classic tiramisu with mascarpone and lady fingers
No Bake
August 9, 2022

Classic Tiramisu

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Chill time: 4 hr
  • Total time: 4 hr 15 min

This classic tiramisu recipe is rich, creamy, custardy, and light all at the same time. Made with dreamy layers of mascarpone cream, coffee soaked lady fingers and a healthy dusting of cocoa powder, this authentic tiramisu tastes just like the real deal from Italy!

No Bake
August 9, 2022
Classic Tiramisu
  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Chill time: 4 hr
  • Total time: 4 hr 15 min
classic tiramisu with mascarpone and lady fingers

This classic tiramisu recipe is rich, creamy, custardy, and light all at the same time. Made with dreamy layers of mascarpone cream, coffee soaked lady fingers and a healthy dusting of cocoa powder, this authentic tiramisu tastes just like the real deal from Italy!

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Classic Tiramisu

This classic tiramisu recipe is rich, creamy, custardy, and light all at the same time. Made with dreamy layers of mascarpone cream, coffee soaked lady fingers and a healthy dusting of cocoa powder, this authentic tiramisu tastes just like the real deal from Italy!

classic tiramisu with mascarpone and lady fingers

Classic Tiramisu

Ciao amici! Sofi here 🙂 When we realized we didn’t have a tiramisu recipe on the blog we were absolutely astounded and quickly got to the kitchen to start recipe testing. And after countless tiramisu tests, lots of research, conversations with real life Italians, and a deep dive into my Italian great grandmother’s hand written recipe box, we give you the best tiramisu recipe of all time.

What’re you waiting for? Andiamo!

classic tiramisu with cocoa on top

What is a classic tiramisu

You’ve probably had tiramisu before…or at least I HOPE you have. It’s one of the best flavor combinations around. Classic tiramisu is made from soaking ladyfingers in espresso, then layering it with a dreamy mascarpone cream and topped with cocoa powder. The combination of mascarpone, espresso, and cocoa powder is delicious

But if you’ve ever had tiramisu in Italy you know it tastes wayyyyy better than it does in the states. Most American recipes I’ve seen make tiramisu with heavy whipping cream–Italians would be appalled. Tiramisu cream should be made with only eggs, sugar, and mascarpone. And maybe a little rum if you like it boozy.

Which I do, obviously 🙂

tiramisu with a bite taken out

Ingredients for tiramisu

Tiramisu might taste like a fancy restaurant’s dessert, but it’s actually made with just a few simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this classic Italian tiramisu:

  • Lady Fingers: You can make homemade lady fingers, but you can usually find them in the prepackaged cookie aisle. If you don’t find them there, most specialty Italian delis or cafes also sell them! I don’t think lady fingers are particularly tasty on their own, but they’re an absolute must for tiramisu.
  • Coffee: You’ll need strongly brewed hot coffee to dip the lady fingers in. It’s important that the coffee is very strong because only a little of it makes it into the final product and you really want the coffee flavor to come through.
  • Mascarpone: Think of mascarpone as a less cheesy cream cheese. It’s very mild in flavor, super creamy and it adds the perfect weight and thickness to your homemade cream in tiramisu. You can usually find it in the specialty cheese aisle by the creme fraiche and ricotta! Make sure you’re using a good quality, thick mascarpone for best results! I usually reach BelGioioso mascarpone if they have it. Be sure to keep your mascarpone in the fridge until ready to use-it incorporates best into the batter when it’s cold!
  • Eggs: Eggs are the magical ingredient in tiramisu. You’ll separate them and whip up the egg whites and yolks separately and then fold them back together with the mascarpone to make the dreamiest, creamiest, mascarpone cream. I know you
  • Rum: My grandmother always used rum in her tiramisu so that’s what I prefer, but you can also swap out the rum for Kahlua, brandy, bourbon, or even Bailey’s. You can also omit it entirely if  you prefer, but I do think it adds a nice flavor if you’re okay with there being a little alcohol in your tiramisu.
  • Vanilla Extract: A little vanilla extract will really deepen the flavor the mascarpone cream! We recommend using pure vanilla extract!

classic tiramisu recipe

What kitchen tools do you need to make authentic Italian tiramisu

These kitchen tools will make whipping up a batch of homemade tiramisu way easier. You can get away without them, but if you have them on hand I highly recommend using them to make your life easier. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Stand Mixer: If you don’t have a stand mixer you can also use a hand mixer or you can always whisk by hand. I highly recommend using a stand or hand mixer if you have it though because it’s a heck of an arm workout with out one!
  • Rubber SpatulaTiramisu requires a lot of folding, so a good rubber spatula is your best friend. You’ll use it to scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently fold together all the ingredients for the mascarpone cream.
  • Small sifter or fine sieve: It may seem like a finishing garnish, but the cocoa powder on top is absolutely essential to the flavor or tiramisu. I like to use a small sieve gently dust the cocoa powder over the top so you get a nice thin, even coating.

tiramisu in a round serving dish

How to make the best tiramisu

Just like its ingredients list, tiramisu is also simple to make.

  1. Brew some strong coffee.
  2. Beat the egg whites and sugar together.
  3. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together.
  4. Mix the mascarpone, rum, and vanilla into the egg yolks.
  5. Fold the two mixtures together.
  6. Dip lady fingers in coffee and layer the lady fingers and the mascarpone cream in a pan.
  7. Refrigerate.
  8. Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder!

