This Raspberry Chocolate Semifreddo is a creamy and delicious semi-frozen cream cake that's a perfect holiday dessert to serve for a group.
Desserts for the holiday season like my Christmas Pavlova Wreath and Chocolate Ripple Wreath with Brandy Cream are wonderfully festive and decorative to serve.
Whether you celebrate the holidays in the warm sunshine or winter snow, this Christmas semifreddo is a crowd-pleaser.
It has a creamy texture layered with melted dark chocolate, bursting with raspberries and fresh cherries to serve.
Table of Contents
🍦 Why You Will Love This Recipe
- A perfect holiday & festive dessert.
- Serves 6-10 people.
- Under 10 ingredients.
- Semi-frozen dessert.
- Soft & light ice cream texture.
- Layers of dark chocolate.
- Bursting with sweet raspberries.
🎂 What Is Semifreddo?
Semifreddo is a frozen dessert that is created with egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, and cream. It is similar to ice cream but it has a lighter texture that is similar to frozen mousse.
It’s soft and fluffy because there is quite a bit of whipping that happens in this recipe. With an abundance of raspberries throughout and layers of solid dark chocolate, semifreddo makes for a wonderful festive dessert.
This semifreddo can be served during the holiday season with the festive addition of fresh cherries. With the luscious texture of semifreddo, raspberries throughout and layers of hardened melted dark chocolate, this dessert with sure impress and satisfy everyone.
📋 Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- Egg yolks as the basis for your ice cream along with a whole egg.
- Whole egg works with the egg yolks and adds extra stability and structure.
- Vanilla bean extract for flavor.
- Caster sugar is the sweetener and also adds structure. You can use either golden or white caster sugar.
- Thickened/heavy cream which is whipped and is the body of the semifreddo. I have not tested this recipe using coconut cream.
- Raspberries for that glorious raspberry flavor. Use fresh or frozen. If using frozen, do not thaw before adding to your mix, they will bleed too much through the batter. You want a marble effect.
- Dark chocolate is the two solid/crunchy layers within the semifreddo. As an alternative, try using milk or white chocolate.
- Fresh cherries as the topping and decoration, yum!
- Pure icing/confectioners sugar to dust over the cherries.
🍫 How To Make Raspberry & Chocolate Semifreddo
1) Prepare a small-medium pot and half-fill with water, bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a large heat-proof mixing bowl, add egg yolks, whole egg, vanilla, and sugar.
2) Once water is simmering, sit the bowl with the egg mixture in the pot, ensuring the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water.
3) Using a hand-held electric beater, beat the egg mixture over the steaming water for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale, this can happen fast so keep an eye on your mixture, and scrape down the sides as needed. Once thick and pale, remove from heat and set aside.
4) In a separate mixing bowl, add thickened cream, and using a hand-held electric beater, beat cream to firm peaks. Spoon half of the whipped cream into a thick egg mixture, and gently fold until combined. Add remaining cream and fold until incorporated.
5) Add raspberries and fold through until just combined, creating a raspberry swirl effect. Set aside.
6) Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler or microwave until smooth.
7) Pour ⅓ of the cream mixture into the lined pan. Drizzle over half the melted chocolate. Pour another ⅓ of the mixture into the pan over the chocolate. Drizzle over the remaining chocolate. Pour in the remaining cream mixture and smooth out the top.
8) Fold over the excess cling film from the sides to cover the semifreddo, or cover with new cling film. Place in freezer to set for 6-8 hours or preferably overnight.
9) Semifreddo will not be completely hard, it will be set, similar to a frozen mousse. Depending on the strength of your freezer will depend on how solid your semifreddo turns out.
10) To serve, remove semifreddo by peeling away the top cling film. Carefully turn the pan upside down and onto a serving platter. Lift up the pan so the semifreddo pops out. Remove the cling film completely.
11) Top with fresh cherries and a dusting of sifted icing sugar. Slice, serve and enjoy!
12) Store in an airtight container, in the freezer for 1 week.
💭 Tips For Recipe Success
- When you create your double boiler, ensure the base of the mixing bowl on top is not touching the water in the pot underneath. If it does, this will cause direct heat and can burn the mixture inside the bowl.
- For the raspberries, you can use either fresh or frozen. If you’re using frozen raspberries, there is no need to thaw them before adding them to your mixture. If you thaw them, they will release too much of their juices and when you mix it through, it bleeds out and create a fully red/pink mixture. You want to go for a marbled effect instead.
⏲️ Storing Instructions
- Store in an airtight container, in the freezer for 1 week to 10 days.
- Make ahead by following the recipe as directed then once ready to remove from the tin, invert it into an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 5 days before serving.
💬 Recipe FAQ's
Semifreddo is similar to a frozen mousse which makes it lighter and fluffier in texture compared to ice cream. Semifreddo also is not churned like ice cream.
Yes. Make this semifreddo ahead of time either the day before or 5 days before serving. Keep it tightly enclosed in the plastic cling film in your freezer until ready to serve.
🥄 Related Recipes
If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it's much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x
Raspberry Chocolate Semifreddo
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 large whole egg
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
- ¾ cup golden or white caster sugar
- 400 ml thickened/heavy cream
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, do not thaw if frozen
- 150 g plain block dark chocolate, melted
- ½ cup fresh cherries
- 1 tablespoon pure icing/confectioners sugar to dust
- Line a 6-inch x 9-inch (15cm x 23cm) rectangle loaf pan with 2 layers of cling film, allowing extra cling film to hang over the sides. Set aside.
