Looking for a delicious, easy-to-make dessert that can be enjoyed any time of the day? Look no further than affogato!

This traditional Italian dessert has long been a favorite among coffee connoisseurs and sweet tooths alike.

By combining ice cream with espresso or another strong coffee, this beloved treat is sure to satisfy your cravings.

In this article, I’ll uncover all there is to know about affogato – what ingredients are used and how you can recreate it in your home.

So let’s dive right in and discover all there is to learn about this unique desert!

What is an affogato?

An affogato is a coffee-based dessert from Italy that has become increasingly popular worldwide. It consists of a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with hot espresso (or sometimes other types of coffee).

Homemade affogato.

The name “affogato” literally means “drowned” in Italian, referring to the way in which the hot espresso is poured over the cold ice cream.

The result is an irresistible combination of hot and cold flavors and textures that make for an incredibly indulgent treat.

The bitter taste of the espresso contrasts nicely with the sweetness and tendency for richness present in ice cream — plus, it’s authentically Italian!

This contrast between two very different yet complementary elements creates something truly special when enjoyed as part of an affogato.

Which ingredients are needed for this recipe?

The best part about this quick recipe is that you only need two main ingredients to get started:

  • Espresso coffee
  • Vanilla ice cream
All ingredients needed to make an affogato at home.

You can finish your affogato with various toppings, which I’ll cover further in the article.

Before getting into the recipe, let’s dive into the ingredients individually to discover what’s best for your needs:

How do you choose a good ice cream?

When choosing an ice cream for affogato, there are a few things to consider. First, you want to choose an ice cream that is creamy and rich in flavor so that it complements the espresso perfectly.

You also want to select one with a fairly neutral base flavor, such as vanilla—preferably the vanilla ice cream with real vanilla in it:

A tub of vanilla ice cream.

You also need to ensure that your selected variety has enough mass and substance—you don’t want something too light or runny because it may become too thin when it hits your cup!

For a truly decadent treat, pick one made with real heavy whipping cream and eggs – these will lend much more flavor than regular milk products used in some cheaper ice creams for this type of dessert.

What is the best coffee for this recipe?

The coffee selection is key when it comes to making the perfect affogato. If you’re looking for that classic Italian flavor, espresso coffee is the way to go.

Espresso has a bold and intense flavor, enhancing your affogato experience.

Of course, if you don’t have an espresso machine at home, you can opt for an espresso-style coffee made with a Moka pot instead – this will give you similar results, although it won’t be quite as strong as authentic espresso.

Three espresso shots stacked on top of each other.

If you like convenience, you can also brew an espresso (or double espresso) with your Nespresso machine.

Make sure to use a high-intensity Nespresso pod for that well-balanced affogato.

Brewed double espresso Scuro from Nespresso with its pod next to it.

Alternatively, you can use brewed coffee. You can double-brew your coffee for extra strength if you prefer to get closest to the original recipe.

What are the best coffee beans to use?

An affogato is a traditional Italian dessert that combines espresso coffee and ice cream. As such, choosing the best-quality beans for your brew is essential.

If you’re looking for the best coffee beans, you should opt for a dark roast.

Dark roasted coffee beans.

Dark roasts have a bolder taste and more intense flavor, which helps bring out the sweetness of the other ingredients in an affogato.

The darker roast will also help create that creamy texture that is essential for this dessert.

Medium roast coffees also work well, as they are often more flavorful without being too acidic or bitter.

Medium roasted and dark roasted coffee beans next to each other.
Medium roast on the left. Dark roast on the right

When it comes down to it, though, there is no one “best” type of coffee bean because everyone has different preferences regarding flavor and strength.

You may want to experiment with a few different types until you find what works best for your own individual tastes.

If you want to learn more about the differences between various coffee roasts, have a look at this article!

And if you’re on the hunt for some amazing coffee beans for your espresso, check out this complete list.

Additionally, you can go with decaf coffee. More on this below:

Can you also use decaf espresso?

Absolutely! Decaf espresso is a great choice for affogato because it helps you to enjoy the rich, full-bodied flavor of an espresso shot without all the caffeine.

As decaf coffee doesn’t taste that different from regular coffee, you can easily enjoy a decaf affogato as a late-night treat.

A batch of decaf coffee beans.
Decaf coffee beans

Keep in mind that decaf coffee isn’t 100% free of caffeine. If you want to learn more about the caffeine content of decaf coffee, you can check out this article.

And if you’re looking for some excellent decaf coffee beans, you can check them out here!

