How to Make Rich and Creamy Italian Tiramisu

Classic Italian Tiramisu Recipe: How to Make Rich and Creamy Tiramisu at Home

Indulge in the ultimate Italian dessert with this luxurious tiramisu recipe. Layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers and velvety mascarpone cream create a heavenly treat that’s sure to impress.


For the Coffee Syrup:

  • 3/4 ounce Dutch-processed cocoa powder (about 1/4 cup; 20g), such as Valrhona
  • 5 ounces espresso or strong brewed coffee (about 2/3 cup; 140g), piping hot
  • 2 ounces crème de cacao or other dark liqueur (about 1/4 cup; 55g)
  • 2 ounces Cardamaro or other mild amaro (about 1/4 cup; 55g)
  • 1/2 ounce vanilla extract (about 1 tablespoon; 15g)

For the Mascarpone Filling:

  • 5 large eggs (about 8 3/4 ounces; 245g)
  • 3 1/2 ounces sugar (about 1/2 cup; 100g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
  • 24 ounces mascarpone (three 8-ounce containers; 680g), straight from the fridge

To Assemble:

  • About 30 ladyfingers, store-bought or homemade
  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. Prepare the Coffee Syrup:

    In a deep bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, hot espresso, crème de cacao, Cardamaro, and vanilla extract until smooth. This aromatic mixture will be the flavor foundation of your tiramisu.

  2. Create the Mascarpone Filling:

    Set up a double boiler by filling a saucepan with a few inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. In a stand mixer bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Place the bowl over the steaming water, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F (71°C), about 5 minutes. This step ensures food safety and creates a silky texture.

  3. Whip the Filling:

    Transfer the warm egg mixture to a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until the eggs become light, fluffy, and quadrupled in volume, resembling soft-serve ice cream. This takes 5-10 minutes, depending on your mixer’s power.

  4. Incorporate the Mascarpone:

    Reduce the mixer speed to medium and gradually add the cold mascarpone, about 1/4 cup at a time. Once all the mascarpone is incorporated, scrape down the bowl and whip briefly until the mixture is smooth and thick.

  5. Assemble the Tiramisu:

    Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee syrup for a couple of seconds, allowing it to absorb the flavorful liquid. Arrange the soaked ladyfingers in a single layer at the bottom of a 7- by 11-inch baking dish.

  6. Layer the Dessert:

    Spread half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers, creating an even layer. Dust lightly with cocoa powder. Repeat the process with another layer of soaked ladyfingers, remaining mascarpone filling, and a final dusting of cocoa powder.

  7. Add the Finishing Touch:

    For an elegant presentation, create a design on top using butcher’s twine. Lay the twine in swoops and swirls, then dust generously with cocoa powder. Carefully remove the twine to reveal a beautiful pattern.

  8. Chill and Serve:

    Cover the tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the dessert to set. Serve with a large spoon or angled spatula, and enjoy your homemade Italian masterpiece!


This tiramisu recipe is all about customization. Feel free to experiment with different liqueurs to suit your taste. The crème de cacao can be swapped for other chocolate, coffee, or nut-based liqueurs. Cardamaro can be replaced with mild amari or dessert wines like vin santo or sweet Marsala. The goal is to create an intense, bitter, and aromatic concoction with just a hint of sweetness. For a non-alcoholic version, try using a blend of coffee and hazelnut or almond milk spiked with chocolate syrup.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 443
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 218mg 73%
Sodium 382mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 143mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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