- Prepare a small-medium pot and half fill with water, and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a large heat-proof mixing bowl, add egg yolks, whole egg, vanilla, and sugar.
- Once water is simmering, sit the bowl with egg mixture into the pot, ensuring the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water.
- Using a hand-held electric beater, beat the egg mixture over the steaming water for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and pale, this can happen fast so keep an eye on your mixture, and scrape down the sides as needed.
- Once thick and pale, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl add thickened cream and using a hand-held electric beater, beat the cream to firm peaks.
- Spoon half of the whipped cream into a thick egg mixture, and gently fold until combined. Add remaining cream and fold until incorporated.
- Add raspberries and fold through until just combined, creating a raspberry swirl effect. Set aside.
- Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler or microwave until smooth.
- Pour ⅓ of the cream mixture into the lined pan.
- Drizzle over half the melted chocolate.
- Pour another ⅓ of the mixture into the pan over the chocolate.
- Drizzle over the remaining melted chocolate.
- Pour in the remaining cream mixture and smooth out the top.
- Fold over the excess cling film from the sides to cover the semifreddo, or cover with new cling film.
- Place in freezer to set for 6-8 hours or preferably overnight.
- Semifreddo will not be completely hard, it will be set, similar to a frozen mousse. Depending on the strength of your freezer will depend on how solid your semifreddo turns out.
- To serve, remove the semifreddo by peeling away the top cling film. Carefully invert by turning the pan upside down and onto a serving platter. Lift the pan so the semifreddo pops out. Remove cling film completely.
- Top with fresh cherries and a dusting of sifted icing sugar.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy!
- If your semifreddo is too solid to slice through, let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes until it’s softer to slice through.
This recipe was originally published in March 2021. It was republished in May 2023 with new images and helpful information.
Wow, do you have any video you can share how to make this cake?I ‘m just a new starter for baking. Thx.
Hi Lily! Unfortunately I do not have a video to go with this semifreddo recipe. My only suggestion would be to pop on over to Youtube and look for a video on how to make a basic semifreddo, that way you would able to see how it's made as this particular recipe is quite basic too. Hope that helps! Sam 🙂
I thought I had stuff it up, my eggs didn’t thicken as much as I thought they should but it still worked! It froze overnight. Will be using again next year!
It’s an absolute pleasure watching your recipes. Can I use Strawberries instead of raspberries?
Few other things too .. can I substitute regular sugar in place of coconut sugar as we don’t have it here ior really expensive. ?
Similarly can I use regular flour for gluten free flour ?
Hi Ayesha! Thank you so much 🙂 So happy to hear you're enjoying the recipes! Yes of course - regarding the strawberries in place of the raspberries.
As for the sugar and flour, is there any specific recipe/s you're referring to? As this semifreddo uses regular white sugar. If you're just talking generally though, it really depends on the recipe as to what you're needing to substitute. Same goes for replacing regular flour for gluten free flour. I will say though, I haven't had much trouble in recipes switching those two flours, but again it really does depend on the recipe.
Hope that helps!
Donna B says
I made this semifreddo for guests and everyone loved it. It was easy to make, light and absolutely delicious and I loved that I could make it way ahead of time. This recipe is definitely a keeper for us. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.
Hi Donna! That's fantastic to hear, thank you! So happy you and your guests enjoyed the semifreddo, such a wonderful easy dessert to prepare. Hope you continue to enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing this! 🙂
Donna B says
Just wanted you to know I’ve now made this semi freddo multiple times. Everyone loves it and I’ve passed this page onto others wanting the recipe. It has kick-started my love of semi freddo. I’ve made a raspberry, pistachio and rose water version and now I’m planning to make a honey one. Seriously semi freddo is the easiest, most delicious, dessert, that wows your guests (especially this one that looks so amazing when cut) because you made it from scratch and you can make it days before your dinner party. What’s not to love?
Hi Donna! Thank you so much for letting me know, I love hearing this :). Semifreddo is so versatile and it sounds like you have been getting quite creative! I love the your combination of rose water, pistachio & raspberry - sounds amazing!! It most certainly does wow guests! Also thank you for passing my page onto others too. Enjoy your new semifreddo flavours Donna! x
Hi Samantha, made this dessert for an early Christmas with my son and his wife. It was amazing and perfect finish with all the hot weather we’ve been having. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas
Wish I could share my photo of it.
Hi! This dessert looks amazin‘ and I‘m sure it tastes delicious, too. I‘m planning it for Christmas and just need to know what you mean with „thickened cream“ ? Is it double cream or regular cream for desserts? These are the two options we have here in Europe.
Thanks in advance for your feedback and happy holidays!
Kind regards, Claudia from Switzerland
Hi Claudia! Thank you so much 🙂 Sounds fabulous! Use the regular cream for desserts. We call pourable thick cream here in Australia, thickened cream but it's not as thick and luscious as double cream that you can scoop out and dollop. So regular cream that you can whip using beaters to use for desserts is what you need to use. Hope this helps and I I'm sure you will enjoy this Semifreddo! Have a Merry and Happy Christmas! Sam x 🙂