Easy Affogato

Much as I like to cook, when it comes to entertaining, I want to be with my company more than my kitchen. I lean on make-ahead dishes, simple starters, and sweets than can be pulled together with ease. Affogato, a classic Italian dessert, meets all of my criteria for effortless entertaining and has become one of my go-to favorites when guests are at the table.

I first had this easy affogato about five years ago at my friend Robin’s house, a woman who has spent her career in the restaurant business. This is a lady who knows what it means to be a gracious host.  And even though I don’t have much of a taste for coffee, Robin got me hooked on this espresso-spiked sweet. I’ve been making it ever since.

glass with affogato and cookie

With just two little ingredients, affogato couldn’t be easier. Take it up a notch and add a cookie to garnish (my best excuse to buy Pirouettes, those flaky, rolled cookies crammed down the center with chocolate).

If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can ask a guest to bring it, pick some up at a coffee shop, or buy instant espresso at the supermarket. That and a container of ice cream is your ticket to making a bang up dessert without having to abandon your company for the kitchen.

easy affogato in a glass with a pirouette cookie
5 from 1 vote

Easy Affogato

This is one of my quickest fixes for a dinner party dessert. You need just two ingredients and an ordinary drinking glass. It’s a hit every time. Scale up the recipe as needed. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 190 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 Tbsp) espresso (use decaf, if desired)
  • 1 scoop (about 1/2 cup) vanilla ice cream (gelato is preferred)
  • 1 cookie to garnish (such as a Pirouette), optional


  1. Make the espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, pick up it up from your local coffee shop. You can also make instant espresso, which isn’t as good as the real deal, but will do in a pinch.  

  2. Put the scoop of ice cream in a small glass. You can chill the glass in advance if you like. Slowly pour the hot espresso over the surface of the ice cream. Garnish with the cookie, if desired. 


08.22.2021 at8:14 AM #


On top of sounding yummy, it will be fun to say I’m making “affogato”. I might even have my dinner guests take a guess as to what the word means. I took six years of Italian in my younger years and while I remembered “gatto” meant cat….affogato translates to “drowned”. That makes much more sense. I love the idea of drowning my sweet tooth in this simple coffee dessert. I am completely with you Katie about wanting to be with my guests when I have a party. One of my easy go-to deserts is a pavlova, with summer fruits or winter!

08.22.2021 at8:14 AM #

Katie Morford

Yes to pavlova for another easy dessert.

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