Tiramisu Cheesecake Trifle

by aimee @ shugarysweets on January 27, 2013

Tiramisu Trifle: a delicious twist on an Italian classic, easy to assemble with gorgeous chocolate curls (and tutorial) #tiramisu #trifle www.shugarysweets.com

I’m so lazy sometimes when it comes to making desserts. Trifles are such an awesome way to get a great tasting treat with much less work. This tiramisu trifle came together in no time at all!

You could layer this in a square baking dish if you don’t have a big bowl. I’ve done that before with trifles, still wonderful.

And the curls on this? OMG the curls. Here is my secret to making beautiful chocolate curls. Well, it’s not really a secret, it is probably how most people make them. But if you have never made them before, here is MY tutorial.

Tiramisu Trifle: a delicious twist on an Italian classic, easy to assemble with gorgeous chocolate curls (and tutorial) #tiramisu #trifle www.shugarysweets.com

First, USE GOOD CHOCOLATE. Think about it, when you put one of those chocolate curls in your mouth, you want it to taste amazing! I like to use chocolate bars like Green & Black’s Chocolate. They melt beautifully and taste delicious. Two important points when making (and eating) chocolate curls!

So, melt your chocolate bar (I used Green and Black’s 85% Dark Chocolate). I stuck mine in a glass microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir and heat another 30 seconds. Pour your melted chocolate onto a metal baking sheet (preferably one with no sides, it makes it easier to work with). I used a metal cookie sheet. Try to shape your melted chocolate into a large square, using a knife or spatula. You can decide how thin you want it. I wanted some thicker chocolate curls. If you go too thin your curls will break.

Once you have your square of melted chocolate, stick your baking sheet in the refrigerator. I set the timer for 7 minutes, no more no less. It comes out perfect. The chocolate isn’t HARD, but it also isn’t runny. You may need to play with this time, depending on your refrigerator and the thickness of your chocolate square. If your chocolate gets too hard, put it back in your bowl, heat it, and start over!

Now that you removed your chocolate from the fridge, take a metal spatula (I use a small Pampered Chef spatula…not those silicone kind). You can also use a brand new putty knife. Yep, that would work great too. Scrape your spatula along the end of your chocolate square slowly and the curls will form! Here is the first video I watched in how to do it properly from Heather of Sprinkle Bakes: VIDEO. You can see in that video she made small curls like the ones I have on top of the trifle. But if you take your spatula you can change the thickness of your curl and make “tubes.” So fun. AND, if you used good chocolate, SO delicious!

Tiramisu Trifle: a delicious twist on an Italian classic, easy to assemble with gorgeous chocolate curls (and tutorial) #tiramisu #trifle www.shugarysweets.com

Just a quick note on the espresso powder. I order mine from King Arthur Flour. If you don’t have any, and can’t find it, you CAN use instant coffee…but you may need to use more of it because it’s not nearly as strong as espresso powder. Keep that in mind as you bake. And don’t be afraid that you’ll never use that espresso powder again…just come back here to my blog, I have plenty more recipes that use the powder:

More Recipes with Espresso Powder:

No Bake Cookies with Double Espresso: perfect for breakfast to get you going for the day!

No bake Cookies with Double Espresso: delicious no bake cookies with an espresso kick! #espresso #nobakecookies

 Chocolate Mocha and Nutella Cookies: Nutella and Jif  cappuccino hazelnut spread combined with espresso powder make delicious cookies!

Chocolate Mocha and hazelnut cookies

Mocha Cupcakes: rich chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate mocha frosting!

Mocha cupcakes

Boozy Brownies: Bailey’s and Espresso meet to create these rich, fudgy brownies! Perfect for St.Patty’s day!

Boozy brownies

Want more Trifles? Try one of these favorites…

Jell-O Cheesecake Trifle: use gelatin poke cake (any color choices) and fresh berries to add to the cheesecake layers

Jell-O Cheesecake Trifle

Double Chocolate with Caramel Trifle: chocolate cake with a caramel whipped cream filling. To.Die.For.

Double Chocolate and Caramel Trifle

Individual Peppermint Cheesecake Trifles: using Tastycakes as the base, these single serve trifles are perfect in a pinch!

Peppermint Cheesecake Trifles

Want to get a glimpse into my life? Check out Shugary Sweets on  Instagram!

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Tiramisu Cheesecake Trifle


  • 30 whole ladyfingers (Italian cookies)
  • 2 pkg (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup espresso powder
  • 1 bar (3.5oz) 85% dark chocolate (I used Green & Blacks)
  • 8oz Cool Whip whipped topping


  1. Begin by making chocolate curls. (Follow instructions in this video HERE).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with condensed milk until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Set aside.
  3. Lay 10 ladyfingers along bottom of large trifle bowl. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of espresso powder. Top with 1/3 of cream cheese mixture. Repeat two more times. Top final layer with chocolate curls and remaining espresso powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve. ENJOY!

