Irresistible Tiramisu with Lots of Tips

This tiramisu recipe is one of our absolute favorite desserts. Espresso soaked ladyfingers are layered with a light and airy filling made from mascarpone cheese, egg yolks and cream. It is simple to make, you just need a little time. Jump to the Tiramisu Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

Watch Us Make the Recipe

How to Make Tiramisu at Home

Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made with layers of coffee soaked ladyfingers (Italian biscuits with a dry spongelike texture) and cream. 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.

To make tiramisu, you are looking at 5 simple steps (the detailed recipe is below):

  1. Make a creamy filling of egg yolks, Marsala wine and sugar. A hand-held mixer makes this step extra easy.
  2. Fold mascarpone cheese into the creamy, whipped filling. (Mascarpone is similar to plain cream cheese.)
  3. Finish the creamy layer by folding in whipped heavy cream or whipped egg whites (see our FAQs below).
  4. Assemble the tiramisu by layering the creamy filling between ladyfingers that have been dipped into strong coffee and Marsala.
  5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours before enjoying to allow the ladyfingers to soak up all the flavors of the creamy filling, coffee, and wine.
Assembling Tiramisu
Assembling Tiramisu

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.

How to Make Tiramisu Recipe with Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use raw egg whites to make tiramisu?

Look around for tiramisu recipes and you’ll notice there are two common ways to make it: with beaten raw 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. Using pasteurized eggs is also a good option.

If you are not interested in using egg whites, you can make the tiramisu with cream instead. It really is just as delicious.

Why do you whisk the egg yolks over simmering water?

The base of our creamy filling is egg yolks — they are pretty important for authentic tiramisu. The yolks are gently cooked while being whisked with sugar and Marsala wine over gently simmering water. This step also ensures that the egg yolks turn into a creamy thickened mixture, which is what makes tiramisu so incredibly dreamy.

While it is possible to substitute the egg whites called for in our recipe below, we do not recommend that you remove the egg yolks.

Can tiramisu be made non-alcoholic? Can I substitute the Marsala wine?

While Marsala wine is traditional in tiramisu, you can absolutely make a perfectly delicious dessert without it. If you are okay with using alcohol, you can substitute the wine for dark rum, brandy or coffee flavored 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. You can simply eliminate it or use rum extract — we recommend using 1 1/2 tablespoons of rum extract.

Can I make tiramisu ahead of time? Can it be frozen?

For the best results, tiramisu needs at least 6 hours in the fridge before serving. This time allows the ladyfingers a chance to soak up flavor and moisture from the coffee, wine and filling. You can make tiramisu 1 to 2 days in advance, just keep it refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

As for freezing tiramisu, we have never tried it ourselves, but we think you should be just fine! Make sure it is well wrapped in the freezer and then thaw overnight before enjoying. To freshen up the look before serving, add a bit more chocolate on top.

How to Make Tiramisu with Video

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

More Delicious Desserts

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 with Lots of Tips

  • PREP
  • TOTAL

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

Directions

  • 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, and 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 the 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. Pasteurized eggs are also a great idea.
  • 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 coffee flavored 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, we recommend using 1 1/2 tablespoons of rum extract.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database 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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

223 comments… Leave a Comment
  • RubyQ June 9, 2019, 7:22 pm

    FYI. You can buy pasteurized egg whites.

    Reply
  • Tissa May 5, 2019, 10:21 am

    Made this for a family gathering and it was an instant hit. Followed it to a T and it turned out just perfect. Used marsala wine and loved it. Such a great combination of flavors. Got so many compliments. Thank you for this great recipe!

    Reply
  • Kristina March 16, 2019, 12:00 pm

    Can you use whipping cream instead of the heavy cream?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 16, 2020, 1:49 pm

      Yes, whipping cream is perfect.

      Reply
  • Julie March 4, 2019, 11:07 am

    Best ever…..hands down!!!!! I changed a couple of things…I fully imursed the fingers in the espresso/marsella wine, vanilla & sugar using totally all of the liquid.. I just made another coffee/ marsella batch & repeated with rest of lady fingers…..OMG!!!
    Never again will I buy it…..really is not that hard!!!! THANK YOU for a wonderful recipe. I just used original recipe.

    Reply
  • Aylin February 13, 2019, 4:59 am

    I’m no cake maker or baker whatsoever however made this for the first time for a close colleague at work as she requested tiramisu and so I came across this recipe! Can I just say i nailed it! Followed the ingredients to the t and I also doubled it which served the entire floor. People were telling me they went for 2nd and thirds. I used thickened cream and no alcohol… although 3 people still asked lol :)) thank you so much for this recipe.

    Reply
  • Dee January 5, 2019, 5:00 pm

    This is the fourth tiramisu recipe I have tried, the search is now over – this is wonderfully balanced, light yet indulgent, utterly delicious.

    Reply
  • Kathy Scott December 24, 2018, 12:21 pm

    I love this recipe! I use the egg whites rather than cream and it makes a beautifully light dessert which is really delicious. It’s become our Christmas Day treat and is currently chilling in the fridge for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Allison Street-Fortier December 22, 2018, 10:06 pm

    I made this for a Christmas gathering. Excellent directions. I doubled the recipe and layered it in a trifle glass bowl. The only thing omited was the wine as I did not have any. It turned out perfect, not too sweet, rich and creamy. A keeper!

    Reply
  • Esther Anders November 22, 2018, 7:31 pm

    I have made this recipe several times..I am in the middle of making it as I type this. I love it! I also tried adding a brownie base also yummy! I add powdered sugar on top just a dusting just to add a tad more sweeteness. I don’t use alcohol since I share at work and there are underage co-workers, so instead I use Cran-Grape juice. It works just as good. I also double my recipe since we like our layers thick. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

    Reply
  • Hadeer November 16, 2018, 5:42 pm

    Would soaking the lady fingers quickly in the coffee be enough for them to acquire the coffee flavor? And would it ruin the lady fingers if I soak them in the coffee for a longer time (day, ten minutes or so)?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 16, 2020, 2:34 pm

      Hi there, we quickly dip the ladyfingers so they do not become mushy in the dessert. You can leave them for longer, but 10 minutes would be much too long.

      Reply
  • Carola October 30, 2018, 6:59 am

    Does this recipe freeze as I need to make 4 for a party and join them together?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 16, 2020, 2:36 pm

      Hi Carola, We have never tried to freeze tiramisu, but I think you should be just fine! Make sure it is well wrapped in the freezer and then thaw overnight before enjoying. To freshen up the look before serving, add a bit more chocolate on top.

      Reply
  • Lliamel Santana August 7, 2018, 3:12 am

    Hello! Can i make this in a 9×13” pan? Or do i have to double the recipe?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 16, 2020, 2:31 pm

      Hi there, I’d double the recipe for a 9×13 pan.

      Reply
  • Emma July 18, 2018, 5:38 am

    This recipe is amazing. First time I have made tiramisu and it came out perfectly. I was also very impressed by how well it had set just after 6 hours. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Chinnu July 15, 2018, 7:15 pm

    Ooh, this looks so good! I’d like to make it for a large (Informal) party next weekend (almost 25 people) . Can this recipe be doubled? Do i double all the ingredients? Thank you for sharing and for the video – it helps a lot!

    Reply
    • Joanne July 27, 2018, 1:20 pm

      Hi there, You should be able to double the recipe.

      Reply
      • Anna January 24, 2019, 1:05 pm

        I’ve doubled the recipe without a problem. I also do half and half egg whites and cream.

        Reply
  • Clive June 16, 2018, 6:30 pm

    Would this freeze well?

    Reply
    • Joanne January 16, 2020, 2:36 pm

      Hi Clive, We have never tried to freeze tiramisu, but I think you should be just fine! Make sure it is well wrapped in the freezer and then thaw overnight before enjoying. To freshen up the look before serving, add a bit more chocolate on top.

      Reply

Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:

 

Previous Post: Next Post: