Cakes/ Classic Desserts/ Holiday/ No-Bake Desserts/ Trifle & Glass Desserts

Tiramisu

January 9, 2018

The ultimate recipe for authentic tiramisu, an Italian dessert made of layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and a rich, velvety mascarpone cream. 

The Perfect Tiramisu Bite

What is Tiramisu

It’s easy to tell if you’ve made a tiramisu just right. Each bite will have rich yet airy yellowish cream, a touch of alcohol, and dreamily soft, but not mushy, coffee-flavored ladyfingers. It should also have a subtle sweetness with just the right bitterness from the coffee and cocoa powder.

Although I like to go on and on about my stories in some of my posts, today I’m going to concentrate solely on the dessert because I have plenty to share with you about it.

The Perfect Tiramisu

Eggs

In most traditional tiramisu recipes, you’ll find egg yolks. This is what gives the filling its yellowish color, decadent taste, and thick texture. While some recipes, such as the most classic ones, use raw eggs, it’s always best to cook them due to the risk of salmonella, so that’s what this recipe calls for.

Cheese Used for Tiramisu

Mascarpone, cream cheese, or both? For the best results, use only mascarpone. Cream cheese has a sourer taste than the sweet mascarpone. Some recipes combine these two, which does give a more complex flavor, but for the richest (and, in my opinion, best) taste, I use mascarpone only.

Egg Whites or Heavy Cream?

The majority of recipes use one of these two. Both must be whipped in order to make a light filling, then folded into the egg yolks and mascarpone. However, each will contribute a different flavor. Egg whites will make the batter more airy, while heavy cream will add richness. One thing to consider is that egg whites are usually used raw.

In today’s recipe, I use heavy cream. Not only do I choose it because – let’s be honest – heavy cream and I are best friends, but I prefer my desserts to be as rich as possible.

In order to use egg whites instead of heavy cream, simply omit the cream and use 3 egg whites instead. Whisk them using an electric mixture until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the mascarpone-egg yolk mixture. Since the eggs are used raw, be sure to use the freshest eggs possible with intact shells.

Type of Alcohol in Tiramisu

Marsala is a sweet red wine traditionally used for tiramisu, and my favorite option. What can be used instead of Marsala? If you’re looking for a substitution, then dark rum is my favorite, but you can also use brandy, coffee liqueur or almond liqueur.

tiramisu

How to Make Tiramisu

  1. Prepare the coffee and set aside to cool.
  2. Make a sabayon or zabaione, which is a custard made from egg yolks, sugar, and sweet wine (in our case, Marsala). Cook these 3 ingredients together over a bain marie – a pot of boiling water turned to low heat and over which you cook ingredients in a heatproof bowl. This method helps to cook the eggs slowly and in a way that they won’t scramble. You’ll need to constantly whisk the mixture while it’s on the bain marie, either by hand or with an electric mixer (easier), until the mixture is finger hot, has doubled in volume, and has a thick, foamy texture. Once done, remove from the heat and let it cool slightly (about 15 minutes).
  3. Using an electric mixer, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add mascarpone to the cooled egg yolk mixture and whisk by hand until smooth. Fold in the cream in 2 additions.
  5. Assemble the dessert. Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee syrup (do this quickly, less than a second) and place in the pan in a single layer. Add half of the mascarpone cream and smooth the top. Repeat with a second layer.

Tiramisu

More Tiramisu Recipes:

4.9 from 8 reviews
Classic Tiramisu
Yields: 8-inch cake or 5-6 individual glasses (double the recipe for a 9x13-inch dish)
 
