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A slice of Tiramisu on a grey plate.
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5 from 9 votes

Classic Tiramisu Recipe

Let’s make Tiramisu, a classic Italian no-bake dessert! This delicious recipe is made with espresso dipped ladyfingers layered with rich and creamy mascarpone filling, and topped with cocoa powder.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 531kcal


  • 2 cups espresso or strong coffee room temperature
  • ¼ cup rum optional
  • 6 large egg yolks room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 ounces mascarpone cheese cold, 3 cups
  • 1 cup heavy cream cold, divided
  • 40-45 ladyfingers
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Brew Coffee.

  • Brew Espresso or strong coffee and let it cool off to the room temperature. If you want to add rum, pour it into the coffee and stir. Set aside.

Cook the eggs yolks.

  • In a large heat-proof mixing bowl, add 6 egg yolks and ½ cup sugar. Beat it with a whisk for a few minutes until it becomes light and pale.
  • Then add ¼ cup of heavy cream and whisk again.
  • Set the egg yolk mixture over a saucepan with lightly simmering water and cook for about 10 minutes, until it reaches 170°F (please use a food thermometer). Whisk constantly so the eggs don’t cook. The mixture should thicken and have a pale color.
  • When done, take it off the double boiler, add 1 tsp vanilla extract, and whisk. Let it cool off for about 10 minutes.

Adding the rest of the ingredients.

  • When the mixture cooled off, add 3 cups cold mascarpone cheese, and using a mixer and a whisk, mix everything very well until you get a smooth consistency.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whip the rest of the heavy cream (¾ cup) until stiff peaks. Add it to the egg/mascarpone mixture and fold it in using a spatula.


  • Prepare 9x13 baking pan.
  • Working one at a time, dip half of the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and arrange them in one layer in a baking pan.
  • Spread half of the mascarpone mixture evenly over the lady fingers.
  • Repeat another layer with ladyfingers dipped into the coffee, followed by the rest of the mascarpone mixture.
  • Dust the top with sifted cocoa powder.


  • Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for 6-24 hours before serving.



When you dip ladyfingers in coffee, you should work quickly. Because they absorb liquid fast, don’t submerge them for longer than 2-3 seconds, otherwise they will get mushy.
When whisking the yolk mixture over the double boiler, make sure that the bottom of the mixing bowl doesn’t touch the steaming water beneath it.
Make sure you refrigerate this cake before serving, so all the flavors can bind together. I find that it tastes the best for the next 2 days after preparation.
Is it safe to use raw eggs?
It is, if you cook them over double boiler to the right temperature, 170°F. Also, make sure that your eggs are fresh and were properly refrigerated.
What type of coffee shall I use?
I prefer to use freshly brewed espresso for stronger flavor, but you can use any strong brewed coffee too. Just make sure you cool it off before dipping in the ladyfingers.
If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use powdered “instant” espresso mixed with the water.
Do I have to use Rum in this recipe?
The alcohol is completely optional, it just provides additional flavor. You can skip rum, or use other options, like Grand Marnier or brandy.
What can I use instead of ladyfingers?
If you can’t find ladyfingers in the store, you can use a plain sponge cake. Slice it into strips and bake for about 10 minutes at 250°F to dry and get outside crisp. Then cool off and use to assemble the cake.
How long does it keep fresh?
If you have any leftovers left, you can cover the pan with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for up to 5 days.


Calories: 531kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 266mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1419IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg