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.
You May Also Like our Favorite Brownies Recipe. These rich, chocolate brownies with dense, fudgy middles and crinkly tops made us fall in love with brownies, made from scratch, all over again.
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.
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.
We 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
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.
- 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)
- Combine espresso (or coffee), 2 tablespoons Marsala wine, vanilla extract and a tablespoon of sugar in a wide, small bowl.
- 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).
- Remove bowl from heat then beat in mascarpone cheese until just combined.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
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.