Tiramisu Recipe (VIDEO)

Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert that's made with coffee, mascarpone cheese, eggs, and ladyfingers. It's often served in small glasses or bowls to show off its beautiful colors.

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How to make tiramisu dessert

Tiramisu is a classic Italian no-bake dessert made with layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and incredible mascarpone cream. The custard-like cream is excellent and contains no raw egg. This easy recipe is truly the best homemade tiramisu and always gets rave reviews.

We love classic Italian desserts like Panna Cotta, Affogato, and of course Berry Tiramisu. Classic Tiramisu is probably the most iconic Italian treat and this one does not disappoint! Watch the video tutorial and you’ll see how easy it is.

Reading: how to make tiramisu dessert

Tiramisu dessert served in a casserole dish with serving spoon

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What is Tiramisu?

The word Tiramisu (tirami su in Italian) means “cheer me up” or “pull me up,” which is very appropriate because one bite will put you in a good mood! An authentic Tiramisu dessert that has 2 main layers: sponge cake ladyfingers soaked in coffee and liqueur and the mascarpone cream layer. This classic dessert often contains raw egg yolks, but we use a different process to create a custard-like cream with amazing texture and flavor.

Tiramisu with layers of lady fingers and mascarpone cream on a plate

Ingredients for Tiramisu:

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Tiramisu requires a short list of ingredients, but the combination tastes incredible. We add a little golden rum to the cream and to the coffee syrup for more depth of flavor. You can use espresso if you have an espresso machine (here’s ours), or use your favorite strong-brewed coffee.

Ingredients for Italian dessert including lady fingers, coffee, cream, mascarpone, eggs and sugar

Can I Substitute the Rum?

We used golden rum but you can use dark rum. You can also substitute the rum with a little Grand Marnier, or amaretto. If you prefer to omit it completely, you can just leave out the rum or add a little bit of vanilla extract to taste.

What are LadyFingers?

Lady Fingers are essentially sponge cake batter piped into strips then baked and dried into biscuits. They are known “savoiardi” in Italian and are perfect for tiramisu because they absorb the syrup well without getting soggy. Ladyfingers are great in other no-bake desserts such as the incredible Charlotte Cake, these individual Mousse Cups, and even a trifle.

Where to Find Lady Fingers:

They are sold in some grocery stores and I have found them at Trader Joes, Walmart, Albertsons, and World Market but it’s easy to get ladyfingers online. Either dry or “soft” ladyfingers would work here. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make homemade ladyfingers.

Ladyfingers layered in casserole dish with mascarpone cream.

What is Mascarpone?

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Mascarpone is essentially the Italian version of cream cheese. It is made of whipped cream, stabilized with an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or citric acid. Mascarpone cheese has a smoother consistency, is milder in flavor and has twice as much fat as cream cheese. In some cases, you can substitute with cream cheese like in our Tiramisu Yule Log but the flavor and texture will be different.

How to Make Tiramisu:

Tiramisu is made of 2 basic components – the cream layer and the coffee-soaked ladyfingers. The process is simple:

  1. Quickly dip half of the ladyfingers in coffee syrup and arrange in a 9×13 casserole
  2. Combine 6 yolks and 3/4 cup sugar and continue whisking over a saucepan of simmering water for 9-10 minutes. Remove from steam and cool slightly.
  3. Beat 16 oz mascarpone with 3 Tbsp rum then beat in the warm yolk mixture until blended.
  4. Whip 2 cups cold heavy cream to medium peaks. With a spatula, fold half into the mascarpone mixture then fold in the remaining half until blended.
  5. Spread half of the cream over the first layer of ladyfingers. Dip the remaining ladyfingers and arrange over the cream. Spread on remaining cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight then dust with cocoa powder and serve.

Step by step photos how to make easy tiramisu cake

Tips for the Best Tiramisu:

  • Dip ladyfingers one or two at a time. A quick dip on each side is enough. There will be some syrup left behind.
  • Do not over-soak the ladyfingers or the layers may collapse.
  • When whisking yolks and sugar over steam, make sure the bowl is not touching the water beneath it.
  • Beat the cold heavy whipping cream until medium peaks form (don’t under beat or overbeat)
  • When working with Mascarpone, do not overmix the cream or it may turn grainy.
  • Chill the cake at least 6 hours in the refrigerator or overnight and it will be very easy to slice.
  • Tiramisu keeps well so you can make it a day or two ahead.
  • Leftovers are good refrigerated up to 5 days because there are no raw eggs in the cake.

Best tiramisu on a plate showing layers inside

Can I Substitute the Coffee?

Traditionally, coffee or espresso is used in Tiramisu. If you are concerned about the caffeine, you can use decaf coffee so you can still enjoy the same classic flavor. If you prefer a different flavor profile, you can turn this into a Berry Tiramisu and omit the cocoa powder.

More Holiday Dessert Recipes:

If you have the task of making the dessert for the holidays, any of these is an excellent choice. These are the best rated and most requested desserts on our blog. If you’re looking for something EASY, the Strawberry Pretzel Salad wins!

  • Apple Pie – our top-rated, most iconic pie
  • Apple Turnovers – quick and easy hand pies
  • Easy Cinnamon Rolls – with the best frosting
  • Baklava – classic, timeless and freezer friendly
  • Pumpkin Cake – with marshmallow-like cream

Watch Tiramisu Cake Video:

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