A recipe for traditional tiramisu – a dessert made of layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and a rich, velvety mascarpone cream. Read the full post to learn about different variations and substitutions for this Italian dessert.
Ingredients
Coffee Syrup:
  • 1 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee (made of 1 cup hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules or espresso powder)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee or almond liqueur, Marsala, dark rum, or brandy
Filling:
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup (70 g/2.5 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Marsala wine, dark rum, or brandy
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 and ½ cups (340 g/12 oz.) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • about 200g/7 oz (20-24 units) ladyfingers or Savoiardi biscuits (or less if making individual glasses)
  • Sifted cocoa powder or grated chocolate
Instructions
  1. For the coffee syrup: In a small bowl, combine hot coffee, 2 tablespoons sugar, and liqueur. Mix until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  2. For the filling: Place egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala in a medium heatproof bowl and set over a bain marie (i.e. place the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water on a low heat; the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk constantly using a whisk, or preferably a hand mixer, until the mixture doubles in volume, is hot to the touch, and has a thick, foamy consistency (around 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixer bowl, whisk heavy cream using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Once egg yolk mixture has cooled, add the mascarpone and whisk until smooth. Then gently fold in the whipped cream in 2 additions until smooth.
  3. Assemble tiramisu: Dip ladyfingers very quickly (less than a second) into the coffee syrup and line them in one layer in an 8-inch baking dish. If necessary, break a few ladyfingers to fit them in the dish. Spoon half of the filling over the ladyfingers and smooth the top. Repeat with a second layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, then with the rest of the cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. I don’t suggest freezing tiramisu since it will ruin its texture. Right before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder or grated chocolate. Serve cold.
  4. For individual glasses: Spoon a dollop of the mascarpone cream mixture into the bottom of the glass. Break each ladyfinger into 4 pieces, soak in the coffee and place on top of the cream. You don’t have to use all 4 pieces at once; it depends on the size of the glass. Repeat with layering filling and ladyfingers, creating 2-3 layers in total. The amount of ladyfingers you use is up to you. For each ladyfinger, add about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of cream. It doesn’t have to be exact – if you like more cream, go ahead and add more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. Right before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder. Serve cold.
Learn how to make the best authentic tiramisu with this easy recipe and tips!

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77 Comments

  • Reply
    Winnie
    September 23, 2014 at 6:50 am

    יאווווו תמיד שאני נכנסת לבלוג שלך אני נעשית רעבה ברמות.
    התמונות תשלך נהדרות ואני מרגישה כאילו והמנה ממש לידי.
    הטירמיסו נראה פשוט מעלף!!

    מאחלת לך שנה נהדרת ופוריה בהרבה מתוקים
    ❤ ❤

  • Reply
    Tiffany @ Triple Crème Decadence
    September 23, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. This looks absolutely delicious!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 24, 2014 at 5:07 am

      Thank you Tiffany! 🙂

      • Reply
        Jessica Castelan
        September 14, 2018 at 3:19 pm

        Accidentally put the cheese in before letting the egg yolks cool should i start over again?

        • Reply
          Shiran
          September 17, 2018 at 2:43 am

          If it didn’t melt and the texture is fine, you can use it.

  • Reply
    Tash
    September 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    The ultimate comfort food <3 Light yet utterly filling. Perfect perfect perfecttttt pictures too, Shiran!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 24, 2014 at 5:07 am

      Thanks Tash!

  • Reply
    Esther
    October 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Hi,
    We like your pictures of the tiramisu very much. Would you like to share it with us so we can print it in our Italian magazine? Hope to hear from you, ciao, Esther

  • Reply
    Diana
    October 10, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Thank you for the tiramisu recipe! It’s simply laid out for what I usually consider a difficult dessert. I’ll be testing this or the chocolate lava cake for my next ambitious dessert night. 🙂

    • Reply
      Shiran
      October 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you Diana! I promise that it’s not that hard to make! Just read all my tips and you’ll be fine 🙂 The fondant is very easy as well! It’s all about timing and taking it out of the oven on time, but don’t let it intimidate you, because it shouldn’t! 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura
    December 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for what looks to be a great recipe! I just made my first one (unfortunately, not this recipe) and now realized I goofed, thinking I should use each half of a lady finger for a layer, not the whole thing. Ugh…..guess anyone counting carbs will appreciate it? I haven’t tasted it yet, but hope it’s good regardless of the ladyfingers missing! 🙂

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Laura! How many ladyfingers in total did you use, and how many for each layer? Even if you mistakenly used less than the recipe suggested, it would still be delicious, and honestly, I think that the mascarpone filling is the best part!

