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How To Make Affogato Coffee Dessert?

A combination more than a recipe, Affogato is every coffee lover’s dream! The classic Italian dessert is easy to make with only 2 ingredients and just the right balance of bitter and sweet!

August 19, 2021
Affogato CoffeePhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 1 people
Preparation 240 mins
Cooking 25 mins
Total 265 mins



  1. Warm 3 cups of milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Avoid bringing to a boil and remove from heat once the milk starts bubbling around the edge. Set aside.
  2. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and beat the yolks and sugar together using a stand or hand mixer at medium speed for about 2 minutes until the resulting mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  3. Reduce the speed to low after the 2-minute mark, and slowly add a ladleful of the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture. Add the rest of the milk in the same slow manner and beat until the milk becomes well incorporated.
  4. Transfer this milk, egg, and sugar mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat after adding vanilla bean. Continue cooking until the custard becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, and make sure to stir constantly.
  5. Once the custard reaches the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and bring it to room temperature. Refrigerate the cooled custard for a couple of hours or overnight.
  6. Take the refrigerated custard out and remove the vanilla bean from it. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer and add to an ice cream maker. Freeze in accordance with the manufacturer's directions and stop once gelato is icy but soft.
  7. Transfer this soft gelato to an airtight container, freezing until firm (about 2 hours).
  8. Brew one shot of espresso using your preferred brewing method and scoop two scoops of the firm vanilla bean gelato into a small-sized clear drinking glass.
  9. Pour the affogato espresso over the gelato and add a splash of affogato liqueur like amaretto. Garnish the affogato ice cream with grated dark chocolate, and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Affogato Coffee
Serves 1
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 1.3 g2.6%
Total Fat 3.9 g5%
Cholesterol 190.5 mg63.5%
Sodium 34.1 mg1.5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use an espresso machine or stovetop espresso maker to brew one shot of your favorite espresso. If you don't have either, use a standard coffee maker and brew some extra strong coffee.
  • Affogato ice cream is generally made with two cups of gelato and one shot of espresso but feel free to alter this ratio as per your preference.
  • This affogato coffee recipe uses homemade vanilla bean gelato, but you can also use store-bought quality vanilla ice cream for a similar result.
  • Try other ice cream flavors like chocolate, mint chip, coffee, or mocha for a less traditional affogato.
  • When serving the affogato, make sure to take the gelato out of the freezer 10-15 minutes in advance. Gelato's low-fat content makes it freeze rock hard, so it is necessary to let it melt a little to soften it.
  • Make this vanilla bean gelato suitable for those with lactose intolerance by using lactose-free milk and cream instead.
  • Feel free to use a gelato maker if you have it, but a standard ice cream maker would also work.
  • When refrigerating custard, it is best to do so overnight to allow for the deepest possible vanilla flavor.
  • Some specially designed affogato glasses are available in the market, but a small and clear drinking class will work fine.
  • If not using amaretto, other affogato liqueur options include nut liqueurs like Nocino or Frangelico, coffee-based liqueurs, and Cointreau.
Rate This Recipe

If you’ve only tried Starbucks Affogato so far, it’s time you try the real deal. Use this detailed affogato coffee recipe to make delicious show-stopping affogato that is flavorful, rich, and absolutely unforgettable.

And while making your own gelato at home generally yields the best results, you can also make this recipe with store-bought gelato or ice cream for an incredible looking dessert that takes minutes to make.

What Is Affogato?

Affogato ice cream or affogato al caffè is an espresso-based dessert consisting of a scoop of vanilla-flavored gelato or ice cream served with a shot of hot espresso poured on top. The dish is the perfect balance of hot and cold and Italian in origin, likely invented soon after the espresso machine but not rising to popularity until the late 1900s.

How To Make Affogato Coffee without Espresso?

To make this affogato coffee recipe without espresso, you must freeze distill your coffee until it is concentrated enough to replace espresso. To do this, start by freezing an already brewed coffee (both hot and cold brew work) in an ice cube tray.

Once frozen, take the coffee cubes out and thaw in either the refrigerator or at room temperature. Use a brew basket without a filter to act as a funnel and check frequently. The coffee solid containing liquid will thaw first, so the cubes will become pale and transparent as time passes. Set these pale ice cubes aside and use the melted dark and concentrated coffee for your affogato.

What Is the Best Ice Cream for Affogato?

When making affogato ice cream at home, homemade vanilla bean gelato is the best choice for the classic affogato flavor and texture. Some store-bought gelatos also work well, and you can even use high-quality vanilla or other flavored ice creams for a similar result. When it comes to toppings, chocolate shavings, crushed biscotti, and chopped hazelnuts yield the best results.

What To Serve with Affogato?

While affogato is generally considered the ultimate simple dessert, its versatility means it can be dressed up quite easily. Serve your affogato with a variety of different toppings and ice cream flavors to choose from, and keep a tray of biscuits to be enjoyed as a side. If you like wine with your ice cream, go for something like German Riesling, Argentinian Malbec, or Californian Pinot Noir.

Here are some of our delicious recipes you can serve with Affogato:

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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