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The Loon and I have loved Tiramisu ever since we lived in Europe in the 90s.  

I was performing in the show CATS in Hamburg, Germany, and Wesley was stayed with me for about a year.   Now, I know Tiramisu is about as German as Chicken Fried Steak is Vegan, BUT…good Italian food was so very prevalent all over Western Europe.   There was an Italian bakery within walking distance of the theater, as well as several knockout Italian restaurants in the near vicinity.   We grew to love the homemade Tiramisu that was on all the menus.  

A white plate with a slice of classic tiramisu on it next to a cup of coffee.


To make this classic Italian dessert takes a little practice.

It all starts with an amazing cream filling.

We love using mascarpone cheese because the flavor and texture just can’t be beaten. It gets added to beautifully whipped cream.

Whipping the cream


Dark rum is often used in a classic tiramisu, but it’s not 100% necessary.

A strong dose of espresso deepens the flavor intensely but in such a good way!

Another great Italian dessert is our Rustic Ricotta Cheesecake!

Dark rum gives a nice adult kick! (this can be omitted to make kid friendly)
Making the espresso

Be sure to soak the ladyfingers quickly in the rum mixture, they soak up the deliciousness fast.

You don’t want to over soak them.

Quickly soaked ladyfingers

Now, it’s time to layer all the delicious elements.

So yummy!

Layering the tiramisu
Layering the tiramisu

Now, this is ready to be chilled.

Tiramisu is always best served chilled.

Tiramisu before slicing

Ready to make the best Italian recipe this side of Rome? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a picture of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @howtofeedaloon and #howtofeedaloon!

A white plate with a slice of classic tiramisu on it next to a cup of coffee.


Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert. Lightly soak the ladyfingers in the espresso / rum mixture for an adult dessert that is simply divine.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keyword: classic tiramisu recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories: 614kcal


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups espresso freshly brewed
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • 45 ladyfingers savolardi is really good


  • cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • cups mascarpone cheese
  • tspn vanilla extract
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ½ cup sugar and ½ cup of water.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the espresso, and let cool to room temperature.
  • Stir the rum into the cooled espresso mixture.
  • Pour the espresso mixture into a shallow bowl.
  • Quickly working in batches, briefly immerse the ladyfingers in the liquid, then transfer the ladyfingers to a plate. Set aside.
  • To make the filling, grab a heatproof bowl that fits snugly in the rim of a saucepan.
  • Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into the pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, in the heatproof bowl, whisk together the 1/3 cup of sugar and egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture becomes pale.
  • Place the bowl over, not touching, the simmering water in the pan (it makes it easier if you can have a helper hold the heatproof bowl for you with oven mits while you whisk).
  • Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the yolk mixture until very thick and tripled in volume, approx. 6 minutes.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and set the yolk mixture aside to cool completely, stirring often.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, using the mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the mascarpone and vanilla to the cooled yolk mixture.
  • Beat with the mixer on medium speed just until smooth and well blended.
  • Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream just until combined.
  • To assemble, carefully transfer 15 soaked ladyfingers to a 9-inch square cake dish.
  • Arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.
  • Using the rubber spatula, evenly spread 1/3 of the filling over the ladyfingers.
  • Place another 15 ladyfingers over the filling in the pan and evenly spread with 1/2 of the remaining filling.
  • Top with the remaining ladyfingers and filling, again spreading evenly.
  • Gently tap the pan against your counter to settle the ingredients.
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  • Run a small, sharp knife around the inside edge of the dish to loosen the sides.
  • Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top with the cocoa powder.
  • Cut into slices and serve!


Calories: 614kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 346mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1348IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • 5 stars
    ok thanks, maybe I did something wrong. The cake was moist, the filling seemed a bit dry… probably me. On another note, I have made a lot of your recipes, they are EXCELLENT! The Marinara Sauce and the Baked Ziti are amazing. Thanks again!!

    • Hi Kyle,

      We go with 1/2 cup cream and it makes for a very moist cake. I double-checked the recipe again, and everything looks right. So sorry yours ended up being dry. You could double the cream, or add more espresso which will make it very moist, even wet. We do love this dish and hope you have success on the next try!! Best, Kris & Wesley

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