About This Easy and Classic Tiramisu Recipe
Looking for an easy and classic tiramisu recipe? I got you.
This tiramisu recipe is the classic Italian dessert made with espresso-soaked ladyfingers and zabaglione, a mascarpone pudding made from mascarpone, egg yolks, and whipped cream. The ladyfingers are then layered with this mascarpone whipped cream to create a creamy, dreamy fancy dessert that tastes like a light, creamy, and airy coffee soaked cake.
The best part? The recipe is no bake and easily customizable. Check out the post for variations made with all kinds of tea, as well as this Earl Grey Tiramisu and Strawberry Tiramisu recipe on Hummingbird High!
Why You Should Make The Recipe
Here are all the reasons to make this classic and easy tiramisu recipe:
The recipe is chilled and “no bake”—no need to turn on your oven!
It takes a lot to convince me to bake in the summer months. Who wants to turn on their oven in the blistering heat?
Luckily, this classic tiramisu recipe is a NO BAKE dessert recipe. What does that mean? It literally DOES NOT NEED TO BE BAKED. That’s right, there’s no need to turn on the oven to make this dessert!
Instead, the dessert is chilled overnight to allow the ladyfingers to soften and become airy, soft, and cake-like in texture.
The best part? The tiramisu is served chilled, too. It’s the perfect light and airy summer dessert to cool you down!
The recipe is easily customizable.
Although this is a classic tiramisu recipe made with espresso, I’ve included lots of variations in the post to help you customize its flavors. I love tiramisu, but I’m incredibly sensitive to caffeine. So in the past, I’ve experimented with using Earl Grey tea (like in this Earl Grey Tiramisu Recipe) and strawberry puree (like in this Strawberry Tiramisu Recipe) instead.
Since then, I’ve gone on to experiment with all kinds of substitutions in my TikTok #TEAramisu series. I’ve made tiramisu with sakura (cherry blossom) tea, Thai tea, matcha powder, rose petal tea, Hong Kong milk tea, chai, and more. In this post, I’ll provide guidelines on how you can use this recipe but swap in different teas and flavors to make your own custom tiramisu.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Now that I’ve convinced you to make the recipe, here’s everything you need:
Shopping List For Easy And Classic Tiramisu Recipe
- brewed espresso (from coffee beans, coffee pods, cold brew concentrate, or instant espresso powder)
- granulated sugar
- kosher salt
- heavy cream
- large pasteurized eggs
- sweet marsala wine (You can skip this if you’re booze-free, but it IS a key ingredient for classic tiramisu.)
- cocoa powder (Either natural unsweetened OR Dutch-processed works!)
And let’s talk about some key ingredients and potential substitutions:
Ingredient Recommendations And Substitutions
- Brewed Espresso. If you have an espresso or espresso pod machine (like a Nespresso) at home, now’s the time to use it! You’ll need around 3 double shots of espresso to make this tiramisu.
If you want a shortcut, you can also use store-bought undiluted cold brew concentrate (I like Stumptown’s) or instant espresso granules like Cafe Bustelo or Medaglia D’Oro Espresso Instant Coffee.
And if you don’t have an espresso machine and/or don’t want to use espresso, regular coffee works, too! Just make sure to brew the coffee much stronger—to the point of being *almost* bitter—than what is normal to drink. You’ll need to replace the espresso concentrate with 1 ½ cups of brewed coffee.
- Mascarpone. Not all mascarpone is created equal. I find that Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods generic mascarpone makes a runnier pudding. I recommend using BelGioioso mascarpone instead. It’s my favorite and easily found at most major grocery stores.
- Pasteurized Eggs. Learn all about pasteurized eggs in the next section. And if you can’t find the pasteurized eggs, I’ve got instructions on how to make them at home down below, too.
- Sweet Marsala Wine. Marsala wine is an Italian fortified wine often used in Italian recipes. It usually comes dry or sweet—you’ll need the sweet kind for this tiramisu. You can substitute the marsala wine with another kind of fortified wine like port, sherry, or Madeira. You can also substitute in brandy or cognac. In a pinch, you can omit the booze, but your mascarpone pudding taste like it’s missing that extra “something-something.”
- Ladyfingers. You need around 26 ladyfinger cookies to make this tiramisu recipe. The weight of the cookies will vary depending on the brand you buy. But 26 ladyfinger cookies roughly equals around 8 ounces (227 grams) of cookies.
Unfortunately, most ladyfinger cookie packages contain around 24 cookies, or 7 ounces (198 grams) of cookies. If you’re making the tiramisu in an 8-inch square pan, buying a 7-ounce package of ladyfingers will leave you short a few cookies. So I recommend buying a 14-ounce package or a 17.5-ounce package instead! I like Roland Foods Italian Ladyfingers.
What are pasteurized eggs?
