What is the difference between semifreddo and ice cream? Is it just the cooking method and the time for which they are frozen?

1 Answer 1


Google translates Semi freddo as semi cold. Half frozen is probably a bit closer in practice to an English translation of what it is, or more accurately, what it should be.

So many recipes on-line are fully frozen like ice cream, that the distinction is muddled. TRUE semifreddo is ice cream (or gelato) often mixed with something not frozen, like whipped cream, or not hard frozen to begin with.

Jamie Oliver makes it by freezing a custard until firm, then letting it sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving it over a warm compote.

Giada De Laurentiis has a version that uses Lemoncello, which keeps the custard mixture from freezing hard.

Semifreddo is not churned like ice cream, it's usually frozen in a pan or on a sheet tray, then sliced or mixed with a non-frozen component.

  • 1
    +1 for not churned :) Doesn't have to be mixed with a non-frozen component though.
    – Ming
    Dec 29, 2014 at 1:25
  • It doesn't have to be, just often is. I see that my answer doesn't say as such...edited.
    – Jolenealaska
    Dec 29, 2014 at 1:47
  • And I must say it looks like its much easier to make :)
    – Divi
    Dec 29, 2014 at 8:03

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