Coconut Lime Semifreddo

Holy crap, this is delicious semifreddo. And it’s ridiculously easy to do. So easy you can make it while you wait on hold to speak with your health care coverage specialist. So easy you can make it while a two-year-old throws a tantrum at your feet because you suggested she make a family of Play-Doh snakes and she thinks this idea is some heinous, Mangele-level shit. So easy you can make it while the handsome handy man-boy named Angel unclogs your garbage disposal. So easy you can do it while you watch Jimmy Fallon and the Roots sing Let it Go with Idina Menzel, even though the baby is in the other room probably wearing all your jewelry and would rather watch some weird Vine video anyway. So easy you can make it while taking a bath. Well, that’s peculiar; don’t do that. Don’t make bathtub semifreddo, friends. This is not Prohibition.

Coconut Lime Semifreddo

This recipe entails opening cans, using a spatula, and zesting. You do know how to zest, don’t you? I use a microplane. The other, ever-so-slightly slightly challenging piece is the toasting of coconut. You don’t want it to burn so sift it and shake it and watch it. Make it first and set it aside. Everything else comes together without much effort. Semifreddo is a soft, super rich, sort-of frozen custard or mousse. It slices like an ice cream cake and would keep well if you set it out at a brunch buffet (for a little while). It’s intensely awesome. I ate some for breakfast. And lunch. For dinner I’m having kale and chick peas. And likely Thin Mints. Those Girl Scouts are devious little vest-clad campers. This would be such a perfect dessert after a spicy Thai- or Caribbean-inspired dinner. It’s like a tropical vacation on a plate. What a great simile! I am a genius at writing. Wow. Watch out, Salman Rushdie. Here I come.


Coconut Lime Semifreddo

  • Yield: 8-10 Servings 1x


  • 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 mango, thinly sliced


  1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat toast coconut shreds until browned, shaking/stirring frequently to prevent burning. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Prepare a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium saucepan bring to a boil coconut milk and condensed milk. Reduce heat and keep at a steady simmer, about 10 minutes while the milks thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in lime zest and salt. Sit saucepan in ice bath, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold chilled milk mixture into whipped cream. Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with shredded coconut.
  5. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight, covered in plastic wrap. Remove from freezer and let stand 20-30 minutes to thaw. Turn over onto a plate, remove parchment, and top with sliced mango.


Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart

Coconut Lime Semifreddo

Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


  1. I made this last weekend. Wow! It was fantastic and got enthusiastic reviews from everyone. My only question was about stirring while the milk cooks and I guessed yes, which worked out fine. I can hardly wait to make this again.

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