This classic Tiramisu is made with espresso-soaked ladyfingers layered with a light and airy mascarpone cheese, and dusted with cocoa powder to finish. This is a great make ahead dessert and I encourage you to try making your own mascarpone. See my post How to prepare Mascarpone.  

To get started, separate 6 eggs, and place 3 of the egg whites in one bowl, and 6 egg yolks in another.

Egg Whites – Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. You’ll know the egg whites have reached stiff peaks when you pull a beater out of the mixture and a little peak sticks straight up. Set the egg whites aside.

Egg Yolks – Add 3 tablespoons of sugar to the egg yolks. Whip the yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture goes from bright yellow to pale yellow.

Putting it all together

Once you’ve achieved a pale yellow and thick creamy mixture, add the Mascarpone to the egg yolk mixture and beat again until the mixture is smooth. (See my post for How to prepare mascarpone cheese. It is so simple and much less expensive to make). Gently fold in the stiff egg whites one third at a time

The key to a successful Tiramisu is to use fresh espresso and ensure you don’t over soak the lady fingers. Allow the espresso to cool to room temperature and combine it with a couple tablespoons of amaretto. Now you are ready to dip the lady fingers. These are a delicate cookie and should be quickly dunked in the espresso mixture. Just simply roll them and remove them. They will continue to absorb the espresso mixture as the dessert rests in the refrigerator. If you allow them to sit in the espresso mixture too long, they will be a soggy mess.

Using the soaked cookies, create an even layer in an 8×8 pan (break the cookies if necessary to ensure you cover the entire pan. Pour a layer of the mascarpone cream mixture to cover. Repeat with another layer of soaked lady fingers and repeat this for a total of 3 layers.


Chill and serve

The Tiramisu needs to be refrigerated for 2-3 hours to allow the mixture to set. This will allow the flavors to meld and ensure the dessert is firm when sliced. Serve the Tiramisu cold with a dusting of cocoa powder and a light sprinkle of confectioners sugar. This dessert is best eaten within 24-36 hours.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote


Tiramisu is a rich layered Italian dessert made with delicate ladyfinger cookies, espresso, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, amaretto and cocoa powder. The best part is that it only requires a handful of ingredients.
Prep Time25 mins
Refrigerate3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 813kcal


  • 6 large eggs separated
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups Mascarpone
  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup cold strong coffee
  • 3 tablespoons Amaretto Marsala wine or brandy
  • 36 small ladyfingers cookies
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder


  • Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy and leaves a ribbon trail when dropped from the whisk. Add the Mascarpone and beat again until the mixture is smooth.
  • In a separate non-reactive bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
  • Whisk the egg whites with the remaining sugar in a clean, dry glass bowl, using an electric whisk mixer, until soft peaks form. Fold into the mascarpone mixture.
  • Pour the coffee into a shallow dish and add the Amaretto, Brandy or Marsala. Briefly dip ladyfingers into the coffee one at a time; cover the bottom of a 10-inch square dish. The ladyfingers should be fairly well-soaked but not so much that they break up. Arrange the ladyfingers in one tightly packed layer on the bottom of the dish.
  • Spread half the mascarpone preparation over the layer of ladyfingers. Add another layer of soaked ladyfingers and then another layer of mascarpone, smoothing the top layer neatly.
  • The flavors developed better if you can make the tiramisu a few hours in advance or even the night before. If you have time to do this, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight, or place 40 minutes in the freezer if you are in a rush. Dust with the cocoa powder before serving at the last minute or it will absorb the moisture.
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 813 Calories from Fat 450
% Daily Value*
Fat 50g77%
Saturated Fat 29g181%
Cholesterol 389mg130%
Sodium 198mg9%
Potassium 180mg5%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 28g31%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 1921IU38%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 163mg16%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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