Chocolate, Desserts, Quick and Easy, Summer

This Italian Tiramisu recipe consists of a sweet creamy mascarpone filling layered with espresso-dipped lady fingers and topped with a thick dusting of cocoa powder. Serve this no-bake dessert following a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs and a crisp caesar salad (or one using kale).

A few years ago I went to Northern Italy and every.single.restaurant I went to, I tried the tiramisu. I wanted to compare and contrast various types of tiramisu. We had it in Verona, Bologna and Milan. I hear that it actually comes from Veneto but it doesn’t matter because in every single place, It was a trip full of stellar tiramisu.

It was on this trip that realized that I like my tiramisu more of a scoop-able variety vs. a sliceable one. I like it to be creamy, a bit messy and topped with such a thick layer of cocoa that have to be sure to not inhale when you take a bite.


What is Tiramisu

Tiramisu is an Italian dessert that consists of lady fingers dipped in espresso and layered with a sweet, fluffy mascarpone cheese and topped with a thick layer of cocoa powder.

Listen, I’m also not a total classic girl. I love some variations on this recipe. I have one with earl grey tea and another using chai. Both delicious!


How to Make Tiramisu

  1. Make the filling. You can do this in the bowl of a stand-up mixer OR you can do this in a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer. I like using the paddle attachment. You want all of the ingredients to be cold.
  2. Beat all of the filling ingredients together until nice and fluffy. I set my timer to 1 minutes. I then scraped down the sides and then beat it again for an additional minute. As a result, everything was silky smooth.
  3. Grab your espresso (mixed with water) or strongly brewed coffee. You have choices! Either will work.
  4. Dip your lady fingers into the coffee. And then immediately transfer it to a baking dish. I used an 8×8 baking dish, but any comparable one will do.
  5. Add half of the mascarpone mixture, spreading it out, creating an even, smooth layer.
  6. Top it with the rest of the dipped lady fingers.
  7. And then finish with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
  8. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top, pressed onto the surface. And then transfer it to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, I like to leave it overnight.
  9. When you unwrap it and are ready to serve, you may have to smooth out the top a bit.
  10. And then dust it with a thick coating of cocoa powder.
  11. Scoop and serve!


Can You Freeze Tiramisu

Yes, you can freeze tiramisu. But I would advise putting it in a freezer safe dish. Pyrex says that freezing their products are absolutely fine. I say go for it. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. And thawed in the fridge. I would recommend to leave off the cocoa powder topping and then add that just before serving.


Tips and Tricks

  • Tiramisu is seriously the EASIEST recipe to make. It doesn’t take much skill or cooking/baking experience. But I will say that every time I’ve come into a problem with tiramisu it’s because the filling ingredients are at various different temperatures.
  • In order to achieve a nice, smooth filling EVERYTHING needs to be cold. That way it all emulsifies well together. Not room temperature whatever you do. Straight from the fridge. Cold.
  • DO NOT use Whole Foods brand mascarpone cheese for this recipe. It’s incredibly thin and will yield a watery-like result. If you do use it (say you bought it before you read this part), completely skip the rum and add it to the espresso mixture.


Mascarpone is an essential ingredient to Tiramisu and unfortunately there just isn’t a substitute.
Dark rum can be substituted for brandy, port, Irish Cream (like Baileys) or madeira. Obviously I love the flavor of rum the best.

How to Make Tiramisu Non-Alcoholic

Whether you don’t drink alcohol, don’t have it in your house OR you simply don’t like the flavor, no worries. I would suggest replacing it with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or leaving it out together.

If you make this recipe, let me know on Instagram!

Looking recipes to pair with tiramisu? Here are a few: 

Tiramisu Recipe

5 from 14 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Serving Size: 8
Calories: 340kcal
This Italian Tiramisu recipe consists of a sweet creamy mascarpone filling layered with espresso-dipped lady fingers and topped with a thick dusting of cocoa powder. 



  • 4 large egg yolks, cold straight from the fridge
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, cold straight from the fridge (see note below for the brand)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 ounces mascarpone , (from 2 containers) cold straight from the fridge (see below for note on the brand you're using)

For Assembly:

  • 1 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee*
  • 24 lady fingers, (from a 7-ounce package)

For Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted for topping


To Prep:

  • You’ll need an 8x8-inch baking dish or a 2 quart dish of some kind.

To Make the Filling:

  • In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fixed with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), add all of the ingredients.
  • Beat all of the ingredients together for 1 minute; scrape down the sides and then beat again for an additional minute, being sure NOT to over beat it. Stick to the two minutes total.

