Italian Desserts

Tiramisu – Authentic Recipe!

October 26, 2020 by Emily

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The easiest and most delicious Tiramisu recipe! This authentic Italian dessert is rich and creamy but as light as air made with coffee dunked Savoiardi (ladyfingers), a smooth and creamy mascarpone filling and dusted with cacao powder to finish it off. Perfect for any occasion!

An overhead shot of a tiramisu in a dish with a slice out

When it comes to Italian desserts you just can’t beat a good Tiramisu! It’s hands down one of my favourite desserts ever and I never get bored of it!

Espresso soaked Savoiardi fingers, light, smooth and creamy mascarpone and all topped with a light dusting of cacao powder. It’s rich and indulgent but so light and airy that there’s always room for a slice (or two).

What makes an Authentic Tiramisu?

So how do you make an authentic tiramisu? The ingredients and method are key!

Controversially a traditional recipe is made with raw eggs, not tempered eggs and certainly not with whipped cream. Traditionally there’s also no alcohol involved although that’s one modern addition that I absolutely love and always add when I make it.

There are many recipes that involve raw eggs from chocolate mousse to homemade mayonnaise so it’s not an unusual ingredient you just have to make sure you use good quality free-range eggs and make sure they are as fresh as possible.

I have made and eaten tiramisu countless times and never had any issues but if you have concerns or need to avoid raw eggs because you are pregnant I suggest tempering the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl above a pot of simmering water and swap the egg whites for whipped cream.

Ingredients – what you need

To make this dessert you’ll need; Savoiardi ladyfingers, eggs (yolks and whites separated), mascarpone cheese, white sugar, strong coffee, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and coffee liqueur (optional).

See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need!

An overview of all the ingredients you need to make tiramisu

How to make the best Tiramisu – step by step

First, you need to divide the egg yolks and egg whites in two separate bowls and add 3 tbsps of sugar to each. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy (photos 1 & 2).

Then continue with the egg yolks and whisk those with an electric whisk until pale and thick (photos 3 & 4).

Step by step photos showing how to whisk egg whites and yolks

Next, add the mascarpone and whisk again until smooth and creamy (photos 5 & 6).

Next, add one-third of the whisked egg whites to the mascarpone mixture and gently fold it in as you would with a cake batter. Continue with the remaining whites a third at a time until it’s completely incorporated (photos 7 & 8).

Step by step photos showing how to prepare the mascarpone filling for tiramisu

Mix the espresso and coffee liqueur in a shallow bowl and dip in the Savoiardi ladyfingers for 1-2 seconds on each side and line them on the bottom of the dish in an even layer (photos 9 & 10).

Step by step photos showing how to assemble a tiramisu

Next, add half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and spread out in an even layer, top with some grated dark chocolate (photos 11 & 12).

Step by step photos showing how to finish making a tiramisu

Repeat with a second layer of soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone as directed above. Finally, dust with cocoa powder and chill in the fridge for roughly 6-8 hours (photos 13-16).

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Whisking the eggs – make sure you don’t get any egg yolk in the egg whites before beating them. If you do they will collapse and won’t become stiff peaks and glossy like you need them.
  • Liqueur – other than coffee liqueur you could use amaretto, dark rum, marsala, brandy, or Frangelico.
  • Savoiardi – it’s really important to use Italian Savoiardi cookies, Pavensini are another good option or ladyfingers but make sure they are crisp in texture and not soft.
  • Topping – The cocoa powder will darken as it soaks into the mascarpone mixture in the fridge, you can add an extra sprinkling just before serving if you prefer.
  • Let it rest – Leave the Tiramisu in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better. This gives the Savoiardi or ladyfingers a chance to soften and soak up the flavours and gives the whole dessert a chance to develop and become extra delicious.
  • Size of dish used – I used an 8×10 inch dish to make this Tiramisu you may need more or less ladyfingers according to your dish size.
What does tiramisu mean?

Tiramisu literally translates as “pick me up” as in cheer up. It’s such a perfect name for a dessert that does just that!

Can I make this alcohol free?

Absolutely, traditionaly Tiramisu is made without alcohol so if you leave it out it’ll still be absolutely delicious!

How long does it last?

It’ll keep well covered and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Can I freeze it?

Although you can freeze it I don’t recommend freezing tiramisu simply because dairy doesn’t tend to freeze well and will likely lose it’s creamy and rich texture.

A slice of tiramisu on a plate

More delicious Italian desserts you might like

If you’ve tried this Tiramisu recipe or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

This recipe was first posted on 13th April 2018 but has since been updated with better photos and more helpful tips.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
A xlose up of a slice of Tiramisu on a plate
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5 from 6 votes

Tiramisu – Authentic Recipe!

