How to Make ‘Tartufo,’ an Italian Layered Ice Cream Dessert

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This dome-shaped dessert hails from Calabria, in Southern Italy. It's made with ice cream, filled with cookies and enrobed in rich dark chocolate.

Served all over Italy, this shareable ice cream surprise is easy to make. You’ll need two flavors of ice cream, some toppings and a small glass bowl. Having eaten this Italian dessert many times as a child, I was excited to make tartufo at home so I could choose the flavor profile.

Don’t miss our full list of indulgent desserts from around the world.

What Does Tartufo Mean in Italian?

Tartufo is the Italian word for “truffle.” The expensive mushroom foraged in the Italian countryside might come to mind, but this word also refers to a delicious ice cream confection made with layers of ice cream, chocolate, cherries and cookie crumbs with a chocolate shell finish.

Cracking into the hard chocolate shell is the best part as it uncovers the riches inside!

How to Make Tartufo

This recipe makes one tartufo that serves two people.

Ingredients

Tartufo ingredients in bowls on a marble kitchen countertopAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

  • 1 cup chocolate ice cream, softened
  • 5 Amarena cherries
  • 1 tablespoon jarred hot fudge
  • 12 amaretti cookies, crushed
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened

Topping:

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 crushed hazelnuts

Editor’s Tip: You can easily find imported Amarena cherries on Amazon.

Directions

Step 1: Press ice cream into a bowl

How To Make Tartufo step 1 press ice cream into a bowl lined with saran wrapAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Place a 5-inch glass bowl on the counter and line with a large piece of cling wrap. You want at least 3 inches of overhang.

Scoop the chocolate ice cream into the bowl and spread so the top is flat.

Editor’s Tip: Move the ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator to soften about 20 minutes before using.

Step 2: Add cherries, fudge and cookies

How To Make Tartufo step 2, add fudge, cherries, and cookiesAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Place the cherries on top and press into the chocolate ice cream.

Spoon the fudge on top, then add 2 tablespoons of the crushed cookies. Spread and flatten up to the sides of the bowl.

Step 3: Add another layer of ice cream

How To Make Tartufo step 3, add another layer of ice creamAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Add the vanilla ice cream and spread in an even layer. Press the rest of the cookie crumbs into the vanilla ice cream to create a cookie base.

Fold the cling wrap up over the top of the tartufo and place the bowl in the freezer overnight.

Step 4: Make the topping

The next day, make the chocolate shell topping. Melt the chocolate with coconut oil, then mix to combine.

Step 5: Plate the tartufo

How To Make Tartufo step 5, plate the tartufoAnna Francese Gass for Taste of Home

Remove the bowl from the freezer and carefully remove the molded ice cream from the bowl. First, unwrap the cling wrap and place a small piece of parchment on top of the bowl.

Flip the molded ice cream onto a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. You may need a butter knife to help the ice cream release.

Carefully remove the cling wrap and pour the chocolate sauce all over the tartufo. It will harden within a minute so quickly cover with crushed nuts and place it back in the freezer until ready to eat!

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Anna Francese Gass
Anna Francese Gass started her career in the corporate world but soon decided she would rather be in a kitchen than a cubicle. She enrolled at the French Culinary Institute to follow her dream to cook professionally. Soon thereafter, she found her niche in the test kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, Food52 and Whole Foods. Anna is a contributing editor for the New York Times, Taste of Home, the Washington Post, Bon Appetit and Food52. She appears regularly on Good Morning America, the Today Show, Access Hollywood, The Rachael Ray Show and Food Network. Anna is also celebrating the release of her bestselling cookbook, Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family Stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women.