Recipe – Tiramisu

So easy, so delicious and no oven involved! I can’t really bake so of course the tiramisu is one of my go-to desserts. I did a little research to see where this “classic” Italian dessert originated from and as it turns out, it is not so classic after all.

I guess when I think of an Italian classic recipe, I am thinking it must be at least 100 years old. Right? But it seems the tiramisu has only been around since the 1960s. Tiramisu was born during the decade of spray net and The Beatles?!? Really? I guess this just surprised me a little.

The origins of this Italian dessert are still up for debate, but most agree the original recipe came from the restaurant, Le Beccherie in Treviso near Venice.  

Le Beccherie’s original recipe contained the following ingredients: espresso, sugar, egg yolks, mascarpone, ladyfinger cookies and cocoa powder. These days there are all kinds of variations that include whipping cream, egg whites, various liqueurs, etc. Below is a recipe that works for me and is obviously NOT the classic because I even add a bit of vanilla and brandy. But one thing is for sure:   any variation of custard, cookies, coffee and mascarpone is going to come out yummy. So feel free to experiment. I guess my real twist on this recipe are the festive polka dots. Seriously, isn’t this the happiest tiramisu you have ever seen?


1.5 cups of brewed espresso coffee

3  tablespoons brandy

3 tablespoons sugar

6 pasteurized egg yolks*

1.5 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1.5 pounds  mascarpone

24-30 ladyfingers

2 tablespoons  cocoa powder


1. Brew espresso coffee. Pour brewed coffee into a bowl and add sugar (3 tablespoons) and brandy. Make sure to add the sugar while the coffee is hot, so it will completely dissolve. Allow coffee mixture to cool.

2. While the coffee is cooling, using an electric mixer beat egg yolks and remaining sugar until the mixture is thick and has a pale yellow color, 4- 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.

3. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso quickly. Soaking the ladyfingers too long will cause them to become mushy and fall apart. Place the ladyfingers on the bottom of an 8 x 10-inch dish. Break the cookies as needed to fit the dish.

4. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.

5. Using a sifter, sift a light layer of cocoa powder over the mascarpone.

6. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers, using extra cookies if necessary.

7. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.

8. Cover completed tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

9. Before serving, sift another light layer of cocoa powder over the mascarpone, or using a stencil, sift over the stencil for a design. In this case, I used a pizza pan as noted in the photos above to create polka dots.

tiramisu ingredients


* See info and safety on cooking with raw eggs here. 

38 Comments on “Recipe – Tiramisu

    • only you would think this looks easy, being so fabulous in the kitchen! But I do feel the need to try it at least once.

      • Hi Nicole!!!!! No…it really IS easy….I only do the easy stuff. You should try it…I think you will be surprised.. thanks for your help today! 🙂

  1. Yay! So nice to get these recipes! I’m scared to make it though b/c of the eggs issue which probably makes no sense since I’ve eaten tiramisu many times.

    • Lyn! I was thinking of you with your recent outing with Sam! ha, ha, ha…perfect timing with this recipe!

  2. I also would have guessed that it was a lot older!! I’m bookmarking this recipe, I’ve been a bit put off my tiramisu lately due to the Dutch version which tends to be extremely heavy on whipped cream/mascarpone for some reason? (The Dutch LOVE creamy desserts!) I see no whipped cream in sight in your recipe which confirms my suspicions that the tiramisu I’ve been eating has been a fraud!

    • You know Sophie…..the idea of adding cream sounds DELICIOUS to me…..because I basically add cream to anything I can. But this recipe has always worked for me and I am afraid to try something new. You know how that is? You plan for a dinner party, then try something new and it doesn’t come out?!?! But again…I think anything with a mix of mascarpone, cookes, custard is gonna be yum…and for sure a big helping of cream could only help that out. Also, my cake is on the sweet side relative to most recipes…what can I say? I like the sugar! 🙂

      • I know the feeling!! I’m always scared to mess with a good thing. Same with restaurants – I want to try them all, but sometimes they can be so disappointing that you curse yourself for not having stuck to one you know is good!

        And I like sugar too! hehe Far too much …

        • YES!!! The disappointing restaurant! Nothing is worse. Especially when it is overpriced.

  3. This is my favorite dessert recipe that I make. My recipe which I learned in school in Castelraimondo is almost the same as yours. It is always a hit. I like your finishing touch with the cocoa powder

    • Hi Lyn! yes…this recipe works best for me. I have tried it with egg whites as well, but I prefer a really dense custard. I have to say that all this time I thought the original recipe called for the egg whites and that I was cheating… I was kind of excited to find the original is pretty much what I am doing! 🙂 I think people just don’t realize how easy it is to make. Anyway…thanks for the comment and have a great weekend!

  4. Nice!!! Tiramisu’ is an incredibly delicious dessert, so good it can send you straight to heaven. I must say I don’t make it very often because my children cannot eat it with coffee but when I do it is pure joy, Grazie per questa buonissima ricetta xxx

    • Hi Alida….yes…for the kids not so great….for an grown-up dinner party, fab. Again I like it because I don’t have to involve the oven. My big dream is to become best friends with Mr. Oven. He is slowly warming up to me. ha, ha, ha….”warming up.” Ha, ha, ha…..ok…I have to go and clean the house now and stop making bad jokes. Buon weekend!!!!

  5. Oh I love tiramisu – brilliant dessert ever 😀 Thanks so much for the recipe! I bookmark your post and I will sure do make this tiramisu on our next dinner part 🙂 xoxo have a great weekend Diana!

  6. Yes! I think it is the happiest Tiramisu I’ve ever seen! Doesn’t look as difficult as I thought … when I stop travelling I’ll have to give it a try. At the restaurant last night we tried a pistachio variation (TROPPO BUONO), but I think the best part was it was served in a beautiful, glass cappuccino mug! Single serving-style! I could probably use this recipe and do the same thing.

  7. After three trips to Italy I had come to think that Tiramisu had been around for centuries! Birthed with the Beatles? Who knew? Yours looks divine. 🙂

    • Hi Sue! YES – – I thought the same thing…I was SO surprised to see it was relatively new!?!?!

  8. I swear you and I must be traveling through life on the exact same wavelength. I JUST made tiramisu for my husband for our anniversary — only mine wasn’t as authentic as yours (it was minus the egg yolks). I bet this recipe is even more delicious!

    • Hi Katie! I know! I saw your post and it was so beautiful! I am sure you made hubby very happy! 🙂 (happy anniversary)

    • Hi Fae…thank you!!! I love the polka dots….something a little different. Have a good day!

  9. Mmmmmh, it looks delicious! Would love to try that recipe when I am back in Norway!!! 😀

    • Hi Sherry! Yes…I admit..super easy….you know you can just buy a stovetop machine that is super affordable….and then you can have it for tiramisu, but also for those days when you just need a strong hit of coffee: 🙂

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