How to Make an Espresso Granita

The Espresso Granita originally comes from Sicily and is popular throughout Italy. It can take on many forms and has the texture of sorbet although it is also known to be coarser depending on where you order it. Considered a semi-frozen dessert made with sugar, water, and flavors our favorite is with espresso.

Espresso Granita Ingredients

  • 2 cups hot espresso or robust coffee
  • 1/2 cup & 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • One tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • Bittersweet chocolate shavings


  1. Stir espresso, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour into a metal baking pan
  3. Freeze for 1 hour
  4. Remove from freezer, stir and mash with a fork, cover and freeze until firm (two hours)
  5. scrape granita to form icy flakes
  6. Cover tightly with foil; keep frozen
  7. Scrape before serving
  8. Beat cream and remaining sugar in a large bowl until peaks form
  9. Divide granita among bowls or glasses
  10. Top with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate shavings

Additional Tips

This icy bowl of sweetness is incredibly easy to make at home. Start with espresso or a strong dark coffee. The espresso you can pull fresh from your espresso machine, or you can use a french press to stock your fridge with a cold brew and use your leftovers at the end of the week for this recipe. We would recommend using a premium arabica gold espresso for your granita. The delicious, smokey bitter taste will complement the sugar and vanilla syrup, the strength of this coffee is of particular importance so that the flavor comes through in the desert.

The key to an enjoyable granita is how you break up the mixture. Removing it from the pan and transferring it to a bowl it will allow you to break up the frozen slush better. Depending on your taste, break up the granita to a smooth texture by doing this more often or leave it as coarse flakes for a dynamic presentation.

Espresso Granita Flavors

The sorbet nature of the espresso granita means you can play around with the type of syrups used in this recipe. Although traditionally vanilla is used, other flavors that will prove delicious include: salted caramel, chocolate or cherry. When serving your espresso granita, consider placing it in clear cups or bowls and using an ice cream scoop to get a rounded presentation. Instead of whipped cream, other toppings that accent the coffee include ice cream, cinnamon sticks or chocolate shavings. For a low-calorie option, enjoy on a summer day as is with no toppings.