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Classic Tiramisu Recipe | Williams-Sonoma Taste

Classic Tiramisu Recipe

What is Tiramisu?

This Italian classic is made up of delicate ladyfingers soaked in espresso and rum, layered with mascarpone custard and dusted with rich cocoa. Individual portions make a beautiful presentation; to make them, layer the soaked ladyfingers and custard in cups or bowls, cutting the ladyfingers as needed to fit the cups. Depending on the size of the cups, you may not need as many ladyfingers as this recipe calls for.


Ingredients of Tiramisu

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml.) freshly brewed espresso
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) dark rum


For the filling:

  • 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g.) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  • 45 ladyfingers or savoiardi
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) water to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the espresso, and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the rum. Pour the espresso mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the filling, select a heatproof bowl that fits snugly in the rim of a saucepan. Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches (5 cm.) into the saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. In the bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow and creamy about 2 minutes. Place the bowl over (not touching) the simmering water in the pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the yolk mixture on medium speed until thick and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the heat and set the yolk mixture aside to cool completely, stirring often as it cools.
  3. In another bowl, beat the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
  4. Add the mascarpone and vanilla to the cooled yolk mixture. Beat with the mixer on medium speed just until smooth and well blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream just until combined.
  5. Working in batches, immerse 15 ladyfingers in the espresso mixture, then arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer in the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm.) square cake pan. Using the rubber spatula, evenly spread one-third of the filling over the ladyfingers. Soak another 15 ladyfingers in the espresso mixture, and place them over the filling and evenly spread with half of the remaining filling. Soak the remaining ladyfingers, place them in the pan, and top with the remaining filling, again spreading evenly. Gently tap the pan against the counter to settle the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  6. Run a small knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Dust the top with cocoa powder and serve. Serves 8-10.

Best Tiramisu Recipe in The World

What Kinds of Liquor is in Tiramisu?

There are many variations of how to make great tiramisu out there, because there is so much variety, we often recommend that you use your favorite alcohol if you have trouble deciding and see how that tastes.


Most commonly used spirits for tiramisu are Marsala and Madeira wine. Tiramisu is a popular dessert in the United States and has been a mainstay since the 1990s. Commonly used liquor found in modern variations of tiramisu include rum, coffee liquor, Amaretto, Irish Cream, Orange and Chocolate liquors. All of these intertwine well with the coffee and cocoa used to make tiramisu.


Easy Tiramisu Recipe with No Eggs

If you do not enjoy using raw eggs in your dessert then making tiramisu without eggs is possible. Using more whipping cream a full cup for your tiramisu can sometimes even produce a lighter tiramisu.


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 2-3 Tbsp sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp amaretto or rum
  • 2 1/2 cups strong cold coffee
  • 45 ladyfingers
  • cocoa for dusting


  • Beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form then set aside.
  • Mix the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla combining them then add the whipped cream previously set aside.
  • Beat again until smooth.
  • Stir the coffee and liquor together. Lightly dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture. Line a square baking dish with a layer of ladyfingers.
  • Spread half of the cream mixture over the cookies. Repeat another layer and chill for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  • Dust with cocoa powder before serving.


Dessert of the Day


Find more mouthwatering ways to end a meal in our
cookbook Dessert of the Day, by Kim Laidlaw.

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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.