Perfect Tiramisu

This classic tiramisu recipe is one of our favorite desserts. We layer ladyfingers soaked in espresso with a light, airy filling made with mascarpone cheese. If you have never tried making tiramisu at home, you have to try this recipe!

Tiramisu Recipe Video

When done correctly, I think tiramisu surpasses almost any dessert out there. The layers of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, creamy mascarpone, and chocolate shavings meld together beautifully.

If you’ve never made tiramisu at home, I’m so happy you’ve found us. This recipe is easier than you think and makes some of the best tiramisu I’ve had.

Easy Tiramisu

Key Ingredients

  • Ladyfingers: Look for Italian ladyfingers (or Savoiardi). They are hard and dry with a sugary top.
  • Coffee: I use very strong coffee when making tiramisu. If you have an espresso maker, use it!
  • Marsala wine: It tastes like nutty brown sugar, which is why it’s so delicious mixed with coffee in this tiramisu recipe! You can substitute dark rum, brandy, or a coffee-flavored liqueur (like Kahlua). To make tiramisu without wine, leave it out or use a bit of rum extract instead (tips are below the recipe).
  • Mascarpone: For the best tiramisu, use mascarpone cheese. It’s similar to cream cheese but richer (made with cream, not milk) and tastes naturally sweeter.
  • Egg yolks and sugar: When making tiramisu, you’ll use Italian zabaglione, a creamy cooked mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. It’s easier than you might think, so stick with me! 
  • Cream: This recipe does not call for raw egg whites, which some traditional tiramisu recipes call for. Instead, I use whipped cream. If you prefer tiramisu with whipped egg whites, I have included tips below the recipe.
  • Chocolate: I grate bittersweet chocolate into the layers of my tiramisu (it’s so good). Some recipes call for cocoa powder, but I prefer the grated chocolate.

How to Make the Best Tiramisu

My favorite tiramisu has delicious three layers:

  1. Ladyfingers dipped in coffee and Marsala wine.
  2. A deliciously creamy mixture made with mascarpone, egg yolks, sugar, Marsala wine, and whipped cream.
  3. Grated chocolate.

You’ll start by making the creamy layer, which we make with Italian zabaglione (cool name, not hard, trust me).

Place a heat-safe bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water to create a double boiler. Then, use a handheld electric mixer to beat the egg yolks, Marsala wine, and sugar until they look pale yellow, and the beaters leave tracks as you move them through the mixture (see our video or the photo below for reference).

How to Make Tiramisu - What the Zabaglione should look like.

Remove from the heat and beat in the mascarpone cheese (it’s okay if the mixture is still hot). Then, allow the mixture to cool while you whip some cream.

When the mascarpone mixture is cool, fold in the whipped cream. It should be creamy, light, and absolutely delicious!

How to make tiramisu - Folding the whipped cream into the mascarpone and Zabaglione mixture.

Now, you can assemble your tiramisu. Grab a wide bowl and mix coffee, more Marsala wine, vanilla extract, and some sugar. Then grab your ladyfingers, dip them into the coffee mixture, and line them up in a baking dish.

When one layer of ladyfingers covers the bottom of your dish, spread half of the creamy mascarpone mixture over it and then grate over lots of chocolate (yum). Repeat with another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, the remaining mascarpone mixture, and more chocolate on top.

Assembling Tiramisu with ladyfingers

Now, as hard as it is, you can’t dig in yet. Chill your tiramisu for at least 6 hours. As it sits, the ladyfingers soften and absorb the moisture and flavor from the cream.

When ready to serve, grate more chocolate over the top (because why not), and then enjoy!

Storing Homemade Tiramisu

Homemade tiramisu lasts for up to 3 days in the fridge. As it sits, it gets better and better. You can freeze tiramisu for up to 3 months, although the texture and flavor will be slightly different as it thaws. Thaw it overnight in the fridge.

A Slice of the Best Homemade Tiramisu

Perfect Tiramisu

  • PREP
  • TOTAL

You will love this incredible tiramisu recipe! We make it with three layers: coffee-dipped ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and grated chocolate. To make the mascarpone cream, you will cook egg yolks with Marsala wine and sugar in a double boiler (a heat-safe bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water). Watch our video to see me do it.

