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Creamy Homemade Affogato Is the Perfect Summer Coffee Dessert in 5 Minutes! Easy at-Home Recipe

Espresso is the drink of the summer, but have you tried it in dessert form? I recently discovered the best homemade affogato recipe — a heavenly combination of rich espresso poured over creamy gelato — and it’s been a game-changer. This Italian treat is not only refreshing but also incredibly easy to make at home in five minutes with just two ingredients. Whether you’re entertaining guests or just treating yourself, an affogato is the perfect way to indulge in a little luxury after dinner. Plus, learn tips for making the perfect shot of espresso and fun add-ins. This is your guide to a homemade affogato.  

What is an affogato?

An affogato is a classic Italian dessert that blends the bold flavors of espresso with the creamy richness of gelato. Traditionally, Italians have enjoyed espresso as a standalone beverage, but the inventive combination of espresso and gelato quickly became a popular treat, especially during the warm summer months. The term affogato means “drowned” in Italian, reflecting the method of preparation where a hot shot of espresso is poured over a scoop of gelato, typically vanilla or fior di latte (a simple flavor made from dairy, sugar and starch). It’s a perfect way to enjoy coffee and dessert in one delightful dish, especially after dinner. Watch the TikTok below to see more:

Creamy and dreamy ❤️ #goldenbrowncoffee #coffeetiktok #affogato #icecream

♬ First Date – Frad

Want just the cocktail? Make our Chocolate-Espresso Martini!

Tips for making homemade affogato

Here are some tips to ensure your affogato passes the Italian test:

1. Choose high-quality ingredients

Start with the best ingredients you can find. The simplicity of the affogato means each component’s quality matters. If using store-bought, opt for premium gelato or ice cream. Or, use our recipe for Homemade Gelato or Homemade Ice Cream. I also recommend freshly brewed espresso made from good coffee beans.

2. Serve immediately

Timing is crucial. Prepare the espresso right before serving and pour it over the gelato at the last moment. This ensures the gelato doesn’t melt too quickly. You want it to blend nicely.

3. Perfect your espresso

The espresso should be strong and freshly brewed. A well-extracted shot with a rich crema adds depth and complexity to the affogato. If you don’t have an espresso machine, a stovetop espresso maker or a strong shot of brewed coffee can also work.

4. Experiment with flavors

While the traditional affogato uses vanilla gelato, don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors like hazelnut, chocolate or caramel. You can also top with chocolate shavings, serve with biscotti cookies or add a splash of liqueur for extra indulgence.

Also try: Homemade Coffee Milkshake Recipe: Secret Ingredient Makes It Extra Creamy + Dreamy

Easy homemade affogato recipe

I made this recipe from Recipetineats and loved every bite. To amp up the presentation, use a medium cocktail glass. You can also add a dollop of whipped cream, just because.


  • 1 large or 2 small(ish) scoops vanilla gelato or ice cream
  • 1 shot (1 oz.) hot espresso coffee (short black)
  • 1 Tbs. Frangelico, amaretto or other liquor, optional


  • Total time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving
  1. Put ice cream in glass suitable for affogato eating.
  2. Place shot of espresso and liquor (if using) on the side.
  3. Pour the hot espresso, then liquor over the ice cream. Enjoy swirls of melty ice cream blending into the coffee. Dig in immediately!

More coffee craves you can brew up at home:

Homemade Coffee Creamer Is Healthier, Tastier + So Easy to Make With 3 Ingredients

Homemade Cold Brew Is Smooth, Refreshing + Easy to Prep for Busy Mornings

How to Make Iced Coffee at Home That Tastes Just Like It Came From a Fancy Coffee Shop

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