Perfect Tiramisu (2024)

This classic tiramisu recipe is one of our favorite desserts. We layer ladyfingers soaked in espresso with a light, airy filling made with mascarpone cheese. If you have never tried making tiramisu at home, you have to try this recipe!

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When done correctly, I think tiramisu surpasses almost any dessert out there. The layers of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, creamy mascarpone, and chocolate shavings meld together beautifully.

If you’ve never made tiramisu at home, I’m so happy you’ve found us. This recipe is easier than you think and makes some of the best tiramisu I’ve had.

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Key Ingredients

  • Ladyfingers:Look for Italian ladyfingers (or Savoiardi).Theyare hard and dry with a sugary top.
  • Coffee:I usevery strongcoffee when making tiramisu. If you have an espresso maker, use it!
  • Marsala wine:Ittastes like nutty brown sugar, which is why it’s so delicious mixed with coffee in this tiramisu recipe!You can substitute dark rum, brandy, or a coffee-flavored liqueur (like Kahlua). To make tiramisu without wine, leave it out or use a bit of rum extract instead (tips are below the recipe).
  • Mascarpone:For the best tiramisu, use mascarpone cheese. It’s similar to cream cheese but richer (made with cream, not milk) and tastes naturally sweeter.
  • Egg yolks and sugar:When making tiramisu, you’ll use Italian zabaglione, a creamy cooked mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine. It’s easier than you might think, so stick with me!
  • Cream:This recipe does not call for raw egg whites, which some traditional tiramisu recipes call for. Instead, I use whipped cream. If you prefer tiramisu with whipped egg whites, I have included tips below the recipe.
  • Chocolate:I grate bittersweet chocolate into the layers of my tiramisu (it’s so good). Some recipes call for cocoa powder, but I prefer the grated chocolate.

How to Make the Best Tiramisu

My favorite tiramisu has delicious three layers:

  1. Ladyfingers dipped in coffee and Marsala wine.
  2. A deliciously creamy mixture made with mascarpone, egg yolks, sugar, Marsala wine, and whipped cream.
  3. Grated chocolate.

You’ll start by making the creamy layer, which we make with Italian zabaglione (cool name, not hard, trust me).

Place a heat-safe bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water to create a double boiler. Then, use a handheld electric mixer to beat the egg yolks, Marsala wine, and sugar until they look pale yellow, and the beaters leave tracks as you move them through the mixture (see our video or the photo below for reference).

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Remove from the heat and beat in the mascarpone cheese (it’s okay if the mixture is still hot). Then, allow the mixture to cool while you whip some cream.

When the mascarpone mixture is cool, fold in the whipped cream. It should be creamy, light, and absolutely delicious!

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Now, you can assemble your tiramisu. Grab a wide bowl and mix coffee, more Marsala wine, vanilla extract, and some sugar. Then grab your ladyfingers, dip them into the coffee mixture, and line them up in a baking dish.

When one layer of ladyfingers covers the bottom of your dish, spread half of the creamy mascarpone mixture over it and then grate over lots of chocolate (yum). Repeat with another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, the remaining mascarpone mixture, and more chocolate on top.

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Now, as hard as it is, you can’t dig in yet. Chill your tiramisu for at least 6 hours. As it sits, the ladyfingers soften and absorb the moisture and flavor from the cream.

When ready to serve, grate more chocolate over the top (because why not), and then enjoy!

Storing Homemade Tiramisu

Homemade tiramisu lasts for up to 3 days in the fridge. As it sits, it gets better and better. You can freeze tiramisu for up to 3 months, although the texture and flavor will be slightly different as it thaws. Thaw it overnight in the fridge.

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Perfect Tiramisu



  • PREP

You will love this incredible tiramisu recipe! We make it with three layers: coffee-dipped ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and grated chocolate. To make the mascarpone cream, you will cook egg yolks with Marsala wine and sugar in a double boiler (a heat-safe bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water). Watch our video to see me do it.

Makes 8 Servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

24 Italian ladyfingers, Savoiardi in Italian, from one 7-ounce package

3/4 cup (175ml) brewed espresso or strong coffee at room temperature

5 tablespoons (75ml) dry Marsala wine, divided

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large egg yolks

4 tablespoons (50g) granulated sugar, divided

8 ounces (225g) mascarpone cheese at room temperature (about 1 1/4 cups)

3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream or heavy whipping cream

2 ounces (60g) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate for grating


  • Prepare Tiramisu
  • 1Set aside a9×9-inch baking pan or dish.

    2Add the warm coffee, 3 tablespoons of Marsala wine, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a wide, shallow bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then set the bowl aside.

    3You will need a double boiler. If you have one, use it. Otherwise, find a heat-safe bowl that fits over a small saucepan. Fill the saucepan with an inch or two of water and place over medium-low heat. Bring the water to a simmer.

    4With the heat-safe bowl on the counter, add the egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of Marsala wine, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Beat with a handheld electric mixer at medium speed until frothy, 20 to 30 seconds.