Can you make tiramisu ahead of time? Can you freeze tiramisu?

Don’t you worry. I have allllll the answers for your when it comes to making homemade tiramisu. You can make this tiramisu ahead and it also freeze well, so you can fit tiramisu into your schedule in whatever way works best for you.

  1. How to make tiramisu ahead of time: I actually prefer to make this tiramisu the day before because the flavors really get a chance to settle and deepen overnight in the fridge. This tiramisu recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days, so feel free to make it a day or two in advance.
  2. How to freeze tiramisu: You can easily freeze your tiramisu to have at a later date! Make as directed, but do not dust with cocoa powder. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place in a freezer safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months! When ready to eat, defrost in the fridge over night, dust with cocoa powder and serve as directed!

classic tiramisu with cocoa powder

Tips for the best authentic tiramisu

If you want to have perfect, restaurant dessert menu quality tiramisu every time you make it, make sure to follow these tips! Your tiramisu will turn out perfectly custardy, creamy, light and delicious!

  • Use very high quality ingredients – Tiramisu calls for just a few simple ingredients, so the quality of your ingredients will really shine through in the final product!
  • Dip the lady fingers in the coffee quickly — Lady fingers are highly absorbent little buggers, so if you soak them too long they tend to fall apart. Dip them quickly in the coffee and then layer them to make sure they hold their shape!
  • Use really strong coffee — To ensure that the coffee flavor doesn’t get lost in the creamy mascarpone cream, make sure you brew some super strong coffee (or you can combine 8 tablespoons of instant espresso powder with 2 cups hot water).
  • Let the tiramisu set before serving —  Listen, I am also impatient, but if you don’t let your tiramisu set properly you you’ll end up with messy layers and a soupy mess. Be sure to let your tiramisu set in the fridge for at least 4 hours (I prefer overnight though!) before serving!

Follow my step by step video here!


Happy baking!

XXX

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classic tiramisu with mascarpone and lady fingers
  • Author: Sofi | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 4hrs 15mins
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: italian

Classic Tiramisu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 17 reviews

A classic Italian Tiramisu is surprisingly easy to make at home with just a few ingredients. From a creamy, dreamy mascarpone filling (without whipped cream!) to the prettiest Hershey-kiss-like top, this Tiramisu recipe is the best you’ll ever eat.

  • Author: Sofi | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 4hrs 15mins
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no bake
  • Cuisine: italian
Units:

Ingredients

  • 1 package lady fingers (they’re usually in the cookie aisle!
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided*
  • 1/4 cup rum, divided*
  • 16 ounces mascarpone, cold from the fridge
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cocoa powder, for dusting

Instructions

    1. First, brew coffee. Pour the coffee into a wide, shallow bowl and add two tablespoons of the rum. Stir to combine and set aside.
    2. Separate the eggs, placing the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment and the egg yolks in a separate bowl. You’ll use them later.
    3. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment and slowly stream in a 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, beating on high speed until stiff, about 3 minutes. Transfer the egg white mixtures into a large bowl, using a rubber spatula to get everything out so that the bowl is mostly clean.
    4. Add the egg yolks to the stand mixer bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat on high speed with the whisk attachment until fluffy and pale yellow in color, about 3 minutes.
    5. Add mascarpone, the vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons of rum to the egg yolk mixture and mix well.
    6. Use a rubber spatula to add half of the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites, gently folding to combine. Add the second half of the egg yolk mixture to the egg whites and fold until homogenous. Be sure to not over mix as this can cause the egg whites to deflate.
    7. Quickly dip the lady fingers in the coffee on both sides (they will fall apart if you soak them any longer) and place them in a single layer in your desired pan. This size recipe works well in a 10 inch round or a 9 x 13 pan!
    8. Smooth about half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the lady fingers. Repeat another layer of lady fingers dipped in coffee. Top with the second half of the mascarpone.
    9. Dust with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving! Enjoy!

Notes

  1. If you prefer your tiramisu less sweet, go down to 2/3 cup sugar (1/3 cup in the egg whites and a 1/3 cup in the egg yolks!)
  2. You an always omit the rum if you do not want this tiramisu to contain any alcohol. It adds a nice flavor, but the tiramisu will also be tasty without it! I would up the vanilla extract to 1 Tablespoon if you omit the alcohol. Alternatively, you can also swap out the rum for another liquor like brandy, bourbon, or Khalua.
  3. If you prefer to decorate the top like we did here, simply transfer the second half of your mascarpone mixture into a piping big fitted with a large round tip and decorate as desired!

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  1. Recipe is AMAZING! So so easy and so delicious. Went with 2/3C sugar instead of 1C. Such a big hit will definitely be making it again!!!

  2. This was perfect! I like mine with a strong coffee flavor so I ended up needing a bit more espresso for all the soaking. It tastes amazing. I used amaretto in the espresso and rum in the mascarpone mixture.

  3. Love this! Never thought I would be able to make tiramisu at home. I am using a hand mixer and can’t get the final mix to be thick enough. Any suggestions? I feel like the vainilla + rum made the egg yolks mix too liquidy






    • Hi Diana! Try sticking the egg yolk mixture in the freezer for a few minutes to get it to firm up!