To Assemble the Tiramisu:

  • Grab your baking dish. Transfer the strongly brewed coffee to a medium and or small bowl. Working one at a time, quickly dip each lady finger into the coffee. Be sure to not over saturate the ladyfinger with the coffee because then they’ll get a bit too soggy. All you need is a quick dip into the coffee. Arrange the dipped ladyfingers in the baking dish, side by side. I ended up filling up the empty spaces by snapping some of the lady fingers into different lengths.
  • Add a few scoops of the filling on top and spread into a 1/4-inch thick layer. Add more filling if you need to.
  • Dip the remaining lady fingers in the coffee and arrange them so there are no gaps. Add the remaining filling on top and spread it into a nice and neat final layer. Cover the dish with plastic wrap so it hits the surface of the tiramisu; transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.

To Serve:

  • Remove the plastic wrap and discard. If the plastic wrap has left any indentations in the topping, you can always smooth it out with an offset spatula. Sift the cocoa powder on top, applying a generous coating of it. Wipe the rim of the baking dish and serve.
  • This isn’t the type of tiramisu that gives you perfect slices. It’s more of a scoopable type tiramisu.
  • if covered, this tiramisu lasts in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Brands of Mascarpone: 
If you're using Whole Foods brand of mascarpone, decrease the heavy cream to 1 tablespoon and completely eliminate the rum from the mixture. A lot of people have said it's really runny. I haven't used it. But the mascarpone I use is always super thick. So if your mascarpone is thin and runny, definitely decrease the heavy cream amount. 
Tips on Texture:
In order to achieve a nice, smooth filling EVERYTHING needs to be cold. That way it all emulsifies well together. Not room temperature whatever you do. Straight from the fridge--cold. 
If the mixture is a bit runnier than what you see pictured, no worries. Proceed with assembling the recipe; the mixture with thicken as it chills overnight in the fridge. 
Mascarpone is an essential ingredient to Tiramisu and unfortunately there just isn’t a substitute.Dark rum can be substituted for brandy, port, Irish Cream (like Baileys), madeira or masala wine. Obviously I love the flavor of rum the best.
Making this recipe non-alcoholic:
You can absolutely leave the alcohol out--no biggie. If you like, you can replace it with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. 
Using Espresso: 
Instead of strongly brewed coffee, you can mix 6 shots of espresso with 1 cup of water. 
Freezing Tiramisu:
You can freeze tiramisu. I would advise storing it in a freezer safe dish. Pyrex says that freezing their products are absolutely fine. Definitely cover it tightly with a lid and/or plastic wrap. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. And then thawed in the fridge. I would recommend to leave off the cocoa powder topping and then add that just before serving.
8x8-inch baking dish | KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer | Silicon Spatulas | Offset Spatula | Stainless Steel Bowls |
CuisineAmerican, Italian
Keywordauehtnic tiramisu recipe, tiramisu cake, tiramisu ingredients, tiramisu recipe
Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating

  • Reply Alexa May 28, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Hi there, I have a quick question for you on this! I’m planning to make this for my sister’s birthday and wanted to double check on the amount of mascarpone. Is it 16 oz in total, or 32 oz? You mentioned two containers so I wanted to make sure. Thank you!!

  • Reply MZ May 25, 2020 at 8:42 am

    5 stars
    Making this the second time today! Really quick and delicious recipe. Family loved it!

  • Reply Emily May 15, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    This was a really quick and easy recipe. The Tiramisu cake came out good. The first time I made the cake it came out good. But then the second time the filling came out more like liquid. And the ladyfingers show in the pan. I was wondering what can I do to fix that, or what am I doing wrong?

  • Reply visma May 14, 2020 at 4:07 am

    so delicious recipe. i really like it.

  • Reply Mia W May 11, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    5 stars
    This was my first recipe I tried In many years. It turned out delicious except one slight hiccup. I ended up using a non alcoholic McCormick and Schmick imitation rum that ended up containing alcohol which over powered the flavor of the mascarpone. I used 1.5 Tbs and some non alcohol Trader Joe’s brand vanilla. Next time, I will Use just the 2 tsp of vanilla. I also Used a shortbread looking lady finger – the Safeway store signature brand which worked well. Thank you for the recipe. Next time, no rum and it will work for me.

  • Reply Pauline May 8, 2020 at 9:12 am

    5 stars
    Made this for dessert tonight and my whole family commented that IT WAS AMAZING. Love the fact that it was very quick and easy to put together! I halved the recipe and managed to yield 5 servings (ramekins). This will be my go-to tiramisu recipe from now on! x

  • Reply Sasha May 5, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Made this for my dad for his bday and had to look back at the serving size because between 3 people we ate more than 1/2 of the cake already! I followed your recipe exactly but added in half of the egg whites to minimize waste, and whisked it with the heavy cream. It was still suuuuper rich/ creamy and scoopable, just the way I like my tiramisu! I also used amaretto as the liquor and highly recommend it, it adds a lovely taste. Any way, thank you for this great recipe!

