Tiramisu Dessert

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A delicious Tiramisu dessert recipe featuring layers of espresso soaked ladyfinger cookies and mascarpone cream topped with cocoa powder for an elegant, but easy, dessert!

If you love making easy pans of dessert, add our eclair cake to your menu soon! Or give our delicious cream puff cake a try for your next family gathering! Both are always a hit.

Slice of tiramisu on stack of white plates.
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Why Tiramisu is Best

This classic Italian no-bake dessert is sophisticated and scrumptious!

The bold flavors of coffee, cocoa, cream and Marsala wine are layered together and then refrigerated to chill and set up.

This dessert is perfect for serving friends and family and is sure to impress!

  • Tiramisu is a no-bake dessert that takes less than 30 minutes to put together.
  • Ladyfinger cookies are dipped in an espresso mixture and layered into a baking dish.
  • An easy-to-make whipped mascarpone cream is dolloped on top of each layer of cookies.

Love tiramisu? Be sure to try our easy tiramisu cupcakes next! A fluffy vanilla cupcake with rich espresso filling is the best afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner treat you can imagine.

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make tiramisu.
  • Ladyfinger cookies – These oval-shaped cookies are very dry and absorbent, allowing them to soak in the espresso flavor. You can substitute a sponge cake if needed.
  • Marsala wine – A sweet marsala wine is traditional in this dessert. However, you can also use brandy, rum or a coffee liqueur like Kahlua if desired.
  • Eggs – The egg whites and egg yolks need to be separated for this recipe.
  • Mascarpone cheese – This is an Italian cream cheese style cheese that’s smooth and slightly sweet. If you can’t find it, you can substitute cream cheese instead.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make tiramisu.

Make the coffee mixture. Whisk together the espresso, marsala wine and one cup of sugar. 

Make the mascarpone cream. Beat the egg yolks with sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat for 3-5 more minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Egg whites. Beat the egg whites in a separate, dry bowl, until stiff peaks form. Fold them gently into the mascarpone cream mixture.

Layer the dessert. Dip each ladyfinger cookie into the espresso mixture and place a single layer in your baking pan. Add half of the mascarpone cream mixture on top of the cookies, then add another layer of dipped cookies and top with the remaining mascarpone cream.

Refrigerate. Cover and refrigerate the dessert for at least 4 hours. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder then slice and serve.

Stack of white plates with a slice of tiramisu and a bite taken out of it.

Tips and Tricks

  • The espresso coffee needs to be prepared and slightly cooled to lukewarm for this recipe, so please plan accordingly.
  • Separate egg whites and yolks carefully. Make sure the egg whites are completely separate and free from any bits of yolk. Any yolk can make it difficult to whip the whites into stiff peaks.
  • Use a clean, dry mixing bowl. Make sure your bowl is completely DRY before adding the egg whites to beat them.
  • Refrigerate to set up. Be sure to allow at least 4 hours for this dessert to set up in the refrigerator before slicing and serving.
  • Want extra coffee flavor? Mix 1 teaspoon of espresso powder with the cocoa powder to sprinkle on top of this dessert.

Recipe FAQs

What can I use instead of raw eggs?

We understand some people don’t want to use raw eggs, even if they are pasteurized. To replace them, during step 2, whisk egg yolks with sugar in a small saucepan over medium low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Move the eggs to the stand mixer and continue. For the egg whites, swap them out with 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Beat in bowl until stiff peaks form then fold into the egg yolk mixture.

Can kids eat tiramisu?

Tiramisu contains caffeine from the espresso as well as alcohol from the marsala wine, which could be harmful to children in large amounts. Use your best judgement.

How do I store tiramisu?

Store tiramisu, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

13x9 glass baking dish with large slices of tiramisu and a spatula.

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5 from 3 votes
By: Aimee
A delicious Tiramisu recipe featuring layers of espresso soaked ladyfinger cookies and mascarpone cream topped with cocoa powder for an elegant, but easy, dessert!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 9 servings


  • 1 cup espresso coffee lukewarm
  • 1 cup marsala wine
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar divided
  • 5 large eggs yolks and whites separated, room temperature
  • 1 package Mascarpone cheese, room temperature 16 ounce
  • 34 Ladyfingers cookies
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
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  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the coffee, marsala wine, and 1 cup granulated sugar. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer), beat egg YOLKS with 1/2 cup granulated sugar for about 5 minutes. Add in masacarpone cheese and beat an additional 3-5 minutes, until mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently fold the egg white mixture into the egg YOLK mixture. Set aside.
  • Take one ladyfinger cookie and dip it in the coffee mixture. Place in bottom of 11×7 baking dish (or 9-inch square). Add half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the cookies. Repeat dipping ladyfingers, and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.
  • Cover and refrigeratre for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Serve with a generous sprinkle of cocoa powder on top.


  • Swap out the marsala wine for brandy, rum, or coffee liquor (Kahlua).
  • If you can’t find ladyfinger cookies, swap them out for a sponge cake instead.
  • When beating egg whites, make sure the the mixing bowl is clean and dry.
  • Eggs- while we love this classic recipe, we understand some people don’t want to use raw eggs (even if pasteurized). To fix this, during step 2, whisk egg yolks with sugar in small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Move eggs to stand mixer and continue. For the egg whites, swap them out with 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Beat in bowl until stiff peaks. Fold into egg yolk mixture.
  • Want more coffee flavor? Combine 1 teaspoon espresso powder with the cocoa powder on top.
  • Store tiramisu in refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 377kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 219mg, Sodium: 299mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 35g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Italian
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on November 30, 2022

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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