This Easy Tiramisu Recipe comes together in minutes. Featuring a creamy mascarpone layer and coffee-soaked Ladyfinger cookies, it’s a show-stopping dessert that requires no baking and is great to prepare in advance. Top it off with a dusting of cocoa powder for a gourmet-looking treat!
If, like us, you used to think that making classic tiramisu is difficult to do, this Easy Tiramisu Recipe is for you! Busting the myth that the dessert is hard to make or should be reserved for culinary professionals, our version comes together in minutes with a handful of ingredients and no baking required.
With rich, creamy layers of mascarpone, soaked Ladyfingers, and a strong coffee taste throughout, it contains no alcohol for a dessert recipe everyone can enjoy! Prepare it for birthday celebrations, holiday parties, family gatherings, and every occasion in between.
What Is Tiramisu?
Apart from being absolutely scrumptious, tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert. Think of it like an elevated version of an American icebox cake. Traditionally, it is comprised of layers of ladyfingers that have been dipped in espresso, layers of a sweet mascarpone cheese mixture, and a dusting of cocoa powder. Many recipes also contain liquor such as marsala wine, brandy, or coffee liqueur.
The exact origins of the dish remain unknown. Some claim that it was first created in the 17th century in Siena, Italy. Meanwhile, other accounts state that it was first created in the 1960s in the city of Treviso in the Veneto region of Italy.
Regardless of its origins, the dessert remains wildly popular and can be found in restaurants, cafes, and kitchens across the globe!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Tiramisu Recipe
- It comes together with just 9 simple ingredients.
- You don’t even have to turn on the oven!
- Made in advance, it’s great to prep ahead of time for all your celebrations.
- Full of rich flavor, it makes enough to feed a crowd.
Alcohol-Free Ingredients You’ll Need
Many classic tiramisu recipes use alcohol to enhance the flavor, but it isn’t necessary to make an incredible tiramisu. In fact, most homemade versions, like ours, don’t use it at all! As a result, the ingredients are simple and easy to find. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Egg Yolks – These create the thick texture, rich taste, and yellow color tiramisu is known for.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar is used to sweeten both the mascarpone filling and the coffee.
- Mascarpone Cheese – You can’t have tiramisu without mascarpone! It adds the creamy element and a slightly tangy taste we can’t resist.
- Heavy Whipping Cream – These are whipped until fluffy and folded into the mascarpone mixture to add volume and an airy quality to the dessert.
- Espresso – Use sweetened cold espresso or strong coffee to add flavor to the ladyfingers. If needed, you can opt for caffeine-free varieties.
- Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract adds depth to the flavor of the dessert.
- Cocoa Powder – Sprinkled on top, this is the final touch to this Easy Tiramisu Recipe.
- Ladyfinger Cookies – To keep things simple, we buy pre-made cookies from the store, but you could also make your own.
*Pro-Tip: For the best results, let all your ingredients sit out and come to room temperature before making your tiramisu! This will allow for easy mixing and prevent the mascarpone filling from curdling.
How to Make the Best Tiramisu Recipe
Making the best tiramisu recipe isn’t hard, but it does require a bite of patience and planning. Here’s what to do:
For the Zabaglione (Mascarpone Filling):
- Boil. Add roughly 1 inch of water to a small pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Then, reduce the heat to a low simmer.
- Make the Zabaglione Base. Place a bowl on top of the pot, making sure it doesn’t touch the water. Add the egg yolks and sugar, and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and increases in volume. This will take about 10 minutes!
- Add the Remaining Ingredients. Add the vanilla, and continue to whisk until the mixture cools. It should be thick and a bright yellow color at this point. Next, add the mascarpone, and mix to combine. Be careful not to overmix!
- Beat. In a separate large bowl, add the cream, and use an electric mixer to whip until stiff peaks form. Begin with the mixer on low and gradually increase the speed as you whip.
- Fold. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
To Assemble the Tiramisu:
- Dip. Combine the espresso and sugar while the espresso is still warm. Dip the ladyfingers into the liquid just long enough to get them wet. You don’t want them to soak! Otherwise, they’ll fall apart.
- Layer. Arrange the cookies in the bottom of a square baking dish. Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture on top, spreading it out evenly. Repeat the process, adding a second layer of cookies followed by the mascarpone cream.
- Chill. Cover the dish with cling film or foil. Place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or ideally up to overnight.
- Enjoy! Add a dusting of cocoa powder on top. Then, use a sharp knife to slice, and serve.
The best tiramisu recipe is stunning when served on its own. However, we also love to top our slices with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. You can also never go wrong with a scoop of ice cream on the side! In the summer, fresh berries are a great way to add a pop of color and extra texture.
Then, enjoy it as an afternoon or after-dinner treat with a warm cup of coffee.
Make Ahead and Storage Options
We actually recommend preparing this Easy Tiramisu Recipe a day in advance! Allowing it to chill in the fridge helps the flavors soak in and blend together. If you want to be super prepared or have leftovers, it stores well, too.
- Refrigerator: Keep your dish covered with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
- Freezer: If you plan on freezing your dessert, leave off the cocoa powder until just before serving. Then, wrap it in clingwrap followed by aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, add your cocoa powder, and enjoy!
Common Questions About This Easy Tiramisu Recipe
Ladyfingers are required for a traditional tiramisu dessert. However, if you have to replace them, any similar shortbread cookie like these 27 ladyfinger alternatives will work.
Nothing will deliver quite the same taste and texture as mascarpone. However, crème fraîche is the closest substitute you can find. Or, cream cheese can be substituted, too.
Most classic tiramisu recipes contain Marsala wine. However, you’ll also find variations made with dark rum, brandy, coffee liqueur, or almond liqueur.
The Best Easy Tiramisu Recipe
For the Zabaglione (Mascarpone Layer):
- 5 extra large egg yolks (room temperature)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 10 ounces mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
- 1 ¾ cups heavy whipping cream
For the Tiramisu:
- 1 ½ cups cold espresso or strong coffee + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 30 Ladyfinger cookies
- Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
Make the Zabaglione (Mascarpone Layer):
- Add roughly 1 inch of water to a small pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat on the stove. Reduce the heat to low, letting the water simmer.
- In a medium bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk to combine.
- Place the pot on top of the saucepan, making sure it does not touch the water. Continue to whisk constantly for 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens and increases in volume.
- Remove the bowl from the heat, and add the vanilla. Continue to whisk until the zabaglione cools down and is thick and bright yellow.
- Add the mascarpone, and mix to combine. Be careful not to overmix, as this can cause curdling!
- In a separate large bowl, add the heavy whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream on low, slowly increasing the speed until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Assemble the Tiramisu:
- In a bowl, combine the warm espresso or coffee and sugar. Set aside to cool.
- Dip the ladyfingers into the cool coffee just long enough to coat them with the liquid.
- Arrange the ladyfingers in a 9-inch square baking dish.
- Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling on top, spreading it out evenly.
- Repeat, adding a second layer of ladyfingers followed by the rest of the mascarpone filling.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
- Dust with cocoa powder, and enjoy!
- Store covered in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
More Tiramisu-Inspired Recipes
If you enjoyed this Easy Tiramisu Recipe, you might also like more of our tiramisu-inspired recipes such as: