This Italian Tiramisu can’t be missed out on a special occasion or Sunday afternoon coffee times. Once you try making this super easy no-bake Italian creamy dessert, you will never want to make any other. Decadent layers of creamy mascarpone cheese with whipped cream on soft coffee dipped biscuit is a heaven on earth, one bite is never enough.
Versatile Italian Tiramisu
You must have heard of this creamy and famously delicious Italian dessert, “Tiramisu”. There are many recipes on the internet made from classic ingredients to special varieties and flavors like strawberries or bananas. They all must be so delicious and worth of trying, but today I am showing you how to make the Classic version of Italian Tiramisu.
Tiramisu can be served in different shapes and variations. Most comment shape is rectangular or square, place in deep baking dish. But tiramisu can also be made in individual glasses or jars. You may also make a tiramisu into a cake for very special occasion. They all have income one main ingredient that makes the tiramisu so creamy, and it’s MASCARPONE.
Mascarpone is a rich creamy cheese, somehow similar with texture to the cream cheese. Its flavor is somehow less salty and less tart, compared to cream cheese. Mascarpone is rich and much creamier, someone might say it’s a whipped cream in its solid state.
Mascarpone cheese might be in some regions pricey, but well worth of buying when you decide to make a tiramisu. I highly recommend of using real mascarpone cheese for tiramisu. But if you can’t find one, you may substitute with cream cheese.
Ingredients for Tiramisu
- Hot Water
- Instant coffee
- Irish cream liqueur
- Egg yolks
- Fine sugar
- Whipping cream
- Italian lady fingers
- Powdered cocoa for decoration
This tiramisu dessert is very smooth and velvety due to one simple ingredient. And it is whipped cream with content of fat minimum of 35%. Less content of fat and you won’t be able to whip up the cream.
Mascarpone is a mild and creamy fresh cheese with a consistency similar to soft butter or cream cheese, and the fat content is between 70 and 75 percent. It is a must to take the mascarpone out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before working with it, it will soften, and it’s easy to work with.
Fresh eggs are the best bet using for no-bake tiramisu, to make sure to avoid any potential harm from salmonella. If you are not sure that your eggs are fresh, use the double boiler method to cook the egg yolks. This method is safe, and it will bring the egg yolk to the temperature where it’s safe to use in no-bake desserts.
Fine sugar is recommended to use in this recipe for better incorporation in the mascarpone cream. Fine sugar dissolves much quickly than regular sugar.
Lady fingers can’t miss! It’s the base for the tiramisu cake. The whole package of 14 oz is used in this recipe.
Whipping cream that makes this whole dessert so fluffy and decadent. Use Whipping cream with min. 35% of fat, to make sure it will whip up heavenly as a cloud.
Instant coffee and Irish cream liqueur. I love using Instant Coffee Nespresso, but if you do have an Espresso machine, feel free to use homemade espresso. Exact measurements are in the Ingredient list of the Recipe Card.
Powdered cocoa is a must for the last touch up of this decadent dessert. Use the Dutch processed cocoa for the deep and rich flavor.
How to prepare safely egg yolks for Italian Tiramisu
There are two ways of preparing the eggs yolks for Tiramisu. Either you work with fresh eggs from certified farmer and in that case it won’t be necessary of using double boiler method to cook the egg yolks.
If you are unsure of eggs you bought from the grocery store, then I recommend applying the safer method of the double boiler technique, for cooking the eggs. Basically, this technique requires mixing egg yolks and sugar in a double boiler for 10 minutes. Nothing complicated, very easy and safe method how to make sure the egg yolks are safe to use in this no-bake Italian Tiramisu. This method is explained in details in the recipe card.
How to make Tiramisu
I always start with preparing a great cup or two of espresso. It’s better if you let the espresso cool down before any biscuits will be dipped in the espresso. Then I start to measure all my ingredients.
First it’s the yolks with sugar, they need to be mixed well, until very creamy. Then mascarpone cheese. Make sure it’s at room temperature for easy mixing. Slowly add a few tablespoons of mascarpone and mix until well combined.
Whipped cream makes a very fluffy and creamy texture in Tiramisu. Some recipes call for whipped egg whites instead of whipped cream. But in my experience, the egg whites don’t hold the velvety and fluffy texture. I prefer using the whipped cream over egg whites.
Once you whip the cream, slowly fold it with a rubber spatula in the mascarpone cream. Now it’s time to add the liqueur. I like using Irish cream liqueur, but you can use Dissaronno (almond flavored liqueur) or Dark Spiced Rum.
Now it’s the assembling time. Take the cooled espresso, which you left on the side, and start dipping Italian biscuits in it, but only halfway through. Place the Italian biscuits (lady fingers) on the bottom of the deep baking dish, until you cover the whole bottom. You might have to break some biscuits in half to fit them in the baking dish.