Pasteurization is the process of gently heating a food product (typically, milk, eggs, wine) to kill any pathogenic microorganisms and make it safe for consumption and storage. Using pasteurized egg yolks in this tiramisu makes the recipe safe to eat!
You can typically find pasteurized eggs at fancy grocery stores like Whole Foods or local co-ops. And in a pinch, you can pasteurize eggs at home, too!
If you can’t find pasteurized eggs, here’s how to pasteurize them at home:
The best time to pasteurize the eggs for this recipe is after you’ve made the mascarpone whipped cream for the recipe.
To do so, place the egg yolks and 2 Tablespoons of the granulated sugar from the mascarpone whipped cream recipe in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
Cook over medium heat, using a whisk to stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and is able to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the mixture should read 140°F. Let cool slightly, then add the remaining sugar and whisk as instructed in the recipe.
How To Make Classic Tiramisu
Here are the basic steps to make this easy and classic tiramisu recipe from scratch:
- Prep the ingredients for the tiramisu—brew the espresso, measure out all the ingredients, and pasteurize the eggs if necessary. (Prep Time: 10 minutes)
- Make the mascarpone pudding. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
- Assemble the tiramisu by soaking the ladyfingers and layering them with the mascarpone pudding. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
- Refrigerate the tiramisu to let everything absorb and set. (Chill Time: at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight)
- Garnish with cocoa powder and serve.
How To Customize The Recipe To Make Your Own Unique Tiramisu
This tiramisu recipe has everything you need to create your own tiramisu flavors (like I do for my TikTok #TEAramisu series):
- Instructions on how to make an espresso concentrate. You can then replace this espresso concentrate with recipes for tea concentrate to make something like an Earl Grey Tiramisu instead. Check out the sections below for more information!
- Instructions on how to make the mascarpone pudding. The mascarpone pudding the foundation of any tiramisu recipe. You’ll need this no matter what flavor you decide for your tiramisu!
- Instructions on how to assemble the tiramisu with ladyfingers, mascarpone pudding, and concentrate.
With these three components, you’re ready to make any kind of tiramisu you want!
How To Replace The Espresso With Tea Concentrate To Make Chai Tiramisu, Thai Tea Tiramisu, and More
You can replace the espresso concentrate in the recipe with the same amount of any kind of store-bought coffee or tea concentrate (like chai concentrate, or Thai tea concentrate). That’s how I made this chai tiramisu (specifically, I used this chai concentrate). There’s no need to water down the concentrate—you want it to strong! If you go this route, you’ll need 1 ½ cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) of the concentrate.
@hummingbirdhigh episode 4 of all things #tiramisu: #thaitea tiramisu!!! #baking #bakingrecipe ♬ Daydreams – Gentle State
How To Use Loose-Leaf Tea And Tea Bags Make Your Own Tea Concentrate (Like What I Did For This Earl Grey Tiramisu, Hong Kong Milk Tea Tiramisu, Rose Petal Tiramisu, and More)
You can also make a tea concentrate from loose-leaf tea or tea bags:
- First, figure out how much tea you need. Most loose-leaf tea will come with instructions on how much tea to use for 1 cup (8 ounces or 227 grams) of water. You’ll need to do some math to figure out how much you need for 1 ½ cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) of water (since that’s how much you need for this tiramisu recipe).
You can figure it out by multiplying the amount by 1.5—that is, if the tea bag tells you that you need 1 Tablespoon of loose leaf tea to make 1 cup of tea, you’ll need 1 ½ Tablespoons (1 x 1.5) to make 1 ½ cups of tea.
But in general, you’ll probably need around 3 Tablespoons of loose leaf tea or around 9 tea bags.
- Then, steep the tea in 1 ½ cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) of water. The temperature of the water will depend on what kind of tea you’re using—follow the guidelines on your tea package.
In general, you’ll need to steep for between 10 to 20 minutes. You want the concentrate to be strong, almost to the point of being bitter. Once you’re satisfied with the flavor, strain it out and use it instead of the espresso concentrate in this recipe.
If it helps you to see the instructions in a recipe, check out my Earl Grey tiramisu recipe. I’m basically doing everything above to make its Earl Grey tea concentrate.
@hummingbirdhigh bc im old and cant have coffee after 10am anymore #earlgrey #baking #tiramisu #bakingrecipe ♬ Lofi Vibes – Gentle State
How To Use Tea Powder To Make Tea Concentrate (Like What I Did For This Sakura Tiramisu And This Matcha Tiramisu)
You can also use tea powder (like matcha powder or this sakura blossom powder that I used for my sakura tiramisu) to make a tea concentrate. I dissolved 3 ½ Tablespoons of tea powder in 1 ½ cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) of water to do so.
Again, the temperature of the water will depend on the tea manufacturer’s guidelines. Because tea powder dissolves, there’s no need to steep it for as long as you would loose leaf tea or tea bags. Instead, you’ll likely need to whisk the powder into the water.
