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Italian coffee granita recipe

Italian coffee granita recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Frozen desserts

You are sure to see people enjoying coffee granita if you visit Sicily during the summer months. Here's the recipe so you can make it at home. It's very easy to do but requires a lot of freezing so best to prepare in advance. It's usually served with whipped cream both at the bottom and on top of the glass, alongside a sweet brioche roll.

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IngredientsServes: 4

  • 250ml water
  • 70g sugar
  • 250ml strong espresso coffee
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
  • whipped cream

MethodPrep:10min ›Extra time:6hr freezing › Ready in:6hr10min

  1. To make the sugar syrup: Place water and sugar in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. If you have a food thermometer, it should reach 120 degrees C.
  2. Remove from heat; add coffee and vanilla extract. Pour in a metal bowl and mix well. Cool at room temperature, then freez for 1 hour.
  3. Stir the granita vigorously to break the ice crystals. Freeze for another 30 minutes and repeat. Keep breaking the ice crystals another 3 or 4 times, every 30 minutes.
  4. Serve the granita with whipped cream, both at the bottom and on the top of the serving cup or glass.


You can store in the freezer for a few days, just make sure to stir well before serving.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (2)

Coffee granita with cream Chantilly

If you’re looking for a coffee hit on a hot day, this is the answer. The vanilla-bean cream cuts through the granita for a refreshing dessert.


Skill level


  • 500 ml (2 cups) hot, freshly brewed espresso coffee
  • 220 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • icing sugar, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Freezing time: 8 hours

  1. For the granita, place the espresso in a jug or bowl. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar and stir until dissolved. Taste and adjust with the remaining sugar if necessary. Stir in 60 ml (¼ cup) water. Pour into a shallow tray and freeze for 6-8 hours or until solid.
  2. Using a fork, scrape the ice to form fine crystals, then place in an airtight container, seal and return to the freezer until ready to serve. Just before serving, turn the container upside down as the coffee syrup may settle on the bottom.
  3. For the cream Chantilly, place all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk just until stiff peaks form.
  4. Layer the granita and cream Chantilly into chilled glasses and serve immediately.

Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Put 70 g sugar into a pan with 125 ml water and mix well.

Bring to a boil and boil vigorously for 1 minute.

Add the espresso (or coffee).

Slit the vanilla bean open lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add both seeds and bean to the coffee syrup. Let cool.

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a shallow metal dish and put into the freezer for 2 hours, stirring vigorously with a fork every 30 minutes to prevent any large ice crystals from forming.

Stir once more at the end of the 2 hours.

Whip the cream with the rest of the sugar and the espresso until semi-stiff.

Spoon the granita into 4 glasses, add a small spoonful of cream and serve with amaretti.


Brew the espresso and, while it is still hot, stir in ½ cup sugar and the lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and add additional sugar if you like. Cool to room temperature.

Pour the coffee mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and set in the freezer. When crystals begin to form around the edges – from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your freezer – remove the pan from the freezer and stir the crystals into the liquid. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat every time crystals form. The more of the liquid that turns to ice, the quicker the remaining liquid will freeze after the pan is returned to the freezer. Continue until all the liquid has turned to crystals. The granite is now ready to serve and should be served within a few hours.

Whip the heavy cream until it holds soft peaks. Run a fork through the granite to break up any large crystals, and spoon the granite into tall glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve, immediately.

VARIATION: Blender Granita
Pour the coffee mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Grind the cubes in an ice crusher or blender. This method will give you more of a coffee slush than a true granita.

Delicious Coffee Granita



  • 2 cups brewed coffee cooled
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons Kahlua optional
  • Whipped cream optional garnish



Coffee granita recipe variations

Here are three additional ways to serve your frozen granita recipe:

With cream

If you are serving your coffee granita as a dessert, top with a small amount of whipped cream for a more decadent dessert.

With Alcohol

Alternatively, if you want to try an alcoholic granita recipe, pour a chilled shot of your favourite liqueur over the top of the iced coffee granita.

Popular options include Amaretto, Baileys Irish Cream and Kahlua.

With Chocolate

Finally, for a mocha granita drink similar to a frappe, swirl chocolate syrup into the base of a tall glass, add granita mixture to the glass and top with a generous serve of whipped cream.

Coffee Granita

Combine the coffee, sugar, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into a 9 × 13-inch pan. Place the pan in the freezer for 1 hour, until the mixture starts to become slushy around the edges. Rake the mixture with a dinner fork to break up the crystals and place the pan back in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, rake the mixture, until it is completely frozen and granular throughout. Wrap well and keep frozen for a few hours, until ready to serve.

Spoon the granita into bowls or stemmed glasses, such as martini glasses, and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Make-Ahead Whipped Cream (Makes 1 Quart)

  • 1½ cups cold heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the cream, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, crème fraîche, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed, until it forms soft peaks. Serve cold.

Copyright 2014, Make It Ahead by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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I enjoyed this recipe. Its similar to the one on but it has nice twist.

You need to start this about 8 hours ahead. I did not have sambuca so I used a Portuguese herb liqueur, Licor Beirao. My guests ranted about it!

My guests felt the coffee needed more sugar. it wasn't nearly sweet enough to be enjoyed. Even the sambuca cream wasn't enough to make this dessert palatable.

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Icy origins

Granita was first made in Sicily following the Arab occupation of the island. They brought with them the idea of sherbet, a drink made with fruit rosewater and ice. Over time, the Sicilians adapted the idea locally. People would gather ice on Mount Etna and other mountains in the winter, store it in cool caves and bring it down in the summer to the hot coast.

Early granitas seem to have been more like shaved ice, being grated from these snow blocks and mixed with syrup. But over time the more modern method of combining water, sugar and fruit juices/pulp or nuts then freezing it has evolved.


  • Even if you are using a big tin, do NOT put too much coffee mixture into it. It makes it easier to scrape with a fork once it has solidified.
  • Some friends use sparkling water and they said it makes a difference. Since water is Stockholm is excellent, I just use tap water when I make this at home.
  • Do NOT add the sugar all at once. Taste and adjust as per your preference. Feel free to add more than what is indicated in this recipe as well.
  • If you feel that the coffee granita is not sweet enough, adjust the sweetness of the light cream by adding more powdered sugar.


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