  • Reply
    Char
    January 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Fantastic! Better than the restaurants.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 24, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Thank you so much!! 🙂

  • Reply
    CPJ
    March 16, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    i made your recipe on Saturday and served it on Sunday and my fam cannot stop talking about it! Supremely delicious and pretty easy to make. Looking forward to trying another one of your recipes!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 17, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you so much! My family also LOVES this recipe!

  • Reply
    Renee
    April 9, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I have been looking for a good Tiramisu recipe that yours looks lovely. I have been looking and with no success for mascapone, would cream cheese be a good substitute???

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Renee! I wrote about it in the post, but also, Here’s a good answer to your question from nigella.com.

      • Reply
        Renee
        April 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm

        Oh thank you so much

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 10, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    The filling recipe is amazing! I was looking for a recipe that calls for cooked egg yolks and I am glad I stumbled upon yours…thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 11, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you so much, Lisa! 🙂

  • Reply
    sk
    May 14, 2015 at 2:07 am

    hi shiran!! is there any sustitute to ladyfinger??? i dint get any from my store… plzzz tell a suitable replacement as my mascarpone will be expired after a week…:(

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 14, 2015 at 3:41 am

      Hi 🙂 You can use pound cake (or sponge cake) and cut it into similar sized slices. It would soak up the liquid fairly well.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    This was awesome the first time I made it – but this time the filling separated….?
    Maybe I didn’t cook it enough? It still tastes ok, but I’m bummed because it doesn’t have the correct texture. The only difference was that I used coffee instead of the wine/brandy because I was planning to take it to a potluck. Could that have made the difference? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 28, 2015 at 3:32 am

      Hi Lisa! Using coffee instead of wine didn’t cause it. Did the filling separate after refrigeration or during preparation? Did you cook it over a bain marie? There are two possible ways why it would separate: (1) if it wasn’t cooked gently. High heat causes the eggs to scramble. (2) Over whipping the whipped cream, which causes it to separate. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Klydie G
    September 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Can I use both egg whites and heavy cream? If yes, how much the measurements should be? Thanks a lot x

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 5, 2015 at 5:52 am

      Hi Klydie! If you want to use egg whites instead of heavy cream, use 3 egg whites and whisk them using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, then fold it into the egg yolk-mascarpone mixture. Use either just heavy cream or egg whites. Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    Emilie
    December 21, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Thank you Shiran! This recipe has now become a treat and a must at any party that I go to! Your blog has been a lifesaver especially for a novice and so easy to follow! Messed it up once cause.. I’m bad at following recipes but if I do it step by step, it is AMAZING!

    Keep up the amazing work! You’re doing a great thing for the world here !!! 🙂

    Xoxxxo!
    Emilie

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 22, 2015 at 5:09 am

      What a sweet comment Emilie, thank you so much! It really means a lot to me! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes 🙂

  • Reply
    katie
    December 21, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Can this be made a day ahead? Want to make it for the holidays but because of timing of events, it would be wonderful if I could make it the day before instead of the day of. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 22, 2015 at 4:36 am

      Sure! I always make it a day ahead and keep the leftovers in the fridge for 2 more days. Happy holidays, Katie!

  • Reply
    Cheryl Haywood
    January 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Shiran, I made this dessert last night. It was a HUGE hit. Compliments received from friends that will eat Italian desserts only from top notch Italian restaurants or genuine Italian pastry shops.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      January 4, 2016 at 10:11 am

      This recipe is actually a result of my attempt to impress my Italian friend 🙂 So happy you like it, and thank you for your comment Cheryl!

  • Reply
    juli
    March 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Was vanilla extract intentionally left out? Can I add it in?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      March 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      You can add it in if you want, I just don’t find it necessary because the filling has plenty of flavor. In my other recipe there are no eggs or alcohol so I used it to add a nice flavor.

