Spike It: Keep Cool with Boozy Cappuccino Granita

Let’s talk boozy, frozen treats just in time for the warm weather that is right around the corner. I’m all about a fabulous dessert in the evening, when you’re sitting on the porch as the humidity dies down and fireflies (do you call them “lightning bugs”?) whiz by. Or something frosty that would make for the perfect happy hour treat works, or heck, even a lunchtime dessert with friends is great too. I’m a fan of a lunchtime dessert on a random Wednesday when you’ve just had it with the week — something that cures all.

A spiked granita filled with coffee and sugar and booze sounds just about right when you need to cool down or chill out, right?

When I was on the book tour for my first cookbook, we had a signing at Fante’s kitchen shop in Philadelphia. The owner, who was wonderful and warm and welcoming, greeted us with a cup of their coffee granita. It’s actually more like part granita, part blended coffee, and it is so incredibly delicious and addicting that it’s dubbed “9th Street crack” by local residents. They aren’t kidding.

This granita was drinkable — almost as if you let a granita sit at room temperature for a bit before serving. It was sweet, icy, creamy and caffeinated; I have been seriously craving it ever since. It tasted better than any frappe I’ve had in my day.

My solution to that craving was to create a cappuccino granita with brown sugar, cream and cinnamon — and a dab of coffee liqueur. Spike all the things! Then when it comes time to serve? Take it out of the freezer, scoop it into cups and drizzle a bit more liqueur over the top.

If you really feel like taking it to another level, you can top it with some fresh whipped cream or a bit of whipped marshmallow (I like this whipped marshmallow recipe). Final details include a mixed sprinkle of dark cocoa powder and cinnamon. Then it’s time to devour.

Spiked Cappuccino Granita

Yield: 4 servings


16 ounces strongly brewed hot coffee

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua), plus extra for drizzling

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Whisk the coffee and sugar together in a large bowl or measuring cup, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cream, liqueur, extract and cinnamon until combined.

Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe baking dish. Freeze for 2 hours, then bring it out and scrape the mixture with a fork. Continue to scrape the dessert every hour for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

When you’re ready to serve, spoon the granita into a glass. You can add a few drizzles of liqueur to make it less icy and more boozy. Top with fresh whipped cream or marshmallow frosting and a sprinkle of dark cocoa powder and cinnamon.

Jessica is the voice behind the blog How Sweet Eats. She can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and she’s on Snapchat at howsweeteats.

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