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Homemade Affogato (Italian Coffee Dessert!)

This homemade affogato is a deliciously decadent Italian dessert made with only three ingredients. The flavors of vanilla ice cream, espresso, and chocolate meld together to create the most simply-made treat that’ll end your day on a happy note. 

homemade affogato in a small glass cup with chocolate shavings and vanilla ice cream melting with the espresso

Why I Love This Recipe for Homemade Affogato

I think the best part about affogato is how easy it is to make with only a few simple ingredients contrasted with how delicious it is. This Italian dessert is so sumptuous, but anyone can enjoy it!

All you need is to brew up some espresso, scoop some ice cream, and grate some chocolate. In just five minutes you’ll have an impressive and delectable dessert. Whether you’re treating yourself at the end of a long day, or serving guests at a dinner party, this homemade affogato will always satisfy!

Three Ingredients to Make This Italian Coffee Dessert

vanilla ice cream, chocolate, and espresso in individual bowls ready to be made into affogato

When I say it’s simple, I mean it! All you need is vanilla ice cream, espresso, and dark chocolate! Of course, we can get a little creative sometimes and we like to include additional ingredients, but it’s up to you. Here are some ideas!

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

Ingredient Variations

  • Use chocolate ice cream to make it even more rich and chocolatey!
  • Or, better yet – use mocha ice cream to complement the espresso. 
  • Instead of (or in addition to) the dark chocolate shavings, sprinkle on mini chocolate chips for texture. 
  • If you’re enjoying affogato with adults, add some Kahlua or baileys.

How to Make Homemade Affogato

Step 1: Espresso

Brew up a shot of espresso. Keep in mind that you’ll need one shot of espresso per serving.

a jar of vanilla ice cream on a wooden board, beside a small bowl of coffee beans

Step 2: Ice Cream

Scoop one to two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a serving glass.

espresso being poured over a jar of vanilla ice cream

Step 3: Add Espresso

Pour a shot of espresso over the ice cream.

Step 4: Add Chocolate

Grate dark chocolate over the top of the ice cream and espresso. Add as much as you like and enjoy!

Recipe FAQs

Are you supposed to drink or eat affogato?

Affogato is meant to be eaten with a spoon, but the nature of ice cream means that you’ll be doing a little drinking too if you’re not quick enough! Start off by eating it like an ice cream sundae, and then as it slowly melts you can sip it. 

What ice cream is best for affogato?

Traditionally, Italians enjoy affogato with vanilla gelato. If you have a good gelato source then I’d say you should try that. If not, just use plain vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream. As I mentioned above, you can play around with different flavors if you’re in the mood. Mocha, chocolate, or cookie dough sounds delicious to me!

Can you put alcohol in affogato?

You don’t have to, but you certainly can! Italians typically use Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur), but I think a Kahlua or amaretto would be nice. It’d be like a little espresso martini float! 

homemade affogato in a small glass cup, topped with chocolate shavings

Additional Dessert Recipes To Try

Other Tasty Drinks to Try

If you tried this Homemade Affogato (Italian Coffee Dessert!) or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and leave your 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!

affogato espresso putting together in a glass cup on a wooden board.

Homemade Affogato (Italian Coffee Dessert!)

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Allergy: Gluten Free, Nut Free
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Calories: 161kcal
Author: Marina Rizhkov


  • 2 scoopes vanilla ice cream
  • 1 shot espresso (50 ml)
  • dark chocolate to shave on top (optional)


  • Brew up a shot of espresso. Keep in mind that you’ll need one shot of espresso per serving.
    1 shot espresso
  • Scoop 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream into a mug or glass.
    2 scoopes vanilla ice cream
    scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass cup with coffee beans on the side in a white bowl.
  • Pour the espresso shot over the ice cream.
    affogato with espresso dripping on top from a white pitcher in to a glass cup with scoops of icecream.
  • Grate dark chocolate.
    dark chocolate
    affogato in a glass with chocolate shavings on top.


  • Calories counted without dark chocolate. 
  • Substitute dark chocolate for chopped nuts if you like. 


Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 18mg | Potassium: 1574mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
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