Heavenly Italian Coffee Parfait: The Perfect Dessert Delight

Picture it: the bustling streets of Rome, the smell of freshly brewed espresso wafting from every corner café, and the sounds of happy chatter and laughter filling the air. It’s a scene that many dream of experiencing, but what if I told you that you could bring a taste of Italy into your own home?

With this Coppa Al Caffè (Italian Coffee Parfait) recipe, you can transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Italy. This delicious dessert combines silky smooth mascarpone cheese with rich Italian coffee and a touch of dark chocolate, creating an indulgent treat that will leave you craving more.

But don’t just take my word for it – this recipe has been passed down through generations in my family, and it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Whether you’re sharing it with friends at a dinner party or enjoying a sweet treat after a long day, this Coppa Al Caffè recipe is sure to impress. So grab your apron and get ready to add a little dolce vita into your life.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Coppa Al Caffe (Italian Coffee Parfait)
Coppa Al Caffe (Italian Coffee Parfait)

If you love coffee and dessert, then this Italian coffee parfait recipe is the perfect treat for you. The Coppa Al Caffe (Italian Coffee Parfait) is a luxurious and sophisticated dessert that blends together the delicious flavors of dark chocolate, coffee liqueur, and mascarpone cheese to create a mouthwatering dessert that is sure to leave you craving for more.

Not only does this recipe taste amazing, but it also looks stunning too. Served in elegant dessert cups with a dusting of cocoa powder on top, it is the perfect dessert to impress your friends and family at any dinner party or gathering.

What’s unique about this recipe is that it combines different elements of a classic Affogato al Caffè espresso dessert with a traditional Tiramisu recipe to create a heavenly and indulgent treat that you won’t be able to resist. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, rich and creamy, and the smoothness of the dessert will leave you feeling invigorated and satisfied.

Whether you’re looking for an elegant alternative to traditional ice cream or want a coffee-inspired recipe that takes your dessert game up a notch, the Coppa Al Caffe (Italian Coffee Parfait) has got you covered. So why not give it a try and discover how incredibly delicious this recipe truly is? Trust me; once you’ve tasted the dark chocolate, instant coffee powder, mascarpone cream, and coffee liqueur combined in this exquisite Italian coffee parfait recipe, nothing else will compare.

Ingredient List

 Experience a taste of Italy in every scoop!
Experience a taste of Italy in every scoop!

Get your ingredients ready for an indulgent coffee-inspired Italian dessert

If you are someone who enjoys a classic affogato al caffè or a frothy crema al caffè espresso, then you’ll love this coppa al caffe recipe. Before getting started, make sure to have all the ingredients ready and measured out.

You will need:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup + 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua or Tia Maria)
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, grated

This recipe makes about six servings and can be easily doubled or halved depending on your needs.

Ingredient Notes:

-Mascarpone Cheese: This creamy cheese is similar in texture to cream cheese but has a sweeter and slightly nutty flavor. You can find it in specialty or Italian food stores, and sometimes in the cheese section of the grocery store.

-Coffee Liqueur: Kahlua and Tia Maria are popular choices but feel free to use any other coffee liqueur you prefer.

-Confectioners’ Sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, is white sugar that has been ground into a powdery consistency with cornstarch. It’s important to use confectioners’ sugar instead of granulated sugar since it blends more easily and gives the dessert its light and silky texture.

-Dark Chocolate: Grated dark chocolate works beautifully as a garnish since it provides a rich taste that complements the flavors of the dessert. Choose good quality chocolate with at least 70% cocoa for a delicious result.

Now that you have gathered all of your ingredients together let’s move ahead with the recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 A creamy, dreamy dessert you won't want to miss.
A creamy, dreamy dessert you won’t want to miss.