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel January 27, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Wow, this trifle looks incredible, Aimee! As do those chocolate curls which *almost* look too pretty to eat ;) can you believe I’ve never had tiramisu? I would love to dive into this bad boy!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Oh Hayley, you are an adult now, you NEED tiramisu in your life. But first you have to try to make it past the chocolate curls. I dare ya!
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Jocelyn @BruCrew Life January 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Tiramisu is one of my absolute favorite desserts! And those chocolate curls? Oh my word!!! I seriously want to pick off every single one one by one!!!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm

I know the feeling! The curls are amazing, plus they are covered in espresso powder, talk about a nice JOLT!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Tiramisu Cheesecake TrifleMy Profile


Regina @ SpecialtyCakeCreations January 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm

This lovely looks awesome Aimee! Is this glass bowl from Pampered Chef as well? It looks just like the one we got for our wedding :)
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Liz January 27, 2013 at 4:20 pm

I’ve been meaning to make tiramisu lately and this gives me some inspiration to do so! Love the chocolate curls too – perfect touch to an already delicious dessert! :)
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:38 am

Ooooh you should totally make tiramisu! And then invite me over :)
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Tiramisu Cheesecake TrifleMy Profile


Eva @ Eva Bakes January 27, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Beautiful chocolate curls! I love the idea of a tiramisu trifle! I must try this!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:38 am

Thank you Eva! Everything is better in a big trifle bowl!
aimee @ shugarysweets recently posted..Tiramisu Cheesecake TrifleMy Profile


Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust January 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm

This is super stunning Aimee! I love me a trifle, especially with espresso powder!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:37 am

I love espresso powder! And combine it with the dark chocolate? YUM.


Chloe January 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Yum! Pinning this, it sounds incredible!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:36 am

Thank you Chloe! I hope you get a chance to try it too!


Averie @ Averie Cooks January 27, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I love this “And don’t be afraid that you’ll never use that espresso powder again…just come back here to my blog,” = so true and well spoken! I have the same issue happening with people not wanting to buy bread flour and want to do everything with all purpose. Not quite the same.

I love this and those long, ribbony strands of chocolate!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:36 am

Oh and don’t forget cake flour!! It’s hard though to convince people that there really is a difference! I know because years ago I was that person :)


Medeja January 27, 2013 at 11:18 pm

These curls look really amazing! I would probably be making more than I need because I like tasting things while making them :D


aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

I may or may not have eaten several broken curls! But, I was surprised that one chocolate bar created so many curls!!


Kristen January 27, 2013 at 11:36 pm

Oh my goodness, girl. This looks sinfully delicious!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 7:34 am

Thanks Kristen, it is quite delicious, and when you eat too much of it, definitely sinful!!


tanya January 28, 2013 at 7:25 am

This is stunning! I too think the curls are almost too pretty to eat! I’d dig in anyway, because Tiramisu is one of my favorites!


Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 28, 2013 at 8:03 am

The chocolate on top is calling me! What a gorgeous trifle!!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 11:18 am

Thanks Jennifer! It seems to call alot of people!


Jessica@AKitchenAddiction January 28, 2013 at 2:02 pm

This is gorgeous Aimee! I love the dark chocolate and espresso powder!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Thanks Jess!!!


Jess @ OnSugarMountain January 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

OK so I sort of lost track because I just saw the words “Boozy Brownies” BUT this trifle. Dude. I wish I had lots of people who would eat this with me, because I know if I make it and no one does I will eat the whole freaking bowl. ;)
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 29, 2013 at 7:49 am

haha, this cracked me up. Those boozy brownies get ya every time!!


katie January 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm

This is totally right up my alley… my husbands birthday is coming up and I think I need to make this for him!
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Miriam @ Overtime Cook January 29, 2013 at 1:29 am

Oh goodness. I absolutely love cheesecake. And tiramisu. And I kinda know what I am making soon!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 29, 2013 at 7:51 am

It’s a like a beautiful marriage in a bowl!


Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking January 29, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Tiramisu is one of my favorite sweet treats, I was just talking with my niece earlier about it complaining I remember buying some lady fingers last week but they are no where to be found and I crave Tiramisu like a pregnant woman. Now, after seeing yours I want some so bad!!!! Love those chocolate curls, what a great decorating idea
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Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar January 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

I love this! And I totally agree with you on the ease of trifles, yet you don’t sacrifice great taste. And those chocolate curls! OMG! I want to run home and make them RIGHT NOW!
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Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen January 31, 2013 at 1:03 am

OMG! I absolutely love tiramisu!! And whenever I make it I put chocolate in between my layers- your chocolate curls are beautiful! Will definitely have to give this one ago!! Beautiful!
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aimee @ shugarysweets January 31, 2013 at 6:47 am

Thanks Elizabeth! I hope you give it a try. And the curls, I’m still dreaming about those delicious dark chocolate curls :)


Anita at Hungry Couple January 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm

OMG! I could inhale that whole bowl. :) And I love chocolate curls… ;)
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Alison February 6, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I was going to make this tomorrow. Did you have to soften your lady fingers? In the package I bought the fingers are rock hard.


shugardaddy68 February 7, 2013 at 6:57 am

Mine were very soft already. You could do the traditional route and dip them in some strong brewed coffee. Just a quick dunk! ENJOY!


Aryana Taylor October 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

For the lady fingers, are they the soft lady fingers that are baked and slightly spongy? Or the firm more cracker like ones?


Betty December 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Would there be any problem in substituting whipped cream instead of Cool Whip? Not a fan of Cool Whip.


KareninStLouis January 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Ditto Betty’s question and comment above. Can I use real whipped cream instead? Has anyone tried it? Did you try it, Betty?


aimee @ shugarysweets January 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm

You can try it, but you may need to stabilize it using gelatin!


KareninStLouis January 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Thanks so much! I had no idea about the gelatin. Did some quick research and found this: yelenasweets.com/…/substitu…
Thank you for sharing your recipes and expertise!


SammWilliams April 18, 2014 at 8:57 am

Hi, this recipe looks so nice I’d love to try and make it but do you know the whip topping is that just whipped cream? If not could I use whipped cream instead? Thanks, Sam :)


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