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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163 comments… Leave a Comment
  • 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!

  • 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 🙂

    • Joanne October 16, 2015, 12:47 pm

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

    • Thien October 16, 2015, 7:52 pm

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

  • 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

    • 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 🙂

  • isabella July 18, 2015, 6:40 am

    hello im hoping to make one myself this week.
    all the comments say how delicious this recipe is so im really looking forward to making it.
    i just have a question regarding the marsala wine.
    is marsala wine necessary? or can it be replaced with other wine/alcohol? if so, which kind? or can i leave out the wine altogether? thanks!

    • Joanne August 10, 2015, 1:55 pm

      Hi Isabella, In the recipe notes section we share some suggestions for Marsala wine substitutions such as dark rum, or brandy. We also mention that you can make a a non-alcoholic version by leaving the Marsala out of the recipe all together or by using rum extract.

      • annette November 11, 2015, 10:25 am

        how much rum extract should I use to replace the wine?

        • Joanne November 13, 2015, 10:30 am

          We suggest starting with 1 teaspoon and going from there. You can taste as you go until you’re happy with the flavor. – Joanne

  • charlotte June 19, 2015, 1:24 pm

    This recipe is amazing! I’ve made it 3 times so far and each time has been a blast. I even substituted graham crackers for the ladyfingers because I couldn’t find them and was running out of time, and no one could even tell the difference! Thanks so much

  • Marina June 14, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Hi, I am going to try this recipe tomorrow! I’ve never made tiramisu before, so I;m thankful for your video! I want to serve this to adults and young children, so I don’t want to use wine or real rum/brandy/etc. Is it safe for toddlers if I use rum flavoring? If that is a good choice, how much should I use? Thanks so much!

    • Joanne June 17, 2015, 3:36 pm

      I believe Rum extract is fine — you could also try vanilla extract.

  • Robyn S May 9, 2015, 4:36 pm

    Great recipe! I made this for my boyfriends 30th birthday and it was a hit even with the non dessert lovers! I am making this recipes again, with a few changes but wanted to know if i could freeze it? Have you tried to freeze and thaw? Thanks much!

  • stella March 16, 2015, 2:42 pm

    Can we omit the egg yolks in this recipe and can we substitute with something else ?

    • Joanne March 17, 2015, 10:55 am

      Sure, eliminate the eggs and skip cooking over the simmering water. Simply combine the mascarpone cheese, Marsala wine, sugar and cream together to make the filling. The filling won’t be as light in texture, but will still taste great. (You may want to consider using powdered sugar in place of the granulated sugar so it dissolves). Hope that helps.


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