Raspberry Semifreddo (Dairy free)

Semifreddo refers to any number of “semi-frozen” desserts, often with a custard base.  This version has a dairy-free custard made with coconut milk, and I used coconut sugar to add a caramel-type flavor to the finished dish.  This takes a few steps but it makes an impressive dessert for a summer party on the deck, and it goes from cold and slightly crunchy to cool and creamy as you nibble your way through a slice.

Raspberry Semifreddo

The custard itself is lightly sweet, and for texture and flavor I added a pecan-coconut brickle topping that adds another layer of sweetness and crunch.  You can use fresh or frozen whole raspberries for this, and you will want to prep it the day before you serve it, so it has time to freeze overnight.  I lined a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap to make it easier to unmold the dessert, and dipped the pan into hot water, dried the outside of the pan, and then inverted the dessert onto a serving plate.  Peel off the plastic wrap, and you are ready to go.  Here is what it looks like coming out of the freezer:

Raspberry Semifreddo

Raspberry Semifreddo (Dairy free)
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 14-ounce cans coconut milk (full fat--light will make the texture very hard)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (or two teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups whole raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. First, prepare the brickle topping. Place the pecans and coconut in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Place the chopped mixture in a small saucepan with the coconut oil and the tablespoon of coconut sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the nuts just start to smell toasty. Do not brown. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  2. For the custard, place the coconut milk, cup of coconut sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla in a blender. Blend on low to begin, and then blend on high until very smooth. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it just starts to thicken. Do not let the mixture boil. After it begins to thicken, turn off the heat and continue stirring for 2-3 minutes. Let the custard cool completely.
  3. Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a little hanging over the edges to make it easier to remove the dessert. Add the raspberries to the pan, and then pour in the cooled custard. Shake the pan a bit to fill in any air gaps. Top with the cooled brickle, then place in the freezer to freeze overnight.
  4. To unmold, dip the pan in a bowl of hot water, then dry the sides off well before inverting onto a serving plate. Remove the plastic wrap and discard. Use a serrated knife that you have dipped into hot water to cut slices for serving.

Raspberry Semifreddo

And as it gets a little melty…

Raspberry Semifreddo

Any leftovers will store well, just wrap in plastic and place in the freezer.  As always, I prefer my desserts on the less-sweet side, and freezing blunts all flavors.  If you are fan of sweeter desserts, increase the coconut sugar by a quarter of a cup.

Thanks for reading,


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7 Responses to Raspberry Semifreddo (Dairy free)

  1. Melissa@EyesBigger May 30, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    I’m lactose intolerant and I miss ice cream… I’ve just started experimenting with coconut milk and this recipe makes me happy 🙂 Can’t wait to try it – especially when fresh raspberries start to appear next month!

    • Angela May 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Yay! I hope you like it. I have been doing a lot of experiments with coconut milk and it is really a great substitute.

  2. Eric May 31, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Definitely one I am going to have to try. I will probably use a different fruit, but this sounds wonderful. I also like that it is named after one of my very favorite hobbits, SemiFroddo!

    • Angela May 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      OH, man! I literally just re-watched LotR one and two, so I really should have thought of that.

  3. Shirley June 3, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Do you know the carbs to this recipe ?
    I don’t have any liquid Splenda how much liquid= powdered spenda?

    • Angela June 3, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Hi Shirley: You could use any sugar substitute (granular splenda would work) to amount to the equivalent of a cup of sugar–the coconut sugar is pretty much interchangeable with white sugar in terms of amounts. If you use a sugar substitute this would definitely be low carb. I cannot give you a figure, but the carbs are almost completely from the sugar and the raspberries, and the raspberries are a low-carb fruit. If you want to cut the carbs even more you could decrease the raspberries to a cup and half and it would still be very good.


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