Affogato Shot: Clear Up The Confusion Now!

So someone told your Starbucks drink is so much better with an affogato shot on top. You go along thinking it’s a type of creamy topping for coffee.

We’ve been there! Let’s spare you the embarrassment and teach you all you need to know about affogato vs affogato-style shots

Spoiler alert: it’s not a creamy topping in this case!

Topics Explored

  1. What Is An Affogato Shot?
  2. Affogato Vs. Affogato-Style
  3. How Much Caffeine Is In It?
  4. Affogato Shot Recipe
  5. Taste & Appearance
  6. Similar Desserts
  7. FAQs

What Is An Affogato Shot?

Affogato-style shot is a shot of espresso added on top of a frozen blended drink. Most commonly, it’s an extra shot of coffee to a less caffeinated frappuccino.

The hot coffee melts the ice as it makes its way through the drink. The method, ingredients, and even look resemble the traditional Italian dessert.

Two Shots Espresso

Affogato is a traditional Italian dessert. It’s made by pouring a shot of espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Starbucks got its inspiration from it and crafted a similar offer.

Starbucks introduced this style of espresso shot back in 2016. Today you can get it over any frozen blended beverage.

Affogato Vs. Affogato-Style Shot

Affogato is a semi-liquid dessert created in the 1900s. It features a scoop of ‘fior di late’ or vanilla ice cream and a shot of strong espresso. It’s eaten with a spoon. 

Affogato shot (1) refers to the single shot of espresso poured over a frozen blended drink, like frappuccino or milkshake.

How Much Caffeine Is In It?

Coffee into French Press

A single shot contains 60 to 75 mg of caffeine. The total amount of caffeine depends on the type of roast and the base drink.

If you pour a shot over a vanilla ice cream, the only caffeine comes from the coffee.

When adding the shot over a frappuccino, the total amount of caffeine is the sum of the base drink plus the shot.

Affogato Shot Recipe (With Ice Cream)

Curious to find out what this shot is all about? No need to go out; we’ve crafted the perfect affogato recipe.

Straightforward method, minimal preparation, and you get to enjoy it from the comfort of your couch!

Affogato Shot Recipe

Punched-Up Affogato Shot Recipe

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This affogato shot recipe delivers an alcoholic punch that takes this classic dessert to the next level.


  • Espresso: 1 shot
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: 2 generous scoops
  • Kahlua, Baileys, or Amaretto (Optional)


    1. Start by placing a dessert bowl in the freezer. You'll need it to be icy and cold when building the affogato later.
    2. Brew your espresso using a conventional espresso machine or a Moka pot*.
    3. Let the coffee sit to the side. Get your bowl from the freezer and the ice cream. It's best to get dense, gelato-like ice cream without any eggs.
    4. Get 2 generous scoops of the ice cream and place it in the middle of the bowl.
    5. Gently pour your espresso over, covering the surface of the ice cream. Consume right away or move on the last step.
    6. Optionally, add a splash of Amaretto, Kahlua, or Baileys. While the original affogato comes plain, the splash of alcohol will give it a nice lift.


* Optionally, you can use a really strong brewed coffee, but it will alter the texture and appearance.

** Serve as a dessert after dinner with biscotti or cannoli for the ultimate Italian experience.

Every share keeps this site running:

If you enjoy my work, please share any of our photos on Pinterest. Every bit helps ❤️

What Does Affogato Taste & Look Like?

Affogato is a mix of flavors that complement each other. The sweet and cold ice cream tones down the hot and robust espresso. 

When it comes to looks, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing dessert! Read on to find out what to expect.

Affogato Dessert
Photo by Ieva Kisunaite


The shortest description for the affogato is – a beautiful mess. The hot espresso carves its way into the base it’s poured over. It created a river of hot coffee, melting anything in its path.

If you use warm, soft, or ice cream with eggs, it will become a puddle as soon as you pour the espresso.


The affogato adds an espresso flavor to whatever base it’s poured on. The base varies in flavor as you can pour it over frappuccinos, shakes, smoothies, and ice cream. I’ve even experimented on this cream soda rice pudding recipe and it totally works!

The exact taste depends on the type of roast you’re using. It will yield a deeper coffee taste if it’s a darker roast.


The hot espresso gradually melts the cold base, turning what it touches into a completely liquid product. 

The end result is similar to melted ice cream; rich, creamy, with few solid pieces scattered through the drink.

The temperature contrast is interesting to the palate, adding a touch of excitement.

Similar Desserts

Coffee-infused desserts have a special place in the sweets world. There’s something about a coffee touch that makes a regular dessert superior.

If you love the affogato, why not try more similar desserts? We’ve shortlisted the most impressive ones.

Vietnamese Coffee Flan

Vietnamese Coffee Flan

The Vietnamese coffee flan is a custard-type of coffee dessert(2). It’s made by coating the bottom of a pan with caramelized sugar. Then you add condensed milk, instant coffee, milk, vanilla, and sugar.

It cooks for 40 minutes in a water-filled roasting pan. Then, flip the finished flan, so the caramel comes on top and streams down the sides. Delicious!

Greek Freddo Espresso

Greek Freddo espresso

The Greek Freddo espresso is made by brewing a full-bodied double shot of espresso. Then, in a powerful blender, you add a good amount of ice and the brewed coffee. Adding ice cream is optional but makes it extra refreshing.

Sugar is not included in the original recipe as the ice already tones down the espresso.

Too much ice will diminish any espresso flavor, so follow a strict recipe if you decide to make it.

Japanese Coffee Jelly

Japanese Coffee Jelly

The Japanese coffee jelly is one of the most popular coffee-based desserts. The instant coffee is mixed with sugar and gelatine and transferred into cups to chill.

Then it’s topped with whipped cream and served as a fancy dessert at dinner parties. It can also be cut up into cubes and drowned in condensed milk and cream sauce.


Affogato shot is a single espresso added to a frozen base drink – shake, frappuccino, or ice cream. The original recipe comes from Italy, where affogato means drowned. 

Affogato Espresso

It’s an espresso shot poured over milk ice cream, sometimes with a splash of liquor for an added zing. This espresso and ice cream combination is known as Affogato. If you’re curious, we have the easiest recipe to make it at home. 


What is an affogato-style shot?

Simply put, it is an espresso shot you add to an already finished drink. It’s available for most frozen blended drinks.

For example, you can order your favorite frappuccino with this style of espresso shot. Your barista will brew a shot of espresso and pour it hot over the finished drink.

How many espresso shots are in an affogato shot?

There’s only one shot of espresso. It’s not a ristretto or lungo, but a regular espresso shot. It’s 1 oz and around 65 mg of caffeine.

If you find that it’s not enough for that caffeine spike you want, ask for more shots.

What is the difference between espresso and affogato?

Espresso is an ingredient in the affogato dessert. An affogato-style shot refers to the hot espresso poured over any cold base.

Both things are essentially the same – only the affogato style gets poured over a cold drink or ice cream.

Verified Sources

Wondering where your info comes from? We totally understand. Hey Joe only obtains our information from reputable sources. Contents from this article are sourced from the following publications:

  1. Starbucks: 
  2. Food 52:
About Char Holland
Skip to Recipe