Tiramisu is one of the most elegant desserts ever, and it tastes absolutely heavenly. If you’re looking for the perfect treat to serve at a dinner party, this traditional Italian delicacy is an excellent choice.
We’ll walk you through the steps to take to make the quickest, easiest, and tastiest tiramisu ever. This no-bake dessert has a legendary reputation, and making it can boost your confidence as an at-home chef—and it’s as easy as allowing us to add the ingredients to your grocery list and then picking them up or waiting for them to be delivered.
What Is Tiramisu?
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made of a combination of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and a mixture of whipped eggs, mascarpone cheese, and sweet ingredients like cocoa and sugar. Let’s explore the role that each of these ingredients plays in the dessert:
Ladyfingers, also known as Savoiardi, are small sponge cake cookies that look like little fingers (hence the name). In tiramisu, these biscuits are traditionally soaked in espresso and sometimes amaretto.
Coffee plays a key role in the flavor profile of tiramisu. The way the dish is traditionally prepared calls for the ladyfingers to be soaked in espresso, but many at-home chefs use brewed drip coffee instead.
Espresso is often favored for tiramisu due to its distinct, strong flavor, as well as the Italian origins of espresso shots.
Mascarpone cheese is an Italian form of cream cheese that has been made in the country since around the turn of the 17th century. In tiramisu, mascarpone serves as one of the primary ingredients, blending with whipped eggs and sugar to create the fluffy layers that the dessert is known for.
The texture of the mascarpone mixture used for tiramisu is fluffier than heavy whipping cream but slightly denser than whipped cream.
Cocoa powder, the main ingredient in chocolate, is typically sprinkled on top of tiramisu to add flavor and texture. In addition, many cooks garnish a serving of tiramisu with an extra sprinkling of cocoa powder.
Amaretto is an Italian liqueur made from either apricot pits, peach stones, or almonds. This type of alcohol has an unmistakable distinct flavor, and you only need to add a little bit to your tiramisu – if you choose to use it.
Alternatively, some tiramisu recipes call for marsala wine, brandy, or dark rum instead of amaretto.
Making Tiramisu Step By Step
Our super easy tiramisu recipe is a perfect fit for culinary veterans and newcomers alike. This classic tiramisu takes just a few minutes to make, and it requires no baking, which means you can save time and effort on prepping and cleanup.
Here are all the steps to follow to make perfect tiramisu.
Step One: Deal With Your Eggs
To begin making tiramisu, crack three eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into a separate bowl.
To create the cream mixture that creates the majority of the layers of your tiramisu, you’ll need to combine the egg yolks with sugar and mascarpone cheese – we’ll get to this step in a second.
Step Two: Create Your Cream Mixture
Next, add about 1 cup of mascarpone cheese and ½ cup of sugar to your bowl with egg yolks in it. Using a whisk or an electric mixer, mix these ingredients together. If desired, you can add in a small amount of vanilla extract.
Depending on the speed that you use to whisk the mixture, you can end up with soft peaks, firm peaks, or stiff peaks. These terms refer to the ability of the mixture to retain its shape once whisked – stiff peaks are the most inflexible.
Once the mascarpone mixture is complete, it’s time to add in the amaretto or another alcoholic drink if desired. A little bit goes a long way, so aim for just a tablespoon or two. If you prefer, you can add the amaretto later alongside the coffee.
Next, take a larger bowl and add the mascarpone mixture to it. Then, take your egg whites from your other small bowl and gradually fold them into the mixture using a spatula.
Step Three: Dip Your Ladyfingers
You read that right.
Now that you’ve created the mascarpone mixture, it’s time to start dealing with your ladyfingers. These are those little cookies that make the more solid layers of the tiramisu. Each ladyfinger in your tiramisu needs to be dipped in coffee – ideally espresso – on both sides to allow the cookies to absorb the coffee’s flavor.
Dip the ladyfingers on each side and make sure they’re submerged in the coffee enough to absorb the flavor.
Step Four: Make the Layers
Once you’ve finished dipping the ladyfingers in coffee, it’s time to start making layers out of ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
Start by spreading a layer of ladyfingers over the bottom of a large baking pan. Then, use a spatula to spread the mascarpone mousse over this layer. After you have two layers, add one more layer of each, sprinkling the top layer of mascarpone mousse with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Step Five: Let the Tiramisu Chill
Before you’re ready to start serving tiramisu and taking photos of your masterpiece to post on Instagram, this delicious dessert needs time to chill.
Cover the top of the baking pan in plastic wrap, then leave it in the fridge for at least three hours. Overnight chilling is ideal, but a few hours should be enough for the dessert’s flavors to settle in.
Finally, pull the tiramisu out of the fridge and set it out at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. If you want, brew a pot of coffee and serve tiramisu slices with a cup on the side!
Want More Delicious Dessert Recipes?
If you’re always on the lookout for yummy desserts to make, we’ve got you covered. Head over to our cooking page, where you’ll find all the inspiration you need for your next culinary masterpiece!