We have been making this recipe for about 13 years.  It’s our best go to tiramisu recipe.  Deep, dark roasted espresso flavor, creamy mascarpone cheese with a light and delicately sweet whipped cream topping.  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.


Prepare the genoise cake.

genoise cake - Don't Sweat The Recipe

Immediately turn it out on to a wire rack.  While the cake is baking pull double shots of espresso (or double strength coffee) to make the coffee syrup. We use espresso.


Mix the espresso, sugar and reduce to 1/3 cup.

Reduced Espresso

Once reduced remove from the heat and add the cognac.  Move on to the mascarpone cream mixture.

Marscarpone Cream

Thoroughly mix until smooth and creamy.

Whipped Topping

Next, make the whipped cream topping.  Now it’s time to assemble.

Genoise cake

Slice the genoise cake in half, place one half in the bottom of your serving dish.


Sprinkle or brush 1/2 of the coffee syrup over the cake.


Spread half of the mascarpone cream 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.


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.

Tiramisu - Don't Sweat The Recipe

Enjoy! You will make this time and time again.  It is always a crowd pleaser.

Print Recipe
4.63 from 8 votes



The Genoise Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cake flour sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted

Coffee Syrup:

  • 2/3 cup espresso or double strength coffee
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cognac

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 1/2 lb 8oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup Superfine sugar*
  • 2 egg yolks large
  • 3 Tablespoons cognac

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 pint Heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract


Genoise cake:

  • 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.

Coffee Syrup:

  • 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.

Mascarpone Cream:

  • Thoroughly beat the sugar into the mascarpone cheese.
  • Add the 2 egg yolks, cognac and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Whipped Cream:

  • Dissolve the sugar and vanilla extract into the whipping cream.
  • Beat the mixture with a hand mixer until glossy and stiff.

Chocolate Shavings:

  • SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE, good quality, 1 square (1 ounce) well-chilled but not frozen
  • Grate into fine shavings and set aside.

To Assemble:

  • 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.

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    1. Reply

      Tiramisu is my favorite kind of cake! This recipe looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    2. Reply

      Oh my goodness, this looks heavenly!

      1. Reply

        Thank you Erin!

    3. Reply

      4 stars
      I love, Love, LOVE Tiramisu! I have never braved making it myself. Maybe now I will.
      Thanks for the share!

      1. Reply

        It’s really easy Traci and oh so delish!

    4. Reply

      4 stars
      I am making this Wed for a soccer party but for the parents not the kids so thank you for sharing Thursday Favorite Things blog!

      1. Reply

        I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do! Thanks Heather!

    5. Reply

      5 stars
      This looks epic! Love it! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    6. Reply

      That looks amazing! I love tiramisu. I have never made it with sponge cake. I will have to give that a go!

    7. Reply

      I’m not a massive fan of tiramisu, but this does look really well presented. Your genoise cake looks heavenly. I bet it tastes so much better knowing you made it all from scratch.

      Sally @ Life Loving

    8. Reply

      I love tiramisu. Looks easier than I thought to make it homemade. Pinned & shared. Thanks for joining the Inspiration Spotlight party. See you again soon.

    9. Reply

      Looks delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and featuring on this week’s hop.

    10. Reply

      Love love love tiramisu! Thanks for sharing this recipe with Saucy Saturdays!

      1. Reply

        Me too Jennifer! This one is pretty amazing!

    11. Reply

      5 stars
      Tiramisu is such a lovely dessert and I really like the sound of your recipe. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

    12. Reply

      Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, I love all types of layered cake dessert, and chocolate and coffee! I’m so hoping that I can make this with gluten free baking mix, when I try it I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes, I’m keeping my fingers crossed!! Thanks for the recipe. Pinned!!

      1. Reply

        Please do let me know how it turns out Nikki. Thank you!

    13. Reply

      4 stars
      Thanks for linking up at From the archives friday. Please link up an archived post in the future.

      This looks amazing!


      1. Reply

        Thank you Erica!

    14. Reply

      5 stars
      OH I love tiramisu so delicious and looks easy to make too. Love the food photos. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    15. Reply

      5 stars
      This looks gorgeous, a fabulous festive pudding! Thanks for linking with #FestiveFoodFriday!

    16. Reply

      […] Dried Fruit And Honey Cheese-Ball, Confetti Cake Batter Brownies, Tomato Basil Cauliflower Rice, Tiramisu […]

    17. Reply

      5 stars
      Featured and pinned at the new party tonight. Looks fabulous! Linda @Crafts a la mode

      1. Reply

        Thank you so much for the feature Linda!

    18. Reply

      This was also one of our features over on You Link it, We Make It! Apparently we want to try all your recipes! thanks for linking up!

      1. Reply

        Thank you so much, April!

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