Classic Italian Tiramisu

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Somehow between culinary school and today (which was legit almost 10 years ago) I seem to have forgotten about a Classic Italian Tiramisu! Well - not anymore!! I made my recipe from culinary school a few weeks back and OMG WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING WITH MY LIFE!

A white oval dish with tiramisu, one corner of which has been served into a small ceramic pink plate on the side, with a golden fork in the plate, with a navy and white striped kitchen towel on the side.


 

Why I Love This Recipe

This Classic Italian Tiramisu is seriously one of the easiest recipes and is made with a sweet mascarpone filling and layered with espresso dipped lady fingers. It's truly perfection and I can't believe I haven't made it since culinary school. Instead of resorting to my usual cookie consumption for dessert for all of our recent parties, I changed it up and made Tiramisu. BRILLIANT. It takes almost no time to make and the recipe below is one that my culinary school instructor literally engrained into our brains during the dessert portion of our curriculum.

If you are making tiramisu as dessert for a dinner party, here's some dishes you can make to go with that: Cacio e Pepe, Bolognese, Pasta alla Vodka, Baked Rigatoni, Sausage with Tortellini

Ingredients & Substitutions

Mise-en-place of all the ingredients to make tiramisu.
  • Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder - this is my favorite kind!
  • Espresso - you'll need a cup, so brew a handful of shots or buy them pre-brewed from your favorite coffee shop or grocery store
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pasteurized Eggs - I always buy pasteurized eggs for this recipe as that means the eggs have been heat treated to kill off bacteria that could potentially cause a food borne illness. And since we're using raw eggs, it's the way to go!
  • Sugar
  • Kosher Salt
  • Mascarpone Cheese - an integral part!! There isn't a great substitution here.
  • Heavy cream
  • Ladyfinger Cookies - make sure you get the hard ones

*For a full list of ingredients and instructions please see recipe card below.

How to Make Tiramisu

A glass mixing bowl with cocoa powder, espresso and vanilla.

Step 1:Whisk together the cocoa powder, espresso and vanilla in a bowl and set aside to really infuse the flavors together.

A stand mixer bowl with egg yolk and sugar.

Step 2: In a mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

A stand mixer bowl with salt and mascarpone added to the egg yolk and sugar mixture.

Step 3: Add in the salt, mascarpone cheese and continue to whip until smooth.

A stand mixer bowl with chilled cream added to the egg-yolk, sugar and mascarpone mixture.

Step 4: Add the chilled cream and continue to whip, until light, creamy and smooth

A stand mixer bowl with the whipped mascarpone-cream mixture with soft peaks.

Step 5: Make sure it can hold a soft peak.

An oval platter with tiramisu being constructed, with a layer of espresso mixture soaked ladyfingers.

Step 6: Dunk each ladyfinger in the espresso mixture to absorb the liquid and start to line a 7x11 oval baking dish with the cookies.

An oval platter with tiramisu being constructed in it, with one layer of ladyfingers topped with mascarpone-cream mixture dusted with cocoa powder.

Step 7: Top the first layer of cookies with ½ of the whipped mascarpone mixture and use the back of a metal spoon to spread it into an even layer. Dust with cocoa powder.

An oval platter with a second layer of espresso mixture soaked ladyfingers on top of an already layered ladyfinger and mascarpone mixture layer in order to construct a tiramisu.

Step 8: Repeat for another layer and then finish by dusting with cocoa powder on top.

An oval platter with tiramisu, dusted with cocoa powder on the top.

Step 9: Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

How to Store Tiramisu

You can store tiramisu covered with plastic wrap for 3-4 days. The flavors of the tiramisu marry and develop as it keeps, especially once its been stored overnight.

How to Freeze Tiramisu

I do not recommending freezing tiramisu since. The no-bake and nature of other ingredients do not make it a great candidate for freezing.

