Better late than never, right? After a power outage kept me from actually getting on my computer, I bring you… Tiramisu!



A few months ago I came across a tiramisu recipe in the most recent Cook’s Illustrated issue, and I made sure to save it, knowing that someday I would try to redeem myself. That someday finally came! I’ve got to admit that I am becoming quite smitten with Cook’s Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchens. It seems that everything I have made has come out absolutely perfect. I’m pretty convinced that their recipes are spot-on and foolproof.

This tiramisu was absolutely fabulous. The savoiardi were perfectly soft and loaded with flavor, while the mascarpone mixture had a light and smooth flavor, as well as texture, which I attribute to the addition of the whipped cream that is incorporated. The dish received high praise, and it is easily just as good, if not better, than tiramisu you would find at the nicest of Italian restaurants. Cook’s Illustrated definitely perfected this recipe.

[Recipe updated in December 2013 to reflect the use of Kahlua, the appropriate amounts of Kahlua, and an updated method to eliminate using raw eggs.]


Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 8 hours

A classic recipe for tiramisu with layers of espresso and Kahlua-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cream and cocoa powder.


2½ cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
1½ tablespoons instant espresso powder
6½ tablespoons Kahlua, divided
6 egg yolks
⅔ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold heavy cream, divided
24 ounces mascarpone cheese
14 ounces dried ladyfingers (savoiardi)
3½ tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder


1. Stir coffee, espresso, and 2½ tablespoons Kahlua in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.

2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1½ to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add ⅓ cup of the heavy cream to yolks and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl.

3. Set the bowl with yolks over a medium saucepan containing 1 inch of gently simmering water; cook, constantly scraping along bottom and sides of bowl with heatproof rubber spatula, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir vigorously to cool slightly, then set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

4. Whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons Kahlua until combined. Transfer bowl to standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, add mascarpone, and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

5. In now-empty mixer bowl, beat the remaining cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1½ minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1½ minutes longer. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

5. Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.

6. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

7. Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1½ tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Cut into pieces and serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

(Source: Cook's Illustrated November & December 2007 issue)


119 Responses to “Tiramisu”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Gretchen Noelle on March 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Looks beautiful! It is one of my goals this year to make tiramisu!


  2. Chelai on March 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I want to try this…the last time I made tiramisu was a total flop! I’ve been aprehensive every since and the marscapone is too expensive to keep messing up.


  3. Erin on March 5, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    This looks wonderful! I’ve been wanting to make tiramisu for a long time now but have never found a recipe that appealed to me. I’ll definitely give this a try, especially since I found out the other day that David has never had tiramisu (can you believe that??). I hope I’ll try it soon because it looks and sounds delicious!


  4. kayte on March 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    this looks to die for! omg i’m completely drooling at my desk at work :-) i can’t wait to make this for my sister. this is her favorite dessert!


  5. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Gretchen – Thank you! It’s definitely not hard to assemble, I think the key is finding the right recipe, and I definitely think that this one is a winner!

    Chelai – My last one was a total flop as well, and you’re right – mascarpone is mighty expensive! If you try it I’d love to hear what you thought!

    Erin – No, I cannot believe that a grown up has never tried tiramisu ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha. If you try it let me know how it turns out for you!

    kayte – Thanks! I think it’s killer, I hope your sister enjoys it!


  6. katie102006 on March 5, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Ahhh! You’re favorite! It looks fabulous! Better than most I’ve ever seen. Wish I had some of this right now!


  7. smellslikehome on March 5, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    this looks amazing Chelley!!!


  8. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Katie – thanks so much!

    Tara – Thank you :)


  9. slush on March 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    YAY! Mission completed. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It looks fantastic. Jaos and I both love it, I will def try to make it sometime soon. Great photos too, lickable good!


  10. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Laurie – Thanks! Definitely mission completed! I was so excited about how great it was and then I was afraid I wouldn’t even have pictures to show for it! If you try it, let me know!


  11. bridget on March 5, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I love that recipe. Best tiramisu I’ve ever had.

    Out of the hundreds of CI/ATK recipes I’ve made, I’ve had very few failures.


  12. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    bridget – Thanks so much for vouching this recipe – it helped me make my decision :)


  13. noskos on March 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    That looks so good!! I love tiramisu, this looks just like the recipe I needed! Thanks!!


  14. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    noskos – Thanks! If you make it, I hope you enjoy it!


  15. April on March 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    I love tiramisu! This looks so good!


  16. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    April – Thank you!


  17. Annie on March 5, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    This looks great, Chelle! Unfortunately I don’t like tiramisu (it’s a texture thing) but yours looks so pretty it makes me wish I loved it :)


  18. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Annie – Thanks! I definitely understand the texture thing – there are many things that do that to me too!


  19. mrsdanigirl8 on March 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    This has left me drooling! I cannot wait to make this :)


  20. Michelle on March 5, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    mrsdanigirl8 – I’m glad this has hit the spot for you! Can’t wait to hear about your experience with it!


  21. Amber on March 6, 2008 at 9:19 am

    It looks wonderful Chelle!! Great job.


  22. Michelle on March 6, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Thank you Amber! :)


  23. Kate on March 6, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    This one is way more similar to my recipe than the last one.


  24. Michelle on March 6, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Kate – awesome, I’m so happy to have found one that seems perfect!


