Tiramisu~ A deliciously light and creamy Italian dessert for a Valentine’s “pick me up”.



Yes, I suppose there is a double entendre there, since Tiramisu in Italian literally  translates to “pick me up”, so you can either interpret it as a romantic one or a literal one from the espresso. Since I’m married and a caffeine fanatic, I’ll go for the later.

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts but it’s also one of those that have a 50/50 love to hate ratio when I order it. I’m usually not too picky, but Tiramisu is my exception. So before ordering, I am that “pain in the ass” that plays 20 questions with the server about it texture, flavor, alcohol flavoring, cooked or pasteurized eggs. It’s so bad Matt dreads going to any place that serves it.

Luckily, I prefer to make it at home to get it just to my preference. I hope you like this version as much as I do.

A few notes:

  • This is an Epicurious recipe that I made several adaptations to. Most importantly, I wanted to avoid any issues with uncooked eggs, so I incorporated cooking the eggs with the sugar over a double boiler rather than using pasteurized eggs and then removed the egg white portion completely.
  • As for the texture I wanted a firmer but still creamy texture, so the heavy cream was beat to stiff peaks instead of soft. Mixing the stiff peaks into the soft mascarpone mixture gave it the right overall consistency to make it firm enough for slicing, but still soft enough for a creamy finish.
  • The last two adaptation I made was to use a mixture of Frangelico and Meyers’s Dark rum since I didn’t have any sweet Marsala on hand. As it turns out I like it better this way. Finally for the dusting on top, I skipped the unsweetened cocoa powder for some Dutch processed cocoa to add a little more sweetness.
  • The tiramisu can be made two days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated or it can be frozen up to a week and thawed overnight in the refrigerator.


Makes 6-8 servings


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided use
  • 1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 11/2 cups brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico
  • 2 tablespoons Meyers dark rum
  • 6 oz. Italian Lady Fingers, hard kind
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch processed


1.Place egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar in a double boiler or a heat proof bowl over (not directly on top) a pot of simmering water and whisk mixture until it becomes pale and is almost thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool to warm. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
2. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, mix cream and remaining ¼ cup of sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly.
3. In another bowl stir together coffee, Marsala and Myers’s dark rum in a shallow bowl. Dip (do not soak) 1 lady finger at a time in coffee mixture then transfer to bottom of 8×8 glass pan. Repeat and continue and until bottom of baking dish is covered. Trim lady fingers as needed to fit pan. Fill pastry bag with mascarpone mixture and pipe it over the lady fingers. Repeat a second layer with lady fingers and mascarpone mixture. Dust final top with cocoa powder. Cover and chill Tiramisu, overnight.

Adapted from Epicurious


  1. says

    Wow Naomi, this is stunning! Tiramisu is my favorite dessert, but I’ve never attempted the authentic version at home (only cupcakes inspired by the flavors that would probably make you cringe hehe). Having read the care with which you order this treat, I definitely know this recipe is a taste and presentation knockout. I’m amazed by the neat slices!


  2. says

    Tiramisu is my favorite dessert. There’s something that’s just incredibly perfect about it. The best tiramisu I’ve had was in Las Vegas, go figure. I went back and ordered it to go later in our stay because I had to have it again.

    Yours looks gorgeous.


  3. says

    Wow, your tiramisu is SO beautiful. And you are right, there’s is something very romantic about it, hence its great for Valentine’s day…


  4. says

    I’m not sure I’ve had really good tiramisu… it’s always either been the frozen kind (which I did not purchase) or from a crappy Italian restaurant (probably frozen originally).

    But this… this just looks wonderful and just the kind of dessert I could fall in love with.


  5. says

    I love your presentation here. Tiramisu is one of my favorites as well. My husband just assumes that is what I will order anytime we go out for Italian. I hear you on the 50/50 though. I’ve had some disappointing ones as well and prefer my homemade which is very similar to your recipe! I use the soft ladyfingers and have not ever tried Frangelico in it but it sounds yummy!



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