Cakes/ Classic Desserts/ Dessert

Tiramisu Cake

May 11, 2018

This easy tiramisu cake is made of a tender vanilla cake soaked with coffee syrup, topped with creamy mascarpone frosting, and dusted with cocoa powder. Just like classic tiramisu in cake form!

tiramisu cake

My tiramisu recipe is so popular that I always think of new ways to combine these classic flavors in more desserts. Ever since I made this cake last year I have become obsessed with it, and if you make it, you’ll understand why. I might even like this tiramisu cake more than traditional tiramisu. It’s great for any occasion: birthday, brunch, or just as a snack.

This tiramisu cake is made of three delicious layers, all of them are simple to make: vanilla sponge cake, coffee syrup, and creamy mascarpone frosting. You can’t really go wrong here. It uses a similar method to my strawberry champagne cake (which if you haven’t tried, I highly recommend!).

tiramisu cake

Vanilla Cake

This flavorful vanilla cake is one of my favorites. It’s wonderfully tender with a delicate vanilla flavor. To make this cake you’ll first need to beat the eggs and sugar using a mixer, which is what gives the cake its volume, then add the rest of the ingredients gradually. What’s unique about this cake is the hot milk-butter mixture, which gives the cake its exceptional texture. The batter will be very liquid and that’s ok.

Coffee Syrup

The coffee syrup is made of a strong espresso or coffee (with no milk – just water) and sugar. If you like alcohol in your tiramisu you can add 2-4 tablespoons of Marsala wine (sweet red wine that is often used in tiramisu), or coffee liqueur such as Kahlua. It might look like there’s too much syrup, but trust me, the cake will soak it all up, so use all of it.

Mascarpone Frosting

This dreamy frosting is the real reason why I like tiramisu. It’s made of 3 simple ingredients: mascarpone, sugar, and heavy cream, all whipped to a delicious thick frosting that tastes incredible. I like to add 2 tablespoons of coffee liqueur, but that’s optional. You can make more frosting if you want a thicker topping.

tiramisu cake

More Tiramisu Recipes:

5 from 5 votes
tiramisu cake
Tiramisu Cake

  • cups (245 g) all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Coffee Soaking Syrup:
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot espresso or strong coffee (hot water mixed with 1 tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee powder)
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons Marsala Wine or coffee liqueur such as Kahlua , optional
  • 1 cup (225 g/8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur , optional
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • Cocoa powder , for dusting
  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease a 9×13-inch pan or line with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides for lifting the cake out of the pan after baking. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk over medium heat just until butter is melted. Do not let it boil. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, whisk eggs on high speed until combined and starting to foam, about 1 minute. Gradually add sugar and keep whisking until tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Reduce speed to medium-low and add warm milk mixture into the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream. Add flour mixture gradually and whisk just until combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the cake springs back when slightly touched and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then run a knife around the edges. Invert the pan onto the rack, lift it off and let the cake continue to cool on the rack.
  7. To make the syrup: stir together hot coffee and sugar until sugar is dissolved, then add liqueur, if using. Allow to cool.
  8. While the cake is till warm, poke lots of holes in the cake with a fork or toothpick. Brush with coffee syrup or pour the syrup over the cake slowly and gradually, allowing it to soak in. Use all the syrup.
  9. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk mascarpone, sugar, and liqueur, if using, on medium speed until combined. Add heavy cream gradually, then increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form and frosting is thick. Use immediately to frost cake. Just before serving, dust frosting lightly with cocoa powder.
  10. Keep cake in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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  • Reply
    Sharmila Sutaria
    May 12, 2018 at 12:00 am

    This sounds fantastic.
    If i want to bake a smaller cake with half the recipe, what size pan should i use?

    • Reply
      May 13, 2018 at 4:27 am

      Use an 8×8-inch pan if you want to half the recipe. Baking time for the smaller cake would be a bit shorter, about 20-30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).

  • Reply
    July 3, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Made it this weekend. It has a strong tiramisu flavor and tastes wonderful! I will be making it again. Thank you

  • Reply
    July 30, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Just want to comment here and I say I made this recipe over the weekend (halved it but followed the instructions to a tee) and it was delicious! Really perfect texture/taste of the cake, strong coffee syrup, and fluffy frosting. I’ll definitely be making it again!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Hi, if I don’t have mascarpone cheese, can I replace it with cream cheese instead?

    • Reply
      September 24, 2018 at 8:30 am

      Yes you can. The result would be good, but the flavor would be different.

  • Reply
    Assal Tdfh
    March 31, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Tiramisu is one my favourites but I also always avoided making them. I’m so glad I tried this out. It has the exact amount of everything and tastes so good.
    I used a 8×8(I think) pan and made it a layered cake because I didn’t have a 9×13 pan. I also didn’t have mascarpone cheese, so I used 3/4cup cream cheese and added 1/4 heavy cream to the recipe and I’m in love.

  • Reply
    July 18, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Hello!!! I would love to try this gorgeous cake. Wanted to check if can bake this like a layer cake??

    • Reply
      July 20, 2020 at 11:48 am

      I recommend sicking to one layer. It could work but the frosting might be too soft for layering.

      • Reply
        Kareena Sobti
        September 4, 2020 at 7:15 am

        Hi! Should the cake be frosted when it has completely.cooled down, or after the soak itself?

        • Reply
          September 16, 2020 at 10:37 am

          It should be frosted after it’s cooled and soaked with syrup.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    Can this be frozen frosted or would it be better to freeze it after soaking in the coffee syrup, but prior to frosting it?

    • Reply
      August 30, 2020 at 5:37 am

      Yes the cake can be frozen. I prefer using the frosting fresh for the best texture but it is possible to freeze it.

  • Reply
    January 1, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Hello, this sounds amazing but do you think it would impact the cake/frosting too much if I halved the sugar amount ?

    Many thanks

  • Reply
    January 5, 2021 at 2:35 am

    can this cake keep in refrigerator for 4days?
    even the cake is already frosted?

    • Reply
      January 5, 2021 at 3:37 am

      Yes 🙂

  • Reply
    Puja N
    January 24, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    Hi, is it possible to make this cake eggless? Can I substite the 4 eggs with 1 cup of applesauce?

  • Reply
    March 1, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Amazing recipe and delicious. I halved it in an 8×8 and it was a big hit with the family.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    Lovely cake! I think the base is a bit too sweet, will it be possible to just put half of the sugar without affecting the recipe or I need to replace with something?
    Thank you

  • Reply
    May 15, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Can you make these as cupcakes instead? How long would you bake?

    • Reply
      Stephanie @ Pretty.Simple.Sweet.
      May 21, 2023 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Kylee, although I have not baked this cake as cupcakes yet, it sounds like a great idea! I’m not sure what the yield might be, but I’m guessing around 20 cupcakes. I would bake them for at least 15-20 minutes and keep checking on them if they aren’t done after 20 minutes. Best of luck!!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I have made this cake 4 or 5 times now and our friends now ask for it when I say “What can I bring?”. The texture is perfect, flavor is spot on. Not to knock traditional tiramisu but I may prefer it in this easy-to-make and easy to serve cake form. Bravo!

    • Reply
      Stephanie @ Pretty.Simple.Sweet.
      July 5, 2023 at 2:11 pm

      Thank you so much, Fred!

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