Red Velvet Semifreddo (semi-frozen) is a simple Italian frozen dessert loaf with red velvet cake as the base, topped with a light and creamy vanilla layer made with eggs—similar to ice cream and somewhat like an icebox cake. Serve drizzled with a simple homemade strawberry sauce, adding a burst of fruity sweetness.

Semifreddo in the shape of a loaf cake topped with fresh strawberry sauce and strawberries

Looks like a red velvet cheesecake, right? This tasty treat is perfect to serve all year-round, and since this particular one is red and white, it is ideal for serving as a dessert on Valentine’s Day, Christmas, during holidays, or any special occasion.

The secret to its extra creamy texture lies in whipping egg yolks with sugar and vanilla extract (you can also use a vanilla bean), along with whipped egg whites and whipped cream.

A long loaf shape semifreddo and a round one in the background

All these ingredients are gently folded together in a large bowl. For the best results, fold gently to create a fluffy, creamy mixture. It’s like ice cream but without the need for an ice cream maker and without the churning process.

There is a lot of whisking involved, so I recommend using an inexpensive hand mixer to make your life much easier.

Semifreddo cake base

Semifreddo does not always have a cake base (like this red hued chocolate layer cake) but I feel it just completes it perfectly. The base can made from a boxed cake mix, or, in this instance, I made my own from my Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe.

The thickness of the cake layer is up to you; additionally, it doesn’t have to be perfect since you will only see parts of it in the slices. You can piece it together as long as it is even, and make sure the cake is cool or at room temperature.

Difference between semifreddo and ice cream

Ice cream is typically made with cream, milk, sugar, and flavors. Semifreddo, as mentioned above, involves whipping and warming egg yolks with sugar and vanilla, which are then combined with fluffy whipped egg whites and cream.

A round semifreddo ice cream cake with red velvet cake on the bottom

Best pan for semifreddo

I used a loaf pan to achieve this shape. I had some leftovers, so I also made a smaller, round one using my mini springform pan, which I previously used for my Mini Chocolate Cake for Two. As you can see, there are options for the pan or vessel you choose to use.

I used a glass loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Alternatively, a metal pan can be used, lined with parchment paper, or you can opt for a silicone mold—the choice is yours

Egg safety

If you are concerned about raw eggs, you can heat the egg yolk mix to 165°F/74°C and whisk the egg whites over the same pan of simmering water until they reach the same temperature. Allow both to cool before combining.

An overhead view of an ice cream cake with fresh strawberries

The easiest strawberry sauce

To gild the lily and offset the creamy nature of this Red Velvet Semifreddo, I like to drizzle my fresh strawberry sauce on top. This is the same recipe as the strawberry sauce added to my British KnickerBocker Glory Sundae and the raspberry sauce I use to serve with Lemon Panna Cotta. If you can’t get fresh strawberries, frozen ones will also work.

Chefs tip for a smooth texture

When you remove the semifreddo from the mold, it may have lines on it from the plastic wrap or parchment paper. To make the surface smooth, simply run a knife or offset spatula under hot water for a minute and use it to smooth the surface without melting it too much.

Yield: 8

Red Velvet Semifreddo

Red velvet cake topped with frozen semifreddo ice cream and strawberry sauce

Slices of red velvet cake topped with a creamy, Italian semifreddo that is similar to ice cream.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup granulated sugar


  1. Line a 8 ½-inch x 4 ½-inch (21 ½ x 11 ½ cm or 9 x 5-inch (these are inside rim dimensions) glass or metal loaf pan with plastic wrap with enough to hang over the sides, one piece in each direction. You can also use a silicon mold. Place in freezer.
  2. For the strawberry sauce:
  3. Add the strawberries (no need to defrost frozen strawberries), sugar and water to a saucepan, bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes until the berries start to release their juices and soften, remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a container with a lid and refrigerate until chilled.
  4. For the semifreddo:
  5. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Refrigerate.
  6. Whip the egg whites until they are firm peaks, set aside.
  7. Use a glass or metal bowl that fits comfortably in a pan. Fill the pan with water (so it does not touch the bowl) and bring to a simmer.
  8. Meanwhile, to the bowl add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk well until dissolved into the yolks, thickened and lighter in color.
  9. Place the bowl of egg yolks over the pan of simmering water and whisk until the mix is, light, fluffy and doubled in volume. Remove from the heat and whisk using a hand mixer or stand mixer on high until lighter in color and cooled. (If you are concerned about raw eggs, you can heat the egg yolk mix to 165°F/74°C and whisk the egg whites over the same pan of simmering water until they reach the same temperature. Allow both to cool before mixing).
  10. Use a spatula to fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mix by cutting with the side of the spatula and folding over, gently to not deflate. Then do the same with the egg whites. Fold until there is no bits of white egg white left and the mix is smooth.
  11. Pour into the prepared pan (leaving room for the cake slices) and top with the slices of red velvet cake, pressing slightly into place. Tap the pan on the counter a few time to help the mix settle into the pan and remove air pockets.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  13. Serve right from the freezer with the strawberry sauce and slice using a sharp knife.


* This can be from a box mix or your favorite red velvet cake recipe

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 438Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 230mgSodium 70mgCarbohydrates 33gSugar 25g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.