Make Ahead

Raspberry Ice Cream-ish Cake

May  1, 2024
2 Ratings
Photo by Elvin Abril
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

I like to call this my lazy-girl ice cream cake, even though there’s nothing lazy about it. In fact, there’s a lot of whipping, folding, and measuring required to make the raspberry crème fraîche semifreddo. But what I love about it is the fact that you get an ice cream cake without needing to use an ice cream maker, or having to reassemble ice cream in cake form. The base is an almond dacquoise, which sounds scarier than it is, and we pour the semifreddo mixture right on top. Pop it in the freezer, then garnish it with fresh raspberries and serve. There’s nothing more to it than that.

It was inspired by (several) semifreddo cakes my grandmother in Sweden made over the years. I can’t tell you the number of times she’s magically pulled one out of the freezer at the end of the night. It’s the perfect, shareable dessert and is light enough to enjoy after even the heaviest of dinners.

Tips & Tricks
• You can easily swap the crème fraîche out for mascarpone if preferred.
• You can either grind your own almonds, use pre-ground almonds, or use almond flour for the almond dacquoise (I like grinding my own best, if I have time). You can also use hazelnuts instead of almonds.
• To make it ahead, wrap it tightly (minus the fresh fruit garnish) with a few layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. —Nea Arentzen

What You'll Need
  • Almond dacquoise
  • 4 egg whites (save yolks for semifreddo)
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 100 grams grams almonds, ground (see tips in author's note for substitutions)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Semifreddo Filling and Garnish
  • 2 (6-ounce) pints fresh raspberries, divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) confectioners sugar, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (substitute vanilla extract if needed)
  • 1 lime, zested and divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Mint leaves, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 392ºF/200ºC and line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment ( a 9-inch pan is also fine). Leave the sides ungreased; if greased, the sides of the almond dacquoise will pull away as it cools.
  2. In a clean large bowl using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy, then, with the mixer running, slowly pour in the sugar. Whip just until just glossy and stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes (don’t overbeat). Gently use a spatula to fold in the ground almonds until fully combined, then transfer the batter to the ungreased pan. Spread out into an even layer, then bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes (don’t poke it with a knife or toothpick). Let it cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, start making the ice cream. In a small saucepan, mash one pint of the raspberries (save the rest for garnish) and granulated sugar together and place over medium-low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally and mashing the raspberries until most of the water has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Let it cool completely.
  4. In a separate bowl, use an electric whisk to beat the egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar together until pale yellow, then whisk in the crème fraîche, vanilla, half of the lime zest, and salt. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until almost stiff peaks form (make sure not to over whip). Fold the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream, then fold in the raspberry compote. Mix the compote in entirely or leave raspberry streaks.
  5. Pour the ice cream mixture into the springform pan over the almond dacquoise. Spread into an even layer, then place a layer of plastic wrap over the top so that it touches the ice cream mixture (this avoids ice crystals forming on top and prevents freezer burn). Seal the whole springform in more plastic wrap and freeze until solid, 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Allow the semifreddo to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving to easily remove the cake pan. Meanwhile, halve the remaining pint of fresh raspberries. Stack mint leaves on top of each other, roll them up, and thinly slice.
  7. Remove the sides of the springform, then place fresh raspberries all over the top. Dust with a little confectioner’s sugar, then garnish with the remaining lime zest and mint leaves.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • janet tipple
    janet tipple
  • Nicole Davis
    Nicole Davis
  • Carecooks
  • Nicoler13
Nea Arentzen

Recipe by: Nea Arentzen

Content creator & recipe developer

7 Reviews

Carecooks May 25, 2024
It’s been hot lately and I wanted a cool, light-feeling dessert. This was delicious and not heavy at all. I did ribbons of the raspberries rather than totally blending them in. I felt that it was a good decision. The dacquoise became a bit moist in the freezer but I was happu with the texture and taste. All of my guests gobbled it up
janet T. May 22, 2024
I am not overly fond of raspberries, do you think it’s possible use blueberries or strawberries instead?
Nicole D. May 22, 2024
Yes, definitely. Let us know if you do!
Nicole D. May 16, 2024
This is delicious. It has the feel of an ice cream cake but is much lighter and more fresh tasting.
Nicoler13 May 20, 2024
What is it that’s supposed to be zested and divided?
Nicole D. May 20, 2024
A lime. Thank ypu for flagging, I just updated the ingredients.
Nicoler13 May 20, 2024
Thank you!