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This tiramisu recipe shows you how to make the classic Italian layered dessert at home with rum-flavored, coffee-soaked ladyfingers, a creamy mascarpone custard, and whipped cream. The top of this tiramisu is dusted with cocoa powder for an impressive no-bake dessert.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
5 mins
additional:
5 hrs
total:
5 hrs 35 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 7x11-inch tiramisu
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Classic tiramisu, with its irresistible coffee flavor and lightly sweetened mascarpone, will never go out of style. This tiramisu recipe is a no-bake dessert that's sure to impress even the pickiest of eaters. 

What Is Tiramisu? 

Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored dessert that features layers of homemade whipped cream, an egg yolk-enriched mascarpone filling, and coffee-soaked ladyfingers. 

Tiramisu Origin

Tiramisu has Italian origins. The famous Italian restaurateur Ado Campeol is credited with its invention in the 1970s. In fact, he was widely known as "the father of tiramisu." The word "tiramisu" translates to "pick-me-up."

Tiramisu Pronunciation

Not sure how to pronounce tiramisu? Order in confidence by saying "tee-ruh-mee-soo." 

Does Tiramisu Have Alcohol?

Tiramisu usually contains alcohol. Marsala wine is the traditional choice, but this recipe calls for a mixture of strong coffee and rum. If you prefer not to use alcohol, just leave it out. It will still be delicious with just the coffee alone (just make sure the coffee is extra strong). 

Tiramisu Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to make this top-rated tiramisu recipe: 

Egg Yolks
Egg yolks are essential for a thick, rich, velvety smooth filling. Though some traditional recipes use raw eggs, this one doesn't — raw eggs carry the risk of food-borne illness. 

Sugar
White sugar is cooked with egg yolks and combined with mascarpone to create a sweet, creamy filling. 

Milk 
Whole milk slightly thins the thick filling, resulting in a spreadable texture. 

Cream
Beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form to create an irresistible whipped cream. 

Vanilla
Vanilla extract adds subtle flavor to the homemade whipped cream. 

Mascarpone
Mascarpone, a creamy Italian cheese with a smooth texture and fresh taste, is a key ingredient in classic tiramisu. 

Coffee
Ladyfingers are soaked in strong, spiked coffee — this is what gives tiramisu its signature flavor. 

Rum
Rum is used to spike the coffee that will be drizzled over the ladyfingers. Some Allrecipes community members say they prefer Kahlua. 

Ladyfingers
Ladyfingers are small sponge cakes that are shaped like thick fingers. If you can't find ladyfingers at your grocery store, you can use pound cake cut into strips. 

Cocoa Powder
Finish off this decadent dessert with a generous dusting of cocoa powder. 

How to Make Tiramisu

side view of a square slice of tiramisu showing the layers of ladyfingers and custard, topped with chocolate shavings
Credit: Connie Ding

Ready to make the best tiramisu of your life? You'll find the full recipe below, but here's what you can expect when you make this classic tiramisu recipe:

Make the Filling

Cook the egg yolks, sugar, and milk until slightly thickened. Let cool slightly, then chill in the fridge for about an hour. When the filling has fully chilled, mix in mascarpone cheese. 

Make the Whipped Cream

Beat heavy cream with vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. 

Soak the Ladyfingers

Combine coffee and rum in a small bowl. Pour mixture over ladyfingers that have been split in half lengthwise. 

Assemble the Tiramisu

Line the bottom of a baking dish with soaked ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then half of the whipped cream over that. Repeat in the same order. Dust with cocoa powder. 

How to Store Tiramisu

Tiramisu is served chilled, so refrigerate the dessert (as well as any leftovers) immediately. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. 

Can You Freeze Tiramisu?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze tiramisu. Wrap the tiramisu in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"I followed the instructions and I got a delicious tiramisu cake," raves giginium. "I followed the recommendations left by one of the reviewers and left the cake in the fridge for one night before eating it. The rum soaked through the ladyfingers and the flavor was wonderful."

"I live in a rather small town, over an hour drive to a grocery store that sells mascarpone and ladyfingers," says Tami. "So I made the substitute mascarpone (found on this website) and used pound cake cut into ¼-inch slices and it still turned out WONDERFUL!"

"This is my absolute favorite, tried-and-true recipe for tiramisu," according to Allie Kate Paterson. "It is better-than-restaurant quality and so easy to make! The hardest part about making it is keeping your hands off of it while it sets in the fridge. The only tweak I make to this recipe is using Kahlua instead of plain rum."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams

Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a medium saucepan until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.

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  • Boil gently for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

  • Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  • Beat cream and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

  • Remove egg yolk mixture from the refrigerator; add mascarpone cheese and whisk until smooth.

  • Combine coffee and rum in a small bowl. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with the coffee mixture.

  • Arrange 1/2 of the soaked ladyfingers in the bottom of a 7x11-inch dish. Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then spread 1/2 of the whipped cream over top. Repeat layers once more. Sprinkle cocoa powder over top.

  • Cover and refrigerate until set, 4 to 6 hours.

Nutrition Facts

387 calories; protein 6.6g; carbohydrates 22.7g; fat 30.5g; cholesterol 215.7mg; sodium 60mg. Full Nutrition
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