Tiramisu

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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.

Tiramisu with coffees.

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. I had it in Verona, Bologna and Milan.

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. This recipe is award-winning and won a bake-off with the Pancake Princess for Best Tiramisu!

Ingredients for Tiramisu

Ingredients for tiramisu all laied out.
  1. Mascarpone – An Italian soft cheese that is absolutely delicious in tiramisu.
  2. Lady fingers – You can make them homemade or simply buy them from the store. I find that Italian markets have the best quality lady fingers.
  3. Heavy Cream – This is essential for a light and airy tiramisu. The heavy cream is whipped with the mascarpone.
  4. Liqueur – Sweet marsala wine is typically used. For this recipe, I used rum but feel free to use sweet marsala wine, Bailey’s or amaretto.
  5. Eggs – Egg yolks are used to give the filling a very light, whipped and creamy texture.

For the rest of the ingredient list, please refer to the recipe index below!

Mascarpone mixture being mixed togethere.

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 tiramisu, matcha tiramisu, chai tiramisu and my latest creation, limoncello tiramisu. All use this base recipe and are absolutely 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!
Tiramisu with plastic wrap on top.

Tiramisu Tips and Tricks

  • Temperature of ingredients is key – 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.
  • Everything should be cold – 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.
  • Not all mascarpone is good for this – 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 reduce the heavy cream to 1 tablespoon.
  • Add the cocoa powder just before serving or else it’ll get damp and soggy and won’t look very cute at all. We are going for authenticity and beauty.
Whole tiramisu dish with a scoop taken out.

Tiramisu Recipe Faqs

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.

Can I substitute mascarpone?

Unfortunately mascarpone is an essential ingredient in tiramisu and there is no substitute.

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.

What kind of eggs should I use in Tiramisu?

I used organic good-quality eggs. If you’re concerned about the raw eggs that this recipe calls for, feel free to use pasteurized eggs.

Scoop of tiramisu being taken out.

What to Serve with this Tiramisu

If you tried this Tiramisu Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

4.94 from 117 votes

Tiramisu Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8
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. 

Equipment

  • 8×8 glass baking dish

Ingredients 

Filling:

  • 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, (100g)
  • 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

Instructions 

To Prep:

  • You’ll need an 8×8-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.

Notes

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. 
Substitutions:
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.
Equipment:
8×8-inch baking dish | KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer | Silicon Spatulas | Offset Spatula | Stainless Steel Bowls |

Nutrition

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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

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Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

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114 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    For those that are worried about raw egg yolk. Could you heat the egg using a double boiler and then cool the egg for a bit and then stick in fridge to get to cold temp? Would that work?

  2. I would love to make it in a 9×13 pan, as I love Tiramisu so much. Can you help me with the measurements for that? Thank you! ♥♥

  3. 5 stars
    If I could leave more than five stars I would! This dish was incredibly easy and the payoff was astronomical.

    Have not found a recipe on this site that I didn’t LOVE!

  4. 5 stars
    Hands down one of the best tiramisus I have ever had! This has become one of my go-tos for holidays (rotated along with Adrianna’s basque cheesecake). If you are a fan of tiramisu look no further as it doesn’t get better than this!

  5. Can you please clarify why the mascarpone says 16 oz from two containers? I’m unclear if that means that you are buying 2x 8 oz containers or 2x 16 oz containers. I’m really not sure why you would specify the number of containers as the ounces are really the critical concern and I’m sure it’s sold in diff sizes everywhere.

  6. 5 stars
    I had made the recipe 4x and put into large cake pan. Problem 1- Started late at night. Problem 2- Add all ingredients into the bowl of stand mixer, it fit but … to the top, it mixed well but tough to whip together without spillage. Problem 3- After dipping and laying down the first layer of lady fingers, the filling was poured over, then the second layer went down, then the rest of the filling poured over (perfect fit for all into the pan), then I turned around and the lady fingers were floating up to the top (Haha, I thought as I covered it with plastic wrap and made it disappear into the fridge.) I anxiously checked it out the next afternoon and the filling was nice and tight, a little bumpy on top, all fixed by lots of cocoa powder. Result was freaking delicious and no flaws visible in the bowl or my mouth. PS I used 8 tsp vanilla, no booze.

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice, and my family has proclaimed it to be ideal. I’m about to make 2 more on request for a late Christmas gift and a birthday gift! I have learned that I can split 1 recipe into 2 loaf pans, fora less overwhelming size. This is perfect so have 1 to serve and 1 to gift. I like to shave a small bar of dark chocolate on top of the cocoa topping, it’s a lovely touch!

    1. this is amazing. i love that you gift it! haha. makes me so happy! and the dark chocolate shaving sounds amazing.