    5Place the bowl over the simmering water, and continue to beat on medium using the electric hand mixer until the mixture has tripled in volume, looks pale yellow, and the beaters leave distinct tracks as you move them through it, 5 to 8 minutes. (Look for a thin ribbon that falls from the beaters when lifted from the bowl.) Do not stop beating, and keep the water at a low simmer during this step (otherwise, you risk scrambling the eggs).

    6Remove the bowl from the heat, then while it is still hot, beat in the mascarpone cheese until just combined. Allow the mixture to cool while you whip the cream.

    7In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whip the cream until it reaches medium to firm peaks (as you pull the beaters away, the peaks will hold for a bit and then slowly fall back).

    8Use a spatula to fold half of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Then, repeat with the remaining whipped cream. The whipped cream will slightly deflate, but the mixture should be light and airy.

  • Assemble Tiramisu
  • 1Dip half of the ladyfingers quickly into the coffee and line the bottom of the pan/dish. Depending on the shape of your dish, you might need to break a few into pieces to fit them. If you don’t seem to have enough, spread the ladyfingers out a little.

    2Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the chocolate over the filling.

    3Dip the remaining ladyfingers into the coffee and arrange a second layer over the grated chocolate.

    4Spoon the remaining mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then grate more chocolate to cover the top completely.

    5Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.

    6When ready to serve, add moregrated chocolate and leave it at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Slice into squares and serve.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Substitutes for wine: Try dark rum, brandy, or coffee-flavored liqueur. These are stronger than Marsala, so consider increasing the coffee and using less alcohol. Try the coffee mixture before dipping the ladyfingers and adjust to your taste.
  • Tiramisu without alcohol: Leave the Marsala out of the recipe completely. You can also substitute with rum extract (we recommend using 1 ½ tablespoons of rum extract).
  • Using egg whites instead of cream: Some authentic recipes for tiramisu use whipped egg whites instead of whipped cream. Tiramisu made with egg whites is lighter and more airy. To make our recipe with egg whites, whip 3 egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Then, instead of folding whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, fold the whipped egg whites. Since the egg whites are not cooked, I recommend fresh, high-quality, pasteurized eggs.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.

Nutrition Per Serving Calories 314 / Protein 7 g / Carbohydrate 22 g / Dietary Fiber 0 g / Total Sugars 14 g / Total Fat 22 g / Saturated Fat 12 g / Cholesterol 177 mg

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

Perfect Tiramisu (2024)


How long should tiramisu sit before serving? ›

Chill the tiramisu: Cover the tiramisu and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours to give the tiramisu time to firm up and for the ladyfingers to soften. Serve: Dust with cocoa before serving.

Why is my tiramisu not creamy? ›

The right biscuits

The choice is yours, even though connoisseurs of this dessert will always tell you to choose savoiardi. In fact, the result is completely different if you use these biscuits, which are tall and spongy and absorb less coffee. As a result, the consistency will be less creamy and slightly more compact.

Is the bottom of tiramisu supposed to be soggy? ›

The perfect tiramisu is a balance between soft elements and fluffy elements, but be careful. The base must be wet but the biscuits must not crush for too much coffee; place the cold coffee in a small bowl and pass the ladyfingers for 2 seconds, the right time for them to get wet without getting too soaked and crushed.

What is so good about tiramisu? ›

The delicate flavor of layers of mascarpone and Italian custard are contrasted with the darkly robust presence of espresso and sharpness of cocoa powder. The name itself, tiramisu, means “pick me up” in Italian most likely referring to the two caffeinated ingredients that are present in the dish, espresso and cocoa.

What not to do when making tiramisu? ›

Roberto Lestani, who for the occasion revealed to us the 3 mistakes not to make to prepare a stunning tiramisu!
  1. 1: excessively whipping the mascarpone! ...
  2. 2: once together, don't immediately mix the yolks and sugar! ...
  3. 3: Neglect stratification!
Jun 16, 2020

Is tiramisu better the longer it sits? ›

Homemade tiramisu lasts for up to 3 days in the fridge.

As it sits, it gets better and better. You can freeze tiramisu for up to 3 months, although the texture and flavor will be slightly different as it thaws. Thaw it overnight in the fridge.

Why is it important to chill the tiramisu before serving? ›

The cold helps everything set, the liquid disperses throughout the ladyfingers and infuses it's flavor in the mascarpone. You leave a tiramisu in the fridge to allow it to firm up. If you eat it straight away, it tends to be a mushy mess. Putting it in the fridge gives it the creamy airy texture.

Can tiramisu set in 2 hours? ›

For the best-tasting tiramisu, try and wait a full day or 24 hours before serving. This way all the extra coffee syrup from the doused lady fingers has been absorbed and your whipped egg yolks, sugar, and mascarpone cheese mixture have enough time to set into a sliceable dessert.

Should tiramisu be made the day before? ›

Make Ahead Instructions: Tiramisu is even better when made in advance, allowing the flavors to blend! It will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Freezing Instructions: Make completely, but don't dust with cocoa powder. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months.

Should tiramisu be served cold? ›

Tiramisu is served cold, which is one of its main attractions as a dessert. Its perfect temperature is between 5-6º C, therefore, after processing it, it is essential to immediately place it in cold storage for a recommended resting time of 4 to 12 hours.

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