Recipe By Tessa Arias
May 16th, 2009
4 from 1 vote
4 from 1 vote

The delicious Italian dessert Tiramisu is easier to make than it sounds!

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook: 7 hours

This is part 2 of the meal I made for Mother’s Day. I thought Tiramisu would make a nice Italian theme with the Chicken Parmesan. Plus, my mom doesn’t like desserts too rich or sweet. So I embarked on a dessert journey since I’ve never made Tiramisu before. I was pleased by how easy it was to make! The recipe was a little daunting, lots of steps and ingredients. Not to mention, I hardly ever make cakes. To my utter suprise, I managed not to make a single mistake! No wrong oven temperatures, measurements, skipped steps. Yay for me!

On a personal note, I have so much news! I found out today that I got a scholarship for my next year of school which means that in combination with my other scholarship, everything will be paid for, and then some! Also, I’m finally moving out (yes I’m that young, don’t judge!) My new condo is super cute and today I went CRAZY at Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. I spent a nice wad of cash on all sorts of kitchen goodies, I was in heaven. I would have loved to do that in Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel but I just can’t afford to at the moment. I’m contemplating purchasing an All-Clad pot and pan set but the price tag is definitely holding me back. Any thoughts/advice on that?

Anyways, enough about me, more about the Tiramisu!



4 from 1 vote

How to make

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 45 minutes
The delicious Italian dessert Tiramisu is easier to make than it sounds!


  • Unsalted butter for greasing
  • All purpose flour for dusting

For the cake:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the syrup:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder

For the filling:

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur or dark rum
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy (double) cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chocolate curls for garnic
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Lightly grease the paper and sides of the pan then dust with flour.
  2. To make the cake, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt until blended. In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium-high speed, beat the eggs until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until very thick and tripled in volume, about 3 minutes more. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and, using a rubber spatula, fold gently until well blended.
  3. Pour the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly touched, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a small knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake. invert onto a cooling rack and lift off the pan. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Let the cake cool completely.
  4. To make the syrup, combine the water and the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in the coffee liqueur and espresso powder. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
  5. To make the filling, in the top a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, coffee liqueur, and espresso powder. Set over barely simmering water and beat with the mixer set on medium speed until very thick, about 6 minutes. Remove the top of the double boiler from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring frequently.
  6. Meanwhile, in a bowl, using the mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream until stiff peaks form when the beaters are lifted.
  7. When the yolk mixture is cooled to room temperature, add the mascarpone and vanilla. Beat until smooth and well blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream.
  8. To assemble, cut the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers.
  9. *To slice a single cake into thinner layers, set it on a work surface. Stand a ruler against the side of the cake and insert toothpicks horizontally into the cake side to divide into 3 equal sections. Repeat this process on the 3 other quadrants of the cake. Place a hand on the top of the cake to hold it steady. Remove the top toothpick from one side and, using a long serrated knife and a slow sawing action, cute the cake parallel with the work surface, removing toothpicks as you reach them with the knife. Remove the top layer and repeat.*
  10. Remove the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, close the ring, and set the ring on a flat serving plate. Place 1 cake layer in the springform pan. Generously brush and sprinkle with some of the syrup. Scoop about 1 3/4 cups of the filling onto the layer and spread evenly. Place another cake layer on top of the filling, pressing gently. Generously brush and sprinkle with more of the syrup. Spread about 1 3/4 cups of the filling evenly over this layer. Place the third cake layer on the top, pressing gently, then generously brush with syrup. Spread the remaining filling to cover the top. Holding the pan ring and plate together, gently tap against the counter to settle the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  11. To serve, run a thin knife around the inside of the ring to lossing the cake. Unclasp and remove the ring. Garnish with the chocolate curls, then a sifting of cocoa powder over the top. Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

From Williams Sonoma: Dessert
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Sara — May 16, 2009 at 5:16 am

    This looks so good!

    All Clad pans are noticeably better to cook with than most other pans I own, but it has taken us a while just to gather a few of them. I would love to buy a whole set of copper core.

  2. #
    Tessa — May 16, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Thanks Sara! Oh me too. I would love to win a shopping spree to Williams Sonoma!

  3. #
    Marta — May 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Great recipe Tessa! Originally, tiramisu was made with sponge cake, like yours. Throughout the years they changed it, out of convenience, to the ladyfinger version. Great photos!
    Congrats on the scholarship! This period of life is very exciting! Outfitting you new place, getting everything to suit your taste. It's great fun! My first pot&pan set was from Ikea, hahaha, I was very poor. But you know, it was quite good and it lasted me all through university and grad-school! Now I bought really good cast-iron ones and I LOVE them!

  4. #
    Aggie — May 16, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    wow, your tiramisu is gorgeous!! looks delicious!

