My Cousin Vinny (Caramel Popcorn Affogato)

by | Jul 29, 2013 | Desserts, Drinks, Italian, Kid-Friendly | 1 comment

You may be wondering why this recipe is called ‘My Cousin Vinny’.  It’s because it’s a loveable Italian hot mess, that’s why.

This recipe is a concoction I came up with that’s a hybrid of two amazing desserts.  Last year, I had Thanksgiving dinner at Vancouver’s Four Seasons hotel where for dessert, I experienced Nutella ice cream with salted caramel popcorn.   I remember seeing that on the menu and thinking ‘this is going to be insanely wonderful’ and man, was I right.

Affogato lined up

The crunchy salted popcorn in nutty ice cream was such a bizarrely brilliant combination that was a delight and surprise that I’ll always remember.  Such a perfect blend of cold, sweet, salty goodness that’s perfect for recreating at home.

Affogato ready to serve

‘Affogato’ is an Italian dessert that combines gelato or ice cream and a shot of espresso.  I love serving affogatos with some crumbled cookies on top as a quick yet decadent dessert when entertaining, especially during weeknights when I really want something assembled and quick yet ‘homemade’ and satisfying.

Caramel SauceIce cream with popcorn

I served this dessert last week after whipping up a rustic Italian-inspired dinner that started with an antipasta platter, followed by pasta ala Norma (fried eggplant and pasta in tomato sauce), crispy chicken thighs, and arugula salad.  I kept the decor pretty casual to go along with this theme and it was a relaxed and fun evening that was both a joy to cook and to eat.  And everyone’s favourite part was ‘My Cousin Vinny’ for dessert (a very close second was that crispy chicken… recipe to come).

 AppetizersRustic Italian dinner


 Affogato in spoon

'My Cousin Vinny' (Caramel Popcorn Affogato)

You may be wondering why this recipe is called ‘My Cousin Vinny’. It’s because it’s a loveable Italian hot mess, that’s why. This recipe is a concoction I came up with that’s a hybrid of two amazing desserts. Last year, I had Thanksgiving dinner at Vancouver’s Four Seasons hotel where for dessert, I experienced Nutella ice cream with salted caramel popcorn.
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: chocolate, corn, fast, gluten-free, kid-friendly, nut-free
Author: ness


  • Gluten-free vanilla ice cream (see here for brands)
  • Gluten-free caramel sauce (store bought brands like this or this or homemade)
  • Gluten-free chocolate covered popcorn (from Popcorn Indiana)
  • Espresso (Americano or coffee (homemade, store bought, or instant all work fine))


  • Scoop ice cream into individual serving dishes or bowls. Pour caramel sauce onto ice cream. Add scoop of popcorn on top of ice cream. Pour hot espresso along edge of dish around ice cream and serve immediately. For kid-friendly version, try decaffinated coffee or hot chocolate.

Related Posts

Thai Squash and Coconut Milk Soup

Thai Squash and Coconut Milk Soup

So it's officially Fall now and that means squash soup season and this Thai version is beautifully creamy and super flavourful. I brought this to work for lunch and the steamy aroma of lemongrass, lime, and shallots...

Summer Corn Salad

Summer Corn Salad

I love vegetables. Always have. When I was little, I watched commercials with kids hating brussels sprouts and broccoli unless they were covered in cheese sauce and it was super weird to me. My sister and I would fight...

Hazelnut Chocolate Power Balls

Hazelnut Chocolate Power Balls

The past month has literally blown by in a sea of BBQs, pool parties, get-togethers, road trips,  etc. And all this socializing has left me a little behind on recipe testing/actual cooking - I've been surviving mostly...

1 Comment

  1. lucy

    looks so good … cannot wait to try it out.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Pin It on Pinterest