Classic Tiramisu Recipes

Posted on

Classic Tiramisu Recipes

World Cuisines


Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


Tiramisu, an iconic Italian dessert known for its layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers (savoiardi) nestled between a rich and creamy mixture of mascarpone cheese and eggs, garnished with a dusting of cocoa powder, stands as a testament to the elegance of Italian cuisine. Its origins are often debated, with various regions in Italy claiming its creation, but its appeal is universal. The dessert’s name, tiramisu, translates to “pick me up” or “cheer me up,” which aptly describes the effect of its delightful combination of coffee and sweet, creamy layers. Here, we’ll explore the classic tiramisu recipe, variations, and tips for making the perfect tiramisu.

Classic Tiramisu Recipe


6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (optional)
1 pound (about 450g) mascarpone cheese
24 to 30 ladyfingers (savoiardi)
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Dark chocolate shavings (optional, for garnish)


Prepare the Coffee Mixture: Combine the espresso (or strong coffee) with the coffee liqueur, if using. Set aside to cool.

Make the Mascarpone Cream: In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. This can take about 5 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and fold gently until just combined and smooth.

Assemble the Tiramisu: Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, ensuring they are moist but not soggy. Lay them in a single layer in a 9×13 inch dish or a similar sized serving dish.

Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Add another layer of dipped ladyfingers, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Chill: Cover and refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 4 hours, or overnight, which allows the flavors to meld and the dessert to set properly.

Serve: Before serving, dust the top of the tiramisu generously with cocoa powder and, if desired, garnish with dark chocolate shavings.

Tips for the Perfect Tiramisu

Quality Ingredients: Use the freshest eggs and high-quality mascarpone cheese for the best flavor and texture.

Ladyfinger Technique: Ladyfingers should be dipped quickly into the coffee to avoid becoming too soggy, which could result in a mushy tiramisu.

Chill Time: Allowing the tiramisu to chill overnight will enable it to set properly and develop its flavors fully.

Serving: Serve the tiramisu chilled. It can be made a day in advance, making it a perfect dessert for entertaining.


While the classic tiramisu is beloved for its simplicity and elegance, there are several variations to the recipe that can cater to different tastes and preferences:

Alcohol-Free: For a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the coffee liqueur.

Chocolate Tiramisu: Incorporate layers of melted chocolate or chocolate ganache for a decadent twist.

Fruit Tiramisu: Add a layer of fresh berries between the mascarpone layers for a refreshing twist.

Eggless Tiramisu: Some recipes use whipped cream instead of the traditional egg yolks for a lighter version that doesn’t require raw eggs.

Tiramisu is more than just a dessert; it’s an experience that embodies the joy of Italian dining. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or experiment with variations, making tiramisu from scratch is a rewarding endeavor that brings a touch of Italian elegance to any meal.

The process of making tiramisu is both an art and a science. The art lies in the delicate balance of flavors and textures, while the science is in the precise techniques and ingredients used. Here’s how to master both aspects to create a tiramisu that not only tastes divine but also presents beautifully.

Perfecting the Mascarpone Cream

The heart of any tiramisu is its creamy layer, a lush mixture of mascarpone cheese, egg yolks, and sugar. Achieving the perfect consistency and flavor balance is crucial. Here are some pointers:

Temperature: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature to facilitate smooth blending.

Whisking: Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they form a pale, thick ribbon when the whisk is lifted. This incorporates air, making the mixture light and fluffy.

Folding: Gently fold the mascarpone into the egg mixture to avoid deflating the air you’ve incorporated. Use a spatula and a light hand to preserve the cream’s airy texture.

Layering Like a Pro

The architecture of tiramisu is in its layers. Here’s how to build them like a pro:

Dipping Ladyfingers: The key is quick immersion. Too short, and the ladyfingers won’t absorb enough coffee; too long, and they become too soggy. Aim for a quick dunk of about 1-2 seconds per side.

Layering: Start with a layer of dipped ladyfingers at the bottom of your dish. Then, add a layer of mascarpone cream, smoothing it out so it covers the ladyfingers completely. Repeat the layers, finishing with a mascarpone layer on top.

Even Layers: To achieve an aesthetically pleasing tiramisu, keep your layers even. Use a spatula to spread the mascarpone cream evenly and make clean, straight layers.

The Final Touches

The final dusting of cocoa powder is not just for appearance; it adds a touch of bitterness that complements the sweet, creamy layers below. Here are some finishing tips:

Cocoa Dusting: Use a fine mesh sieve for an even, light dusting of cocoa powder. This should be done just before serving to ensure the cocoa doesn’t become moist and clumpy.

Garnishing: While traditional tiramisu keeps it simple with just cocoa powder, adding chocolate shavings, a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or even a sprinkle of espresso powder can add visual appeal and texture.

Storage and Serving

Tiramisu needs to be refrigerated and is best served chilled. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, making it an excellent make-ahead dessert for gatherings. If possible, store it in a dish with a tight-fitting lid to keep it from absorbing other flavors from the fridge.

Embracing the Tradition

Making tiramisu is not just about following a recipe; it’s about embracing a piece of Italian culinary tradition. It’s a celebration of simple ingredients coming together to create something extraordinary. Each spoonful of tiramisu offers a taste of Italy’s rich culinary heritage, a reminder of the joy of sharing good food with loved ones.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a first-time cook, making tiramisu offers an opportunity to explore the depths of Italian cuisine. It’s about more than just dessert; it’s about the experience of creating and enjoying something beautiful and delicious. So, gather your ingredients, and let the magic of making tiramisu unfold in your kitchen.


Beginner-friendly recipes / Beverages / Classic Tiramisu Recipes / Coffee Recipes / Easy Recipes / foods / Quick recipes / recipe / Recipe collections / Tea recipes

You might also like these recipes