The easiest and most delicious Tiramisu recipe! This authentic Italian dessert is rich and creamy but as light as air made with coffee dunked Savoiardi (lady fingers), a smooth and creamy mascarpone filling and dusted with cacao powder to finish it off. Perfect for any occasion!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 470kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mascarpone (500g)
  • 24 (roughly) Savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers)
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (230ml)
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate , grated
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp coffee liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions

  • First, you need to divide the egg yolk and egg whites in two separate bowls and add 3 tbsps of sugar to each. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.
  • Then continue to the egg yolks and whisk those with an electric whisk until pale and thick.
  • Add the mascarpone and mix together until smooth and creamy.
  • Next, add one third of the whisked egg whites to the mascarpone mixture and gently fold it in as you would with a cake batter. Continue with the remaining whites a third at a time until it’s completed incorporated.
  • Mix the espresso and 4 tbsp coffee liqueur in a shallow bowl and dip in the lady fingers (savoiardi biscuits). You want to dip them into the liquid quickly (around 2-3 seconds) whilst turning to soak each side.
  • Lay the ladyfingers in a glass or ceramic dish until you have one even layer. You can brake some biscuits to fit your dish .
  • Next, add half of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits and spread out in an even layer, top with some grated dark chocolate.
  • Continue with another layer of ladyfingers and mascarpone as directed above. Finally, dust with cocoa powder and chill in the fridge for roughly 6-8 hours.

Notes

  • Whisking the eggs – make sure you don’t get any egg yolk in the egg whites before beating them. If you do they will collapse and won’t become stiff peaks and glossy like you need them.
  • Liqueur – other than coffee liqueur you could use amaretto, dark rum, marsala, brandy, or Frangelico.
  • Savoiardi – it’s really important to use Italian Savoiardi cookies, Pavensini are another good option or ladyfingers but make sure they are crisp in texture and not soft.
  • Topping – The cocoa powder will darken as it soaks into the mascarpone mixture in the fridge, you can add an extra sprinkling just before serving if you prefer.
  • Let it rest – Leave the Tiramisu in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight is even better. This gives the Savoiardi or ladyfingers a chance to soften and soak up the flavours and gives the whole dessert a chance to develop and become extra delicious.
  • Size of dish used – I used an 8×10 inch dish to make this Tiramisu you may need more or less ladyfingers according to your dish size.
  • Storage – will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 187mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 92mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1075IU | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Janice
    September 26, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    There are raw eggs in this recipe but no directions for baking!

  • Reply
    Angela
    December 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    This looks SO delicious! I’m making this on Christmas Day and cannot wait! Thank you! Yum!

  • Reply
    Dina-Marie
    April 20, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I love Tiramisu – it is one of my absolute favorite desserts! And, EASY is always in style for my kitchen!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      April 20, 2018 at 8:13 pm

      It soooo good, isn’t it? I always find myself going for seconds and never regret it haha

  • Reply
    monika
    April 15, 2018 at 1:50 am

    is there ANY other cheese or something else that I can use in place of the mascarpone?
    Mascarpone is SO expensive!
    Can I use some good quality cream cheese (NOT Philadelphia)?

  • Reply
    monika
    April 15, 2018 at 1:14 am

    I LOVE your step-by-step instructions with pictures! It makes so easy to follow. Thank you.

    I would love to follow my heart and go live where that is…WHere are you originally from? Do you speak ITalian?5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      April 15, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Hi Monika, thanks so much I’m so happy the photos make things easier. I would use a mix of heavy cream and good quality cream cheese to replace the mascarpone, I’ve never tried it but I’m sure it would work great. I’m originally from Scotland and been living in Italy for 4 years so I’ve managed to pick up the language quite well 😀

  • Reply
    Albert Bevia
    April 14, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    I´m a sucker for tiramisu, and homemade is always so much better than store-bought! your tiraisu looks amazing, and now I know what tiramisu means!!! yay

  • Reply
    Deanna
    April 13, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I love Tiramisu! It is the best recipe!! YUM!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      April 15, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Me too, all-time fav!

      • Reply
        Jaini Doshi
        July 9, 2020 at 11:05 am

        Hello… your recipe seems delicious and would love to try it. Since I’m intolerant to gluten, can you please tell me if there’s any substitute for the ladyfinger biscuits that are gluten free?

        • Reply
          Inside the rustic kitchen
          July 10, 2020 at 9:27 am

          Hey Jani, I’m not sure if you can get GF Savoriardi biscuits but if not a GF sponge cake would be a great substitute. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Shadi Hasanzadenemati
    April 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    This is literally super easy! I love easy recipes that are delicious and I do need a tasty tiramisu recipe to have at hand!5 stars

  • Reply
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes
    April 13, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    I love your step-by-step photos. You can see just how luscious that filling is! Looks incredible.5 stars

  • Reply
    Dannii
    April 13, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    This is my husbands favourite dessert, but I have never tried making it. Will have to try your super easy recipe.5 stars

  • Reply
    Jenni LeBaron
    April 13, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    This looks absolutely fantastic! I love tiramisu so much and can’t wait to try your recipe.

  • Leave a Reply

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