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How to make semifreddo

Updated on February 29, 2020

Semifreddo - or "half cold", is a semi-frozen treat that comes in so many different forms that it's hard to define. A semifreddo could be an ice cream cake, a tart, a mouse, or a glorified gelato with a side of cavities.

In Spanish speaking countries, this dessert type is called a semifrio, but I call it delicious! I know you’re salivating and just waiting for me to tell you all about this Summer-busting treat that is so easy to make a child could do it, so I’ll get right down to business.

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 8 hours
Ready in: 8 hours 10 min
Yields: 9-15 depending on how small you cut


  • 5 cups Cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • to taste berries (blueberry, strawberry)
  • chocolate sauce
  • powdered sugar

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Custard Style Semifreddo

This custard style Semifreddo is extremely simple to make. The recipe was featured on the Food Network, it’s that easy and that good!

Basically all you do from here is whisk the parts together. First, whisk together the cream and one cup of the sugar. Then, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar. Add the cream, eggs and sugar all together now, mixing gently with the vanilla extract.

Place your mixture into a serving dish and put it into the freezer overnight (or if preparing for a dinner party, freeze for five hours or so.) To serve, simply cut the Semifreddo into square or triangular pieces, top with chocolate sauce, berries and powdered sugar, and enjoy.

Note: You can include almond slivers or pistachios in this recipe, if you would like. For this batch size, roughly three-quarters of a cup of nuts is appropriate.

Tart Style Semifreddo

A tart is a fruit filled pastry that is typically smaller in size, emphasizing flavor and texture in it’s creation. No, the single serving pies you get at McDonald’s don’t count as a tart.

A Semifreddo in tart form is, quite simply, a partly frozen fruit mousse filling in a pastry shell. Try the recipe above and pour it into shortbread pastry cups – you’ll love it! (Leave out the pistachios, though, and instead whip the berries in with the cream and sugar mixture. Trust me!)

Semifreddo thoughts

When you think about a Semifreddo, it really is the ultimate dessert type. You could, with a little imagination and a lot of pizzazz, create a nearly infinite supply of dessert concepts with the bearing in mind of working with a half frozen product.

Whether you’re creating a fruit puree and folding it into cream to create a fluffy and sweet mousse, rolling something frozen and tasty in mascarpone and then freezing it like a bon-bon, or simply laying down a chilly layer of sugar and cream, flavoring and more sugar between layers of cake – the sky is the limit!

Do you have a favorite Semifreddo/semifrio recipe or story? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Peach Melba Semifreddo Sundae


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