  • Reply Katya May 3, 2020 at 7:22 am

    5 stars
    Made this for my husbands Bday during quarantine and it was a huge hit! I’m not a baker and didn’t want to take on a cake and this was perfect- easy, stress free and oh so delicious! Great recipe! Was able to order ladyfingers online from Delallo.

  • Reply Sofi April 26, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    I made this today but the filling wasn’t thick at all when I mixed it for 2 minutes. I put it in the dish and I’m hoping that it thickens up while it’s in there but after 30 minutes in there so far, it is still super runny. Is there anything I can do for it?

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 26, 2020 at 9:29 pm

      hmm it should thicken if it’s in there overnight!

      • Reply Paige May 8, 2020 at 2:05 pm

        Hi – I just made this and my mixture was also super thin. Do you know what causes this to happen? I want to redo it tomorrow and not sure what I did wrong. Everything was super cold.

        • Reply Adrianna Adarme May 8, 2020 at 2:07 pm

          hi i’m so sorry this gave you trouble. what brand of mascarpone did you use. this might actually end up being ok. can you send me a photo on instagram?

          some ppl have had this problem, assembled it, put it in the fridge overnight and by morning it was all good!

          • Paige Westin May 9, 2020 at 7:21 am

            I re-did it and it turned out much better. Changed it by putting the rum in the fridge to make sure it was super cold, added the Marscapone alone first and tried a different brand. The first one was Whole Foods brand (all they had) second was BelGioiso and it turned out much better. I think I also needed to up the speed on my mixer when combining to ensure it didn’t curdle and emulsified. Thanks so much for getting back to me!

          • Adrianna Adarme May 9, 2020 at 8:50 am

            dang! i have heard some issues with the whole foods brand. but i also made it with success a few months back. for this post, i definitely made it with belgioiso. i wonder if you make it with the whole foods brand it needs less liquid??? i need to try it again with the WF brand. sorry it gave you trouble. super frustrating! but glad it worked!!

  • Reply Jennifer April 24, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Can I use cacao powder vs cocoa powder?

  • Reply Christine April 20, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Love your recipe and it actually seems easy enough to make. I had a question is there an alternative for the rum…our state has closed all liquor stores So I cant get my hands on any.

    Thank you in advance!


    • Reply Meagan April 27, 2020 at 4:01 pm

      Yes wondering the same thing! Any substitute for rum?

      • Reply Adrianna Adarme April 28, 2020 at 3:25 pm

        you can simply leave it out! i answer the question toward the end of the blog post. 🙂

  • Reply Kinga Ritter April 20, 2020 at 5:44 am

    5 stars
    This cream is heaven basically! It is super light and got a perfect structure after a day in the fridge. I had some good rum at home that gave it a very nice additional taste, something I did not experiment with before. Lady fingers are not super popular in Spain, so I just substituted with half box of plain biscuits and it worked really well, although they absorbed less coffee:)
    Thanks for the recipe, stay safe!

  • Reply Johan L Tessens March 29, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    5 stars
    Tiramisu is normally made with Amaretto if no available take 6tbs Vodka with a few drops of vanilla and almond extract and mix with the coffee.

  • Reply HV Mom March 28, 2020 at 8:51 am

    5 stars
    Hallelujah someone who favors scooped vs sliced tiramisu! I first had this delectable dessert at a swanky SFO restaurant in the late 80’s and it was also served scoop style from the most beautiful oval ceramic bowl. I will definitely try your recipe. I found chef johns recipe for a giant batch excellent as well. I also found the comments below from Lincoln to be of interest.
    Take care. Be well. And keep writing and cooking.

  • Reply Lincoln @ LincsFlavours March 22, 2020 at 1:59 am

    Great article and I am glad you had the opportunity to try tiramisù in Italy. As you know, there are a number of different recipes out there.

    Having worked in Rome, and with a person who claimed to have the real, original recipe (believe her or not), a couple of comments:

    She always separated the yolks from the whites. The yolks and the rest of the ingredients being beaten together as per your recipe. The whites are then beaten separately till firm then folded in. It makes the cream filling lighter.

    The second comment is around the Ladyfingers. She always used simple “tea” biscuits. Plain simple ones that are about as cheap a biscuit as one can buy. They are dipped in coffee just as in your recipe. Many recipes out there use sponge fingers etc for the “sponge” layer. Given that tiramisù is an old traditional dessert, and not so long ago people people in Italy and in many places in the world had relatively little money, it seems more logical that they would use old, simple biscuits than more expensive alternative.

    Either way, just a couple of thoughts about alternative methods / ingredients if you wanted to give them a try.

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