Glass of affogato next to coffee jug

Affogato Recipe

Caffeine bomb alert! This affogato recipe combines creamy coffee ice cream with a shot of espresso.

Affogato is the Italian word for drowned. A fitting name for this simple recipe that involves drowning scoops of ice cream with coffee.

In Italy, the traditional affogato recipe calls for vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso. However, I had just made a batch of creamy coffee ice cream which was calling out to be used. Like so many other recipes, I decided to mess with the recipe – just a little.

Affogato recipe - pouring coffee over scoops of ice cream in a glass.

How to make an affogato

If you are in a hurry, you can make an affogato with store bought ice cream. Use vanilla and you’ll be staying true to the original recipe. Otherwise, why not try my coffee ice cream recipe which is pretty easy to make although you will have to wait a few hours for the ice cream to harden.

Coffee beans and ground coffee on a benchFirst make the coffee ice cream


  • 1 Cup thickened cream
  • 1 Cup full cream milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coffee of your choice
  • 4 egg yolks


  1. Add cream, milk, sugar and coffee to a medium saucepan and, stirring frequently, heat until simmering. Don’t allow to boil.
  2. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until pale in colour.
  3. Slowly pour 1 cup of the heated milk mixture into the yolks all the while whisking; then pour back into the milk mixture while whisking.
  4. Continue heating and stirring the milk mixture on a medium heat until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon (do not allow to boil).
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes then pour through a strainer into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Preferably overnight.
  6. Add ice cream base to your ice cream maker and churn following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Once churned, freeze for at least 3 hours until hardened.

Assembling the affogato

  1. Once your ice cream is ready to go make a batch of coffee. Don’t make instant coffee unless that’s what you really enjoy. Try to reach for the sky here and make the best coffee you can with what you have available. If you live in Australia you could also try these coffee makers.
  2. Scoop a few balls of ice cream into a glass then cover in coffee.
Affogato dessert next to a jug of coffee.

A creamy affogato dessert.. or is it a beverage?

What to serve with affogato

Although this is perfectly fine served on its own, you can also consider pairing with:

  • almond biscotti on the side or in the glass.
  • add some Bailey’s, Frangelico or Marsala for the boozy option.
  • some fresh fruit such as strawberries.
  • add pieces of honeycomb

That’s it. Now drink and enjoy. If you’re like me and caffeine keeps you awake at night, don’t drink this late in the day because you’ll pay for it.

If you enjoy creating the Italian classic desserts then be sure to have ago a making this panna cotta which is a favourite of mine.

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