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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

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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33 Comments

  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!

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

  3. 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!

    1. 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! :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

    1. 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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