Tiramisu cake is a classic Italian cake that’s made with coffee soaked sponge cake and layered between a sweet mascarpone cream. Its also commonly dusted with cocoa powder.
This classic Italian dessert is typically made with ladyfingers as the “cake base”. But to be honest, this cake version is so much BETTER! The fluffy and airy spongecake absorbs all the coffee liqueur, mascarpone cream, and cocoa powder all too well. This sweet and creamy espresso combination is every coffee lover’s dream. The mascarpone frosting is so delicious that I even use it in my berry Chantilly cake!
- Cake- Tiramisu is typically made with ladyfingers, but this recipe is made with a sponge cake instead. The sponge cake consists of eggs, sugar, vanilla, flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
- Tiramisu Cream- The cream is made of cream cheese, mascarpone, powdered sugar, Kahlua, and egg product.
- Tiramisu Coffee Soak- Each layer of cake is soaked in a combination of espresso, Kahlua, and sugar.
How to make Tiramisu cake
Start with the sponge cake
- Beat the eggs in a stand mixer on high speed for 4 minutes, then add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until the eggs are fluffy and pale.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cornstarch into the eggs and fold it in with a whisk. Pour the batter into the parchment-lined baking pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 28-30 minutes. Then let the cake cool on a cooling rack.
How to make Tiramisu cream
- Meanwhile beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, Kahlua, and powdered sugar. Whip the egg product using an electric mixer until it thickens then add it to the cream cheese mixture.
Why is my tiramisu cream runny?
This could happen due to the eggs or egg products not being beaten well enough. You want to beat the egg mixture until its pale in color and fluffy. If you want to thicken up a runny cream, place it in the fridge for about 1 hour before frosting the cake.
Can I substitute raw eggs in tiramisu?
Cakes like tiramisu are made with raw eggs. If you prefer not to use raw eggs, you can use egg substitute also known as (egg product). Egg product is pretty much eggs that have been pasteurized. I have tested this recipe multiple times and came to realize that certain brands of egg products don’t thicken as much as others do. So far, the best brand for this recipe is Lucerne.
What is Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone cheese is one of the main ingredients in a tiramisu cake recipe cream. It has a mild flavor similar to creme Fraiche. Different brands of mascarpone cheese can have different consistencies. Therefore if you end up buying a brand that has a runnier consistency, make sure to refrigerate the cream for at least 40 minutes before combining it with the egg product.
What can I use instead of espresso?
If you don’t have an espresso machine at home you can still make this delicious tiramisu in one of two ways.
- use instant espresso powder– just dissolve 1 cup of hot water with 1 tsp of instant espresso powder (not the same thing as instant coffee).
- Use really strong brewed coffee– you will need to brew an extremely strong cup of coffee. You will need 1 cup as well.
How to assemble the cake
- Slice the cooled cake layers in half, and soak them in a combination of coffee and sugar. Then assemble the cake in this order; coffee-soaked cake, cream, cocoa powder with all the cake layers. Be sure to reserve some cream to coat the outside of the cake. I find that using a Martellato soaker bottle is the best method for soaking cakes. It doesn’t drench it as other methods do.
How long does it need to set?
Tiramisu tastes best when it has had time to absorb all the delicious flavors of coffee, cream, and Kahlua. Therefore you want to let the cream infuse into the spongecake overnight in the fridge. Once you’ve served the cake, it will last up to 1 week in the fridge.
How to freeze it
This Italian dessert freezer insanely well! Do this by leaving off the cocoa topping and wrapping the cake with plastic wrap (twice) once it frozen solid, wrap tightly in foil. You can keep it frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
Note: If you prefer to use real eggs over egg product, add 1/4 cup granulated sugar to 3 eggs instead of the egg product.
Bring a pot of water (about 2 cups) to a simmer. Place the sugar and eggs into a bowl and place the bowl over the simmering pot. Using an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar until they double in size and remove from heat. Once the eggs are cooled add them to the remaining cream ingredients.
Love Italian Dessert?! Take a look at these AMAZING Italian dessert recipes.
Almond Biscotti– Crunchy and full of toasted almonds.
Amaretti Cookies– A chewy gluten-free cookie with almonds, egg whites, and powdered sugar.
Chocolate Salami– A quick no-bake dessert with minimal ingredients.
- 32 oz 4 pkg cream cheese
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup Kahlua
- 1 cup egg product
Make the spongecake
- In a stand mixer, beat 8 eggs until foamy. Then slowly add the sugar and vanilla while the mixer is still beating.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and cornstarch. Then fold it into the beaten eggs using a whisk.
- Line 2 round baking pans (10 inches in diameter) with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Then distribute the batter evenly between the two pans.
- Bake in a preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 28-30 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
Make the tiramisu cream
- Meanwhile combine the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and Kahlua in the bowl of your stand mixer. If your mascarpone cheese has a runny consistency, refrigerate this mixture for 40 minutes before adding in the egg product.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg product with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and creamy. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add the egg product to the cream cheese mixture and mix just to incorporate. If you don't have egg product, see notes below on how to make this cake without it.
Make the coffee soak
- In a small bowl mix together the espresso, with 3 tbsp Kahlua and 1 tbsp sugar.
Slice, soak, and assemble the cake
- Slice each cake in half so you are left with 4 thin slices. Soak each layer of cake with the espresso and Kahlua mixture. I find that using a Martellato soaker bottle works best.
- Then begin layering the cake in this order: 1 layer of soaked cake, 1 1/4 cup cream cheese mixture, and cocoa powder. Repeat this until you stack the last layer of cream. At this point, you can decorate the sides and top of the cake with extra cocoa or cream.
This tiramisu cake recipe was originally published on July 20, 2015, it has been updated since.