Irresistible Tiramisu Recipe with Tips

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 watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

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

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How to Make Tiramisu

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.

How to Make Tiramisu Recipe with Video

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.

Making Tiramisu 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.

We just love this tiramisu recipe — it’s simple to make and boy does it wow at the dinner table.

How to Make Tiramisu with Video

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

Irresistible Tiramisu Recipe with Tips

  • PREP

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.

We call for 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.

Makes 8 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 grams) granulated sugar, divided

8 ounces (225 grams) mascarpone cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)

3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy cream

18 to 20 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (from 7-ounce package)

1 ounce (30 grams) bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for dusting


  • Prepare Coffee
  • Combine espresso (or coffee), 2 tablespoons of the Marsala wine, vanilla extract, and a tablespoon of the sugar in a wide bowl.

    • Prepare Filling
    • Vigorously whisk 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. To make this step easier, use a handheld electric mixer at medium speed. (Do not stop beating until removed from the heat).

      Remove the 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).

      • To Finish
      • Dip half of the ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee, and line the bottom of a 9-inch 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. 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 more 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 and become mushy).

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Using 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.
  • Substitutes for Marsala Wine: We love Marsala in tiramisu — it cuts 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.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Calories 314 / Protein 7 g / Carbohydrate 22 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 14 g / Total Fat 22 g / Saturated Fat 12 g / Cholesterol 177 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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159 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Yuki December 31, 2017, 7:50 pm

    I made this yesterday to take to a new year’s eve party. It was delicious! We have an Italian espresso machine so the coffee we used was brewed from freshly ground beans. I think this made a big difference. I will be sticking to this recipe, thanks!

  • kirsten December 17, 2017, 11:20 pm

    If I want to make this is a 9×11 cake pan, how would i modify the ingredients? Would doubling be too much?

    • Joanne December 19, 2017, 3:04 pm

      Hi Kirsten, Doubling the recipe should just fit. If you have some left over, you could always make single servings in a mug or small glass bowls with the leftovers.

  • Shanz October 29, 2017, 6:09 am

    Have made a note of your recipe. Would like to make it for Christmas. Since we don’t use alcohol at all and are tea totllers , what can i use in my tiramisu? Is the vanilla extract enough and more suggestions. Thank you Shanz

    • Joanne November 16, 2017, 2:56 pm

      Hi Shanz, For a non-alcoholic version, leave the Marsala out of the recipe all together or use rum extract.

  • Iris September 30, 2017, 7:19 pm

    This was my first attempt at tiramisu & it was amazing, so light and fresh, not too heavy and sweet. Thank you

  • Kym Pratt September 1, 2017, 1:44 am

    I made this with the egg whites. My first tiramasu! And my chef brother felt very threatened. It was amazing.

  • Amanda July 29, 2017, 3:51 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)

  • Becky July 29, 2017, 3:49 pm

    I used the exact ingredients as the recipe. This is my husband’s favorite dessert and it turned out phenomenal. I needed to double the amount of coffee, marsala and vanilla because the lady fingers soaked up the coffee so fast! This recipe is a keeper and so much lighter using the egg whites! I give it 5 stars.

  • Alan July 29, 2017, 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much! It was a hit! My guests really loved it and you made it so easy for me! I’d like to try making it chocolatier! Any suggestions? 5 Stars!

    • Ney October 12, 2017, 7:47 pm

      On the final layer, try to top with a thin layer of chocolate ganache! That or add cocoa powder to the mascarpone cream mixture.

  • Cindi June 3, 2017, 11:31 am

    5 stars. I made this for the first time yesterday. Actually, the first time I’ve ever tried to make Tiramisu. The recipe directions were easy to follow and not as time consuming as I feared. Everyone at the potluck thought it was delicious; my two Italian friends said I passed….the Tiramisu was the best! Don’t hesitate to try to try it!

  • Maxim April 22, 2017, 3:10 pm

    For me, as a European, it seems very strange that here, in North America, people don’t use egg whites in the Tiramisu, not because the risk in not there, but you are still using raw egg yolks anyways, that water bath is just unable to kill salmonella. Only boiling for 10 minutes can do the trick! So, what’s the point?

    • lora May 12, 2017, 6:05 pm

      the egg temperature should reach 170 degree Fahrenheit in order to be safe to eat (I guess 170F is enough to kill salmonella 🙂 ) and you can add egg white, and mix it the same way, over a steam bath, until it reaches 160 F. I’m glad I found this recipe, where they cook the eggs, eating raw egg its a risk for food intoxication.


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