Let’s get brewing the bold and decadent flavors of our Coppa Al Caffè. This is where the magic happens, and I’ll walk you through each step.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp instant coffee powder, such as Del Nonno Crema al Caffè Espresso
  • 2 tbsp coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua or Tia Maria
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • 4 cups softened artisanal ice cream, such as Gino Gelato’s ‘Coppa del Nonno’
  • 3.5 oz chopped dark chocolate


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, instant coffee powder, and coffee liqueur until mixture becomes pale yellow in color.
  2. Over a bain-marie (double boiler), heat mixture gradually while whisking constantly until it reaches an internal temperature of around 175°F (80°C).
  3. Remove bowl from heat and beat the mixture with a hand mixer until it thickens.
  4. Add mascarpone cheese to the coffee mixture and mix it well with a spatula.
  5. In separate bowl whip softened ice cream with confectioners sugar for about a minute.
  6. Fold the whipped ice cream into the coffee and mascarpone mixture until fully incorporated.
  7. Spoon the final mixture into dessert cups, layering with chopped dark chocolate in between them, creating beautiful layers.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight.
  9. Serve each cup with an extra sprinkle of chocolate.

Enjoy this creamy delight – perhaps paired ‘Affogato al Caffè’ or a side of ‘Biscotti Italiani’.

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect pick-me-up after dinner.
The perfect pick-me-up after dinner.

Variety is the spice of life, and this applies to Coppa Al Caffe recipes too! There are plenty of ways to alter this recipe and turn it into something that speaks to your personality. Below, I present you with a few suggestions for substitutions and variations to make your Coppa Al Caffe perfect for you:

– Alcohol substitutions: If you’re looking to exclude alcohol from your recipe entirely, try swapping the coffee liqueur for a non-alcoholic coffee syrup, such as caramel or hazelnut. If you still want some booze in your dessert, try using brandy instead of coffee liqueur or even a flavored spirit, such as Bailey’s Irish Cream.

– Chocolate variations: For a tasty twist on this classic recipe, use white chocolate instead of dark chocolate. You could also mix things up by substituting chocolate chips with crumbled biscotti or amaretti cookies.

– Whipped cream substitutions: Although heavy whipping cream is used in the recipe, you could also use unsweetened whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream for an extra scoop of flavor!

– Cheese variations: If you can’t find mascarpone cheese or if it’s out of your price range, then ricotta cheese is a great substitute. You could even mix the two soft cheeses together for a richer and creamier texture.

– Sweet substitutions: If you prefer other sweeteners besides sugar, like honey, maple syrup, agave syrup or coconut sugar – you can certainly use them in place of regular granulated sugar. Confectioners’ sugar is also an option if you want a finer texture in your dessert.

So go ahead and experiment with different ingredients to create your own unique version of Coppa Al Caffe. Who knows? You may end up creating your own signature blend!

Serving and Pairing

 Treat yourself to a little dolce vita.
Treat yourself to a little dolce vita.

The Coppa al Caffe is a decadent Italian coffee parfait that is perfect for any occasion. Served in individual dessert cups, this dessert is both elegant and sophisticated.

To take this dessert to the next level, I recommend pairing it with a rich and bold Italian coffee. A shot of espresso would be the perfect complement to the flavors of the dessert. Alternatively, you could also try serving it with a classic biscotti for a bit of crunch.

For those who prefer a more indulgent experience, you could also serve it with a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream on top. The rich and creamy textures will blend together perfectly for a heavenly taste.

If you’re looking for something to drink alongside this delicious dessert, I highly recommend trying it with a Tia Maria or Kahlua cocktail. The coffee liqueur will enhance the flavors of the Coppa al Caffe while providing a smooth and refreshing finish.

No matter how you choose to serve it, this Italian Coffee Parfait is sure to impress your guests and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Who needs a cappuccino when you have this caffeinated confection?
Who needs a cappuccino when you have this caffeinated confection?

One of the great things about Coppa Al Caffè is that you can easily make it ahead of time, which makes it the perfect dessert for entertaining. You can even make it a day before and simply keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

When storing your Coppa Al Caffè, be sure to cover it with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container. This will prevent any unwanted odors or flavors from affecting the dessert.

If you find that your parfait has become slightly frozen, let it sit out for a few minutes to soften up before serving. You can also reheat your Coppa Al Caffè by gently warming it up in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. However, I recommend leaving out any toppings such as whipped cream and chocolate shavings until after reheating.

