Affogato Coffee

making affogato by pouring espresso over ice cream

Affogato Coffee is a luxuriously decadent treat that pairs espresso and vanilla ice cream in a cappuccino cup. Check out some recipes to help you whip up your own Affogato at home.

What is Affogato?

In Italian, Affogato literally translates to "drowned." That's an apt name for this coffee drink where ice cream or gelato is deliciously drowned in espresso. The hot coffee starts to melt the ice cream and forms a thick foam at the top.

According to thekitchn:

"An affogato is most commonly made with vanilla gelato, though a quality vanilla bean ice cream works, too. You can even switch it up to use flavored ice creams such as chocolate or mint chip, or try coffee or mocha for an extra hit of caffeine...

As for the ratio of gelato to espresso, a classic affogato is made with two cups gelato to one shot of espresso. But when you’re making it at home, this ratio is flexible, and can easily be adjusted based on who you’re serving..."

Do I need an espresso machine to make Affogato at home?

Although Affogato is traditionally made with espresso, you can still make it at home even without an espresso machine. That's great news because it's a fantastic treat to make when entertaining or to spoil the whole family. Yes, even the kids with love this drink when you drown the ice cream in something a little less-strong than espresso.

two cups of affogato coffee

The best option to make this drink without espresso is to substitute with strongly-brewed coffee. You can either use a strong, dark-roast brewed at regular ratios, or any coffee of your choice brewed using one-and-a-half times the coffee (that is 1 1/2 tablespoons ground per 6 oz. water).

We recommend using our Midnight Oil or The Closer coffee varieties for your at-home Affogato.

Taking it up a notch

Natasha's Kitchen recommends the following optional toppings and/or additions to really level up your drink:

  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Chocolate shavings from a chocolate bar
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • Grated chocolate espresso beans
  • Biscotti or Italian pizzelle cookies, crushed
  • Sea salt
  • Toasted and chopped hazelnuts or pistachios
  • Liquor for adults (Kahlua, Bailey’s or Frangelico)

Some recipes to try:

Here's a curated collection of Affogato recipes we recommend: