Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert. Deep, dark roasted espresso flavor, creamy mascarpone cheese with a light and delicately sweet whipped cream topping.
We have been making this recipe for about 13 years. It’s our best go-to tiramisu recipe.
The steps to this recipe look daunting, but it is very simple.
Most recipes use ladyfingers (Savoiardi), but with this recipe, you make your own genoise cake from scratch. I find it difficult to find ladyfingers in my area. I promise it’s worth the effort.
How To Make the Genoise Cake
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a 9-inch diameter round cake pan or 8×8 inch rectangular baking pan with baking spray.
Beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of sugar at medium speed in a double boiler over very hot water (just shy of boiling) until silky smooth.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat at high speed until the mixture reaches a consistency that forms ribbons when poured.
Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and carefully fold in the cake flour. Fold in the melted butter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350° F for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and immediately turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool. You could use soaked ladyfingers instead of the cake but I urge you to give it a try.
- Marscapone – True tiramisu uses marscapone! Do not use cream cheese I beg of you.
- Espresso – Again, espresso is traditional but if you have to you can use strong brewed coffee.
- Superfine sugar – You can also use regular granulated sugar.
- Cognac – This adds such a great flavor but you can omit it if you like. Or try dark rum, brandy, marsala, or Kahlua (coffee-flavored liqueur).
- Heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract – These are used to make the whipped topping.
While the cake is baking pull double shots of espresso (or double-strength coffee) to make the coffee syrup. We use espresso.
How to Make Tiramisu
Mix the espresso and sugar and reduce to 1/3 cup.
Once the coffee mixture is reduced remove it from the heat and add the cognac.
How To Make Zabaglione (mascarpone cream mixture)
Thoroughly beat the sugar into the room temperature mascarpone cheese. Add the 2 egg yolks, and cognac, and beat until the mixture is smooth.
How To Make the Whipped Cream Topping
In a large bowl dissolve the sugar and vanilla extract into the whipping cream. Beat the mixture with a hand mixer until glossy and it forms stiff peaks.
How to Assemble
Slice the genoise cake in half, and place one half at the bottom of your baking dish.
Sprinkle or brush 1/2 of the coffee syrup over the cake.
Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the cake.
Spread half of the whipped cream over the mascarpone layer. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Place the second cake layer on top of the first stack and repeat layers.
Garnish with chocolate shavings or dust with cocoa powder.
Cover the serving dish and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. I make everyone wait for overnight chilling. Believe me, it’s not received well.
I use an 8×8 pan for baking the genoise cake and then it fits perfectly in an 8×8 serving dish to assemble.
Enjoy! You will make this time and time again. We love this recipe and it is always a crowd-pleaser.
Make your own genoise cake from scratch! Or use shortbread cookies, biscotti, pound cake, or sponge cake.
Store the tiramisu in the refrigerator wrapped tightly with plastic wrap for about 3 days.
I really don’t recommend freezing tiramisu. The dairy in this will separate and start to weep.
More Dessert Recipes
- Chocolate Tiramisu
- Italian Fig Cookies (Cucidati)
- Italian Ricotta Cookies Recipe
- Italian Sesame Seed Cookies (Biscotti Regina)
Easy Tiramisu Recipe (without ladyfingers)
The Genoise Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup cake flour sifted
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted
- 2/3 cup espresso or double strength coffee
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Cognac
- 1/2 lb Mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup Superfine sugar*
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 Tablespoons cognac
- 1 pint Heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Spray a 9-inch diameter round cake pan or 8×8 inch rectangular cake pan with baking spray.
- Beat the eggs and 1/3 cup of sugar at medium speed in a double boiler over very hot water (just shy of boiling) until silky smooth.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat at high speed until the mixture reaches a consistency that forms ribbons when poured.
- Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla, and carefully fold in the cake flour.
- Fold in the melted butter.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350° F for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and immediately turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool.
- Mix the sugar into the coffee in a small sauce pan.
- Reduce (by boiling) the coffee-sugar mixture until only 1/3 cup remains.
- Remove from heat, add the Cognac and stir.
- Thoroughly beat the sugar into the mascarpone cheese.
- Add the 2 egg yolks, cognac and beat until the mixture is smooth.
- Dissolve the sugar and vanilla extract into the whipping cream.
- Beat the mixture with a hand mixer until glossy and stiff.
- SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE, good quality, 1 square (1 ounce) well-chilled but not frozen
- Grate into fine shavings and set aside.
- Slice the Genoise cake in half latitudinal to make two layers.
- Put one layer of the genoise cake at the bottom of the serving bowl or pan and brush half of the coffee syrup over it.
- Spread half of the Mascarpone Cream over the cake layer.
- Spread half of the Whipped Cream over the layer of Mascarpone Cream.
- Sprinkle the Chocolate Gratings over the Whipped Cream layer.
- Put the second layer of Genoise cake on top of the stack, sprinkle it with the remaining coffee syrup, and repeat layers.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
*Note – I find the superfine sugar in a small plastic bottle by Domino. It will say Superfine on the label.
Recipe from heavenlytiramisu