Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu is one of our absolute favorite desserts.  It is even simple to make, you just need a little time. Jump to the full Tiramisu Recipe now or read on to see how we make it.

Espresso soaked ladyfingers are layered with a light and airy filling made from mascarpone cheese, egg yolks and cream.

How to Make Tiramisu - Tiramisu Recipe and Video

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Tiramisu recipe tip — Let everything sit for at least 6 hours

Look for Italian ladyfingers (or Savoiardi). They are quite hard and often have a sugary top. Not to worry, though — they soften as the tiramisu sits.

That’s why it is so important that you wait at least 6 hours before serving. In fact, it can be kept refrigerated 1 to 2 days and still be delicious.

Tiramisu Recipe Steps

Use egg whites or cream?

Look around for tiramisu recipes and you’ll notice there are two common ways to make it: with beaten egg whites or with whipped cream. Both are delicious, we promise.

The decision is completely up to you (we’ve included directions for both below). They taste very similar. If anything, Tiramisu made with egg whites is a little lighter than one made with cream.

The decision comes down to whether or not you’re comfortable with adding raw egg whites to the dish. We’ve never had a problem with this, but if you’re concerned, make sure you use the freshest (and highest quality) eggs possible.

Or, make the tiramisu with cream. It really is just as delicious. You could also try making both then see which you prefer.

How to Make Tiramisu Recipe with VideoWe just love this tiramisu recipe — it’s simple to make and boy does it wow at the dinner table.

Recipe updated, originally posted June 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

4.8 from 23 reviews
Tiramisu Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Espresso soaked ladyfingers are layered with a light and airy filling made from mascarpone cheese, egg yolks and cream. One of our favorite desserts, tiramisu is quite simple to make. You just need a little time.

What You Need to Know: This recipe calls for the use of egg yolks, which are cooked over a double-boiler and heavy cream. Instead of using the cream, some recipes call for egg whites which are left uncooked and whipped. In the notes section below, we have shared directions for using egg whites instead of the cream. There is little difference in flavor. If anything, tiramisu made with egg whites will be a little lighter than with whipped cream.

Special Equipment: 9-inch (23 cm) square dish, bowls, handheld electric mixer or whisk.
Created By:
Yield: One 9-inch square dish, 6 servings
You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dry Marsala wine, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 8 ounces (225 g) mascarpone cheese (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy cream
  • 18 to 20 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (from 7-ounce package)
  • 1 ounce (30 g) bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for dusting (optional)
Directions
Prepare Coffee
  1. Combine espresso (or coffee), 2 tablespoons Marsala wine, vanilla extract and a tablespoon of sugar in a wide, small bowl.
Prepare Filling
  1. Beat egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of Marsala, and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Use a whisk or, to make things easier, a handheld electric mixer at medium speed. (Do not stop beating until removed from the heat).
  2. Remove bowl from heat then beat in mascarpone cheese until just combined.
  3. Whip cream in a bowl until it holds stiff peaks. Once the yolk-mascarpone mixture has cooled a little, gently fold in half of the whipped cream into the yolk-mascarpone mixture, then the remaining half just until fully incorporated (the whipped cream will deflate a little).
Assemble Tiramisu
  1. Dip half of the ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee, and line the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) square dish. (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).
  2. Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling (optional). Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.
  3. Spoon remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Grate more chocolate on top or dust with cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
  4. When ready to serve, dust with extra grated chocolate or cocoa powder. Leave out at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. (Tiramisu can be chilled up to 2 days, but no longer or else the ladyfingers will break down too much).
Notes and Tips
Egg Whites Instead of Cream: Simply replace heavy cream with 3 egg whites. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks then gently fold in half of the beaten egg whites into the yolk-mascarpone mixture, then the remaining half just until fully incorporated. Assemble tiramisu as stated above. If you have concerns about raw egg whites, be sure to use the freshest (and highest quality) eggs possible. Look for clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells.

