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+ servings
ice cream in a tea cup with hot espresso spilling over and a shot glass of whiskey and copper spoons.

Stracciatella Italian Affogato

Stracciatella gelato is topped with a blend of cold brew whiskey and espresso for an easy Italian dessert.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Churning 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • ice cream maker


For the Ice Cream

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ⅔ cup whole milk divided
  • cup heavy cream
  • teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoon cold brew whiskey I use Jameson's
  • 4 oz dark chocolate bar melted, I use Ghirardelli 60% Dark Chocolate

For the coffee blend

  • 6 shots espresso or 8 oz of hot dark coffee
  • 2 shots cold brew or coffee whiskey I use Jameson's Cold Brew


For the gelato

  • Freeze ice cream bowl according to manufacturer's directions but you shouldn't be able to hear any liquid splashing around inside.
  • In medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk dry ingredients (sugar, cornstarch and salt) together for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 ⅔ cup of whole milk. Continuously stirring over medium heat as the contents of the pan thicken ( should take about 5 minutes). Heat for an additional minute at a low boil, stirring the whole time.
  • Meanwhile, in a measuring cup combine the remaining cup of milk, heavy cream, whiskey and vanilla.
  • After the six minutes are up and the base is thickened, turn off the heat and add the remaining milk/whiskey mixture to the pan.
  • Pour contents of pan into a wide, shallow glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator until the base reaches 42° temp. This should take about 2 hours. You can also set the bowl over a pan or sink filled with ice if you're in a hurry. But make sure you stir the base before taking the temp of the contents as the center could still be warm. Don't rush this step!
  • Pour chilled base into prepared ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. My ice cream maker takes approximately 25-30 minutes to thicken.
  • During the last five minutes of processing and with the machine running, slowly pour melted chocolate into ice cream base.
  • Remove the paddle from container and spoon ice cream base into the bottom of long rectangular freezer-safe container (needs a lid).
  • Cover the container and freeze for about 6 hours till firm.
  • Remove from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving.

Assemble the affogato

  • Scoop 1 healthy scoop of gelato into wider-rimmed dessert cups or glasses. To make ahead, place each cup on a baking sheet and place into the freezer until ready to serve.
  • Mix brewed coffee with the whiskey.
  • Pour equal amounts of the coffee and whiskey blend over each serving of gelato.


Easy version: Use store-bought ice cream instead of making homemade. 
Make ahead: Scoop the made ahead gelato into serving vessels and place on a sheet pan. Put the whole thing in the freezer. Remove right before serving.
Serving ideas: top with chocolate.  Serve with a rolled, wafer cookie or sweet and spicy pecans from Trader Joe's.
Affogato variations: 
  • Classic Affogato: Vanilla bean gelato + coffee + whiskey
  • Fall for Affogato: Pumpkin gelato + coffee + whiskey and ground pecans
  • Mocha Affogato: Coffee gelato + coffee+ whiskey topped with shaved dark chocolate
  • Pistachio Affogato: Pistachio gelato + coffee and caramel sauce
  • Cookie Affogato: Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream + coffee topped with crumbled cookies