Roasted Cherry Semifreddo by Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake


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Roasted Cherry Semifreddo by Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake

June 16, 2023
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Roasted Cherry Semifreddo by Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake

This Roasted Cherry Semifreddo from our friend Bronwen Wyatt is the perfect dessert to make when it’s too hot to cook. This creamy frozen dessert is topped with luscious roasted cherries which are in season in California from April – June, but it would also be great with any number of roasted stone fruits that are available throughout the summer and into fall.

Bronwen Wyatt

From Bronwen:

The official start of summer may be days away, but the heat has officially hit New Orleans. Our “feels-like” temperatures are nearing 112 degrees and the humidity is laying over the city like a thick, wet blanket. This is my twentieth New Orleans summer. I think I may have a bit of amnesia when it comes to the experience of it – it’s always stickier than I remember. Stepping outside, the turbid heat immediately humbles you. The warmth builds in a cresting wave until late afternoon, when we’ll get a near-daily torrential downpour that does little to cut the thick, hot damp. The only way to get through is to slow down. Come home from work, sluice off, and ignore your chores. Planning a dinner party? Don’t you dare turn on your oven: we’re in cold food territory now.

Box of fresh California cherries

It always strikes me as ironic that the worst time to embark on a baking project is also the greatest time of year for fruit – stone fruit season. We’re in the flush of cherry season, the brief and sweet period where you’ll find me zoning out over the sink, eating cherries by the handful. Growing up, we’d get whole flats of them from my cousins in California, who’ve owned a cherry farm in Stockton for generations. My young cousin Matto (I say young, but he’s a fully married father of two now!) is now the steward of the Katicich Ranch. We’re so proud to see him continue the farming tradition in the family – one of over 600 family farms in California growing the best cherries.

How to make Roasted Cherry “Semifreddo”

I developed this Roasted Cherry Semifreddo just for this moment – an easy, elegant dessert, no oven time required. Semifreddos are often based on a mixture of whipped eggs. But here I’ve simplified the process by riffing off the no-churn ice cream tradition. Cherries are roasted on the stovetop until just soft and bursting. Then, they’re blended with sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and sour cream. Whipped cream is folded in to lighten the mixture. And finally, the whole thing is frozen in either a loaf pan or a silicon mold overnight. You can make this dessert several days ahead and have it ready at a moment’s notice. I serve it with additional roasted cherries in their juice, and drizzled with olive oil for a lovely color contrast.

Here are a few more dessert recipes to try with California Grown stone fruits!

Hooray for fruit season! Check out this Stone Fruit Recipe Round Up for even more inspo.

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Apricot and Peach Crisp

When your crisper drawer or fruit bowl are overflowing, it is the perfect time to make a crisp for dessert. A fruit crisp is an easy-to-make dessert that is completely customizable and absolutely irresistible. You are only limited by your imagination!

A Perfect Apricot & Peach Crisp Recipe To Try Now
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Peach Ice Cream with Grilled Fresh Peaches

This easy recipe for Peach Ice Cream over Grilled Peaches is sure to be one of your summer faves. If you’re a peach lover, this one’s for you! The ice cream, made with canned cling peaches is easy, creamy and delicious.

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Bronwen Wyatt is the creative genius and baker at Bayou Saint Cake in New Orleans. She’s known for her inventive cakes, sometimes-a-little-weird cakes, squiggly cakes, cakes that are crammed with all the best produce and garnished with stunning blooms sourced from local farms. She’s also a chef in residence at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. When she’s not baking she also writes recipes, teaches classes and makes art.

Be sure to share your recipes using roasted grapes with us by snapping a pic and tagging us on social using #CAGROWN.

Craving more CA Grown goodness? Follow us on Pinterest for fresh and fabulous recipe inspiration!

Roasted Cherry Semifreddo by Bronwen Wyatt

Bronwen Wyatt’s Roasted Cherry “Semifreddo”

Bronwen Wyatt
This Roasted Cherry Semifreddo is perfect for summer – an easy, elegant dessert with no oven time required. Like no-churn ice cream, cherries are roasted on the stovetop until just soft and bursting, then blended with sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and sour cream. Whipped cream is folded in to lighten the mixture, and then the whole thing is frozen in either a loaf pan or a silicon mold overnight.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Freeze Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 264 kcal


  • Loaf Pan


For the poaching syrup:

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar 75 grams
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 30 grams

For the semifreddo:

  • 1 pound pitted cherries 458 grams
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk 398 g
  • ½ cup sour cream 120 g
  • ¼ cup lemon juice 60 g
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream 339 g


  • Make the poaching syrup. Combine sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small non-reactive pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is totally dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Spray a loaf pan with pan spray and line it with plastic wrap.
  • Toss the pitted cherries with sugar and let macerate for about five minutes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-reactive skillet until just sizzling. Add the cherries and their juices and sear over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cherries have taken on a roasty color and the sugar has just begun to caramelize. Add the poaching liquid to deglaze and simmer briefly until the cherries have softened (but pause before the cherries have blown out or turned to mush).
  • Turn off the heat and remove the cherries with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Turn the heat back on and continue to simmer the poaching liquid, which will now be a deep crimson color, until it’s reduced enough to be syrupy in texture.
  • Taste and adjust for acidity (I like my syrup to be quite bright). If you’ve doubled the roasted cherries for serving, you can store them in this poaching syrup until you’re ready to use them (up to five days).
  • Once the roasted cherries have cooled, combine them with the sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice and blend in a blender until very smooth (if you’ve doubled the roasted cherries, you’ll need about 9 ounces / 255 grams roasted cherries for this step). Decant into a bowl and whisk in the sour cream and salt.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks and fold into the cherry mixture.
  • Pour the “semifreddo” base into the lined loaf pan and freeze overnight. The next day, you can quickly dip the loaf pan in hot water and use the plastic wrap to pull your loaf of semifreddo out to slice (after this point, I’ll wrap any leftovers in foil and pop them back in the freezer). Alternatively, you can freeze your semifreddo in individual round silicon molds for a fancier presentation (these are available online, or you could use a silicon muffin pan).
  • Serve the semifreddo with a drizzle of poaching liquid and roasted cherries, or a drizzle of olive oil. Toasted pistachios or almonds would be a lovely addition for a bit of crunch.


You can double the roasted cherries and poaching syrup if you’d like to have extra
to serve on the side of your semifreddo. I’m not fussy about pitting cherries super cleanly – I
honestly just use a gloved hand to pop out the pits.


Serving: 1portionCalories: 264kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 18mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 783IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword cherries, Cherry, cherry dessert, Cherry Tomatoes, dessert recipe, frozen dessert, roasted cherries, Roasted Cherry Semifreddo
Tried this recipe?Mention @cagrownofficial or tag #CAGROWN!
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