In addition to being an incredible-tasting dessert, tiramisu also offers the perfect segue when you're trying to steer the Valentine's dinner conversation towards spicier subjects. This heady, mood-elevating concoction is rich and deeply satisfying, yet remarkably light in texture. Yes, you can use regular cream cheese, but mascarpone is far superior.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
5 mins
8 hrs
8 hrs 35 mins
2 servings


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir espresso and 2 tablespoons Marsala wine together in a shallow bowl.

  • Whisk egg yolks, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon Marsala wine together in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, until thick, pale yellow, and creamy, 5 to 6 minutes.

  • Whisk egg yolk mixture, mascarpone cheese, vanilla extract, and salt together in a bowl until completely smooth.

  • Beat egg whites in a glass or metal bowl until stiff peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the egg whites will form sharp peaks. Gently stir and fold 1/2 the egg whites into egg yolk mixture; fold in remaining 1/2 egg whites.

  • Place 1 heaping spoonful mascarpone mixture into a single-serving cup or glass. Dip 2 ladyfinger cookie halves briefly in espresso mixture and turn 3 to 4 times to coat. Place cookie halves in the bottom of the glass on top of mascarpone.

  • Fill the glass halfway with mascarpone mixture. Dip 5 ladyfinger halves in the espresso mixture and place vertically along the inside of the glass, dipping and placing more ladyfinger halves as necessary to fit the glass. Place 2 dipped ladyfinger halves horizontally on top of the mascarpone mixture. Fill glass to the top with mascarpone mixture. Repeat for the second serving glass.

  • Wrap both glasses in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Remove plastic wrap and dust tops with cocoa powder and grated chocolate.

Editor's Note:

This recipe contains raw egg. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and the infirm do not consume raw egg. Learn more about egg safety from our article, How to Make Your Eggs Safe.

Nutrition Facts

774 calories; protein 19.2g; carbohydrates 56.8g; fat 51.7g; cholesterol 412.9mg; sodium 285mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (18)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
This recipe was very good but the mascarpone mixture was bumpy and had a gritty texture. I followed the instructions to the tee but I don't know what I did wrong! Please tell me if you know Thank you! Read More
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
This recipe was very good but the mascarpone mixture was bumpy and had a gritty texture. I followed the instructions to the tee but I don't know what I did wrong! Please tell me if you know Thank you! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Thank you Chef John from one Chef to another for posting a PROPER Tiramisu recipe! I'm rather sick of all the "modern" frou-frou imposters with various liqueurs and such masquerading as the real thing!;-) Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This turned out very good! I ended up making my own "espresso" with instant coffee and it still worked. Make sure not to dip the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture for more than a few seconds as shown in the video. I will definitely make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
We have a great Italian place near our home and they made the best tirimasu but when they changed the recipe we thought that we would never enjoy a better dessert. This recipe is even BETTER than their original! I did use Ameretto instead of the wine but that is just what my dad always made his with. I love this recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Thank you! This recipe is so easy! I have friends who cannot tolerate alcohol at all even if cooked out so I omitted the marsala. Yikers... They did not know the difference of course but I did. So I have a question; After the egg mixture is finished and ready to build the tiramisu with can I add marsala afterward? Will it curdle my cream mixure? I had some left over and I would like to use it but not as it is at the moment. Help! UPDATE: Well I ended up making a second cream for the tiramisu doubled the marsala in it and then slowly incorporated that cream to the first one that had marsala omitted. It came out wonderfully smooth! Thank you! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
yummy Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great stuff Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I layered it traditionally but it was easy tasty and fun to make... luvin Chef Johns videos! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I have been making Johns recipe for about 4 years now and always a favorite looks great served in a Martini Glass Read More