  5. #
    Tessa — May 16, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Marta- That’s an interesting fact! I didn’t know that about the ladyfingers. Thank you πŸ™‚ It is very exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time.

    Aggie- Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

  6. #
    Reeniβ™₯ — May 17, 2009 at 1:16 am

    This looks so delicious! I like it much better with the sponge cake than ladyfingers. Enjoy your new place!

    • #
      Shiifoo — April 24, 2020 at 1:17 am

      Unfortunately l could not slice the cake into 3 equal parts. I got only 2. But the taste was great. My husband loves tiramisu and he says it was the best i made so far..

  7. #
    Tessa — May 17, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Reeni- Me too! Thank you πŸ™‚

  8. #
    (graciegirl) — May 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I love Italian too, and tiramisu is my all time fav. Yours looks so yummy I will have to give it a go.
    Congrats on your scholarship and your condo…enjoy

  9. #
    thestudiouscook — May 18, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    That is a beautiful tiramisu! Looks perfect, congratulations!

  10. #
    Tessa — May 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Graciegirl- Isn’t Italian food the best? Thank you! Let me know what you think if you try the recipe out πŸ™‚

    Natasha- Thanks! πŸ™‚

  11. #
    Bedroom Talk — May 19, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Hey I just stumbled upon your blog and its really cute. Plus it comes in handy since I’m a college student about to live on my own and need to learn to cook asap lol. I can’t live off of Ramen Noodles ekkk.

    I’m adding you on my links πŸ™‚

  12. #
    Tessa — May 19, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Thank you!! πŸ™‚ I’m a college student too and I’m also about to move out (the end of this week!).

  13. #
    Bedroom Talk — May 19, 2009 at 5:33 am

    Awww your moving out already I’m actually jealous, but better to move out now then later right hehe. I’m waiting til August but I’m starting to by things for my apartment now lol I can’t help but decorate! yippy. What college are you attending? I’m going from CA to CO for the University of Denver πŸ™‚

  14. #
    Tessa — May 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Oh I’ve been buying stuff for my future apartment/house since I was like 13. That makes me SO excited! I bought a interior design book yesterday and its so cute.

    I’m going to a community college for 2 years (University is so expensive!) then transferring to ASU. But I got the Presidential Scholarship πŸ™‚ I hope you like CO! I’ve heard Denver is a cool place.

  15. #
    HappyTummy — May 21, 2009 at 12:37 am

    mmm that tiramisu cake looks fantastic! love the chocolate shavings on top…mmmm.

    congratulations on the big news! i know what you mean about williams-sonoma. i’m a sucker for that store πŸ™‚

  16. #
    Tessa — May 21, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Thank you! Chocolate makes anything better πŸ™‚

    Oh I know, I could easily spend a small fortune at Willliams Sonoma!

  17. #
    Sara — May 21, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Congrats on the scholarship! This looks like the perfect tiramisu.

  18. #
    Tessa — May 21, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Thank you so much Sara! I bet it would have complimented your seafood stew well πŸ™‚

  19. #
    applecrumbles — May 21, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    That looks great, Tessa.
    I saw a no bake type “cake-pie” on “Road Tasted” the other morning and I’m trying to figure out how to do it. It’s a 7 layer wonder. I was thinking that it might be like the Tiramisu but I’m not sure. Then… I’m thinking I should do “truffle” layers. Hmmm… based on the looks of your Tiramisu, I just might skip the whole thing and do that. So good.

  20. #
    Tessa — May 21, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Hm, I’ve only made a “no bake” dessert once! It was good though. Hahaha thank you πŸ™‚ Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  21. #
    Marthe — May 21, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Your tiramisu looks really good!! I love making tiramisu and actually made several different ones over the last couple of months

  22. #
    Fabjena(TheBestRecipes) — May 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I love tiramisu sooo much, but i have never tried to make it. I think I have to try this one :))

  23. #
    pookiepantry — May 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    wow, this looks superb! I’ve always wanted to make tiramisu, but it seems daunting to me. Congrats on your new condo, it’s exciting to get your own place, I know!

  24. #
    Emily — May 25, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Congrats on your scholarship! That’s awesome.

    The cake looks soooo amazing! I’m drooling.

  25. #
    pixie — May 7, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    im going to try this! but i need some advice! what can i substitute the coffe liqueur with? i read i can use coffee syrup or strong brewed coffee or 1-1/2 tsp of choc syrup and 2 tsp of instant coffee and 4 tbs of hot water. i really want to hear from you! thanks!!

    • #
      handleheat — May 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      I've never substitute before but I would try the coffee syrup or strong brewed coffee!

  26. #
    pixie — May 8, 2012 at 1:36 am

    thanks for the response! i brewed strong coffee. the part i hated the most was slicing the cake into thirds! next time i want to pour the batter in three different pans! cant wait for tommorow to come. i hope it turns out great!! i kept licking the mixing bowl!!

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