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Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe (VIDEO)

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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. Watch the video tutorial and you’ll see how easy it is.

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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.

We love classic Italian desserts like Panna Cotta, Affogato, and let’s not forget the Berry Tiramisu. This classic Tiramisu recipe is probably the most iconic Italian dessert, which is why it’s on the menu in nearly every Italian restaurant. This homemade version does not disappoint!

Italian Tiramisu Cake Video

Natasha shows how simple it is to make this amazing Italian layered dessert. It’s the best tiramisu recipe because it looks so impressive, tastes amazing, but comes together in only 5 simple steps.

Tiramisu Ingredients

Our easy Tiramisu recipe requires a short list of ingredients, but the combination tastes incredible.

Espresso or strong coffee – Use espresso if you have an espresso machine, or use your favorite strong-brewed coffee. See substitutes below.

Golden Rum – divided between the cream and the coffee syrup for more depth of flavor. The light color keeps the cream layer lighter in color. See substitutes below.

Ladyfingers – You don’t want these cookies soft or spongy. Dry and crisp ladyfinger cookies are best to absorb the coffee syrup without falling apart.

Egg yolks and sugar – in step 2, we heat these low and slow to cook the yolks and dissolve the sugar to give the cream layer a great texture

Mascarpone and Heavy Whipping Cream – Use chilled right out of the fridge. For the cream, opt for Heavy cream instead of light or regular cream, since these could make the mixture runny.

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 and baked. They are known as “savoiardi” in Italian and are perfect for absorbing the syrup for tiramisu. Ladyfingers are great in other no-bake desserts such as the incredible Charlotte Cake, these individual Raspberry Mousse Cups, and even a Berry Trifle.

Ladyfingers can be found at some grocery stores, like Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Albertsons, and World Market, but it’s easy to get ladyfingers online.

Can I Substitute the Coffee?

Traditionally, coffee or espresso is used in Tiramisu. If you are concerned about caffeine, you can use decaf coffee and still enjoy the same classic flavor. If you prefer a different flavor profile, check out our Berry Tiramisu.

What is Mascarpone?

Mascarpone is essentially the Italian version of cream cheese, 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:

Quickly dip half of the ladyfingers in coffee syrup and arrange them in a 9×13 casserole

In a Heat-Proof Bowl, whisk together 6 yolks and 3/4 cup sugar. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the bowl is over steam and not submerged in water) and continue whisking for 9-10 minutes. It should be lightened in color and no longer grainy when you rub it between your fingers. Remove from steam and whisk for a few minutes to cool slightly.

In a separate bowl, beat mascarpone and rum together with an electric hand mixer then beat in the cooled yolk mixture until blended.

Whip 2 cups cold heavy cream to stiff peaks. With a spatula, fold half into the mascarpone mixture then fold in the remaining half until blended.

Spread half of the cream over the first layer of ladyfingers. Dip the remaining ladyfingers and arrange over the cream. Spread on the remaining cream. Cover and refrigerate overnight then dust with cocoa powder and serve.

Tips for the Best Tiramisu

Do not over-soak the ladyfingers or the layers may collapse. A quick dip on each side is enough. There will be some syrup left behind.

Water Bath – When whisking yolks and sugar over steam, make sure the bowl is not touching the water beneath it.

Use cold HEAVY whipping cream and beat until stiff peaks form – whip slowly over time for the cream to remain more stable. Don’t overbeat or it will turn buttery and be difficult to blend. Also avoid under-beating which will keep it from setting properly.

Fold just until combined -when folding the cream into Mascarpone, do not over-mix the cream or it may turn grainy.

Chill the cake for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator or overnight and it will be very easy to slice and serve. Serve the cake cold.

Leftovers are good refrigerated for up to 5 days because there are no raw eggs in the cake.

More Dessert Casseroles

These are the best-rated and most requested desserts that fit conveniently into a 9×13 casserole dish. If you’re looking for something EASY, the Strawberry Pretzel Salad wins!

Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu is a classic Italian no-bake dessert made with layers of ladyfingers and mascarpone custard cream (no raw eggs!). Truly the best homemade tiramisu.

Prep Time: 30 minutes minsCook Time: 10 minutes minsResting/Chilling Time: 8 hours hrsTotal Time: 8 hours hrs 40 minutes mins

Servings: 12 slices of cake

Cook ModePrevent your screen from going dark

In a bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups espresso and 3 Tbsp rum. Quickly dip half of the ladyfingers, one at a time and arrange in a single layer in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Dip once on each side so they are moist but do not soak ladyfingers or the cake will collapse.In a separate rimmed* medium glass bowl, whisk together yolks and sugar. Place over steam (on a saucepan with simmering water) and whisk 10 minutes on low heat until the mixture is lighter in color, slightly thickened and not grainy when you rub between your fingers. Remove from heat and whisk for a few minutes off the heat to help it cool down then set aside to cool while doing step 3.Beat together 16 oz mascarpone and 3 Tbsp rum. Use an electric hand mixer to beat in the warm yolk mixture until well incorporated.In a separate bowl, beat cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form*. Use a spatula to gently fold half of the whipped cream into mascarpone cream then blend in remaining whipped cream, just until incorporated. Do not overfold or it will become grainy.Spread half of the cream over the first layer of ladyfingers. Dip and arrange remaining ladyfingers. Spread remaining cream. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Dust with cocoa powder before serving. It is ok to dust with cocoa ahead of time – it will just darken it in color from the moisture.

*Be sure to use very cold HEAVY whipping cream and not light cream. 
*A mixing bowl with a little rim around the edge helps to keep the steam and condensation out of the bowl. 
*Beating heavy cream slowly will help the cream remain more stable without turning watery. Start on medium/low speed then increase to medium speed over the next 5 minutes or until thick and stiff peaks form. 

538kcal Calories37g Carbs9g Protein38g Fat22g Saturated Fat271mg Cholesterol95mg Sodium98mg Potassium1g Fiber13g Sugar1446IU Vitamin A1mg Vitamin C109mg Calcium2mg Iron

Nutrition FactsClassic Italian Tiramisu RecipeAmount per Serving% Daily Value** Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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