Classic tiramisu recipe

Indulge in Italian dolce.
Andre Martin
6 - 8

Tiramisu is an Italian classic. It’s rich, decadent and the perfect after-dinner treat.

Make your tiramisu in a large bowl or try layering the ingredients in six individual 1 cup-capacity dishes so each guest has their own. See step 5 for reference. 




Put egg yolks and ½ of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high, using whisk attachment, for 4 minutes or until thick and pale.


Put mascarpone in a large bowl and gently fold in yolk mixture until combined. (Don’t overbeat or it will split.) Set aside.


Wash mixer bowl then put egg whites and the remaining sugar in and beat on high, using whisk attachment, for 2 minutes or until soft peaks form. Gently fold into egg yolk mixture to combine.


Combine coffee and brandy in a shallow bowl. Divide savoiardi biscuits into 3 batches.


Working with 1 batch, dip 1 biscuit at a time into coffee mixture so outer edge is soft but centre is still firm. Arrange in a single layer in a large 8-cup capacity serving bowl (for individual serves, see Cook’s tips (above).

Individual serves

Spoon over ¹⁄³ of the mascarpone mixture. Dust with a little cocoa.


Repeat Steps 5–6 for 2 more layers with remaining biscuits, coffee mixture, mascarpone mixture and cocoa, finishing with cocoa.


Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, until completely chilled.


Serve topped with grated chocolate.

Cook’s tips

Alcohol: Tiramisu can be made with or without alcohol. If you do not wish to use alcohol, you may simply remove it from the recipe altogether. Great alcoholic substitutes for Marsala wine and brandy are Amaretto or a coffee-flavoured liqueur. 

Make your tiramisu a day early: This dessert will taste even better when made in advance. Just like a trifle, leaving it in the fridge overnight will help the flavours mingle and harmonise with one another. 

Freezing instructions: If you are planning on freezing your tiramisu for future use, do not put cocoa powder on top at the end. Make it in a air-tight container with a lid or cover with plastic wrap and you can freeze it for up to three months. It will need to thaw overnight in the fridge to be ready to eat the next day.

What is tiramisu filling made of?

Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made up of layers of ladyfinger biscuits, espresso, mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, Marsala wine and chocolate. A Tiramisu involves whipping eggs and sugar to form a meringue and layering espresso-soaked ladyfingers, meringue and mascarpone until a beautiful, rich dessert is created. 

Do Italians put alcohol in tiramisu?

Traditionally, old Italian recipes did not include Marsala wine or other liqueur substitutes like Amaretto. Adding in alcohol is a more recent trend, and adds a great complexity to the flavour of the dessert. 

What is a substitute for mascarpone in tiramisu?

If you cannot find mascarpone to put in your tiramisu, you can make a substitute by mixing together cream cheese with heavy whipping cream and a bit of sour cream. It should be a 3:1:1 ratio. 

Is it safe to use raw egg yolks in tiramisu?

Traditional Tiramisu recipes use raw egg yolks and whites to add a fluffy, decadent quality to the dessert. There is a very small risk of contracting food poisoning from using raw egg in your recipes.

You can substitute egg whites for heavy cream and remove the egg yolks from the mascarpone step if you do not wish to use eggs. 

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