This easy tiramisu recipe, with delicate ladyfinger biscuits soaked in a coffee syrup and creamy mascarpone cheese filling, is a perfect dessert for any occasion. With its irresistible flavor and elegant presentation, this Italian dessert is sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it.
Why you should try this easy tiramisu recipe
You can adjust the sweetness to your taste. The ladyfingers aren’t very sweet, so the main sweetness comes from the whipped heavy cream/mascarpone cream filling and coffee syrup. You can easily adjust the amount of powder sugar and granulated sugar you use to make these recipe elements.
It’s versatile. There are many ways to change this easy tiramisu recipe. You can add fresh berries or sliced bananas in between the layers, or add flavoring to the cream.
You can buy ladyfingers to save some time. You absolutely don’t have to make ladyfingers at home if you don’t want to. It will also will significantly cut your cooking time when you make this quick tiramisu.
No eggs. Unlike classic tiramisu, this recipe doesn’t have egg yolks in the mascarpone cream.
Ingredients you will need
Ladyfingers – If you want to make ladyfingers at home, you can use my Ladyfingers recipe post. However, as I mentioned previously, you can also use store-bought biscuits. I used 24 homemade ladyfingers for this easy tiramisu recipe, but you might need less if you use store-bought biscuits as they tend to be thicker and a bit longer.
Coffee – I use freshly-brewed coffee, but you can use espresso or instant coffee if you don’t have a coffee machine at home. Taste your coffee to make sure that it’s strong but not bitter.
Sugar – I use granulated sugar for the coffee mixture and powdered sugar for the cream filling.
Rum – You can omit the rum if you’re planning to serve this dessert to children.
Vanilla extract – Vanilla will intensify the coffee flavor rather than give it a vanilla flavor.
Mascarpone cheese – It should be cold. You can replace mascarpone cheese with cream cheese, although the taste will be different from the original dessert.
Heavy whipping cream – The cream should be cold to whip well.
Cocoa powder – Use Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder for the final touch.
Soak the ladyfingers briefly. Dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture for just a few seconds to ensure that they soak up enough liquid without becoming too soggy.
Don’t overwhip the mascarpone cheese cream. Overwhipping the heavy cream with mascarpone can create a curdled texture. Make sure that you keep an eye on your mascarpone filling and stop the mixer to check the texture as often as needed. Once you see the texture become thick and stiff peaks appear when you lift your mixer, the cream is ready to use.
Chill the tiramisu for at least a few hours. Letting the tiramisu chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours (or overnight) allows the flavors to meld together and gives the dessert a chance to set properly.
Dust with cocoa powder before serving. Adding a dusting of cocoa powder on top of the tiramisu adds a nice finishing touch, a bit of extra flavor, and some texture. If you don’t want the cocoa powder to become wet and lose its velvety appearance, dust the dessert right before serving it.
Step by step directions
1. In a bowl, combine the hot coffee and sugar. Mix until the sugar has dissolved, then add the rum and vanilla extract. Cool down before using.
2. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and rum (optional) until stiff peaks form.
3. Dip each ladyfinger in the cooled coffee syrup for a few seconds, making sure they are completely coated but not soggy.
4. Arrange a layer of soaked ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking dish (20x20 cm).
5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.
6. Repeat the process with another layer of soaked ladyfingers and the remaining cream mixture.
7. Cover the top of the dish with plastic wrap or a large plate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
8. Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder. Cut into 9 squares and serve.
Tiramisu is too runny or soft. If your tiramisu cream is too runny and the dessert is too soft, this may be due to using too much liquid when soaking the ladyfingers or not letting it chill in the refrigerator for long enough. To fix this, you can try soaking the ladyfingers for a shorter amount of time, using less liquid, or letting the tiramisu chill in the refrigerator for a longer period of time. Under whipping your cream can also cause a runny texture.
Tiramisu is too dry or hard. If your tiramisu is too dry or hard, it may be due to not soaking the ladyfingers for long enough or using stale ladyfingers. To fix this, you can try soaking the ladyfingers for a longer period of time or using fresh ladyfingers.
There are many variations of tiramisu, including chocolate tiramisu, berry tiramisu, and even savory versions like mushroom and spinach tiramisu. Some people also like to add different flavors to the traditional recipe, like orange or mint.
Raspberry coulis – The easiest way to reinvent this classical dessert is to add some sort of fruit or berry jam or thickened sauce. I would spread it on top of the first layer of cream and then place the second layer of ladyfingers on top. Then, cover everything with the final layer of mascarpone cheese filling and dust with cocoa powder.
Chocolate ganache – Coffee and chocolate are meant to be together, so this works as a great addition to your tiramisu. You can add it the same way as I described in the previous paragraph.
Fresh berries or sliced bananas – This is my favorite! Tiramisu is so light a dessert that you can never go wrong adding fresh fruit or berries in between the layers.
Toppings – You absolutely don’t have to dust your tiramisu with cocoa powder! You can use freeze-dried strawberry or raspberry powder, or add crushed nuts on top.
Tiramisu means "pick me up" or "lift me up" in Italian, which is a reference to the caffeine in the coffee used in the dessert.
Store it covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The texture of the dessert can change after freezing and thawing. Therefore, I would not recommend freezing it.
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Easy tiramisu recipe
- Digital kitchen scale
- Stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or hand mixer and a large mixing bowl
- 8" by 8" (20cm by 20cm) brownie pan
- 20-26 ladyfingers store-bought or homemade (I used 26 homemade ladyfingers)
- 200 ml strong coffee
- 100 g white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon dark rum optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 g mascarpone cheese cold
- 360 g heavy whipping cream cold
- 75 g powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon dark rum optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- In a bowl, combine the hot coffee and sugar. Mix until the sugar has dissolved, then add the rum (if using) and vanilla extract. Cool down before using.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (or you can use a hand mixer and a large bowl), beat the heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and rum (optional) until stiff peaks form. Be careful to not overwhip the cream!
- Dip each ladyfinger in the cooled coffee syrup for a few seconds, making sure they are completely coated but not soggy.
- Arrange a layer of soaked ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8x8 inch dish (20x20 cm).
- Spread half of the cream mixture over the ladyfingers.
- Repeat the process with another layer of soaked ladyfingers and the remaining cream mixture.
- Cover the top of the dish with plastic wrap or a large plate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to meld.
- Just before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder. Cut into 9 squares and serve.