With only two ingredients, vanilla ice cream and espresso coffee, you will be transported to Italy.

Perfect at any time of the day and year, this Italian dessert has been gracing our lips with delight for years. Steaming hot Italian espresso poured over vanilla ice cream.

affogato al caffee

The ice cream turns into a perfect cream that is irresistable.

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With each spoonful, you have the cold hot combination that awakens your senses and gives you instantaneous pleasure to your palate.

In this Article

What does Affogato al Caffe mean?

Translated into English, means: drowned coffee. You literally drown the coffee with ice cream.

And who does not like a good strong cup of espresso?

This recipe is an Italian summer favorite. Almost all coffee shops and gelateria in Italy offer this sweet dessert,  A freshly brewed espresso, prepared in the Italian caffettiera preferably, thus poured over fresh vanilla ice cream.

What is a caffetiera? and how do you make espresso?

A caffetiera is an Italian coffee maker that is used over a stove and gives you back this most delightful strong coffee

The caffetiera is made of three components:

  • The lower chamber where cold water is placed. Upon the water being heated and brought to the boiling point, it is propelled into the funnel.
  • The funnel is, as the word describes it, a funnel where the water is pushed thru and starts brewing with the coffee grains. You need superfine coffee grains to enjoy espresso.
  • Lastly, once the coffee is brewed with the water, thru the process of pushing it upward, the now coffee goes up this small funnel of the upper chamber to come back down into a container with the most delightful cream forming on the top.

This all process is not long. Quite the opposite. But the delightful coffee that you will get to enjoy is just perfection in my books.

I love Lavazza Rosso coffee. The perfect blend between Arabica and Robusta.

Below is my caffetiera, not the prettiest, but my constant companion. It is for one person, however you will be able to found it for 3, 6 and 12, my dream, cups of espresso.

bialetti caffetiera

Preparation Tips

  • Serve the ice cream in a glass or cup that accepts and sustains the heat. You do not want your container to shatter due to the hot-cold combination.
  • Make your coffee first; thus, your ice cream will not start to melt before pouring the coffee over it.
  • If you do not have an Italian coffee maker, the caffetiera, you want to make a very strong coffee. I mean strong! Nescafe granular blended with a little hot water is perfect in this case and in lieu of the maker.

I am not using sugar while preparing this dessert. I called it a healthy dessert. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.

In conclusion, I also have tried it with chocolate and coffee ice cream, and I do not know which one I prefer as they all are a pure delight to your palate.

affogato al caffee

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Affogato al Caffe

5 from 8 votes
affogato al caffee
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 people
With each spoonful, you have the cold hot combination that awakens your senses and gives you instantaneous pleasure to your palate


  • ¼ cup vanilla ice cream
  • ¼ cup coffee , strong Italian coffee


  • Make the espresso. In a heat proof ice cream glass add 2 nice scoops of vanilla ice cream. When coffee is done, pour over ice cream. With a small spoon enjoy every bites of it …..


Calories: 141kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on August 14, 2010.