@hummingbirdhigh because i am so incredibly jealous of all the #sakura flavored drinks and desserts at starbucks japan #cherryblossom #tiramisu #baking #bakingrecipe ♬ Beautiful – Soft boy
Add Extra Flavors To Your Concentrates To Make Them Unique
You can also add other ingredients to both your espresso and tea concentrate to make them more unique. Here’s what I’ve done:
- I added lots of vanilla extract and sugar to my Earl Grey tiramisu concentrate to make it taste more like a London Fog latte. Find the full details in my recipe blog post.
- I added ½ teaspoon sakura extract and a couple of drops of pink food coloring to my sakura concentrate to make my sakura tiramisu more vibrant and flavorful.
- I added 1 Tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk to both my Thai tea tiramisu concentrate and my Hong Kong milk tea tiramisu concentrate to make the tiramisus taste more like Thai tea and Hong Kong milk tea drinks. Although 1 Tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk is a small amount, I don’t recommend adding more. Your tiramisu might come out overly sweet (since the tea concentrate is paired with a sweet mascarpone pudding and ladyfinger cookies).
Garnish The Finished Tiramisu With Extra Or Complimentary Ingredients To Make Them Pretty
And of course, don’t forget to add the final touch to your tiramisu! I like to garnish mine with extra or complimentary ingredients to indicate the flavor of the tiramisu. Here’s what I’ve done:
- Fresh Or Dried Edible Flowers. I garnished my Earl Grey tiramisu with edible blue cornflower petals. These petals are sometimes added to Earl Grey tea mixes to give them color and flavor. I also added fresh cherry blossom petals to my sakura tiramisu, and crushed, dried rose petals to my rose petal tiramisu.
- Extra Tea Powder. I garnished both my sakura tiramisu and matcha tiramisu with leftover tea powder.
- Complimentary Ingredients And Toppings. I topped my Thai tea tiramisu with toasted coconut flakes, brown sugar boba pearls to my Hong Kong milk tea tiramisu, and ground cinnamon to my chai tiramisu.
@hummingbirdhigh bc im old and cant have coffee after 10am anymore #earlgrey #baking #tiramisu #bakingrecipe ♬ Lofi Vibes – Gentle State
What pan did you use to make your tiramisu and do I need it for this recipe?
I used this 8 x 6-inch rectangular pan from Staub to make my tiramisu. But don’t worry! The recipe also works for an 8-inch square pan. There’s no need to buy my special pan!
Get the Recipe: Easy and Classic Tiramisu Recipe
For The Espresso Concentrate
- ¾ cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) water
- ¾ cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) brewed espresso
For The Mascarpone Whipped Cream
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces or 284 grams) cold heavy cream
- 1 (8-ounce) container cold mascarpone
- 1 Tablespoon marsala wine
- 4 large pasteurized egg yolks
- ½ cup (3.5 ounces or 99 grams) granulated sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 26 (around 7.65 ounces or 217 grams) ladyfingers
- Dutch-processed or natural unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish
For The Easy and Classic Tiramisu
- Make the espresso concentrate. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the espresso and water.
- Make the mascarpone whipped cream. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes.Turn the mixer off and add the mascarpone and marsala wine for the whipped cream all at once. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then whisk the mascarpone and vanilla into the whipped cream on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.Transfer the whipped cream to a medium bowl.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar, then fold in the whipped cream. Combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt for the mascarpone whipped cream in the stand mixer bowl (there's no need to clean the bowl!). Beat on medium-high speed until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes.Scoop half of the whipped cream over the egg mixture and fold it in with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the remaining whipped cream and fold it in until just combined. At this point, it will be a very light and fluffy cream.
- Assemble the tiramisu. Working with one ladyfinger at a time, dip a ladyfinger in the espresso concentrate, and turn to coat repeatedly while soaking the entire cookie for at least 5 seconds. Quickly place it in the pan to arrange a single layer of cookies at the bottom of the pan. If using an 8-inch square pan, you’ll end up using around 13 ladyfingers. You may need to slice or break the ladyfingers to fit them into the pan.Scoop half (around 12 ounces or 340 grams) of the mascarpone whipped cream over the ladyfingers and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly over the cookies.Repeat the process of soaking the remaining ladyfingers, arranging them in the pan, and topping them with the remaining mascarpone whipped cream to make the final 2 layers of the tiramisu.
- Chill the tiramisu. Loosely cover the tiramisu with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Serve and store. When ready to serve, garnish the top of the tiramisu with a generous sifting of cocoa powder.Serve chilled. The tiramisu will keep, tightly covered in plastic wrap or sliced in an airtight container, for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- I used this 8 x 6-inch rectangular pan from Staub to make my tiramisu. But don’t worry! My first few test runs of the recipe were for a regular 8-inch square pan, so that’s what I actually recommend to use in this recipe. It will work just fine, I promise!