The first bite of this easy tiramisu recipe completely floors you. It’s so luxuriously creamy and soft that your fork literally glides through it, bringing with it a symphony of notes.
The coffee-soaked ladyfingers have a serious caffeine kick, and the buzz is intensified by the rich, velvety rum-laced mascarpone surrounding them.
The effect is transcendent.
And, did I tell you it is extraordinarily easy to make and will surely please everyone?
What is tiramisu?
Tirami sù is an Italian expression. Translate it into English, and you’re literally saying “pick me up.” The name is really not a surprise, given that the light and almost fluffy dessert is made with coffee spiked with alcohol wrapped in sugar!
A typical tiramisu recipe is made by layering ladyfingers soaked in coffee, topped with a sweetened mascarpone and cream mixture with a finishing of sprinkled cocoa.
My tiramisu recipe is by no means traditional, as those contain eggs. My take on the dessert is eggless and simple. No baking and no cooking. It’s not overly sweet and it’s so good that I’ve stopped enjoying tiramisu, even from the best of restaurants.
Tiramisu Ingredient List
3. Icing sugar
4. Mascarpone cheese
5. Coffee powder / Espresso
6. Savoiardi/ Ladyfinger cookies
Start with a mascarpone mixture
Step 1: Whisk mascarpone, cream, and icing sugar. Don’t overmix.
Step 2: Add one-fourth cup of rum (or brandy or marsala wine), if desired, and mix well.
Step 3: Slide the mixture into your refrigerator while you make hot black coffee.
Move on to the coffee syrup
Step 4: In a saucepan, boil water, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of coffee powder (You can use espresso here if you wish) and a tablespoon of icing sugar. The strength of your coffee will make or break this tiramisu recipe. We like a strong coffee-flavored tiramisu!
Step 5: Stir, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Step 6: This step is completely optional. If you want, spike the coffee with rum or the alcohol of your preference after it has cooled down.
Assemble the tiramisu
Step 7: Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee syrup. The trick is to dunk them long enough for a good soak, but remove them before they fall apart.
If you’re using homemade ladyfinger cookies, it’ll be a really quick dip as they're softer and more porous. For cookies with a hardier texture, the dunk will be a little longer, but not by much.
Step 8: Arrange the soaked cookies in a single layer in your serving dish. Use whatever catches your fancy – round plate, rectangle dish, or square pie dish. We’re looking for a 2 layered tiramisu. So, pick the size accordingly.
Step 9: Drizzle a couple of spoons of the coffee mixture on the cookies. Then spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top.
Step 10: Repeat the layers. Dip the cookies, arrange them on top of the first layer of cream, and pour the rest of your coffee, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture.
Optional: I used a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle to create a pattern on top of the second layer of mascarpone, just to give the tiramisu a fancier touch.
The final step of the tiramisu recipe
Step 11: Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a good 6 to 8 hours. Right before you serve, generously dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder.
If coffee is the backbone of tiramisu, then chilling gives it body. If I’m serving the dessert for dinner, I like to make it first thing in the morning, so it’s done and dusted and gets adequate time to develop the flavors.
In case you have to serve it for lunch, my advice is to make a day ahead. Remember, even if you’re in a huge rush, tiramisu still needs a couple of hours to chill.
What can I substitute for ladyfingers in tiramisu?
Ladyfinger biscuits are exceedingly easily available online or in supermarkets. If you still can’t source them, make them at home. Here’s a recipe for it. Or you could use digestives, ginger snaps, or even pound cake. You won’t get the original feel and taste of tiramisu, but it’s still equally delectable.
Can you make tiramisu without the rum?
Yes, absolutely. Try brandy or the classic option: marsala wine. Also, alcohol is not a must. The first documented recipe for tiramisu was without alcohol. So, you can easily make it without them.
Is tiramisu gluten-free?
No, this tiramisu recipe is not gluten-free because the ladyfinger cookies may contain gluten. However, you can simply substitute them with gluten-free ladyfingers.
How to make vegan tiramisu?
The easiest way to make vegan tiramisu is to incorporate vegan mascarpone. It’s not easily available here, so I’ve been sorely tempted to try the tiramisu recipe with silken tofu. As soon as I do, I’ll share it with you.
Why you simply have to try this easy tiramisu recipe?
Light and airy dessert
Seriously easy to put together
Serve in individual portions or as a big dish
A hint of bitterness from coffee balances the sweetness
Easy Tiramisu Recipe
- 2/3 cup Water
- 2-3 tbsp Coffee powder I used instant coffee powder
- 450 gms / 2 cups Mascarpone cheese
- 250 gms / 1 cup Cream
- 85 gms / 1/2 cup Icing sugar
- 1/4 cup Rum/Brandy/Marsala wine You can leave this out, if you want an alcohol-free version.
- 24 Ladyfinger cookies
- Cocoa powder for sprinkling on top
- In a small saucepan, bring together water, coffee powder, and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Take this off the heat. Cool slightly. You can add 1-2 tablespoons of rum/ brandy/marsala to this mixture if you like.
- In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone cheese, remaining icing sugar, and cream. Beat together until well blended. Note- At this point, you can taste the cheese mixture and add more icing sugar if required per your preference.
- Whisk in the rum/brandy/ Marsala wine. Keep aside.
- Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee syrup. The trick is to dunk them long enough for a good soak, but remove them before they fall apart.
- Arrange the soaked cookies in a single layer in your serving dish. Use whatever catches your fancy – round plate, rectangle dish, or square pie dish.
- Drizzle a couple of spoons of the coffee mixture on the cookies. Then spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top.
- Repeat the layers. Dip the cookies, arrange them on top of the first layer of cream, and pour the rest of your coffee, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture. Spread it evenly.
- You can place some of the cheese mixture in a piping bag, fitted with a star nozzle and pipe some on top of the cheese layer. This step is completely optional.
- Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a good 6 to 8 hours. Right before you serve, generously dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder.
- Using a large spoon, scoop the tiramisu into individual plates. Enjoy!