Easy Tiramisu Recipe (without ladyfingers)
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
Tiramisu is my favorite kind of cake! This recipe looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Oh my goodness, this looks heavenly!
Thank you Erin!
I love, Love, LOVE Tiramisu! I have never braved making it myself. Maybe now I will.
Thanks for the share!
It’s really easy Traci and oh so delish!
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!
I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do! Thanks Heather!
This looks epic! Love it! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays
That looks amazing! I love tiramisu. I have never made it with sponge cake. I will have to give that a go!
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
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.
Looks delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and featuring on this week’s hop.
Love love love tiramisu! Thanks for sharing this recipe with Saucy Saturdays!
Me too Jennifer! This one is pretty amazing!
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.
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!!
Please do let me know how it turns out Nikki. Thank you!
Thanks for linking up at From the archives friday. Please link up an archived post in the future.
This looks amazing!
Thank you Erica!
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
This looks gorgeous, a fabulous festive pudding! Thanks for linking with #FestiveFoodFriday!
Featured and pinned at the new party tonight. Looks fabulous! Linda @Crafts a la mode
Thank you so much for the feature Linda!
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!
Thank you so much, April!
Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.