Tiramisu will forever have a soft spot in my heart, and it’s really easy. You just need some egg yolks, ladyfingers, mascarpone, and coffee. 

After I’ve finished a hearty dinner of Meat Lasagna, I like to keep with the theme and make a traditional Italian dessert. Tiramisu is light and delicious, and you can serve it up with a tasty after-dinner espresso. If you like the idea of serving up a light cake, there are plenty more on my Dessert Recipe Page that you can make really quickly and easily.


Tiramisu sliced on a whote plate.

I’ve tried a lot of Tiramisu through the years, but I have to say that the best Tiramisu I’ve had was the first time I went to Italy. We went to a dinner party in Venice, I tried tramezzini sandwiches, rich zabaglione, and savoiardi, or Italian lady fingers. Everything was so amazing, but the classic Tiramisu really stuck out, especially since I had it with the world’s best cup of espresso.

Collage showing Tiramisu ingredients and steps in mixing bowls.

As soon as I got home from Italy, I started developing this easy Tiramisu recipe that you can make with just a simple baking dish and a mixing bowl. I’ve recreated that tasty authentic Tiramisu recipe with a few slight alterations for ease, and most of the ingredients you can find at any local grocery store, since I couldn’t find a lot of the specific items that I would have used in Italy. I recommend serving up slices of Tiramisu with a cup of strong coffee.

Collage showing steps of making Tiramisu.

My recipe calls for a little dark rum, but you can use all sorts of different libations depending on your preference. You can use Marsala wine, Amaretto, or what you’ve got on hand as long as it compliments coffee. You also don’t need to make your Tiramisu boozy if you don’t want to, you can skip the liqueur and still get an amazing tasting Italian dessert.


Tiramisu sliced in a blue baking pan.


  • Toppings: You can top your Tiramisu with all sorts of decorative toppings, from a fine dusting of espresso powder or unsweetened cocoa powder, to a dollop of Homemade Whipping Cream. I also like adding a handful of sliced nuts or some dried fruit depending on the occasion. You can also serve it with a side of Homemade Ice Cream or even a little custard. You can also top it with marscapone, an Italian version of whipped cream cheese.


  • Why is it called Tiramisu?  ‘Tira mi su’ translates to ‘pick me up.’ The idea was that it’s a little cake to give you energy.
  • Does Tiramisu have alcohol in it? In some cases. Traditionally, Madeira wine or Marsala wine is used but all sorts of liqueurs have made their way into it, like Amaretto, Kahlua, or coffee liqueur.
  • What does Tiramisu taste like? It should be little lighter than pudding coffee with cream coffee liquor with cream, with chocolate tastes like cafe mocha.


  • Serve: Don’t leave Tiramisu out for longer than 2 hours for best results.
  • Store: You can keep Tiramisu in the fridge for up to 4 days if you keep it in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. Keeping moisture out of it is key, so make sure to secure it tightly.
  • Freeze: You can freeze Tiramisu for up to 3 months if you keep it in plastic wrap.

Tiramisu sliced on a white plate with a fork cutting a bite.

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Tiramisu will forever have a soft spot in my heart, and it's really easy. You just need some egg yolks, ladyfingers, mascarpone, and coffee.
Yield 12 Servings
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee , room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 6 ounces ladyfinger cookies (2 packages)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended.
  • Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
  • Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
  • In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  • Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
  • In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum.
  • Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
  • Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish.
  • Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that.
  • Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa.
  • Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.


Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 201mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1128IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Tiramisu

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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