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Try this delicious Tiramisu recipe for your next dinner party!
Made with just a few ingredients, this stunning dessert is a welcome ending to a delicious meal.
We love this Tiramisu recipe any time of the year. You don’t have to rely on in-season fruits or special equipment to pull it together. And, this is not a complicated dessert to make.
There are a few steps to whip it up, but we go through each and every one with simple, easy to read directions. And no need to worry, this recipe has been well tested, tweaked, and tested some more.
Overview of Ingredients:
For the Tiramisu Italian dessert:
- egg yolks – reserve egg whites for another use
- granulated sugar
- mascarpone cheese at room temperature or substitute cream cheese in a pinch
- vanilla extract
- heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- Italian ladyfinger cookies (Savoiardi brad is the best.) Use the hard ladyfinger cookies, not the soft sponge cake style.
- cold strong coffee or espresso
- Kahlua liqueur (coffee liqueur), sweet Marsala wine, brandy or (non-spiced) dark rum. For an alcohol-free version use additional coffee or espresso instead.
For the topping:
- heavy whipping cream
- powdered sugar
- cocoa powder for dusting
How to make Tiramisu:
1. Prepare the custard:
First fill a medium saucepan half full of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Keep warm.
Set aside a 9-inch square baking dish or other casserole with 3-inch high sides.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over the hot water, creating a double boiler. Cook and whisk the egg mixture until thick. Remove from the heat.
Dollop spoonfuls of the mascarpone into the yolk mixture and stir with a spatula to combine. Continue adding more mascarpone until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and blend.
In a clean bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold on-third of the whipped cream into the custard to lighten. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold together until blended. Set aside.
2. Assemble the layers:
Combine the coffee and Kahlua in a shallow bowl. Dip ladyfingers one at a time into the coffee mixture, turning them over to coat. Arrange the coffee soaked lady fingers in the bottom of the prepared pan. The cookies should be touching but not overlapping.
TIP: Dip each cookie quickly, just long enough to soak the outside of the cookie without making them mushy.
Spoon half the custard over the cookies. Repeat with another lady of lady fingers and the remaining custard.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight for best results.
You don’t have to be Italian to enjoy this luscious coffee-flavored dessert with a bit of something extra from a little liqueur.
I’ve always loved the flavor of the Tiramisu I’ve tried over the years. In addition to tasting great, I wanted my version to slice beautifully but still be fluffy, creamy, rich and soft. I also prefer a recipe that does not include raw eggs.
One of the goals I had while developing this recipe was to make the best Tiramisu recipe that holds together perfectly. This recipe is all that and much more than a trifle in a pan. Each layer can stand on its own with plenty of moan-worthy flavor and “pick-me-up” attitude.
Tiramisu actually comes from a Venetian word that means “pick me up”, “cheer me up” or “lift me up” and it does all that!
I researched numerous recipes as the jumping off point for this dessert.
My favorite recipe overall comes from Chef Dennis Littley. He has some amazing recipes on his blog – A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis. Check it out!
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- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar (222g)
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (8oz)
- 28-30 Italian Lady Finger cookies (Savoiardi brand is best) use hard cookies, not soft
- ½ cup cold strong coffee or espresso (4oz)
- ½ cup Kahlua liqueur optional (4oz)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (8oz)
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Fill a medium deep saucepan about one-third full of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low until barely simmering while preparing the other ingredients.
- Prepare a 9-inch square non-stick pan or other casserole dish with 3-inch high sides. Very lightly coat with vegetable cooking spray if not using a non-stick pan.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl and whisk to combine. The mixture will be very thick. Place the bowl with the eggs over the hot water, creating a double boiler. Don’t allow the bowl to touch the water and make sure the water is not boiling. Cook the eggs and sugar while whisking constantly, about 7-8 minutes or until thick. Remove from the heat.
- Dollop spoonfuls of the room-temperature mascarpone into the yolk mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to combine. Continue adding the mascarpone until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and blend. If still slightly lumpy, lightly blend with an immersion blender for a second or two, but no more.
- In a clean bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff (not dry) peaks form. Fold ⅓ of the whipped cream into the custard until incorporated. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold together until blended. Set aside.
- Combine the coffee and Kahlua in a shallow bowl. Quickly dip the lady fingers, one at a time into the coffee mixture, turning them over to coat the other side, then arrange in the bottom of the prepared pan. They should be touching and not overlapping. TIP: Dip each cookie quickly, counting “one-thousand one” then turn and count “one-thousand two”. This is just long enough to soak the outside of the cookie without making them mushy.
- Spoon half the custard over the bottom cookie layer. Repeat with another layer of lady fingers and the remaining custard.
- Refrigerate at least 8-hours or overnight for best results. To serve, dust with sifted all-natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
To prepare the optional topping:
- When ready to serve beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Top the Tiramisu with the whipped cream by pipping on top using a plain, wide decorating tip. Sift cocoa powder over the top to cover. Serve and enjoy!
The first original Tiramisu recipe didn’t include liqueur, and you can leave it out if preferred.
Many people use sweet Marsala wine or rum instead of coffee liqueur. Personally I love the taste of Kahlua and coffee, so it’s a win-win for me.
Apparently there’s a lot of disagreement about where the first classic Tiramisu recipe came from. One thing is for certain, it didn’t exist in cookbooks prior to the 1960’s.
This is a great dessert for Italian themed dinner parties.
We love to serve with this luscious dessert with classic Spaghetti and Meatballs, meaty Lasagna or everyones favorite Chicken Cacciatore. Serve along with a classic salad with homemade Italian Dressing and a loaf of crusty Artisan bread.
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