Party Like It’s 5771

Second chances and fresh starts are so rare in our goal-oriented, no-stops world, so the message of Rosh Hashanah is even more valuable to me than many Jewish holidays.  Often described as the Jewish New Year, it’s a time to celebrate, looking back on the successes of the previous twelve months, but also looking forward to the next, hoping for the best.  That’s why it’s traditional to load up on the sweet things in life- or at least, in the kitchen- to ensure a sweet year ahead.  Apples and honey are of course the best place to start, albeit with an easy substitution for the honey.  For the first time since being vegan, I’m so excited to finally bring a substitute that really tastes just like bee-derived nectar, but truly, any syrup or dessert dip will carry the same sweet message.

Not one to stick with the easy answer for long, it was only a matter of time before my mind started spinning, concocting some exciting new dessert. Though I may not be prepared to embrace fall just yet, the smell of those apples and spices cooking over the stove nearly convinced me to make an early break from summer. Nearly. But the truth of the matter is, while the humidity has mercifully died down for the time being, it is still quite hot, outside and in. Instead of going the whole nine yards with a heavy, rich apple baked good, it made more sense to keep things light and refreshing, in the form of a semifreddo.

Dressed to impress, with a quick drizzle of “honey” and a handful of candied almonds, this stunning dessert is almost shockingly simple. Yes, I did take a little shortcut with a whippable vegan creme to save time, but you can also substitute whipped coconut creme with no trouble at all. Merging these traditional flavors in an unconventional final course just seemed like the perfect compromise, like the two seasons meeting in harmony for once.

And did I mention? It’s easier than pie to just pour the liquid semifreddo mix into individual molds, and make show-stopping plated desserts instead!

If you ask me, there’s no reason not to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, even if you’re not Jewish. We could all use a little bit more sweetness in our lives, after all.

Yield: Makes 10 - 12 Servings

Apples and Honey Semifreddo

Apples and Honey Semifreddo

Keep things light and refreshing with a semifreddo, which is essentially a sliceable loaf of no-churn ice cream. Dotted with tender spiced apples and drizzled with vegan honey, it's a real showstopper that only looks complicated to make.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours


Apple-Ginger Compote:

  • 1 Pound Apples (About Large 2 Fuji), Peeled, Cored, and Roughly Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Finely Diced Candied Ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch Salt

Semifreddo Base:

  • 1 (14 – 16-Ounce) Carton Vegan Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews, Soaked
  • 3/4 Cup Vegan Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Honey-Flavored Agave or Amber Agave
  • 1 Tablespoon Limoncello, Apple Brandy, or Vodka
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean, Split and Scraped, or 1 Teaspoon Extract

To Serve:

  • Additional Honey-Flavored Agave
  • Caramelized or Toasted Almonds, Roughly Chopped


  1. In a medium skillet, toss all of your ingredients for the apple compote together, and cook over medium-low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and there’s no excess liquid remaining at the bottom of the pan. The delicious autumnal smell will be an indication that you’re doing something right! Just try not to eat all of the apples before you get them into the semifreddo.
    Let cool completely before proceeding.
  2. To make the base, begin by whipping up your carton of creme as the box instructs, and set aside. Place your nuts and yogurt in a blender or food processor, and puree on the highest setting. A high-speed blender is recommended here for optimal smoothness, but you can certainly still do without. Just be patient, as it may take up to 10 minutes for the average food processor or blender to completely puree the cashews. Once completely smooth, add in the agave, liqueur of choice, and vanilla bean seeds. Blend to combine.
  3. Add about 1/3rd of the cashew mixture to your whipped creme, and with a wide spatula, very gently fold the two together, being careful not to knock too much air out of the creme. Don’t fuss too much about streaks yet; Once it’s mostly combined, add another 1/3rd of the cashew mix, and fold again. Repeat with the remainder, stirring until the mixture is all one even color. Very gently fold in the cooked and cooled apple compote.
  4. Pour the semifreddo base into either a 9 x 5 loaf pan lined with plastic wrap or a silicon loaf pan. For individual servings, I like to use jumbo silicon muffin molds. Smooth down the top with a spatula, and place on a level surface in your freeze. Let sit until frozen solid, at least 8 hours or overnight. You can also make this dessert well in advance- Up to a week, in fact! Just make sure you keep it well wrapped and covered so that it doesn’t start taking on off-flavors in the freezer.
  5. To serve, simply unmold on a decorative plate, slice, and garnish with a drizzle of agave and almonds, as desired.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.


35 thoughts on “Party Like It’s 5771

  1. Mmm honey flavored agave–what a neat find! The semifreddo looks gorgeous and delicious. What a perfect dish for Rosh Hashanah!

  2. WOW! Your pictures are amazing! I have never had the vegan or non-vegan version of this dish, but I am sure to try it. My Dad’s side of the family is Jewish (I am not), but I am extremely interested in Jewish traditions and culture. Thank you for passing along veganized versions of Jewish food. I would like to incorporate more of it into my daily life. :-)

  3. I’m not Jewish but if all of the celebratory Rosh Hashanah foods are this good then I will certainly be partaking! And why not celebrate multiple times a year? This semifreddo looks too tasty not to make year-round.

  4. Gorgeous. I agree with everything you wrote. Even though I am not Jewish, fall is always a time of renewal and potential. Pictures are gorgeous as always. I love the attention to detail in the last one with what I presume are apples lurking in the background.

  5. That looks something I would love to taste! We have here some kind of substitute honey,but I am not sure what it is made of.Happy Rosh Hashana, Hannah!

  6. wow, that’s so beautiful! I love the little apple chunks in there. At first I got all excited that you had perfected vegan nougat, but this semifreddo looks great too! :)

  7. oh my Hannah, that is breath taking gorgeous pictures. And great message too about Rosh Hashanah. BTW Happy Rosh Hashanah. And I might have to invite myself to your place if you are serving these beauties.

  8. Hannah, this is just gorgeous! I wish I could have a huge chunk of it right now. Hope you have a very, very happy and sweet New Year! :)

  9. Dear Hannah,
    You are amazing. But please stop trying to mess up my desperation for summer and summer fruits with your cold-weather delights. I really, truly do want summer heat. But this looks so good.
    Yours in confusion,

  10. What à gorgeous semifreddo! I had never before heard of this holiday but you’re right, à little more sweets in our lives can’t heard!

  11. Happy Rosh Hashanah, Hannah! I hope this new year will bring more great things for you. This cool treat looks so tasty, and the mini version with the apple slice is darling.

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