Take the mascarpone cream a place a half of the cream over the coffee biscuits. Dip the rest of the biscuits in the espresso and layer the second batch of biscuits on the mascarpone cream. Take a 1/3 of the remaining mascarpone cream and cover the biscuits with a thin layer. The leftover mascarpone cream, place in a piping bag with the round tip. Pipe small dollops all over the baking dish.
Dust with half of the cocoa powder and xover the tiramisu with clean food foil and chill the tiramisu in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or best overnight. This is when all the flavors gets together and the real tiramisu taste is created.
Before serving, dust with a remaining cocoa powder.
FAQ Tips & Storage
The best way to serve tiramisu is well chilled, the best is overnight. So make sure preparing this dessert a day in advance.
How to store Tiramisu
Store the leftovers of tiramisu in the airtight container, and consume within 5 days. You may also freeze the tiramisu for up to 3 months, in an airtight container. To defrost the tiramisu, leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Serving in individual glasses
This tiramisu can be assembled into individual glasses or jars for better serving. Follow the instructions of this recipe as usual, but instead of placing the lady fingers in a deep baking dish, assemble the tiramisu in fancy glasses or jars.
Can I substitute the mascarpone cheese with something else?
Yes, you can use cream cheese instead of mascarpone to make a cheaper version of Tiramisu, but the quality and the authenticity of this Italian dessert will not be the same.
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- 1 deep baking dish
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp instant coffee
- 2 tbs Irish cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 12 oz. mascarpone
- 1 1/2 cup whipped cream
- 1 14-oz pkg Italian lady fingers
- powdered cocoa for decoration
- Start with combining hot water and instant coffee, mix well with a spoon and set aside.2 tbsp instant coffee, 2 cups water
- In a double boiler or small sauce pan, bring water to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Add in a large glass bowl egg yolks and sugar. Mix with electric mixer over the simmering water for 10 minutes.6 egg yolks, 1 1/2 cup sugar
- Remove the bowl with the eggs from the heat and mix in spoon by spoon mascarpone cheese and mix until well combined. At this point, you can also add the Irish cream liqueur, but it's optional. Let it cool on the side.12 oz. mascarpone, 2 tbs Irish cream
- In another large bowl, whip the whipping cream until it holds stiff peaks. Once the yolk-mascarpone mixture has cooled to room temperature, gently fold in half of the whipped cream. Then fold in the remaining half of the whipped cream, just until fully incorporated.1 1/2 cup whipped cream
- Prepare a rectangular dish 9 x 12 inch and start dipping each ladyfinger into the coffee. Place them inside the baking dish to fill the whole bottom of the dish. To fit well the rectangular dish, you might have to break a few biscuits to fit them in. Spread the half of the mascarpone cream over the lady fingers and with offset spatula on the top of the cream to even the layer or the cream.2 tbsp instant coffee, 1 14-oz pkg Italian lady fingers, 2 cups water
- Dip the remaining ladyfingers into the coffee and place them on the mascarpone cream to create another layer. Take a 1/3 of the remaining mascarpone cream and cover the lady fingers with the cream. (It doesn't have to be fully covered, because we will dollop the remaining mascarpone cream on top).2 cups water, 2 tbsp instant coffee, 1 14-oz pkg Italian lady fingers
- Take the leftover of mascarpone cream and place it in a piping bag with round tip. Pipe the bloops on the top of the tiramisu. Dust with half of the cocoa powder and cover gently with plastic food wrap and place it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, best overnight.powdered cocoa for decoration
- When ready to serve, dust with the leftover cocoa powder. Enhoy!powdered cocoa for decoration
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Thank you Priyo😃 Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts!
Tiramisu is definitely one of my favorites desserts, but there is such a wide range of recipes out there, and most of it comes down to the quality of the baker as well, Even when using the best quality ingredients in, a recipe such as the one classic tiramisu recipe. I’ve always loved the one classic recipe so you and are both on the same team there.
The best tiramisu that I have ever eaten in my life was at a specialty boutique shoppe located in Tivoli, Italy. My cousin Andrea took myself and my now ex-wife to his friend Juliana’s boutique dessert shoppe. The tiramisu was so good that If I ever go back there I would ask Julia to marry me and come live in the US. I mean it’s the one classic tiramisu recipe. We’ll see. Thanks for the share!
Thank you Nicholas for your feedback, although I must say that good quality ingredients do play some role in making the best classic tiramisu. Love the Italian love story though, keep me posted if you ever find your Julia 🙂
That is one gorgeous tiramisu!
Thank you Nick😃 I love tiramisu!