Affogato al Cafe (Affogato Shot) – Once you taste Affogato al Cafe, you will most certainly feel a buckle in your knees, and pull out your best faux Italian accent while muttering aff-o-gaaaato, gel-aaaa-to, es-preeeeess-o… Merda Santa! (Holy Crud!)

affogato al cafe Italian dessert - gelato and espresso

Affogato Recipe

Such a simple treat to cause a dramatic response; that is the Italian way.

You may have heard the old story about Julia Child snubbing Italian food because she didn’t believe it was real cooking. Well, no disrespect to Julia but, the simplicity of most Italian dishes is what draws me to them.

Italian food, as a whole, is about celebrating the ingredients, not the chef.

In theory, a tomato-based dish should uphold the integrity of the tomato, straight off the vine. Not muck it up with dozens of other flavors. Italians honor their food by preparing simple meals.

In making this Italian dessert, I did get a tad “stravagante”… Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I combined the gelato and espresso with a nip of Kahlua (mocha liquor) and dark chocolate shavings. Shameful. *wink*

Such a simple yet “stravagante” treat can: save a dinner party, spur on a love connection, mend a broken heart, keep you up at night to finish a project, or get you in trouble. Be careful with this one. Affogato al Cafe is POWERFUL.

easy affogato recipe in glass cups with stems - gelato and espresso

What Ingredients You Will Need

Affogato al Cafe, meaning “drowned in coffee”, is a sweet little treat that packs a punch! It’s an adult ice cream float, of sorts.

The two crucial ingredients are 

  • Vanilla Gelato 
  • Espresso

But all the ingredients used to make this recipe are 

  • Few Scoops of Vanilla Gelato – or the GOOD ice cream
  • Espresso – just a few ounces of your favorite hot espresso
  • Kahlua liqueur
  • Dark Chocolate Shavings

All other variations with espresso beans, chocolate, or amaretto are considered Strav-a-gan-te! (extravagant)

Spoon scooping into Italian gelato and espresso

How To Make The Best Affogato Gelato

Grab your favorite glassware and your ingredients. 

Place two large scoops of vanilla gelato in a glass.

Make a shot of espresso with your espresso machine. (You can make it ahead and allow it to cool to room temperature if you like.)

Pour the one shot of espresso and half a shot of Kahlua liqueur over the gelato.

Use a veggie peeler to shave chocolate curls over the top.

Perfetto! You have made a perfect Italian dessert.

affogato shot in spoon - gelato with espresso

Get the Complete (Printable) Affogato Gelato  Recipe (Affogato Shot) Below. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Toppings Can I Add Other Than Chocolate Shavings?

Other toppings that would make a fabulous garnish for this recipe include biscotti, pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce

Is Affogato Gluten-Free?

Most gelatos tend to be gluten-free, so yes, this recipe is as well.

What Is The Difference Between Espresso and an Affogato coffee?

These are both coffee-based beverages from Italy, but they are in fact not the same. Espresso is a strong brewed coffee drink made by forcing hot water through ground coffee beans under pressure. Affogato is an Italian dessert made by mixing espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato. So what’s the difference? Gelato!

Affogato with Kahlua and chocolate

Other Favorite Italian Treats:

Affogato Recipe
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Affogato Al Cafe Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Affogato al Cafe, Italian for "drowned in coffee," is a sweet little treat that packs a punch!
Servings: 1


  • 2 scoops vanilla gelato or GOOD ice cream
  • 1 ounce espresso
  • 1/2 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon dark chocolate shavings


  • Place two large scoops of vanilla gelato in a glass.
  • Pour one shot of espresso and half a shot of Kahlua over the gelato.
  • Use a veggie peeler to shave chocolate curls over the top. Perfetto!


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 353kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 111mg, Potassium: 263mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 36g, Vitamin A: 555IU, Calcium: 169mg, Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Sommer Collier
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