When serving leftovers, be sure to enjoy them within a couple of days as the texture may change over time. If you do have any remaining Coppa Al Caffè, try using it as a topping on ice cream or mixing it into your morning coffee for an extra indulgent treat.

Tips for Perfect Results

 With just a few simple ingredients, you can transport your taste buds to the streets of Rome.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can transport your taste buds to the streets of Rome.

To achieve the perfect Coppa Al Caffe, here are some tips and tricks you can follow:

First and foremost, make sure to use good quality ingredients. This will have a significant impact on the final taste and texture of your dessert. Opt for high-quality coffee powder, dark chocolate, and mascarpone cheese.

When making the egg yolk mixture, ensure that the sugar dissolves completely. The mixture should be pale yellow, thick and creamy before you add in the mascarpone cheese.

Allow enough time for chilling the dessert. This will help the flavors to meld together better and give it that creamy texture you want.

If you are using alcohol in this recipe, adding too much liquor can cause your mixture to turn into soup instead of a parfait. Follow the measurements accordingly to avoid this from happening.

When melting the chocolate, use low heat or double broiler method to prevent the chocolate from burning. Stir frequently until it’s melted smoothly.

To add an extra touch of decadence to your Coppa al Caffe, top it off with whipped cream, sprinkle on some cocoa powder or grated dark chocolate or add some biscotti on the side.

Lastly, enjoy your masterpiece with a cup of Italian coffee or espresso as it complements the flavor of this delicious dessert perfectly.

With these tips in mind, you can assure yourself of a tasty and flawless Coppa Al Caffe experience!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Coppa al Caffè is a must-try Italian coffee parfait recipe for any coffee lovers out there. With its smooth and creamy texture infused with the rich flavors of espresso and coffee liqueur, this dessert is the perfect indulgence to satisfy your sweet tooth after a delicious meal. With these easy to follow instructions and helpful tips, you can create your very own version of this classic dessert in no time.

Furthermore, feel free to experiment with different variations of this recipe by swapping out ingredients or adding your own unique twist. Whether you’re serving it up in dessert cups or pairing it with some biscotti Italiani or Gino Gelato, this expresso dessert is sure to impress your taste buds.

So why not give it a try? With only a few ingredients needed and minimal preparation time required, you can create a masterpiece that will leave your family and friends wanting more. Not only will this delicious treat put a smile on your face, but it will also transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Italy. Give it a go and see for yourself just how incredible this coffee-inspired dessert truly is.

Coppa Al Caffe (Italian Coffee Parfait)

Coppa Al Caffe (Italian Coffee Parfait) Recipe

Print Recipe
I haven't tried this yet, but it's another yummy-looking recipe adapted from a new Italian cookbook I just bought ("One Pot Italian" by Massimo Capra). Cook time is chilling time, and cook/prep times are estimates. Posted for ZWT
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Calories 430.6


  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua or Tia Maria)
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder (can use instant espresso powder if you prefer)
  • 1 cup chocolate syrup (Hershey's Special Dark sauce would probably be nice here)
  • dark chocolate, grated (for garnish)


  • Place a medium mixing bowl in a large shallow pan of hot water. Place the egg yolks in the bowl, then whip in the sugar and liqueur with a hand mixer until the mixture is pale and lemony colored, and very thick. At this point, if you lift the beaters out of the mixture, the batter should create a ribbon that sits on the surface for a few seconds before it sinks inches This means your yolks are properly cooked. Remove the bowl from the water pan and set aside to cool.
  • Add the mascarpone and instant coffee powder to the egg mixture. Using an electric mixer, whip the mixture just until stiff peaks form. Take care not to overwhip, or the mixture will separate.
  • Layer the chocolate sauce and the cheese mixture in a serving glass, starting with the chocolate and ending with the cheese mixture (there should be at least 5 alternating layers. Garnish each serving with grated dark chocolate.
  • Chill for at least 1 hour prior to serving to allow flavors to meld.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 132g | Calories: 430.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 66.8g | Protein: 6.6g | Fat: 11.9g | Saturated Fat: 4.9g | Cholesterol: 237.5mg | Sodium: 273.7mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 43.6g

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