Marsala Wine: We love Marsala in tiramisu -- it lifts the creaminess of the filling. For something a little different, try substituting dark rum, brandy or other liqueur. Since Marsala is less potent than something like rum, we suggest using about half the amount. For a non-alcoholic version, leave the Marsala out of the recipe all together or use rum extract.

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130 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Genevieve July 19, 2016, 5:37 pm

    Hi, I followed this very carfully, but i think i over cooked my egg yolks or something… or maybe my cheese wasnt at room temp. i used brandy instead and i did the egg white version. my egg whites came out beautiful, and i did try the filling which taste heavenly, but it looks like its scrambled eggs… ugh.
    so my advice, dont over “cook” and dont over mix!!

    Reply
  • Samah July 9, 2016, 8:43 pm

    Hey i was making the tiramisu but my egg yolks remained yellow even after ten min of whisking and didn’t triple in size. After letting it sit for a while it became very thick and tacky. Is there any way to prevent this?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 28, 2016, 5:20 pm

      Hi Samah, were you beating the egg yolks over simmering water? I’m not quite sure why the mixture did not triple in size. Using a handheld electric mixer helps to incorporate more air during this phase of the recipe. If you did not use one, this might be something to consider next time.

      Reply
  • Andreea-Luciana Ostache June 14, 2016, 1:43 pm

    What I am impressed about was that the quantities were SPOT ON. You find a lot of recipes that have too many servings and it’s hard to break down the recipe into smaller quantities. This recipe was amazing, even if I used brandy instead of Marsala whine. I made the egg whites version and I am happy and proud of the results!

    A wholehearted thank you!

    Reply
  • Ellian May 27, 2016, 7:15 am

    I have made this recipe so many times, and my family never gets bored of it!
    Even my younger siblings who don’t usually like alcohol love it and have at least 2 servings.
    I changed the recipe a little, and substitute the dry marsala wine for Kahlua {a coffee liquor} and it tastes amazing.

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
    • Um Dyab July 3, 2016, 9:49 am

      Wow ! Thanks Joanne & Adam for the Easy Fudjy Brownies recipe from scratch, I added chopped walnus. ” YAMMIES ” My family loved it.

      Reply
  • Paul Mc Elroy May 14, 2016, 11:00 am

    Hi,
    I am going to make this for some people that do not drink,will the alcohol content evaporate over the double boiler or should i just stay clear and use rum extract? Thank you so much

    Reply
    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:22 pm

      It may be best to use the extract.

      Reply
  • Ralph May 6, 2016, 10:14 am

    All I can find around me and was able to get was sweet Marsala wine. Unless it is OK to use Marsala cooking wine instead? Please im trying to make this for my mom this mother’s day.
    So which should I use since i can’t find dry?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:23 pm

      If it is all you can fine, the sweeter version will be fine.

      Reply
  • Cadoce May 2, 2016, 7:52 am

    Hi Joanne needed to ask if I could use cream instead of egg as I have friends over who are pure vegetarians! And would jeopardise the taste of the tiramisu

    Reply
    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:24 pm

      The egg whites can be substituted, but getting rid of the egg yolk (to make the custard) would make a difference in flavor and texture. The dessert will still taste great, though.

      Reply
  • Debby April 24, 2016, 5:46 am

    May I know why we need to beat the egg yolk over the bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water? Can we just beat without the heat?

    Reply
    • Joanne May 18, 2016, 1:25 pm

      In this step you are slowly cooking the egg, which makes the custard thick and creamy.

      Reply
  • Cheryle February 22, 2016, 3:37 pm

    Can this be frozen? Can’t wait to try. Looks fantastic and super easy.

    Reply
    • Joanne March 3, 2016, 8:45 pm

      Hi Cheryle, The tiramisu can be frozen for up to 3 months. We’d recommend wrapping it in double layer of plastic wrap and adding a layer of aluminum foil. Then when you are ready to eat it, thaw overnight in refrigerator.

      Reply
  • Alyssa @ajoyofbaking.com January 29, 2016, 12:57 pm

    Was so nervous to try tiramisu but this came out perfectly!!! My new go-to for tiramisu!

    Reply
  • Dannielle January 9, 2016, 6:12 pm

    Absolutely perfect, so rich and creamy. Super easy recipe to follow will use it again !

    Reply
  • Fiona December 27, 2015, 8:56 am

    Made it for Christmas. Was delicious and everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks for the great and easy to follow recipe.

    Reply
  • Sabrina December 20, 2015, 2:59 am

    If you use raw egg whites you can simply freeze tiramisù that kills everything. Then take out at least day before you want to eat it. I think that the taste changes with whipped cream!

    Reply
  • aynur November 20, 2015, 12:50 pm

    I just tried this recipe today and I used Spanish Rioja instead of Marsala. Everything came out perfect, and it’s in the fridge now. I am so excited to finally taste it and can’t wait for 6 hours 🙂 Could just 5 hours satisfice please? Thanks for this excellent recipe by the way!

    Reply
  • Marianna Pascarella November 10, 2015, 5:53 am

    The tiramisu is definitely the favorite dessert of my husband and can not miss at his birthday. For my children instead I made a variation of the classic tiramisu to make it lighter and more palatable. I replaced the coffee and the cocoa powder with strawberry sauce and I decorated with red currant. Congratulations for the recipe and photos very clear.

    Reply
  • Care October 29, 2015, 7:18 pm

    Fantastic. Made a practice run today. I agree with a previous comment about the mascarpone being more to room temp. I have tried the egg white version earlier this week and much prefer this cooked custard type with whipped cream. Much smoother and seems more original to me. Also, I’m trying g to copy a tiramisu served at Gilda’s in Portland Or which is the best I’ve ever had. The chef told me what liquor they used. Here is what I did..

    In custard: 2 T. Best quality Marsala wine
    In espresso: 2 T. Amaretto Disaronno and 1/2 T. Brandy

    Just be fore serving, I covered the top with shaved bittersweet chocolate curls and then a sprinkle all over of good quality cocoa powder. Devine!

    Reply
  • Amanda October 29, 2015, 1:57 pm

    I made this recipe a few weeks ago and it was absolutely delicious!! I would recommend it to everyone. The steps were easy to follow and the video was extremely helpful! (5 stars)

    Reply
  • Chris September 30, 2015, 9:08 am

    This recipe looks delicious and the comments as well. Though I would like to ask if I can substitute lady fingers for graham crackers. If so would you suggest that it would be crushed or not. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Joanne October 16, 2015, 12:47 pm

      Good question. We’ve never tried this, but I’d assume it would be okay.

      Reply
    • Thien October 16, 2015, 7:52 pm

      I did it. The tiramisu is just thicker than usual, but still delicious.

      Reply
  • Klydie G August 28, 2015, 5:37 pm

    I’m sooo making this! It’s gonna be my first time so I’m a bit anxious of how it’s gonna turn out.. I’m torn between whether using egg whites or cream though. Can I use both? If so, how much cream should I be adding? Thanks a lot! x

    Reply
    • Joanne October 16, 2015, 1:04 pm

      Sure, you could halve each — so half the amount of cream called for in our recipe and half the amount of egg white.

      Reply
    • Josie December 17, 2015, 5:19 pm

      I’m the same as Klydie wild like to use egg whites instead of cream how many eggs do I use and does it hold also wld like to replace sponge fingers to panettone she be ok

      Reply
      • Joanne December 22, 2015, 12:51 pm

        In the notes section of the recipe, we provide instructions for using egg whites. We have only used lady fingers in our Tiramisu so we cannot comment on how well panettone would stand up in the dessert.

        Reply
  • jiggi August 23, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I tried this recipe today. very simple recipe but I made one mistake that I would like to post for others. Make sure that the that the cheese is at room temperature otherwise it will be hard to mix with the yolk mixture and do not over combine the cheese or it will seperate. I have it chilling I am sure it will taste good but little upset.

    Reply
  • Dilla August 3, 2015, 7:21 am

    Tried and tested this recipe a few times now and it always turned out great! I always leave out the wine though but it did not seem to affect anything. Thanks 🙂

    Reply

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