Makes 8 Servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

24 Italian ladyfingers, Savoiardi in Italian, from one 7-ounce package

3/4 cup (175ml) brewed espresso or strong coffee at room temperature

5 tablespoons (75ml) dry Marsala wine, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large egg yolks

4 tablespoons (50g) granulated sugar, divided

8 ounces (225g) mascarpone cheese at room temperature (about 1 1/4 cups)

3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

2 ounces (60g) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate for grating

Directions

  • Prepare Tiramisu
  • 1Set aside a 9×9-inch baking pan or dish.

    2Add the warm coffee, 3 tablespoons of Marsala wine, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a wide, shallow bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then set the bowl aside.

    3You will need a double boiler. If you have one, use it. Otherwise, find a heat-safe bowl that fits over a small saucepan. Fill the saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat. Bring the water to a simmer.

    4With the heat-safe bowl on the counter, add the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of Marsala wine, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Beat with a handheld electric mixer at medium speed until frothy, 20 to 30 seconds.

    5Place the bowl over the simmering water, and continue to beat on medium using the electric hand mixer until the mixture has tripled in volume, looks pale yellow, and the beaters leave distinct tracks as you move them through it, 5 to 8 minutes. (Look for a thin ribbon that falls from the beaters when lifted from the bowl.) Do not stop beating, and keep the water at a low simmer during this step (otherwise, you risk scrambling the eggs).

    6Remove the bowl from the heat, then while it is still hot, beat in the mascarpone cheese until just combined. Allow the mixture to cool while you whip the cream.

    7In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whip the cream until it reaches medium to firm peaks (as you pull the beaters away, the peaks will hold for a bit and then slowly fall back).

    8Use a spatula to fold half of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Then, repeat with the remaining whipped cream. The whipped cream will slightly deflate, but the mixture should be light and airy.

  • Assemble Tiramisu
  • 1Dip half of the ladyfingers quickly into the coffee and line the bottom of the pan/dish. Depending on the shape of your dish, you might need to break a few into pieces to fit them. If you don’t seem to have enough, spread the ladyfingers out a little.

    2Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the chocolate over the filling.

    3Dip the remaining ladyfingers into the coffee and arrange a second layer over the grated chocolate.

    4Spoon the remaining mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then grate more chocolate to cover the top completely.

    5Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.

    6When ready to serve, add more grated chocolate and leave it at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Slice into squares and serve.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Substitutes for wine: Try dark rum, brandy, or coffee-flavored liqueur. These are stronger than Marsala, so consider increasing the coffee and using less alcohol. Try the coffee mixture before dipping the ladyfingers and adjust to your taste.
  • Tiramisu without alcohol: Leave the Marsala out of the recipe completely. You can also substitute with rum extract (we recommend using 1 ½ tablespoons of rum extract).
  • Using egg whites instead of cream: Some authentic recipes for tiramisu use whipped egg whites instead of whipped cream. Tiramisu made with egg whites is lighter and more airy. To make our recipe with egg whites, whip 3 egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Then, instead of folding whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, fold the whipped egg whites. Since the egg whites are not cooked, I recommend fresh, high-quality, pasteurized eggs.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
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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247 comments… Leave a Review
  • Sarah March 19, 2024, 5:47 pm

    I just made this, but the filling came out very liquidy compared to the video. I used egg whites instead of cream. Could it be that the heat wasn’t high enough when I was mixing the yolks? They never really tripled in volume. Or is it normally more liquidy when using whites? Hopefully it will solidify in the fridge…

    Reply
    • Joanne April 19, 2024, 8:21 pm

      Hi Sarah, You might be on to something that your egg yolk mixture was not whipped enough. I’ve just updated the recipe with more visual cues to help you when making it. Here’s what I added “Place the bowl over the simmering water, and continue to beat on medium using the electric hand mixer until the mixture has tripled in volume, looks pale yellow, and the beaters leave distinct tracks as you move them through it, 5 to 8 minutes. (Look for a thin ribbon that falls from the beaters when lifted from the bowl.)”

      Reply
  • Liz March 9, 2024, 10:50 am

    I’ve been making this recipe now for 3 years , It’s my go to. Never fails. The best tiramisu recipe out there!

    Reply
    • Adam March 10, 2024, 6:17 pm

      Yay! Thanks for coming back to leave such a kind review 🙂

      Reply
  • Rosie October 21, 2023, 6:06 pm

    I made this twice this week, once with the cream and once with egg whites. Both were good, but the one with egg whites was better texture-wise. Can’t wait to make again!

    Reply
    • Adam October 22, 2023, 11:33 am

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Reply
      • Kin February 25, 2024, 7:22 am

        That is great recipe..

        Reply
  • Jacky Castellow September 24, 2022, 12:56 pm

    Thank you for writing this recipe out, posting it and making a terrific video to go with it. This is basically the recipe I’ve used for years to make Tiramisù but I like your idea of using a hand mixer on the stove top to make the preparation easier. I made your recipe for tailgating this weekend and the Tiramisù turned out beautifully. Grazie!

    Reply
  • Larry Rayburn September 6, 2021, 2:24 am

    Yes, we freeze tiramasu and can’t really tell the difference. That was done with home made mascarpone.

    Reply
  • Delia Bottoms July 18, 2021, 5:41 pm

    This was a great video that provided good instructions for making tiramisu at home. I used to make full size sheet pans of tiramisu using rectangular frames at the Mark Hopkins hotel in SF many years ago. Making it at home versus a commercial kitchen is very different, considering how big that hotel kitchen was! (I used a 60 quart mixing bowl to make the marscapone base…the recipe used 30 yolks.) In the pastry shop we used a thin layer of vanilla sponge cake at the bottom of each pan which was brushed with the coffee rather than lady fingers.(The soaked lady fingers were the third layer) Other than that, it is very similar. So I really appreciated your instructions. Thank you so much! It came out beautiful and delicious!

    Reply
  • Vania teles April 27, 2021, 11:25 pm

    Hi!i really love your reciepes i have never baked/cooked something so good .

    Reply
  • Catherine April 12, 2021, 1:27 pm

    I searched high and low for a really great recipe before attempting a tiramisu and I’m so glad I chose this one, it turned out exactly as I wanted it – perfectly creamy and delicious. I used Kahlúa in place of marsala and followed the advice to halve the quantity as it is stronger, but found I ran out of liquid for dipping the ladyfingers – possibly due to overenthusiastic dunking of the first few! – so ended up adding an extra tablespoon of the liqueur anyway. If you wanted to avoid this you could make sure to have a little extra coffee prepared – but I didn’t find the extra booze overwhelming so next time I might use the full quantity of liqueur anyway. I made the recipe with cream because I already had some to hand but would be interested to try with egg whites next time – and there definitely will be a next time!

    Reply
  • Francis April 4, 2021, 11:37 pm

    Omggg. The best Tiramisu receipe ever! Easy to make it and soo yummy. I made it on Sat morning and just had it for today Easter desert. Thank you for sharing the receipe and all the tips. This will be a keep!

    Reply
  • Billy January 26, 2021, 11:14 am

    An absolutely wonderful recipe that turned out perfectly on my first try. The tips made a massive difference, especially when my cream curdled and I had to resort to egg whites!

    Reply
  • Anna December 24, 2020, 3:49 am

    I have been making this since 2015! For 5 years it has been an absolute favourite and made me the Tiramisu Lady at any party and occasion. Thank you so much for that! I am making it for tonight too. Merry Holidays! Anna

    Reply
  • Lorelei December 6, 2020, 11:16 am

    I just made this recipe today, substituting coffee liquor for the Marsala wine. Absolutely AMAZING!!

    Reply
  • Sally October 27, 2020, 11:26 pm

    Recipe could use more coffee. It was only 1/2 a cup. I would double it next time. Taste great and would highly recommend it. The videos were very helpful especially for someone whose making it for the first time.

    Reply
  • Trogfoot August 31, 2020, 10:21 am

    This is a great recipe and it came out beautifully. I was my first time making tiramisu and the recipe gave so many helpful tips I was confident it would come out the way I like it. I did not use egg whites, and next time might use just a teensy bit more coffee, but only because I love it. Thank you for sharing this great recipe. I am back here today to make it again!

    Reply

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