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This holiday dessert features peppermint ice cream drowned in hot cocoa! It’s a unique take on the traditional Italian affogato dessert that uses espresso.

Peppermint ice cream and hot cocoa affogato

Have you heard of affogato? It’s an Italian word meaning “drowned” — usually referring to a dessert of ice cream drowned in hot espresso. It’s simplicity at its finest – and also one of my favorite ways to end a meal. So you can imagine my delight when I saw on one of my favorite local restaurant’s menus (R bistro) — hot cocoa peppermint ice cream affogato. Peppermint ice cream drowned in hot chocolate? Oh, yes!

Affogato with peppermint ice cream

We decided to re-create the recipe using two of our existing recipes: peppermint ice cream and hot chocolate, and couldn’t be more pleased with the result!  If you know us well, you know we’re still working on expanding our repertoire in the sweets area, so this was a big win for us. The dessert is delicious and festive — truly, a perfect wintery treat!

And, this peppermint ice cream happens to be naturally sweetened with either maple syrup or honey! Make sure to find local honey in your area if you can. It’s also dairy-free or vegan, and a good gluten-free option for those of you looking for desserts sans gluten. While we’re not dairy-free or vegan ourselves, we love making ice cream with coconut milk since it’s quick and easy — you don’t need to make a custard on the stove. Or, you can make it with our classic Peppermint Ice Cream.

We were so excited about this peppermint ice cream affogato — we can’t wait for any excuse to make it again.

Aside from this peppermint ice cream affogato, here are a few of our favorite Christmas recipes — including a lot of Christmas cookies!

This recipe is…

This peppermint ice cream and hot cocoa affogato recipe is vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan, dairy free and plant-based using the vegan options.

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Peppermint Ice Cream & Hot Cocoa Affogato

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This holiday dessert features peppermint ice cream drowned in hot cocoa! It’s a unique take on the traditional Italian affogato dessert that uses espresso.



For the peppermint ice cream

  • 14-ounce can regular coconut milk
  • 14-ounce can light coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract

For the hot cocoa

  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups soy milk (or milk)
  • Several peppermint candies, for garnish


  1. A few hours prior to serving, make the peppermint ice cream: In a medium bowl, whisk together both cans coconut milk, honey, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker (or make it without the machine). When complete, freeze the ice cream for 2 to 3 hours to obtain a hard texture.
  2. Immediately prior to serving, place the ingredients for the hot cocoa in a saucepan and whisk together over low heat until fully combined.
  3. To serve, crush the peppermint candies. Place a scoop or two of ice cream in a bowl or glass, then sprinkle with peppermint candies. At the table, pour hot chocolate over the ice cream.


Inspired by Bon Appetit

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Peppermint, Peppermint Ice Cream, Dessert, Vegan, Dairy Free, Hot Cocoa, Affogato, Christmas, Holiday,

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. I saw this in Bon Apétit and nearly fell out of my chair. It looks delicious! Gorgeous photo! Happy Christmas! xo

    1. Haha! This one actually isn’t too bad in terms of the health impact — just honey and coconut / soy milk (though it’s not devoid of calories). Hope you can enjoy it as a lighter take on a holiday dessert!

    1. Oh, perfect! We love making homemade ice cream with coconut milk, since you can just mix it with honey and dump it straight in the mixer. We’ve found it so much easier!

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