Recipe: Pumpkin Semifreddo

The weather is definitely cooling down around here, but that doesn’t mean I am done with wanting frozen treats. Sometimes cool and creamy is just what you need despite the season.

It’s true life, that’s all.

It’s been sad times since my ice cream maker broke in the great move to the midwest, but for this dessert you don’t even need that old machine. Just some mad whisking skills (use a mixer or hand blender, unless you just have guns of steel), a bit of folding, and some freezer time. This semifreddo is made up of pumpkin, egg yolks, whipped cream, gingersnap crumbs, and salted caramel sauce.

There’s not one thing in it that I don’t love.

It’s a total win.

Pumpkin Semifreddo

adapted from Tartlette

I added molasses and upped/changed the spice a bit in this recipe. I also layered in that caramel sauce and those gingersnap crumbs I mentioned for texture and goodness. 

1 cup  heavy cream

3 tablespoons mild honey

1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons water

3 large egg yolks

3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup gingersnap crumbs

1/4 cup salted caramel sauce

Using a whisk and those guns of steel, or an electric mixer, beat cream in a bowl until it holds soft peaks. Refrigerate.

Separate eggs and place yolks in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Save whites for another use.

Stir together pumpkin and spices in a small bowl, set aside.

In a small sauce pan mix together honey, molasses, sugar, and water. Bring syrup to a boil over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 238F.

Whip egg yolks to break up and slowly add hot syrup while mixer is running on medium. Whip fast enough to make sure the eggs do not scramble, but try not to go so fast that the syrup does not incorporate. Once syrup is completely incorporated into yolks, whip on high until yolks are cool and airy.

Add 1/3 of the cold, whipped cream to the egg yolk mixture to lighten. Fold in pumpkin and spices, plus remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle the bottom of a prepared loaf pan with gingersnap crumbs (line with plastic wrap if you want to turn it out, if simply scooping you can skip that step), scrape half of the semifreddo base into the pan, and smooth the top. Sprinkle with more cookie crumbs and drizzle in about 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce, top with remaining semifreddo base and smooth, sprinkle with more crumbs. Cover the top of the semifreddo with plastic and then a layer of foil and place in freezer for at least 3 hours to set. Scoop or turn out and slice. Serve cold.

Gingersnap Cookies

adapted from Procrastobaker  

I kept the gram measurements here and used a scale, since I didn’t want to mess up the recipe. I also used all butter as I did not have lard or shortening, and upped those spices! 

210 grams all purpose flour

140 grams granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon honey

1 egg

3 ounces of unsalted butter

Melt butter in the microwave and set aside, whisk in honey, and grated ginger, set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and dry spices. Mix melted butter mixture and egg into the dry ingredients until combined well. The dough will be soft and slightly greasy. Chill dough for 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking pans with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Scoop dough and roll into about 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet spaced about 1 inch apart (cookies will spread). Make a small indentation in the center of each dough ball and bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for 13-15 minutes. Cool cookies slightly on sheets before transferring to cooling racks. Cookies will crisp up as they cool. If they are still too soft in the center, bake for an additional minute or two.

Salted Caramel Sauce

adapted from The Perfect Scoop


3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt

In a measuring cup measure out cream and add vanilla, set aside.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan heat sugar and water over medium-high until sugar is melted and turns dark golden brown in color (the darkest you can get it before burning is best). Remove from heat and quickly whisk in butter and half of cream until combined and smooth. The mixture will steam and bubble furiously, use a oven mitt or towel to wrap your stirring hand. If there are still lumps, heat gently until smooth. Add remaining cream and salt and stir until smooth.









  1. says

    Holy moly that looks insanely good! What’s nice about frozen treats in fall/winter is that you end up experimenting with different flavors/spices for a whole new experience. This looks sooo good and gorgeous photos, as always!

  2. says

    Cold summer treat + perfect fall ingredient = what I think is probably the best way to transition into the season! It looks absolutely delicious! :>

  3. says

    It’s 2:11 in the morning here in CA and I just lovingly slid this deliciousness into the freezer for dessert tomorrow! I’m in a sugar coma from taste testing everything about 5 (ok, fine, 10) and I am so excited to try it when it’s frozen tomorrow! Thanks for the awesome recipe! :)

  4. says

    Wow, really nice idea! I’m wondering if i can incorporate a layer of chocolate mousse as well? Or you think that won’t combine well with the pumpkin?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *