‘Tis the season for ice cream. Or is it? A creamy, cold, and refreshingly light dessert recently popped up on our radar, and we can’t get enough of it. No, not fro-yo. We’re talking about semifreddo, a semi-frozen spin on ice cream that’s still delightfully cold but closer in consistency to mousse. We say skip the cone—at least today—and try one of these nine simple semifreddo recipes.
1. Chocolate Semifreddo
Homemade dessert in 15 minutes? Yup, this is something we can get behind. Similar to mousse, this semifreddo is made by melting chocolate and slowly folding in the egg yolks and cream (oh, and mascarpone). The hardest part is waiting for the semifreddo to properly chill—six hours at least—and then for an additional 15-30 minutes when it thaws (hence being semifreddo).
2. Strawberry Coconut Semifreddo
It’s easy to go overboard at summer farmer’s markets. The boxes of berries are just so beautiful! Using all that fresh produce… that’s another story. This recipe is perfect for those who were a bit overzealous buying berries and want to make the most of them. Simply blend strawberries and sugar (we love subbing honey), bring to a simmer, make the coconut cream, fold together once they’re cool, sprinkle with coconut cream, and let the chilling commence.
3. Espresso and Toasted Almond Semifreddo
Can we talk about the amazingness that is instant espresso? You get all of the perks of a perfectly brewed coffee shot with a simple little powder. Genius. It’s particularly convenient in recipes like this, where a small spoonful is enough to give the semifreddo just the right amount of kick. We also love the added creaminess from almond butter and crunch from toasted almonds chunks.
4. Easy Pistachio Semifreddo
Do you ever spot a recipe that looks crazy-delicious just to find out it’s made of 20-plus ingredients, most of which would require trips—yes, plural—to specialized food shops? Thanks but no thanks. This recipe, fortunately, is the exact opposite of that. With only five ingredients and a mere seven steps, this pistachio semifreddo is one of those recipes that looks (and tastes) elegant but doesn’t come with any fuss. Sometimes keeping it simple really does yield the best results.
5. Lemon Raspberry Semifreddo
Not all semifreddos—or ice creams, for that matter—need to be overly creamy and heavy. This recipe sticks to light and bright flavors like raspberry and lemon to balance the creaminess and temper the heaviness that often comes with using heavy creams. This party-friendly dessert is also accompanied by a tangy, booze-infused sauce, which both tastes and looks amazing.
6. Tiramisu Semifreddo
And just when we thought tiramisu couldn’t get any better, along came tiramisu semifreddo. As with the classic recipe, this tiramisu semifreddo takes a bit more effort, but a little trip to an Italian supermarket will ease any freddo woes—as that’s where you’ll find ladyfingers, the best espresso powder (though feel free to brew your own!), and quality mascarpone. Though it’s tempting to skip the brandy, we highly recommend sticking to the recipe as is for the best flavor. It’s worth it.
7. Vegan Semifreddo Layer Cake
Dairy lovers shouldn’t have all the fun when it comes to semifreddo.Though it’s true that heavy cream results in the best semi-frozen texture, this vegan recipe proves that alternatives are worth exploring. Made with puréed banana, peanut butter sauce, smashed pretzels, and melted vegan chocolate, this heavenly semifreddo layer cake has us appreciating that dairy-free life.
8. Mascarpone White Chocolate Cappuccino Semifreddo
Though we’re often fans of making things from scratch, sometimes shortcuts are all kinds of worth it. Take this recipe, which relies on a white chocolate caramel cappuccino mix to give it it’s multi-dimensional (and ultra irresistible) flavor. The pre-mixed powder also means the recipe sticks to a mere six ingredients so you can focus on the important stuff—like eating your masterpiece. Feel free to substitute any pre-mixed coffee powder or even mint hot cocoa mix.
9. Peach Semifreddo
Peaches and cream are peak summer flavors. (Not to mention, the makings of a pretty catchy tune.) We love that this recipe gets its creaminess not from heavy cream, but instead from crème fraiche and sweetened condensed milk. It also gets crunch from crumbled graham cracker and juiciness from fresh peach slices—though our favorite ingredients may just be the white wine vinegar and pinch of salt, which temper the sweetness perfectly.