If you're looking for a dessert that's hard to mess up but tastes like it came from a restaurant, then this delicious tiramisu is for you.
Rich and Creamy Tiramisu Recipe photo by Taste of Home

When it comes to coffee-based desserts, there’s nothing quite as beloved as tiramisu. You might think it’s the type of dessert reserved for a nice dinner out, with its beautiful layers and dusting of cocoa on top. But it turns out this classic Italian dessert isn’t just no-bake, it’s no-fuss at all! Follow these tips and you’re sure to impress anyone who lands at your table.

What is tiramasu?

This dream of a dessert is made by layering creamy mascarpone and coffee-and-liquor-soaked ladyfingers. It’s similar to a trifle or an icebox cake and just as easy. The ladyfingers are given a quick soak in a coffee and liquor (or wine) mix. When they’re layered with the cream, they take on a texture much like a cake.

You don’t need to have a home espresso machine to make this tiramisu; a strongly brewed cup of coffee does the trick. With the addition of the espresso powder, you’ll never taste the difference. Topped with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, this dessert just needs to set in the fridge before serving.

Tiramisu Ingredients

  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Egg yolks
  • Sugar
  • Marsala wine, Kahlua (coffee liqueur) or rum
  • Salt
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Strong brewed coffee
  • Instant espresso powder
  • Crisp ladyfinger cookies
  • Dutch-processed cocoa


Step 1: Make cream

Rich And Creamy Tiramisu creamTMB Studio

Stir the mascarpone cheese, then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a heat-proof bowl, mix egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup Marsala wine (or liquor) and salt. Place over a double boiler and stir until the mixture has thickened and reaches the ribbon stage (it should flow off a spoon like a ribbon). If using a thermometer, it should read 160°F.

Rich And Creamy TiramisuTMB Studio

Remove from heat and whisk in the mascarpone until almost smooth. Separately, whip the heavy whipping cream and remaining sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Fold this into the mascarpone mixture.

Editor’s Tip: Chill your bowl before whipping the cream to speed the process.

Step 2: Dip and layer

Rich And Creamy TiramisuTMB Studio

Combine coffee, espresso powder and remaining 2 tablespoons Marsala. Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, then immediately place into the bottom of your pan. You can use a springform pan as directed in the recipe, or a glass baking dish will work just as well.

Rich And Creamy TiramisuTMB Studio

Top the ladyfinger layer with 1-1/2 cups mascarpone mixture, and even out the top. Repeat two more times until all the ladyfingers and cream are used.

Step 3: Refrigerate

Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. If using a springform pan, loosen the rim and remove. Finish with a heavy sprinkle of cocoa powder (and chocolate shavings if you like) and serve.

Tiramisu Tips

Can you make tiramisu without alcohol?

You can definitely make tiramisu without alcohol! There are so many wonderful flavors and textures in a tiramisu that it will still be rich and delicious without the alcohol. If you’re cooking for anyone who doesn’t drink, or you want to make this more kid friendly, simply omit the alcohol.

Can you make tiramisu ahead?

One of the best parts of a tiramisu is that it is indeed better to make ahead. As it sits, the cream and the ladyfingers will settle into their layers, and the texture and flavors will have time to develop. Enjoy it straight from the fridge after it’s sat for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

What kinds of ladyfingers should I use?

Ladyfingers are known as Savoiardi in Italy. Most any brand will do as long as they’re hard enough to be able to take on the moisture of coffee and cream. If they’re very soft ladyfingers, try brushing them with coffee instead of doing a full dip.

Watch how to Make Rich and Creamy Tiramisu

Rich and Creamy Tiramisu

Tiramisu is Italian for pick-me-up, and this one is definitely true to its name! My version of the classic Tuscan trifle has both coffee and espresso for layers of java flavor. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rich and Creamy Tiramisu Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 15 min. + standing Cook: 10 min. + chilling


16 servings


  • 2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Marsala wine, Kahlua (coffee liqueur) or rum, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 package (7 ounces) crisp ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa


  1. Stir mascarpone cheese; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Whisk egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup Marsala and salt in top of a double boiler until mixture is thickened (ribbon stage) and a thermometer reads 160°. Remove from heat; whisk in mascarpone until almost smooth. Beat cream and remaining sugar until soft peaks form; fold into mascarpone mixture.
  2. Combine coffee, espresso powder and remaining 2 tablespoons Marsala. Briefly dip 8 ladyfingers into coffee mixture and place in bottom of a 9-in. springform pan. Top with 1-1/2 cups mascarpone mixture. Repeat 2 more times. Refrigerate, covered, 6 hours or overnight. To serve, loosen and remove rim; sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 280 calories, 21g fat (11g saturated fat), 123mg cholesterol, 115mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (14g sugars, 0 fiber), 5g protein.