  25. Erin on March 6, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    I saw this in Cook’s Illustrated and filed it away for future use. I think this weekend might be the right time. Thanks for the extra push I needed :)


  26. Michelle on March 6, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    Erin – glad I could encourage you! I hope you enjoy it!


  27. Jaime on March 6, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    i love tiramisu! yours looks perfect :) i’m still on the fence about which recipe to try…


  28. Michelle on March 6, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks Jaime! Let me know which one you try and how you like it!


  29. Jerri on March 7, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    oh, this tiramisu looks wonderful. yum!


  30. Ashley on March 8, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Wow this looks really good! I can’t believe there’s raw egg yolks in it though? I wonder if all tiramisu recipes are like that.


  31. Michelle on March 8, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Jerri – Thank you!

    Ashley – Many of the recipes that I found had raw egg yolks in them, although this one offered an alternative method that involved heating them, but resulted (per the recipe) in a thicker mascarpone filling. I didn’t necessarily want that, so I went with Nick’s suggestion and bought pasteurized eggs. I wasn’t as worried then.


  32. Deeba on March 9, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Absolutely beautiful…I love tiramisu but have never ventured out to make one. This looks finger licking good! YUM YUM!!


  33. Michelle on March 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Deeba – Thank you!! I had always been a little intimidated by it as well; the assembly is pretty foolproof, I think the key is just finding a great recipe!


  34. Renea on March 12, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Ooh this looks divine! Can you believe I’ve never even had tiramisu? I’ve got to get on that asap!


  35. Barbara on March 16, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    This is almost just like a recipe I have that they make at one of the Disney resorts — it uses Twinkies (halved) instead of ladyfingers. I wonder what you think Twinkies would do to your recipe?


  36. Michelle on March 16, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Barbara – I’m not sure how Twinkies would hold up to the soaking (might they fall apart? I haven’t had a Twinkie in I bet 20 years! so I’m not certain on their texture), but I’m Italian so I can honestly say that I couldn’t imagine a tiramisu with Twinkies instead of savoiardi ๐Ÿ˜‰


  37. Tartelette on March 19, 2008 at 2:36 pm



  38. noskos on March 28, 2008 at 4:55 am

    I made this one yesterday and it was fabulous!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!


  39. Michelle on March 28, 2008 at 7:46 am

    noskos – I am so happy that you enjoyed this!! :)


  40. Jacqui on January 12, 2009 at 9:02 am

    HI, love your blog. Tiramisu is my fav but never got a perfect recipe. How many tbsp of coffee granules and water to make
    2 1/2 cups of strong brewed coffee? I am not a coffee drinker but love the smell of it.

    Thank you for your advise in advance.


  41. Cheryl on February 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    I have never made Tiramisu, but it’s on my list of things to try this year.This recipe looks fabulous for it!!


  42. Cindy on April 24, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Where do I find the pasturized eggs?
    Are you referring to Egg Beaters?
    Do I just buy the yolks? I’m a bit confused and really want to make this , thx!


  43. admin on April 27, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Cindy – Pasteurized eggs are in fact real eggs (not Egg Beaters or a substitute of any sort) and can be found with the “regular” eggs at the grocery store. The only difference is that they have gone through a pasteurizing process to kill any potential bacteria, making them safe to consume raw. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks! Hope you enjoy!


  44. Sarah on July 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    OMG that looks delishh…i LOVE LOVE LOVE tiramisu from Magiannos..and i wana make this!! i was wondering though..what would be a good substitute for the rum/khaula?


  45. Michelle on July 5, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Sarah,

    Some options for substituting out the alcohol in this recipe would be to replace it with a mild-flavored coffee or even a rich hot chocolate (cooled to room temperature). You could add a splash of rum extract to either of these to give a little rum flavor without the alcohol.

    If you try any of these definitely let me know how what you thought!


  46. Aaisha on February 6, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    This is one of my favorite Tiramisu recipes. I tried it with both cooked and uncooked eggs. Let’s just say that I prefer uncooked. When I cooked the yolks and added them to my cheese, the whole thing turned to a chunky mess :(
    I don’t drink alcohol, so I completely eliminated it from the recipe, and it still tastes delish! I added a little extra espresso though – 2 tablespoons rather than 1.5 – to make sure it’s still a strong taste. Came out perfect!


  47. Jen on February 6, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    This photo alone makes me want to try a more “traditional” tiramisu!
    I’ve done the Gordon Ramsay one, personal Tiramisu served in Martini glasses and that was DEEEEe-lish! (and a massive hit with the family – they couldn’t believe I’d gone to “all that trouble” haha, it’s funny the effects plating has!) I’d recommend you trying that Ramsay one, it was so much fun, and so easy! I’ll try this one :)


  48. Brittany on February 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I made tiramisu following your version of the recipe (with Kahlua) and it was fabulous. This was my first time making tiramisu and it was easy and set up great. Everyone LOVED it! Thanks for the awesome recipe.


  49. Brittany on February 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I fixed this recipe for valentine’s day and made individual servings by placing them in martini glasses. I dusted a cocoa powder heart on top of each one using a little heart stencil I made out of wax paper.


  50. Pingback: Amaretto Almond Tiramisu | Our Life in Food

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