  • Reply
    Name*
    June 15, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Hi shiran
    I tried your recipe more than three times it turns out awesome and delicious but I have little issue when I make the zabaione it looks less thicker and slightly runny I don’t know why?
    For information I use egg whites for whipped cream .
    I’ll be happy if you can give me a tips for this problem.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

      The zabione thickens slightly while cooking, but the consistency should be like a thick sauce. With the mascarpone and whipped cream the filling should be stable after refrigeration. Is your filling runny? It should be quite soft but not runny.

  • Reply
    Kate
    August 18, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I love this recipe. One issue I had and I’m not sure if maybe it’s because I didn’t allow my egg mixture to cool before adding the mascarpone – my mixture slightly curdled when I put in the cheese. Is it because it was not cool enough or because I over beat the eggs in the double boiler? Would love some feedback to help me improve!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 22, 2016 at 6:16 am

      Hi Kate! If the egg mixture and mascarpone were smooth before you combined them together, then the difference in temperature was probably the issue. Next time, let the mixture cool before adding the mascarpone.

  • Reply
    Miri
    December 20, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I’ve done this desert with Irish cream. It delicious! Thank you ?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 21, 2016 at 7:56 am

      Thank you Miri! 🙂

  • Reply
    desserts 0 calories
    January 23, 2017 at 2:10 pm

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  • Reply
    Rosh
    August 2, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Hi, I tried your recipe recently and it came out great. I like the way you write and the way you suggest alternatives. I did with mascaporone and cream and it was soft, not stiff like a cake as the store bought one. Thank you once again. I’ll try the red velvet cake next! Can we substitute jelly crystals for the colouring.

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 6, 2017 at 4:44 am

      Thank you so much! I’m not familiar with jelly crystals for coloring, can you give me an example?

  • Reply
    nivi
    August 7, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Hi Shiran

    Your recipe looks delicious. I would like to make this one for about 15 people.
    Can you pls advise

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      It depends on the size of the serving. It’s made in a 8×8-inch pan, so take a look at the pan and decide. It should be enough for 8-9 people, so you can double the recipe and use 2 pans.

  • Reply
    Nivi
    August 9, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Thanks Shiran! I appreciate it . You have mentioned 227 gms mascarpone in your recipes. So if I’m making for 10-15 people , should I only use 500 gms in total. ? Will that be enough

  • Reply
    Emily Chase
    August 26, 2017 at 12:06 am

    i want to make it for 10 people..is your recipe will gonna be enough for them?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      August 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Hi Emily, it depends on the size of the serving. It’s made in a 8×8-inch pan, so take a look at the pan and decide if it’s enough for you. If you want to be on the safe side, you can multiply the recipe by 1.5 or 2.

  • Reply
    Anishta
    September 6, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Hi Shiran
    I tried your recipe on Saturday and it was awesome. It turned out to be really very delicious.
    Thank you …

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 11, 2017 at 4:07 am

      Thank you Anishta!

  • Reply
    Nikki
    November 30, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Thanks for sharing, but I have one question. Do you use the soft ladyfingers or the hard ones?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 30, 2017 at 4:36 am

      Hi Nikki, the hard/crunchy ones are the best for tiramisu.

  • Reply
    Rowena
    December 23, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Shiran – I would just like to thank you for such a easy, simple recipe for what I would have considered a very complicated dish. I have made this a bunch of times and everyone has loved it. I was wondering if I can make it without the alcohol? My friend is pregnant so I’d rather avoid the alcohol but she loves tiramisu! Anything I can substitute?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 24, 2017 at 6:39 am

      Thank you so much Rowena! 🙂 You can just leave out the alcohol, it’s delicious without it too!

  • Reply
    amit
    February 13, 2018 at 7:09 am

    נראה מושלם ומתכננת להכין השבוע!
    רק שתי שאלות יש לי, אפשר לוותר על האלכוהול בתערובת?
    ושנית, לאיזה טמפרטורה רצוי להגיע עם החלמונים בבן מארי?
    אודה לתשובתך, יש לך בלוג מדהים!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      February 13, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Thank you so much Amit! 🙂 You can leave out the alcohol if you prefer, and you can add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Cook the yolks until they reach a temperature of 65°-70°C.

  • Reply
    Lara
    February 26, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Thank you for this fabulous, fail-proof recipe. I’ve made it three times now and it was a great success each time. I added a bit of extra rum and extra coffee as I like the flavours to be extra intense.

  • Reply
    Angela
    April 17, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Hi Shiran,

    This recipe is fabulous- I’ve served it to my Italian friends and family and theyve even said this is one of the best tiramisus they’ve ever had!! I do find the mascarpone mix being slightly runny, and it doesn’t look as airy as in your picture. After I make the zablione, I cool it in the fridge as opposed to room temperature, only to allow it too cool faster and completely before adding in the whipped cream. Would this have made it more runny?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      April 18, 2018 at 5:30 am

      Thanks Angela, I’m really glad they all like it! The mixture is quite soft and that’s ok. That’s why some prefer to serve it in glasses rather than plates. You can try to whip the cream a bit longer next time, and let the tiramisu set in the fridge for several hours.

  • Reply
    Maria-Jose
    May 5, 2018 at 7:11 am

    This recipe was so easy to follow for my first time making Tiramisu! The results were amazing and my guests absolutely loved it. It is light and cloud like & carries all the delicious flavors of Tiramisu beautifully!
    I will always use without change other than cutting the sugar back for the coffee syrup.
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Noor
    May 28, 2018 at 8:20 am

    instead of heavy whipping cream can I use just whipping cream pls do give me a reply

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Yes, you can use heavy cream or whipping cream.

  • Reply
    Nasreen
    June 4, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Wow. I love this recipe. My first attempt at a Tiramisu and it is perfect. Of course, I omitted the alcohol ingredients due to religious reasons, but perfect nonetheless.
    Thank you Shiran for such a simple, delicious and delectable recipe. 🙂

  • Reply
    Eleni Griva
    July 17, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Can I use half whipped cream and half egg whites so the tiramisu becomes both creamy and airy?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 20, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Hi Eleni, you can use both, but I don’t know the exact amounts without testing it.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    July 22, 2018 at 1:37 am

    Hi Shiran,
    I am a newbie to making Tiramisu. I observed in some recipe, they include the alcohol into the coffee mixture instead of mascarpone cheese. Some uses Kahlua. Can i substitute with Baileys instead?
    Thanks.

    Jamie

    • Reply
      Shiran
      July 23, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Jamie, Baileys is more creamy and less strong than Kahlua so it would taste different but still great. So if you like it, you can use it as the alcohol in the recipe.

  • Reply
    Devora Marks
    September 14, 2018 at 7:01 am

    Hey! This looks amazing and I really want to make it!! Unfortunately there was not mascarpone cheese in the supermarket… they only had קרם מסקרפונה של גד. Do you think the recipe will work with that? It’s 38%…

    Thanks!!!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      September 17, 2018 at 2:42 am

      Hi Devora, I’m not familiar with this, I suggest to stick to mascarpone. If you’re in Israel it’s 40% (Gad brand is great) and easy to find in supermarkets.

  • Reply
    Jaymie
    November 4, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Hi dear, I was about to try on your recipe until I realised the amount of Mascarpone you’re using – 340g of it. Most of the recipe similar to your servings uses around 250-280g. Do we really need so much of Mascarpone? Pls advise. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Shiran
      November 7, 2018 at 5:33 am

      Hi Jaymie, I always try many recipes and this is my favorite version. You can play with it as you like.

  • Reply
    Aizhan
    December 2, 2018 at 4:57 am

    Do you need to use alchohol?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 2, 2018 at 6:07 am

      It adds a great flavor, but you don’t have to use it.

  • Reply
    Ri
    December 5, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Hi, Shiran. Thanks for the no raw eggs recipe. I want to try it for the New Year. What kind of mixer is better for preparing zabayon- hand held one that you use to puree soups or the one you can beat the cream with?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

      You need to use a hand mixer (the one that is used to make whipped cream) and not a hand blender (the one that is used to puree soups).

  • Reply
    Ri
    December 10, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you!

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