Although a tiramisu recipe has a few staple ingredients, like mascarpone cheese, eggs, espresso, and ladyfingers, we can agree that not all tiramisus are created equally. This is my favorite Tiramisu recipe, with just the right ratio of mascarpone cheese to whipped cream. It’s fluffy and creamy, with no raw eggs. 

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. I like to make it on special occasions because it’s easy to make (no baking involved) and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. This tiramisu recipe uses all the classic ingredients such as ladyfingers, espresso, mascarpone, and egg yolks, only not raw. There are a few methods when it comes to cooking the eggs. This recipe implies cooking the egg yolks over a bain-marie to create an airy custard, then mixing it with the mascarpone and a little whipping cream for a light, creamy texture.

What goes in a Tiramisu, ingredients and substitutions

MASCARPONE CREAM is the filling of this no-bake dessert. These are the ingredients you will need:

Mascarpone cheese: is the essential ingredient in tiramisu. It has a silky, rich texture and a delicate taste. Mascarpone must be cold, or else it will curdle. This is because mascarpone has a high fat content, so it will split more easily.

Egg yolks: are whipped over a double boiler into a foamy cream called zabaglione, then mixed with the mascarpone cheese.

Marsala wine (optional): is a fragrant Sicilian wine with brown sugar and dried fruit flavors. It gives the egg mixture (zabaglione) a distinctive taste. If you don’t have Marsala, a great substitution is Amaretto liqueur.

Vanilla: just a hint will give a nice flavor.

Ladyfingers: are crispy sponge cookies that best absorb the coffee.

Heavy whipping cream: replaces the use of raw egg whites. Heavy cream must be cold.

Espresso syrup: use a light espresso syrup if you like your desserts on the sweeter side. If not, just use plain coffee.

Liqueur (optional): brandy, amaretto or a coffee liqueur add extra depth of flavor to the coffee syrup.

How to make Tiramisu 

1.Make mascarpone filling:

  • Whip egg yolks with sugar and Marsala wine (optional) over a double boiler until mixture has doubled in volume and pale in color, about 8-12 minutes. TIP: To prevent curdling the eggs, the water should not touch the bowl and the mixture should be constantly whisked. (pic.1)
  • Mix your chilled creamy yolk mixture( zabaglione) with cold mascarpone, then gently fold in the whipped cream. TIP: To avoid the mascarpone from curdling, incorporate yolk mixture into mascarpone without overworking, either with a handheld mixer on low speed or with a whisk. (pic.2 & 3)

2. Make the coffee syrup:

  • Dissolve equal parts of sugar and water in a saucepan, over low heat, until sugar dissolves. Add instant coffee or a few shots of espresso. If using strongly brewed coffee, just add sugar and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Add liqueur of choice for a twist (optional).

3. Assemble the tiramisu:

  • In a baking dish, arrange lightly coffee-dipped ladyfingers, spread half of the mascarpone cream filling, and repeat for the second layer. TIP: Do not dust with cacao powder before chilling as it will draw moisture and look unappealing. (pic.4)

4. Chill:

  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The tiramisu needs to set up for at least 4 hours. Dust with cacao powder when ready to serve!

How to serve and store

Once chilled for a few hours, the tiramisu will have set nicely and you will be able to cut out clean slices, but scooping it out it also acceptable. Dust it with cacao powder and serve. Store it in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.


Could I omit the alcohol? Yes! Soak the ladyfingers in milk or even a mixture of milk and condensed milk. Your tiramisu will still be to-die-for!

Will this recipe feed a crowd? This recipe yields 8-10 slices and uses a 9×13 inch baking dish. Depending on the exact size of your baking dish, and the size of your slices, it can vary slightly. If you want to get clean slices without damaging them, freeze your tiramisu for an hour and then cut out the number of slices you need. Transfer the slices on plates and leave them on the countertop for about 15 minutes before serving.

Does tiramisu freeze well? I have been freezing tiramisu for years. Whenever I have leftover tiramisu, I freeze it (covered with plastic wrap ) and simply thaw it overnight or let it sit on the countertop for half an hour. This is a great make-ahead recipe, freeze the whole dish and serve it for your upcoming dinner party. Just thaw it in the fridge overnight. Sprinkle with cocoa, and serve!


Recipe by Sabina PapaziCourse: DessertCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This is a sample recipe card created using the Recipe Card Blocks plugin created by us.


  • For the Coffee Syrup:
  • 2 cups water (500 ml)

  • 3 teaspoons instant espresso powder

  • 2/3 cups sugar (150g)


  • 2 cups strongly brewed coffee (sweetened or unsweetened)

  • For the Mascarpone Filling :
  • 16 ounces mascarpone (500g)

  • 6 egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine (50 ml) optional

  • 2/3 cup sugar (150g)

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream (500ml)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • To assemble:
  • 38-40 ladyfingers (depending on your baking dish)

  • Cocoa powder for dusting


  • For the espresso syrup: In a small saucepan, bring to simmer water and sugar, until sugar dissolves. Add instant espresso powder and mix to combine. Chill until needed.
  • For the mascarpone filling: in a metal or glass bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and marsala wine over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Whisk constantly until mixture doubles in volume, about 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
    Whip the cold heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer the cold mascarpone to a mixing bowl, and either with a whisk or with a hand held mixer on low speed, incorporate the cool egg mixture until just combined. Then fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone-egg mixture.
  • To assemble: dip the ladyfingers lightly in the espresso syrup and arrange in the bottom of a 9×13 inch dish. Add half of the mascarpone mixture and repeat for the second layer.
  • Chill: cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve with dusted cocoa powder.


  • Storing: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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