Tiramisu Semifreddo Cake with Cherries

Torta Semifreddo Tiramisù alle Amarene | tortaoragione.it

Tiramisu Semifreddo Cake with Cherries made with a pate a bombe, mascarpone cheese, cream and cherries in syrup.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and the first that comes into my mind is which recipe I can develop next. Probably not a good sign. Lately all my interests, whether on social media or on tv, revolve around pastry making. I think my recipe ideas come from something I saw the day before and subconsciously elaborated during the night.
And it happened again with this Tiramisu semifreddo cake.

I wanted to create a semifreddo cake with cherries in syrup. So here was my idea: tiramisu ingredients, bar the coffee, but with the addition of cherries. Maybe close to a Black Forest cake recipe.

I wasn’t sure how to name this cake. “Lure me in the Black Forest”. No, too disturbing.

Although technically not a tiramisu, I opted for a more SEO-friendly name which included tiramisu and cherries.

Tiramisu Semifreddo Cake with Cherries

Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time25 minutes
Resting time3 hours
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Ingredients for a 22 cm (8.7 in) pastry ring. Also a 20 cm (7.9 in) pastry ring is needed for the sponge cake discs.


For the sponge cake (Pan di Spagna):

  • 100 g eggs 3.5 oz
  • 90 g sugar 3.2 oz
  • 70 g egg yolks 2.5 oz
  • 40 g flour 1.4 oz
  • 40 g potato starch 1.4 oz
  • grated lemon zest ½ lemon
  • tip of a tsp of powdered vanilla bourbon alternatively vanilla extract

For the kirsch syrup:

  • 200 g water
  • 100 g sugar
  • 30 g kirsch or a similar liquor

For the pate a bombe:

  • 125 g egg yolks 4.4 oz
  • 250 g sugar 8.8 oz
  • 75 g water 2.6 oz

For the Italian meringue:

  • 95 g egg whites 3.3 oz
  • 140 g sugar 4.9 oz
  • 35 g water 1.2 oz

For the semifreddo cream

  • 400 g pate a bombe 14.1 oz
  • 200 g Italian meringue 7 oz
  • 200 g whipped cream 7 oz
  • 230 g mascarpone cheese 8.1 oz

Other ingredients:

  • cherries in syrup
  • unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling


For the sponge cake:

  • Whip the eggs (not the yolks yet) and sugar in the stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
  • When they become fluffy and light in color add the egg yolks together with the vanilla and the grated lemon zest.
  • Keep working at high speed for 13-15 minutes, depending on the temperature of the eggs (if cold they will need to work more).
  • Meanwhile sift the flour and potato starch together twice.
  • Preheat the oven at 180° C (355° F).
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Grease and flour the inside of a 20 cm (7.9 in) pastry ring and place it on the tray.
  • When the sponge cake batter is ready (it should have gained a lot of volume), add half of the flours and pulse the mixer at high speed for 2-3 seconds, enough to distribute the flours.
  • Repeat with the remaining flours.
  • Pour the batter inside the ring. The batter should reach the ¾ of the ring as it will rise during baking.
  • Bake at 180° C (355° F) for about 25-27 minutes. To check if it is cooked press the sponge cake with your index finger and release quickly. If the cake comes back up it's ready.
  • Let the sponge cake cool off completely.

For the kirsch syrup:

  • Put the water and sugar in a small pot on medium heat.
  • When the sugar has melted remove from heat and let it cool off for a few minutes.
  • Add the kirsch and stir.

For the pate a bombe:

  • Put the sugar with water in a small pot on medium heat.
  • Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a large bowl (or in the bowl of the stand mixer).
  • When the temperature of the syrup reaches112° C (233° F) start whipping the egg yolks at medium high speed, either with the handheld or stand mixer.
  • When the syrup reaches 121° C (250° F) drizzle it on the egg yolk while they are still mounting.
  • Let it cool off.

For the Italian meringue:

  • Similar to the pate a bombe, but with egg whites. Put the sugar with water on medium heat.
  • When the syrup reaches 115° C (239° F) start whipping the egg whites, as before, in the stand mixer or in a large bowl with the handheld mixer.
  • When the syrup reaches the temperature of 121° (250° F) the egg whites should have gained volume and should be of medium consistency. Drizzle the hot syrup on the egg whites while the mixer is running at high speed.
  • The final consistency should be medium-firm but not granular and coarse. Let the meringue cool off.
  • Note: do not use salt to whip the egg whites. Salt helps in the moment but they will soon deflate and lose water. If you want to help the egg whites to keep their structure add a little bit of lemon juice or cream of tartar.

For the semifreddo cream:

  • Whip the cream. It helps if the cream and possibly the bowl are cold from fridge.
  • In a large bowl mix the pate a bombe (400g) with the mascarpone (230g).
  • Gently fold in the whipped cream until combined.
  • Fold in the Italian meringue (200g) slowly in order not to deflate the cream.
  • Transfer the cream in a pastry bag.


  • Cut the sponge cake disc in half horizontally, in order to have 2 discs roughly 3 cm (1.2 in) high (diameter 20 cm / 7.9 in).
  • Line the inside of a 22 cm (8.7 in) pastry ring with pastry tape (or a strip of parchment paper).
  • Place the ring on a cake cardboard disc.
  • Insert the first sponge cake disc inside the ring.
  • Moisten the sponge cake disc with the kirsch syrup.
  • With the pastry bag put a layer of semifreddo cream, covering the disc and also the gap around it.
  • Place the second disc on top and moisten again with the syrup.
  • Finish off with the remaining cream, filling the ring to the top.
  • Level with a long spatula.
  • Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
  • After the cake has set, remove the ring by heating it up using a blowtorch or by rubbing it with your hands.
  • Sprinkle with the cocoa powder.
  • Remove the pastry tape.
  • The Tiramisu Semifreddo Cake should be stored in the freezer and left at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.


The kirsch can be swapped with a different type of liquor. If you don't want to use liquor then vanilla bourbon or extract can be used to make the syrup for the sponge cake discs.
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