly made shot of hot espresso. It's a great treat or the perfect way to finish a meal.
Affogato Coffee Ice Cream is an easy Italian dessert. It’s so good, you won’t believe it only has a couple ingredients! Affogato looks and tastes like a gourmet dish but takes a few minutes to make.
Though restaurants and cafes in Italy categorize the affogato as a dessert, some restaurants and cafes outside of Italy categorize it as a beverage. Whether a dessert the affogato is traditionally served in a tall narrow glass, allowing the fior di latte, vanilla gelato, or ice cream to melt and combine with espresso into the hollowed space in the bottom of the glass.
Occasionally, coconut, berries, honeycomb and multiple flavors of ice cream are added. A biscotto or cookie can also be served and enjoyed alongside this beverage. Affogati are often enjoyed as a post-meal coffee dessert combo eaten and or drunk with a spoon or straw.
What can I Substitute for Espresso?
Strong brewed coffee (hot)
Instant Espresso powder in boiling water
The Best Ice Cream for Affogato:
You can make affogato with vanilla bean ice cream because it’s easier to find in the grocery store. But, it's classically made with vanilla gelato so if you want the authentic Italian experience, pour espresso over vanilla gelato.
Affogato Coffee Ice Cream Toppings:
There is so much room to experiment with Affogato toppings. You can absolutely serve it with just coffee and ice cream, but if you are feeling adventurous or really want to impress someone, try these:
Chocolate shavings from a chocolate bar
Cocoa powder for dusting
Grated chocolate espresso beans
Biscotti or Italian pizzelle cookies, crushed
Toasted and chopped hazelnuts or pistachios
Liquor for adults (Kahlua, Bailey’s or Frangelico
The Best Affogato Flavor Combinations:
Vanilla bean ice cream, espresso
Caramel sauce, roasted chopped pistachios, espresso
Chocolate sauce, sea salt, espresso
Can Affogato be Made Ahead?
Yes! You can scoop the ice cream into glasses and even add toppings ahead, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Just before serving, remove from the freezer and pour espresso over ice cream. If espresso or coffee is extremely hot, pour over the ice cream and not directly over glass so the glass doesn’t break.