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

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 45 minutes
Recipe by Tessa Arias


  • 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