Tips and Tricks

  1. ALL the ingredients for the filling must be cold. So when you read the recipe below, pay attention to the few things that need to be taken directly from the fridge.
  2. Get the ladyfingers from an Italian market if possible!!
  3. Mascarpone is essential. There is no substitution for it - so while you're out looking for the ladyfingers, grab the Mascarpone.
  4. No espresso on hand - no problem! Use coffee!
  5. Dunking the ladyfingers is an art form - you need enough to get a good flavor and texture, but you don't want them to fall apart. Just a quick dunk will do - nothing more than 1-2 seconds! 
  6. NOTE - DO NOT SERVE IT RIGHT AWAY! While it will be delicious, the cocoa powder needs time to soften up and infuse into the cream topping otherwise you'll inhale straight cocoa powder and let me tell you from experience, it's not cute lol.
A white oval dish with tiramisu, only the corner of which is visible in the photo, and the tiramisu from that corner has been served into a small ceramic pink plate on its side, with a golden fork in the plate, with a navy and white striped kitchen towel on the side.

FAQs

What is traditional tiramisu made of?

A Classic Italian Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored Italian dessert that dreams are made of. It's made of ladyfingers dipped in espresso, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese and layered with cocoa powder.

What is the predominant flavor in the classic Italian dessert tiramisu?

The espresso dunked ladyfingers take center stage along with the creamy mascarpone mixture. Both are light and compliment each other beautifully.

Similar Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today

Classic Italian Tiramisu

Author: Gaby Dalkin
5 from 74 votes
This Classic Italian Tiramisu is seriously one of the easiest desserts to make! It's picture perfect with a sweet mascarpone filling, espresso dipped lady fingers and all the cocoa powder on top!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 people

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup Dutch Processed cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup brewed espresso (optional to add a few tablespoons of dark rum)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks, cold (I use pasteurized eggs)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 8-ounce tubs mascarpone cheese, chilled
  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 2-3 dozen hard ladyfinger cookies

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, espresso and vanilla in a bowl and set aside
  • In a mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Add in the salt, mascarpone cheese and continue to whip until smooth. Add the chilled cream and continue to whip, until light, creamy, smooth and can hold a soft peak.
  • Dunk each ladyfinger in the espresso mixture to absorb the liquid and start to line a 7x11 oval baking dish with the cookies. Top the first layer of cookies with ½ of the whipped mascarpone mixture and use the back of a metal spoon to spread it into an even layer. Dust with cocoa powder. Repeat for another layer and then finish by dusting with cocoa powder on top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes

    1. ALL the ingredients for the filling must be cold. So when you read the recipe below, pay attention to the few things that need to be taken directly from the fridge.
    2. No espresso on hand - no problem! Use coffee!
    3. Dunking the ladyfingers is an art form - you need enough to get a good flavor and texture, but you don't want them to fall apart. Just a quick dunk will do - nothing more than 1-2 seconds!
    4. Make sure you leave time to rest the tiramisu. The cocoa powder needs time to soften up and infuse into the cream topping otherwise you'll inhale straight cocoa powder and let me tell you from experience, it's not cute lol.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 243mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1517IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @WhatsGabyCookin or tag #whatsgabycooking!

84 Comments

    1. doesn't matter because you're not actually baking it. You just need a vessel that can be used for serving

    1. 5 stars
      You can technically pasteurize them yourself. Google has instructions. I’ve done it for my Caesar dressing.

  1. I'm making the tiramisu now, and I'm curious, because when I've made it in the past, there's a little bit of sugar in the espresso. Why does this recipe not call for that? I'm trying to decide if I should add a tablespoon or not...

  2. I'm sure I am going to sound silly for asking this, but when it says "1 cup brewed espresso," does that mean I should make 8 shots (1 shot = 1 ounce) of espresso? That seems kind of strong.

    1. yes you need 8 fluid ounces of brewed espresso! that might be 4 shots as most shots are 2 ounces

  3. 5 stars
    Best I've ever eaten and same goes for a friend I offered it to. Only changes made were using regular salt and only 2 doz. ladyfingers. Used Goya ladyfingers and scraped off the sugar on the top of them. Let it sit in the frig overnight so the flavors melded. My God, was it to die for.

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