What is a good glass to serve an affogato in?

When it comes to finding just the right glass to serve an affogato, you should be looking for something that can showcase all the flavors of this classic Italian dessert while also providing a comfortable way to enjoy it.

The classic and perfect choice for presenting an affogato is a cappuccino cup.

Another great glass to serve your affogato in is a whisky glass. Because of the heavy bottom, you can easily enjoy your dessert without the glass moving with each bite.

Whisky glass and cappuccino glass next to each other.
Whisky glass on the left. Cappuccino glass on the right

What are the best toppings in an affogato?

To top off your affogato and make it even more special, here are some delicious options:

  • Chocolate shavings – A sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings adds an extra layer of depth to the sweet flavor of the ice cream and creates an intense contrast with the espresso’s bitterness.
  • Sea salt – If you want to add an unexpected twist to your traditional Italian favorite, then lightly dusting it with sea salt can make all the difference. The earthly flavor works surprisingly well with both coffee and vanilla ice cream for delectable results!
  • Whipped cream – Adding a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top provides just enough lightness not to overpower the flavors below while still providing plenty in terms of appearance and texture.
A dark chocolate bar.

These are just a few options you have to create your perfect affogato at home. Feel free to experiment with various flavor combinations to find your perfect match!

Now that you have all the information needed to make an affogato at home, it’s time to put it to the test by following the recipe listed below:

Yield: 1 Serving

Easy Affogato

Affogato, ready to be enjoyed.

With this easy affogato recipe, you'll enjoy this dessert's exciting flavors in just five minutes!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • One espresso shot
  • Two scoops (100 grams) of vanilla ice cream


  1. Begin by brewing your espresso coffee. You can choose your favorite coffee brewer for this.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, add the vanilla ice cream to a glass of choice.
  3. Once you're ready to serve, pour the hot espresso on the ice cream.
  4. Finish with your favorite topping, such as chocolate shavings.
  5. Serve with a spoon and enjoy as soon as possible!


You can use a double espresso shot instead of a single if you prefer a more robust flavor. You could also adjust the amount of ice cream to your liking.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 201Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6.79gUnsaturated Fat: 2.97gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 23.6gFiber: 0.7gSugar: 21.22gProtein: 3.5g

How do you eat an affogato?

Eating an affogato can be seen as a two-step process.

First, the espresso will start to melt the ice cream, creating delicious flavors that blend together wonderfully.

Start eating the ice cream first and take a bit of espresso with each spoonful; this helps prevent any overwhelming bitterness from the espresso.

Once you’ve finished eating all of your ice cream, you can enjoy what’s left: melted coffee mixed in with any liquid remaining from when the espresso was added!

What is an affogato at Starbucks?

You can order an affogato-style coffee at Starbucks. Unlike the traditional way an affogato is made, Starbucks’s version means an espresso is poured on top of your drink, such as a Frappuccino.

Starbucks java chip Frappuccino, ready to be enjoyed.

An affogato-style shot added to a Frappuccino means that a delicious espresso is poured on top of your Frappuccino.

Try it on a vanilla bean Frappuccino for that classic flavor, or choose your favorite from this list. You can’t go wrong with any of them!

FAQs about the affogato

Below, I’ve listed a few questions you may have about the affogato. So if you’re still wondering if this is something you’d like to try, have a look below:

How much caffeine is in an affogato?

As it’s made with one shot of espresso, just like a latte, an affogato has 64mg of caffeine per serving. If you use a double espresso, you’ll increase the caffeine content to 128mg.

Are you supposed to drink an affogato?

It’s best to eat the affogato with a spoon. You can drink the remaining melted ice cream and espresso that’s left in your cup afterward!

How do you order an affogato at Starbucks?

You can order an affogato-style shot to a Frappuccino of your choice. It’ll be poured on top of your drink hot. You can also ask it to be poured at the bottom of your cup.


An affogato is the perfect way to end a meal with family and friends – it’s simple to make, delicious to enjoy, and everyone loves it.

With this recipe, you can make an affogato in the comfort of your home for any occasion! You may be surprised at how easy it was and how great this classic Italian dessert tastes.

Once you have mastered making an affogato, feel free to experiment with different combinations of espresso and topping flavors – the possibilities are endless.

And remember that with each sip you take, you also get a little taste of Italian tradition!

So why not make one tonight? Then sit back, relax, and enjoy your flavorful affogato!

More espresso-based recipes to try

Write A Comment

Pin It Skip to Recipe