Recipes, Sweets

Perfect Authentic Tiramisu

You can try to make a low fat version of this Italian dessert. You can use substitutions for ingredients.

But it just won’t be the same.

There are couple of tricks to getting perfect tiramisu.

The first is ladyfingers. The fluffy, spongecake like ones (pictured on right) will get soggy and gross. The crisp, sugary cookies (pictured on left) will hold up well under the coffee and cream mixture.


You also want to use real mascarpone cheese. Luckily, it’s usually available in the grocery store. You can substitute cream cheese but it won’t yield the same flavor or texture. It’s worth the splurge.

Believe me, I’ve tried tons of recipes. Dissatisfied with the versions offered at restaurants (even my favorite restaurants didn’t quite nail it), I set out to master the recipe myself.

Unsurprisingly, the America’s Test Kitchen version was the best.

perfect traditional tiramisu recipe

My advice is to make sure you are serving this to a crowd so you don’t eat it all yourself.

perfect traditional tiramisu

Perfect Authentic Tiramisu


  • 2 1/2 c strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1/2 c plus 1 T dark rum (or marsala wine, or brandy, or Amaretto imparts a sweeter taste)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 T instant espresso powder
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 c) mascarpone
  • 3/4 c heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 14 oz ladyfingers
  • 3 1/2 T Dutch process cocoa
  • 1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate


  1. Combine coffee, 5 tablespoons rum, and espresso powder in pan. Stir until espresso powder dissolves. Set aside.

  2. Whip egg yolks in Kitchenaid mixer until just blended. Add sugar and salt and whip on medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1-2 minutes. Add remaining rum. Whip 30 seconds. Add mascarpone and whip on medium speed until no lumps remain. While whipping, pause between each step to scrape down sides of bowl. Transfer mixture to a glass bowl and set aside.

  3. In now empty mixer bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.

  4. Working one at a time, dip—but do not submerge—ladyfinders in coffee mixture. Arrange in single layer in bottom of 9×13 pan.

  5. Spread half of mascarpone mixture on top of ladyfingers. Sprinkle half of the cocoa powder. Repeat process of dipping and layering ladyfingers and spreading mascarpone and sprinkling cocoa. Wipe off edges of pan and cover with plastic wrap or cover.

  6. Refrigerate tiramisu for at least 6 hours—preferably overnight—before serving. Garnish with chopped chocolate.

This is the perfect recipe to complement a very veggie or tofu ricotta lasagna!


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