Peppermint Ice Cream and Hot Cocoa Affogato

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! Keep reading for the Peppermint ice cream affogato recipe.

Affogato with peppermint ice cream

We decided to re-create the recipe using two of our existing recipes: peppermint ice cream chocolate 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. The hot chocolate is also made with soy milk, which makes it silky and smooth. We were so excited about this peppermint ice cream affogato — we can’t wait for any excuse to make it again.

Looking for Christmas cookie recipes?

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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)

  • 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
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons peppermint extract

For the hot cocoa

  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 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,

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    December 9, 2012 at 11:07 pm

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

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Thanks, Courtney! We loved the idea too. I was excited that it tasted just as delicious as it sounds!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Wow, this looks insanely good!! I love peppermint ice cream…just screams holiday to me!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 9:58 am

    This looks AMAZING!! Do you think almond milk would work in place of soy??

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

      It is! And I’m sure almond milk would be fine for the cocoa :)

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    This is totally happening. Oh my gosh. I’m drooling just looking at it.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    YES PLEASE! So happy it is Peppermint Season!

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! Me too – I’m a big peppermint lover as well (mint chocolate chip has always been my favorite) :)

  • Reply
    This American Bite
    December 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm


  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I would like this right now, please! wonderful!!

  • Reply
    Katherines Corner
    December 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I gain weight every time i visit, LOL I love stopping by your wonderful blog . I always find some much yummy here. xo

    • Reply
      December 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

      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!

  • Reply
    Lori @ forkfuloffreedom
    December 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Wow – you guys must have been reading my mind. The hubs and I were just talking yesterday about making homemade icecream this week. Looks like we’ve found our recipe!

    • Reply
      December 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Ahhhh, it’s so gorgeous! and it sound incredibly delicious too – I will definitely be trying this soon!

  • Reply
    what katie's baking
    December 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    i can’t believe how healthy this is…it looks so sinful! holy yummm! pinning this now so i can save it!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    This looks AMAZING!! Fun idea :)

  • Reply
    December 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Gorgeous photos!! I drink homemade hot chocolate almost every night in the winter. This twist sounds more than amazing and definitely needs to happen.

  • Reply
    Alexandra {Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker}
    December 12, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’ve heard of you guys from your cookbook, but I think this is the first time I’ve visited your site. It is absolutely beautiful… Simple and clean, with gorgeous photos! This recipe in particularly looks so good, and since I don’t think I’ve ever had an affogato, it sounds like something I need to try!

    • Reply
      December 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thank you so much, Alexandra — that is so kind! We loved this recipe, and it was so easy. Let us know if you give it a try! :)

  • Reply
    December 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    we LOVE the traditional affogato – thank you for sharing this genius with us! I cannot wait to try…

  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 10:41 am

    This photo made my jaw drop. I love it! I’m a huge affogato fan and though I don’t love mint, I think the hot cocoa idea is a great one. I’ve got to keep this in mind for the future!

    • Reply
      December 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      :) This would be great for with any ice cream; you should definitely try.

  • Reply
    Cookie and Kate
    December 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Love this idea, you guys! Cold and hot, chocolate and peppermint, yes please.

    • Reply
      December 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

      Perfect for a snow storm!

  • Reply
    Cecilia Juarez
    December 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Going to get all ingredients today to try, looks Delicious ;)

  • Reply
    Nat D.
    November 25, 2013 at 1:54 am

    AHHHHH! My best friend and I are OBSESSED with Affogatos. I mean OBSESSED. We traipsed all over town trying to find the best one. Even mixing and matching creams and espressos to find the perfect pairing. This is an awesome idea!!!

  • Reply
    Eden Passante
    November 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Wow! This looks unbelievable! Love affogatos and this looks perfect for the holiday season!

  • Reply
    December 26, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Made this for Christmas Eve and it was a major hit with the family! Will definitely make it an annual tradition. I am not the biggest chocolate/peppermint fan but this was amazing!!!! Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    This loos so amazing! My husband would be super excited if I made this, and I appreciate that you didn’t use diary milk. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply
      December 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Absolutely! I hope you enjoy it! :)

  • Reply
    December 12, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Would coconut cream work here instead of the coconut milk? So excited to make this! Looks wonderful!

    • Reply
      December 13, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      We have not tested this with coconut cream, so are not sure! We’d recommend using coconut milk. Thanks, and hope you try it out! :)

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